Cabo Delgado’s business community is confident about the gradual return to sanctuary and the reopening of access roads to areas affected by terrorism, but expects government help to rebuild destroyed infrastructure.
Mamudo Irache, the president of the Cabo Delgado Business Council, considers the recovery of Mocímboa da Praia and other areas previously under the control of the terrorists, and the reopening of previously impassable access roads, a positive sign for the re-launch of economic activity in the districts affected.
According to Irache, some entrepreneurs are already expressing their desire to return to their previous location in order to rebuild what is left after vandalisation by the armed group operating in northern Mozambique.
“It is a great gain for the business sector. Since the resumption of traffic between Auasse and Macomia was announced,
“We are seeing a great deal of contact from businesspeople from the affected areas, such as that of Mocímboa da Praia, Palma and Macomia, as to the possibility of returning to their previous areas of operation. But, as the government has already said, we have to wait a while to hear what the position is,” he contemplates.
Meanwhile, Mamudo Irache foresees difficulties for the relaunch of business activities, given that the companies and goods they owned were affected by the terrorist incursions.
According to Irache, the business community will be economically weakened and will find their infrastructure destroyed on their return. “How are we entrepreneurs going to deal with this situation?” he asks.
However, the government still does not know how much it will cost to rebuild the districts affected by terrorism. In a recent interview with the state radio broadcaster, Governor of Cabo Delgado Valige Tauabo said that survey and analysis are currently underway with a view to assessing whether new buildings should be constructed or those affected by terrorists reused.
“It will depend on the technical team which will guide us, either towards the construction of new public buildings or their rehabilitation, or for temporary installations being set up to accommodate services,” Tauabo explained.
Business people are requesting that, if the decision is for reconstruction, government must prioritize the participation of local companies.
Mamudo Irache suggests government support for the business class to participate in projects previously paralysed by insecurity.
“Our dream is for the local business community to be directly involved in the reconstruction and to obtain financial support,” he says.
With the roads open again, albeit with constraints, transporters are talking about an improvement in activity levels, with an increase in passengers returning to their areas of origin.
Passenger transport operator on the Pemba-Macomia route said for the past day they grateful for peace that prevails in the province as security improves.
Cabo Delgado is Mozambique’s most Northern Province. Neglected over many years, the people who live there have been politically marginalised.