A COAL-POWERED plant to produce 1,200 megawatts of electricity will be built in Mozambique and it will benefit Zambia.
The intention was put on paper yesterday with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two countries.
The MoU was signed by Zambia’s Minister of Energy Dora Siliya and her Mozambican counterpart Pedro Couto during a closed-door meeting chaired by President Lungu and Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi on Thursday night.
Mozambican Minister of Foreign Affairs Oldomino Baloi said the plant will benefit the two countries.
“The MoU is a framework to guide the construction of the coal-powered power plant. We have, however, not yet reached the implementation stage,” said Mr Baloi.
The MoU was among several bilateral agreements signed to enhance the energy, agriculture, and transportation sectors.
Speaking at a joint media briefing, Zambia’s Foreign Affairs minister Harry Kalaba said in the energy sector, Zambia stands to benefit from the coal plant that Mozambique will build in the port city of Nacala.
Other MoUs signed were in commerce and trade, infrastructure development as well as peace and security.
The two countries would like to enhance co-operation and finding solutions to common challenges they are facing in key sectors.
Mr Kalaba said Zambia has imported 15,000 metric tonnes of cashew nut seedlings from Mozambique to boost and diversify agriculture activities.
Mr Kalaba said the move is aimed at empowering small-scale farmers in Zambia and Mozambique.
He said this is also key to wealth creation among youths in both countries.
He said the two countries are hoping to increase trade between them and that Zambia remains committed to all the values that both countries share in the Joint Permanent Commission (JPC).
“The meeting was cordial and Zambia and Mozambique are intertwined because they share various interests at various fora. We have more convergences unlike divergences,” said Mr Kalaba.
Mr Kalaba said the high-level meeting had “re-ignited and strengthened” long-standing historical ties between the two countries since 1975.
And Mr Baloi said Zambia is a country with deep historical ties for Mozambique’s political independence.
Mr Baloi described the ties as being at the highest level in various levels of co-operation because of Zambia’s significant contribution to Mozambique’s political independence.
He said there is need for both countries to ensure that they focus on implementing value addition to agriculture products and other raw materials they produce.
“Of concern is the value addition chain and ensuring that there is efficient transportation of these goods to enhance and increase trade between our two countries,” said Mr Baloi.
And President Lungu has said his visit to Mozambique has evoked interesting thoughts as both countries and the incumbent heads of State share a lot in common.
Mr Lungu said he and Mr Nyusi were erstwhile ministers of Defence before being elected as republican Presidents, and that both countries share significant socio-economic and cultural similarities.
“We are also sharing common challenges such as drought and we would like to share common experiences and find solutions in our countries and at regional level as SADC,” he said.
President Lungu said this before a closed-door high-level bilateral meeting at the Mozambique Office of the President.
President Nyusi said Zambia and Mozambique have long-standing historical bilateral ties.
Mr Nyusi said it is not possible to discuss Mozambique’s political independence without mentioning the involvement of Zambia under its first republican President, Kenneth Kaunda.
“Zambia is a sister country with deep historical ties of our liberation for political independence,” he said.