UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
MOZAMBIQUE NEWS ONLINE/MOZAMBIQUE NEWS ONLINE/MOZAMBIQUE NEWS ONLINE
Edition #16 27 February 1998
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OIL AGREEMENT: MOZAMBIQUE AND BP
Mozambique is set to join the community of oil producers in the very near future if all the activity surrounding this produces the desired results. This would mean the first oil well in the history of the country being drilled in the next six months.
The Mozambican government recently signed a Production and Sharing Agreement with British Petroleum Exploration under which BP has exclusive rights to 40,000 square kilometres of a prospective offshore drilling area in the Zambezi Delta.
The British Petroleum company intends to process a 15,000 kilometres two-dimensional seismic programme during the first half of 1998 in Mozambique's Zambezi Basin. BP has funded the first phase of the project with about 40 million US dollars.
It is expected that by the middle of 1998, the company will carry out seismic investigations in the area and there is a lot of optimism that at the end of this work they will be able to drill the first well, according to BP regional director for Africa, Doctor Fred Phaswana.
Fred Phaswana also said that BP's commitment is not only to Mozambique. He said BP believed very firmly in the future of Africa and that it was their belief that no political democracy could actually survive if it was not underpinned by economic development. Phaswana added that it should be remembered that the company had been in Mozambique for seventy years, even if mainly in the marketing area. During the period 1984/87, BP worked in the offshore area of Xai-Xai block in the Gaza province, where a large well was dug. It was sunk to a depth of 3,517 metres but unfortunately did not produce.
John Kachamila, Mozambique's minister of Mineral Resources and Energy qualified the agreement as a milestone in hydrocarbon exploration in deep waters and added that so far no other company had tried this. The minister said that the geological and hydrocarbon exploration activity had actually started in Mozambique at the beginning of the current century but that the amount of exploration work which had been conducted on sedimentary basins was still insufficient. Kachamila said that this meant such discoveries were still there to be made under Mozambique's sub-soil.
Kachamila also said that although oil enough for commercial use had yet to be discovered, the existing geological information pointed to the precious liquid just waiting to be found in Mozambique. He also said that after a period of low activity, Mozambique had experienced a renewal of interest in oil exploration over the last few years. And BP Exploration is now one more company working in Mozambique.
The minister disclosed that negotiations were underway towards production sharing agreements with other companies, among them ARCO from the United States, SASOL of South Africa and Canada's CANOP.
The government's efforts to preserve the climate of peace in Mozambique is seen as essential for the continuing improvement of the environment and for investment in thecountry, the minister said. He added that involvement of these companies showed the confidence of the international business community in the ability of Mozambicans to continue to preserve this climate of peace.
1.FRELIMO PRESENTS CANDIDATES FOR LOCAL ELECTIONS
Frelimo is the first political party to present some of its candidates for the May 29th local elections. Internal elections are also taking place within Frelimo, from the cities to the villages, to choose the candidates.
"Frelimo's democracy starts from the inside. For any position in our organization we hold elections," explained Margarida Talapa, an MP senior Frelimo member in Niassa province.
In the meantime Renamo, the major party of opposition, has said that its candidates will only be made known during a national meeting to be held soon. However, Renamo has also said that it was not going to participate in these elections due to what they consider a fraud in the electoral census. Some observers in Maputo, however, say Renamo is creating problems in order to try to delay the elections, only because the party is aware that it is going to lose.
Renamo's leader, Afonso Dlakama said recently that his party's participation would depend on the meeting that he is to have with President Chissano. However, there is no one who has given a date for this meeting, with Dlakama still in central Mozambique and Chissano having said that everything is up to Mr Dlakama.
On the 26th February, just a day before the deadline for parties to register, the Renamo General Secretary is still saying that his party is not going to participate.
2COALITION OF PARTIES REGISTERS TWICE FOR ELECTIONS
The registration of political parties for the May local elections started this week with what has been described as a strange situation. This being a double registration.
Antonio Palange and Marcos Juma went separately to the Electoral Commission - STAE - to register the UD Coalition. And they did this with the same name, the same symbols, but each with a different composition of parties.
Palange defends his registration of what he sees as the UD,with its increase from three small parties with nine seats in Parliament to an eight party coalition. The five new members are not represented in Parliament. Palange has said that the valid coalition is the one registered by him.
Marcos Juma, however, defended his view of the coalition: its non-enlargement. His comment was: "We have our coalition in the Parliament and we are prepared for the elections."
The final comment on this is up to the STAE who have to decide which Coalition is valid to take part in the electoral race.
3END OF EU BAN ON MOZAMBIQUE FISH?
Mozambique's fish stands no risk of being contaminated by cholera. This conclusion was reached at a joint meeting of experts of both the ACP countries and the UE, held last week in Brussels.
This follows the decision taken by the European Union in December 1997 to ban the import of fish from Mozambique following an outbreak of cholera in the country. It is now hoped that in the European Union will fairly promptly lift the ban.
Mozambique is losing US$60 000 a month and has more than 600 workers in the sector affected by the ban.
4CANADA TO PROVIDE $10 MILLION FOR DE-MINING OPERATIONS
The Canadian government is to provide $10 million Canadian dollars for de-mining actions in Mozambique.
According to Liza Campu from the Canadian Cooperation, the money is to be used in a projectto correct the available de-mining information, for the improvement of charts and for the payment of Canadian experts working in Mozambique.
A delegation of Canadian trade unions is presently visiting Nampula province with the objective of identifying areas that need support.
5BRITISH TO AID IN POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN MOZAMBIQUE
It has been announced that the British Government has decided to provide 7 million pounds to help towards the alleviation of poverty in Mozambique.
The money will be used in a programme for rural development in three districts of the Zambezia province.
6ANTI POLIO AND MEASLES CAMPAIGN UNDERWAY
Mozambican health authorities and their international partners this week moved forward on a polio and measles vaccination campaign that is scheduled for August/September this year.
In this year's campaign, UNICEF will contribute by providing 4 million doses of vaccine and US$600 000 to be distributed to all of Mozambique's provinces. The USAID is to contribute with US$400,000 towards technical assistance for the massive vaccination programme.
Dr Romao Mondlane, deputy director of community health at the health ministry said that he is optimistic about this year's campaign. "We will do everything to make this campaign more effective because in its first year the campaign only covered the large cities," he said.
Dr Carlos Tiny, the OMS representative in Mozambique, suggested the creation of a multi-sector working group to include the international partners. As he put it, the cooperation between them could then be more effective.
7RED GRASSHOPPER PLAGUE NOW UNDER CONTROL
Last year the Red Grasshopper affected large areas of central Mozambique, but the situation has now been described as being under control by Mozambique's Minister of Agriculture and Fishery, Carlos Agostinho do Rosario. However, he warned of the possibility of another outbreak after the rainy season.
Carlos Agostinho do Rosario said this during the 26th session of the IRLCO-CSA, a central and Southern African ministerial institution for the control of the Red Grasshopper in the regions, with Mozambique and Tanzania being the principal focus of countries affected.
Aleke Banda, Malawian Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation and president of the IRLCO-CSA, said that countries of the region should coordinate their efforts to fight the pest in an effective way, in order to promote better agricultural development.
8GOITRE AFFECTS MANY IN TETE AND NIASSA PROVINCES
Many people in the provinces of Tete and Niassa in central and northern Mozambique respectively suffer from goitre, a disease provoked by the absence of iodine in the body. One of the solutions for the problem is the consumption of salt to which iodine has been added, as recommended and supported by UNICEF.
However, according to recent figures, only 6% of the total salt used in Mozambique contains iodine.
A project for the production of salt with added iodine, which started in Maputo, is now also being put into practice by some salt producers in the cities of Nacala and Pemba in northern Mozambique.
9SOCCER: POISONOUS 'SNAKES' TRANSFORMED INTO INOFFENSIVE 'WORMS'
Dr Mateus Katupa, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports,said that Mozambique was not going to 'transform this sad situation into a national period of mourning,' when he met the national soccer squad after their return from Burkina Faso.
The Mozambican team had qualified for the final of the CAN98, the African Soccer Festival held in Burkina Faso. However, the Mozambican team lost all its three matches, losing 8 goals, and having only one goal in its favour which happened during the last game they played, against Zambia.
The whole country had been expecting something better than this and the media 'crucified' the MAMBAS - taking their name from a particularly dangerous snake of the region - and especially their coach, Arnaldo Salvado.
Salomao Moyane,a very well-known local journalist said that he was not surprised with the Mambas' results: "They show the level of the development of this country".
Now Mozambicans are deriding the MAMBAS by re-naming them the MINHOCAS, which means worms.
From: AfricaNN@inform-bbs.dk (Africa_news Network), AfricaNN@inform-bbs.dk Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 17:18:16 +0100 Subject: MOZAMBIQUE NEWS ONLINE #16 Message-ID: <email@example.com>
Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
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