|June 4, 2004
MOÇAMBIQUE: Chissano urges to note positive changes in Africa / Bilateral talks with Angola
President Joaquim Alberto Chissano has urged the world to take note of the positive changes that are taking place in Africa. Delivering the closing remarks at the World Economic Forum's Africa Economic Summit 2004, President Chissano referred to a remark by President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, who had observed that South African journalists only reported when the local airline was late, as most departures were on time. "Please report when we start leaving on time, and Africa has started leaving on time," Chissano said to applause from participants. "Let us travel together and let us arrive at our destination on time. The destination today is the Millennium Development Goals, the defeat of absolute poverty and the beginning of sustainable development for all. That will make each of us richer, without anyone becoming poorer." Earlier, Chissano addressed the issues of how Mozambique had attracted finance and foreign investment, and whether there were lessons for other African countries in this experience. He said all countries would have their own learning process.
Levy Mwanawasa, President of Zambia, said that since Africa was politically liberated, it had to turn its attention to developing the economies of African countries. He argued that business should be given guidelines on where development is needed, to ensure an equal spread of development in a country and to counter urban migration from underdeveloped areas. Zambia encouraged foreign direct investment, but wanted investors to partner with local companies. So that local people could also own the instruments of development and to ensure that, if investors left, the investments would remain.
During the Forum, the Angolan Prime Minister, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos, has also met the Mozambique President, Joaquim Chissano, to whom he handed over a message from his Head of State, Jose Eduaro dos Santos. According to the Premier, the two interlocutors had seized the opportunity to exchange information about the current situation in the two countries. In addition to friendship and good relations in the political domain, it was also necessary to boost bilateral cooperation in the economic field since the country was now at peace, had managed to stabilize its macro-economic rates and had enabled the creation of conditions to re-launch internal production, the Prime Minister furthermore said.
The Premier moreover explained that it was a good opportunity for the country to pass on the message that there were conditions for foreign investment in Angola, adding that it would enable that foreign private agents could participate in the national reconstruction. Speaking about the possibility of Angolan investment in Mozambique, he said it was a perspective that had into account the fact that both people were brothers. "In the future, it will be desirable that Angolan businessmen invest in Mozambique and the Mozambicans in Angola", emphasized dos Santos, adding that it would ensure the two people's development and well-being. (Angola Press Agency, Luanda / World Economic Forum, Geneva)