MUTARE — Mozambique is keen to engage with Zimbabwe in order to boost tourism and infrastructure development in the two countries, an official has said.
BY CLAYTON MASEKESA
The director of Tourism in Mozambique, Fredson Bacar last week said his country had a lot to learn from Zimbabwe’s tourism, which is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy.
Bacar told Standardbusiness that Mozambique would take advantage of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that the two countries signed in November last year as part of efforts to increase tourism co-operation.
He said Zimbabwean investors were welcome in Mozambique where they could play a major role in helping develop the country and spruce up its image as a safe tourist destination.
“The door is wide open for foreigners to invest in our country with no strings attached. We are satisfied with the growth of Zimbabwe’s tourism industry and the way the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority is marketing the country,” Bacar said.
He said Mozambique wanted Zimbabweans to help develop infrastructure destroyed by years of civil war in the 1980s.
“As a government, we are putting a lot of effort but we need people with expertise to develop our country. Mozambican laws are very liberal and we will not impose projects on our foreign investors,” said the Mozambican official.
Bacar said Mozambique was a safe tourist and investment destination despite threats posed by Renamo fighters.
“Mozambique has no war. We are surprised to read in the papers of this so-called war. It is just in Mushungwe district where soldiers of Renamo and Frelimo had a clash some 200km to Save river. This area is currently the centre of controversy and government is negotiating with Renamo to end the conflict.”
The Mozambican official was on a follow-up visit following the signing of the MOU on November 29.
The MOU seeks to create and enhance tourism relations between the two countries to boost economic growth through the development of the tourism sectors.
In the MOU, the two countries seek to further market and promote research and planning tourism investment promotion among others.
Mozambique has already set the ball rolling, with a six-member delegation touring some of the facilities in Manicaland province.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) Manicaland area manager Daniel Mupande said Mozambique was set to benefit from Zimbabwean tourism and travel expertise.
“During discussions we noted that our counterparts do not have institutions like publicity associations. This is the first port of call when one gets to a tourist destination,” he said.
Mupande said Zimbabwe will reciprocate the visit by the Mozambican delegation. He said arrangements were already in place for the two countries to hold joint tourism shows.