- The Negomano-Roma Road was financed by the African Development Bank.
- President Nyusi finds the road reminiscent of the two nations’ Pan-Africanism aspirations.
- Road will facilitate residents with transportation services for health, education and local economic needs.
Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi has commissioned a critical cross-border link road, Negomano-Roma connection that was financed by the African Development Bank.
The road, which stands to be a key link for intensifying regional integration with Tanzania, stretches from the nation’s northern province. At the moment, the road is facilitating residents with decent transportation services for health, education and local economic needs.
Mozambique-Tanzania Pan-Africanism aspirations
Constructed under 42 months, and with the inclusion of 417 local workers under the framework of promotion and inclusion of local content, President Nyusi finds the road reminiscent of the two nations’ Pan-Africanism aspirations.
“The road is a great gain for the viability and maximization of regional integration. It is also the materialization of a dream of first Mozambican president Samora Machel and his Tanzanian counterpart, Julius Nyerere, whose goal was to bring together the bonds of fraternity between both countries,” President Nyusi added.
According to AfDB, the project cost $170 million for the construction of the 164km road section from Negomano to Mueda.
“The project has been executed in phases, with the first phase approved by the African Development Bank’s board in 2016 for a loan of $70 million. In 2019 and 2022, the Bank’s board approved additional grant funding totaling $100 million.
This was for the construction of the 35km stretch of road between Roma and Nanbumgale. Works on the sections Roma–Nambungale–Mueda are expected to commence early in the first quarter of 2024,” said AfDB.
Mozambique stands to resuscitate its economic operations on all fronts, especially after a series of insecurity concerns over the past two years. The new road is crucial for economic and social potential, despite various setbacks regressing the nation’s growth.
“The road is expected to improve trade between Mozambique and Tanzania in the long term and help address some social challenges and hardships.” AfDB statement read in part.
Trade between Mozambique and Tanzania
In 2022 Tanzania and Mozambique’s trade relations strengthened after inking two security-related agreements. This was a critical step in enhancing trade between the two nations.
“There are Mozambican companies in Tanzania more need to come in. We want to increase the number of investors so as to increase business relations,” said President Samia Suluhu during her remarks at the signing of agreements in Mozambique, in her state-visit September 2022.
Over the past three years, insecurity in the Cabo Delgado Province of Mozambique executed by Islamist militants hurt the trade between the two states.
Available data shows that the value of Tanzania’s exports to Mozambique has dropped by 73.7 percent during the past four years of insurgency in Cabo Delgado Province.
On the other hand, figures from the United Nations Comtrade database on international trade show that Tanzania’s exports to Mozambique have fallen from $59 million in 2018 to $15.5 million in 2021.
In the same way, imports have fallen by up to 80 percent during the past four years. This is partly due to the displacement of people and insecurity, dropping from $25 million in 2018 to $5 million in 2021.
Consequently, the new road levitates potential business interactions among the nations as crops and other products exchange furnish local economies.
Prior to insecurity concerns, Cashew stood out as a crop supplied into Mozambique between Cabo Delgado and Mtwara.
A road to growth
AfDB’s Cesar Mba Abogo finds the road to be a transformative anchor to growth for the nation.
“This road provides an opportunity for stronger economic cooperation and integration between Mozambique and Tanzania, and the entire SADC community. The delivery of such an asset is precisely what the Bank envisions by financing transformational infrastructure projects towards the achievement of its long-term strategy,” Abogo commented.
Similarly, President Nyusi finds AfDB’s quest to empower African development essential in the trade. It will also be critical in the movement of people, goods and income generation for Mozambicans.
Nyusi said: “The road is a great gain for the viability and maximization of regional integration. It is also the materialization of a dream of first Mozambican president Samora Machel and his Tanzanian counterpart, Julius Nyerere. These leader whose goal was to bring together the bonds of fraternity between both countries.”
Within sight, as cross-border trade stands to revitalize both nations’ economies, also local residents along the road corridor spoke of the road’s impact on their lives on a daily basis.
Elsa Joao, a resident of Ninga, said: “Before the construction of the road, it was difficult to travel to the nearby hospital to receive medical care in Negomano, especially during the rainy season.”
Another resident added, “before the construction, it took three to four hours to travel between Negomano and Roma. Now, the trip can be completed in less than an hour.”
Minister of Public Works Carlos Mesquita termed the road a symbol of economic growth. “The construction of the road marks a significant milestone for regional development.”
Stakeholders from both nations have been seeking efficient cross-border transportation systems. The road signals increased performance and commitment to expanding trade and economic growth from Mozambique.