Natural resources and energy
Mozambique has good assets on a variety of metals and minerals, including oil, natural gas and coal. The country also has plenty of hydropower.
High hopes are linked to gas deposits in the Rovuma basin on and off the coast of Cabo Delgado Province in the north. Gas reserves are estimated to be so large that Mozambique could become Africa’s third largest gas producer after Nigeria and Algeria. In the fall of 2019, the foundation stone for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Cabo Delgado was laid. The plant will be operated by the American energy giant Anadarko. Production of LNG is expected to commence in 2024.
- COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Mozambique with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Some natural gas is already being produced in the country through, among other things, investments from the South African state-owned company Sasol. Exploration for offshore oil is also ongoing.
The development of the mining sector was hampered by the civil war that lasted until 1992, but the industry has been strengthened by foreign investment after the peace settlement. The extraction of titanium in the Moma mine in the Northeast is important. The hard metal tantalum as well as bauxite, marble, gold, rubies and a variety of other deposits are also mined.
- Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, MZ stands for Mozambique. Visit itypeusa for more information about Mozambique.
Coal production has increased substantially during the 2010s. There are large reserves of coal in the Tete province in the northwest with mines in Moatize and Benga, but production is hampered by bottlenecks in the transport system.
Mozambique’s many rivers provide an abundance of hydroelectric power, but much is still untapped and just over one-sixth of Mozambique’s have access to electricity. The most important energy source is still wood and also biomass. The forest area decreases for each year despite replanting. A report from the Environmental Investigation Agency in 2014 estimated that 80 percent of all logging has been illegal since 2001.
There used to be a well-developed electricity grid, which was destroyed during the civil war. However, the Cabora Bassa hydroelectric plant in the Zambezi River did relatively well. It was the Portuguese who built the huge plant, which is said to be able to produce enough electricity to light up a third of Africa. Far from all that capacity is utilized. Due to a 1980 contract, Mozambique had to sell most of the electricity cheaply to South Africa. China has provided loans for a new power plant in the Zambezi River, and several major power plant projects are planned with the goal of making Mozambique a major electricity exporter.
FACTS – ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
428 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
463 kWh, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
8 427 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
0.3 ton (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
86.4 percent (2015)
Mosques are closed after attacks
The government orders three mosques in the city of Pemba in the northern province of Cabo Delgado to be closed. The reason is that the mosques are believed to have been in contact with the people who attacked police stations in the city of Mocimboa da Praia in October.
Attack on police stations
Several police stations in the town of Mocimboa da Praia in the province of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique are being attacked in what appears to be coordinated raids. It is unclear who the attackers are, but the suspicions are directed at Islamic extremists. Two policemen are killed and, according to the police, 14 attackers are shot dead. The following days, more than 50 people are arrested for the attacks. Eighty percent of the 2.3 million inhabitants of Cabo Delgado are Muslims with strong ties to neighboring Tanzania. Nationally, Muslims are a minority and in Cabo Delgado there is dissatisfaction with the central government dominated by people from the southern part of the country. The government is accused of neglecting the needs of the Muslims.
New albino murder
A 17-year-old boy suffering from albinism (lack of pigment) is kidnapped and killed in Tete province in the northwest. The body is found severely mutilated. According to the UN, there have been more than 100 attacks on albinos in Mozambique since 2014. Body parts from albinos are used in ceremonies by superstitious people who believe that they bring prosperity and happiness.
High-level peace meeting
President Filipe Nyusi and Renamol leader Afonso Dhlakama meet for the first time in two years. According to a statement from the president’s office after the meeting, the two leaders had talked about the next step in the peace process “which they hope to be in port before the end of the year”.
The government is held accountable for lost millions
Prosecutors are beginning to investigate how the government handled half a billion US dollars spent on these billion-dollar loans taken secretly in 2013 and 2014 by three government-backed companies with government guarantees (see April 19, 2016). The government has claimed that the money was used to procure equipment to protect the country’s marine areas from piracy and illegal exploitation, but the US accountant Kroll, who has reviewed the management of the loans, says the figures are not correct. When the company compares the government’s accounting for its costs with what independent experts said was worth the equipment, half a billion dollars is lost.
Renamol leader Afonso Dhlakama says that the movement’s unilateral ceasefire is extended indefinitely. He announced the ceasefire in January and extended it by two months in early March. Now he says the ceasefire is “the beginning to the end” of the war-like state that has prevailed since October 2013, when Renamo terminated the 1992 peace agreement.
Mozambique is unable to pay interest
The Ministry of Finance says it cannot pay the monthly interest rate of USD 60 million for a bond loan taken in April 2016.
Renamo announces ceasefire
Renamo announces a two-month ceasefire to promote the possibility of continued peace talks with the government. The message is preceded by a week’s truce which, according to Renamol leader Afonso Dhlakama, passed without more serious incidents. The decision is made since Dhlakama and President Nyusi spoke to each other on the phone several times.