World Bank to help Mozambique win tourism investment


MAPUTO – The World Bank’s private sector lending arm will help Mozambique secure an estimated $3.1 billion worth of investments in tourism projects, Tourism Minister Fernando Sumbana said on Thursday.

“We have signed a $3.1 billion (agreement) with the International Finance Corporation … to finance four anchor projects along the coastline that would create 30,000 jobs,” he told Reuters in an interview.

Sumbana said the IFC would finance procurement and feasibility studies, and help interested private investors source the expected $3.1 billion in required funding.

Mozambique is aggressively investing in its tourism sector ahead of the 2010 soccer World Cup in neighbouring South Africa, which could draw some 600,000 tourists to the region.

The impoverished southern African nation says it hopes to attract many of the soccer fans to its shores as well.

Though one of the world’s poorest countries, Mozambique is experiencing an economic boom, and tourism revenues have provided crucial foreign exchange for the government’s public works programmes.