Russia And Mozambique: Moving Together In Challenging Moments – OpEd


There is a possibility for greater participation of Russian economic operators in the development processes in Mozambique, and in southern Africa. But Russian officials need to move away from too much rhetoric to concrete economic engagement in the coming years. For these several years, Russia claims its relationship with Mozambique has had good and time-tested relations from Soviet days. 

The relationship has also experienced delegations visiting both ways. In October 2019, President Filipe Nyusi was re-elected after a landslide victory in the general elections, and prior to the presidential election paid a working visit to Moscow where he held a fruitful talks with President Vladimir Putin. Nyusi also interacted with the Russian business community in an effort of wooing them for investment in various economic sectors in Mozambique.

Senate Chairperson, Valentina Matviyenko, headed a delegation to Maputo, promised investments in that country in February 2021. In between, parliamentary delegations travelled frequently to and fro Moscow and Maputo. Quite recently, Mozambican delegation participated in discussions of various questions relating to development and economic cooperation during the last conference held March 19 to 20 in Moscow.

The objectives of that inter-parliamentary conference were to strengthen parliamentary cooperation with African countries in the conditions of formation of a multipolar world, to develop relations and develop common approaches to legal regulation in the economy, science and education and security.

Several reports confirmed that on April 26, Chairman of the State Duma,Vyacheslav Volodin, held a meeting with President of the Assembly of the Republic of Mozambique, Esperança Bias, to review particularly new formats of inter-parliamentary cooperation. “We share same views on political issues. We appreciate the support of our initiatives at the UN,” reiterated Volodin.

Esperança Bias was, however, convinced that the dialogue between the two countries should be continued. “These relations started when Mozambique fought for its independence. We managed to gain it. After that, Russia has always supported our country, even in the toughest moments in the history of Mozambique,” she added.

Strengthening inter-parliamentary cooperation

According to Vyacheslav Volodin, Mozambique is a reliable and longtime partner of Russia on the African continent. He suggested discussing the possibility of creation of an inter-parliamentary commission between the State Duma and the Assembly of Mozambique, as well as enhancing cooperation between the relevant committees and parliamentary friendship groups to strengthen cooperation.

“These formats will help establish substantive interaction in such important areas for our countries as industry, mineral production, and education. It is necessary to reach a new level of development of relations within the parliamentary dimension,” stressed the Chairman of the State Duma.

Economic potential

The Chairman of the State Duma emphasized that the trade between Russia and Mozambique had increased by 20% over the past year. “It is important for us to use capacities of parliaments to develop economic relations, tourism, and humanitarian projects. Of course, we will do this on the basis of respect for each other, mutual benefit and non-interference in internal affairs,” added Volodin.

Esperança Bias stressed that Russia and Mozambique had huge economic potential. According to her, the main task of legislators is to develop laws that would help strengthen economic ties between the two countries.

Speaking about legislative issues, she said that the continent needed infrastructure and its development, such as road improvements, rail and air transport. If there is no infrastructure, it will be impossible to trade even with developed countries such as Russia and with Africa,” said the Speaker of the National Assembly. She also noted the necessity to develop the energy sector for industry and sufficient water for agriculture.

The President of the Assembly of Mozambique invited Vyacheslav Volodin to pay an official visit to the Republic. The Chairman of the State Duma thanked for the invitation. He also invited the delegation of the Parliament of Mozambique with its President Esperança Bias to take part in the next International Parliamentary Conference Russia-Africa.

Diplomatic relations between Mozambique and Russia already marked the 40th year and yet not a single industrial facility to boast of in that country. Mozambique is a country located in southeastern Africa bordered by South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and by Indian Ocean. It is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Kester Kenn Klomegah

Kester Kenn Klomegah is an independent researcher and a policy consultant on African affairs in the Russian Federation and Eurasian Union. He has won media awards for highlighting economic diplomacy in the region with Africa. Currently, Klomegah is a Special Representative for Africa on the Board of the Russian Trade and Economic Development Council. He enjoys travelling and visiting historical places in Eastern and Central Europe. Klomegah is a frequent and passionate contributor to Eurasia Review.

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