Mozambique Strengthens Bilateral Relations With UAE

Reviewing carefully the primary significance of the working visit of Mozambican President, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, shows the level of recognition given by African leaders to this country in the Arab world. In the month of October, he headed a government delegation on three working days in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Simply and popularly referred to as Emirates, it is located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula and shares borders with Oman and Saudi Arabia, while having maritime borders in the Persian Gulf with Qatar and Iran. Abu Dhabi is the capital, while Dubai, the most populous city, is an international business hub. As of 2021, the United Arab Emirates has an estimated population of roughly 9.9 million.

Many have asked the most traditional and often-asked question why this Arab country has attained such high level of prominence as business and tourism destination, even as transiting spot for travellers. The United Arab Emirates has the most diversified economy, admirably well-planned city and a refined welcoming culture in the Arab world.

As impressive as economic growth has been in the UAE, the total population has increased now around 10 million. The UAE has good general infrastructure, the system’s major advantage is the domestic macroeconomic stability and undergoes steady growth, and this key factor positively impacts on its economic and business relations with the external countries.

Resultantly African leaders, corporate business leaders, tourists and even the youth have the desire to take a glimpse of the country. African leaders, among them for instance, President Filipe Nyusi, the aim is to establish and strengthen multifaceted economic ties with UAE. According to reports, Filipe Nyusi officially visited at the invitation of the President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and ruler of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

President Nyusi and Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan discussed various aspects of the UAE-Mozambique relations and the opportunities available to expand the scope of common interests. In this context, the two sides affirmed their common interest in developing bilateral relations and pushing them forward to serve the interests of the two parties and their peoples.

The meeting touched on cooperation in the field of environment and combating climate change, in light of Mozambique’s membership in the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) co-led by the United Arab Emirates and the United States which was announced in 2021.

The two sides stressed the important role the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP 28), which will be hosted by the UAE next year, can play in this regard. The two leaders exchanged views on a number of regional and international issues of common concern.

Filipe Nyusi also held a meeting the Emir of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the vice president, and later visited the Port of Dubai, managed by DP World, which currently participates in the management of the Port of Maputo. He interacted with Mozambican citizens residing in the UAE. In order to facilitate and promote tourism, Mozambique and Emirates were looking to exempt from entry visas under the Economic Acceleration Measures Package.

As part of reviewing bilateral relations, there are contacts to establish a visa waiver agreement on diplomatic and service passports, and this agreement be extended to normal passport holders. Both attempted to fix a direct air link between the two countries.

In the UAE, the diplomatic talks resulted in a series of agreements on strengthen bilateral cooperation on and two memoranda of understanding on defence cooperation and on counter-terrorism were signed. According to official reports, Mozambique and Emirates attach great importance to economic and business cooperation, and also providing necessary assistance in combating terrorism.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and President Nyusi witnessed the signing of several agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) covering various sectors. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Verónica Macamo, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique, signed an MoU on security and counterterrorism.

For his part, President Nyusi expressed his thanks and appreciation to His Highness for the warm reception, that the visit constituted an important boost to relations between the two countries in various fields, and finally stressing his keenness to continue working with him for further growth and prosperity of bilateral relations. The meeting was attended by a number of senior UAE officials.

In general, UAE and Africa have an excellent dynamic relations. Dubai International Chamber operates four representative offices in Kenya, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Ghana. Over 1,600 new African member companies have registered with Dubai Chamber since October 2021, after it hosted the sixth edition of the Global Business Forum Africa (GBF Africa). 

According to Gulf Business, the Dubai International Chamber’s strategy is to boost membership, which aims to attract companies and foreign direct investment from the continent to the Emirates. That is to say, efforts are directed at attracting African businesses to the Dubai market and connecting local companies with business opportunities emerging across Africa.

Interesting to note that President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi’s October visit underscored the UAE’s keenness to bolster trade and commercial relations with Mozambique and possibly other African countries. It further shows the strong bonds of friendship and cooperation that bind the two countries and their keenness to explore ways of expanding their partnership to promote mutual investments and enhance stability and prosperity.

After a complete thorough study and review of several reports, UAE businessmen have enormous interest in investing in Mozambique. According to O País (Rádio Moçambique), President Nyusi at the final end of the visit unreservedly expressed his pride in the strong relations between Mozambique and the UAE. With an approximate population of 30 million, Mozambique is endowed with rich natural resources. It is one of the 16 countries with collective responsibility to promote regional socio-economic integration and security cooperation within the Southern African Development Community. 

Kester Kenn Klomegah
Kester Kenn Klomegah
MD Africa Editor Kester Kenn Klomegah is an independent researcher and writer on African affairs in the EurAsian region and former Soviet republics. He wrote previously for African Press Agency, African Executive and Inter Press Service. Earlier, he had worked for The Moscow Times, a reputable English newspaper. Klomegah taught part-time at the Moscow Institute of Modern Journalism. He studied international journalism and mass communication, and later spent a year at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. He co-authored a book “AIDS/HIV and Men: Taking Risk or Taking Responsibility” published by the London-based Panos Institute. In 2004 and again in 2009, he won the Golden Word Prize for a series of analytical articles on Russia's economic cooperation with African countries.