For many years during the 15 year civil war, Mozambique ranked as the poorest country on earth.. today, it is still ranked just above Malawi in 7th place. Mozambique’s GDP per capita is less than 1/10 that of South Africa, the richest country in Africa by GDP per capita measures, an economy built on the mining fortunes of yesteryear.
Mozambique has a treasure of another kind*, 90% of its arable land is still undeveloped and the Portuguese left a legacy of coconut palms that still to this day, give yields that match the best in the world due to the favourable climate and soil conditions. (*Mozambique also has major aluminium, coal and recently discovered gas reserves)
In a recent due diligence visit to a factory in Mozambique, I was struck again by the raw beauty of this country and its people, where my father served for many years in a humanitarian capacity as a missionary. In fact my first words as a toddler were in Portuguese and included saluting the flag with a shout of “Viva”, much to the amusement of the local militia. Today, the country is peaceful, friendly and alive with opportunity.
But almost everyone you meet will tell you that doing business in Mozambique still has real challenges. For me, the new road in the picture above is a clear sign of hope . It passes through Maxixe and connects the North and South of this long country. It was built by the Chinese but is well maintained and serves as a vital arterial route to access and distribute resources, particularly to and from the majority of the population and the financial hub in Maputo. Of course the other key connection required for any country to thrive is a robust data highway. In Mozambique data is “dirt cheap” compared to neighboring South Africa, something that bodes well for future development as does the building of Africa’s largest suspension bridge in Maputo.
While Chinese companies continue to thrive, many other foreign businesses battle to survive in Mozambique. Our unique experience at Path to Peak, the ability to build relationships, do the due diligence and plot out a path to success, appropriate in the African context, could help you access new opportunities in Mozambique. And while doing so, help to bring relief to many living in what remains one of the poorest places on earth.