Clara de Sousa, director of the World Bank for Angola and Sao Tome and Principe, warned that Mozambique must ensure that revenues from new natural gas projects meet the aspirations of the population, otherwise there will be adverse results.
“We are finding several examples where, among others, unfulfilled aspirations and lack of transparency can lead to problems, including conflicts,” he said.
Clara was speaking as a guest speaker for the opening of the Banco de Moçambique scientific seminars in Matola, near Maputo.
The country will start exporting natural gas from the Rovuma Basin within five years with a consortium that could deliver $ 16 billion to the state in 25 years – an “appetizer,” promoters say, as larger projects are still come over.
“The challenge is to prepare ourselves” because “in terms of macroeconomic management, an influx [of revenue] like what we think will be with gas, will bring complications and we have to be ready,” he added.
Complications are management challenges: the arrival of the megaprojects exploring the Rovuma Basin deposits is a “great bonanza”. “Undoubtedly, by the numbers I see, the gas will completely transform this country,” said Clara de Sousa.
“We will have annual revenues in the state coffers much higher than anything we have had to manage so far. This leads to caution in decisions not only on how to use money in a given period, but in particular how Caution the distribution between generations, ” she said.
If the benefits of “this and other extractive industries” are to reach society as a whole, “the links between large investments and local enterprises will have to be improved, thereby contributing to economic diversification and job creation.”
Natural gas was only one of the themes in Clara de Sousa’s speech, which emphasized the need for the country’s economic growth to have to match the levels of poverty in equal proportion – something that has not happened, she concluded.(source: Lusa)