FCO Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds visited Mozambique on 11 September. His visit focused on the new High Level Prosperity Partnership (HLP) between the UK and Mozambican government which seeks to strengthen economic cooperation, particularly in extractives, agriculture, education, and the financial sector. The HLP will drive economic growth for both countries.
Mr Simmonds met Mozambique’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Henrique Banze, who praised the “very good relations at bilateral and multilateral levels and within the Commonwealth”. The partnership is intended to take the relationship a stage higher, as stated by both dignitaries at a joint press conference.
Mr Simmonds said he first discussed the idea of the High Level Partnership with Mozambican President Armando Guebuza in Aberdeen in July when they met at an international conference on infrastructure for the oil and gas industry in Mozambique. “My visit is a follow-up”, he said, “and we have been discussing how we might deliver the benefits of a high level partnership in terms of job creation and economic development in Mozambique”. Mr Simmonds added that the partnership would deepen bilateral relations “in key economic sectors that are priorities for the Mozambican government” and “will deliver benefits to the Mozambican economy and people and help in our own UK economic recovery”.
Mr Simmonds also highlighted ongoing discussions about the role that Aberdeen universities could play in the Mozambican hydrocarbon sector (through the training of Mozambican technical staff, for example).
Mr Simmonds met Deputy Agriculture Minister Limbao who he invited, along with Agriculture Minister Pacheco, to visit the UK to acquaint themselves with the expertise of British companies that may be interested in investing in Mozambique.