The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade was this afternoon told of how Mozambique plans to ensure that the economic growth it is currently enjoying will filter through to the most vulnerable in its population.
Oldemiro Marques Baloi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique, was addressing the Committee. Minister Baloi is in Dublin as part of the delegation on the State Visit to Ireland of President of Mozambique Armando Emilio Guebuza.
Chairman of the Committee Pat Breen TD says: “We thank Minister Baloi and the delegation for an engaging discussion on a wide range of areas of mutual interest for our two countries. Relations between Ireland and Mozambique remain strong, with Irish Aid planning to spend €36 million this year, targeted particularly in the areas of health and educational attainment and governance.
“Minister Baloi was pleased to announce that Mozambique was no longer totally dependent on aid and he emphasised that the ultimate goal of his government was to develop its economy further so as to minimise its need for aid. Education was instanced as key to this transformation. We were informed of innovative programmes in improving school attendance in the country, and were interested to hear of the campaigns targeting parents and grandparents in raising awareness of the importance of education for children of school-going age.”
“Mozambique is enjoying a stellar period of economic growth, fuelled by a resource boom. The Minister did caution that the current levels of growth were coming from a very low base. We heard of the Mozambican Government’s commitment to ensure all players in the country’s economy, including foreign multinationals involved in resources, would pay their fair share of taxes. A number of Committee Members also mentioned the scope for trade to play a greater role in relations between our countries. In this context, Minister Baloi’s pledge to open a resident embassy in Dublin as soon
as is practicable is to be warmly welcomed.”