MOZAMBIQUE MARITIME CONTRACTS

Privinvest Comments on Mozambique Maritime Contracts

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Privinvest has noted recent inaccurate comments in the media with regards to maritime programs executed by Privinvest for entities owned by the Government of Mozambique. 

These programs were deemed by Mozambique as necessary to build a local industry to contribute to the economic development of the country and in order to establish sovereignty over its own waters and natural resources after years of poaching and unlicensed exploitation.

At the time that the contracts were signed in 2013 and early 2014. Mozambique was being widely feted as the “Qatar of Africa”. At that point, The World Bank had raised its forecast for the African Continent, naming Mozambique as one of the fastest growing economies in the world [i].

It was widely recognised that Mozambique had extremely limited maritime infrastructure and no means of supervising and protecting its huge offshore gas fields, vital to reach, as a first stage, its economic independence.

In the fishing sector in 2013, only one registered vessel out of 130 that were licensed to fish in its offshore waters was Mozambique-owned. [ii] In 2014 a think-tank chaired by Kofi Annan had estimated that Africa lost $20bn a year on fishing and logging, with Mozambique one of the worst sufferers [iii] . Mozambique needed food security, and developing a modern and efficient fishing industry was rightly seen as critical to achieving that.

The maritime programs were requested by the customer and then designed to deliver an integrated solution – to allow oversight and control of the country’s EEZ (exclusive economic zone), to set up a viable homemade, home-owned and self-sustaining commercial fishing industry and to set up a shipbuilding and ship maintenance industry. Both for local craft and also the servicing of vessels in the offshore oil and gas industry. For that purpose, the necessary intellectual property has been made available to the customer as well as the related transfer of technology.

Contrary to certain reports, no weapons whatsoever were supplied under any of the maritime programs. The scope of supply for the maritime programs far exceeds all that has been erroneously reported to date, moreover, the services provided, beside the transfer of technology, cover a wide scope of training and maintenance services.

It is important to note:

  1. That the direct users and managers of the programs delivered are extremely satisfied [iv].
  2. Two years of discussions took place between the Mozambican authorities and Privinvest, in parallel to other discussions they were having with other potential suppliers, before they decided to contract with Privinvest.
  3. The Mozambican authorities and the customer were continuously advised by world leading banks and other advisers.
  4. These programs will also enable Mozambique to play its part in implementing the recently ratified 2009 Port State Measures Agreement (http://apo.af/x6UY6n), a UN sponsored international treaty to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Thirty countries, including Mozambique, have signed up to the treaty, which became binding on June 5th 2016.
  5. Unfortunately, in 2011 no-one could forecast the collapse of the energy and the natural resource markets and the consequential impact that this would have on countries that were heavily reliant on raw material price and gas price fluctuations.

[i]        World Bank raises forecast for Africa growth, Financial Times, 7 Oct 2013

[ii]        Mozambique: Government Justifies Purchase of Tuna Fishing Fleet, AIM 27 Nov 2013

[iii]       Africa loses $20bn a year on fishing and logging, FinancialTimes, 7 May 2014

[iv]       Mozambique: Fisheries Minister Confirms That Ematum Boats Meet EU Standards, AIM, 8 June 2016

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