Thursday, 27 March 2014

Positive Outlook

Positive Outlook

The city of Beira set on the fringe of the Indian Ocean is part of the historic region of Sofala. It is a microcosm of the Indian Ocean Milieu. The last significant wave of immigrants to arrive where Greeks.

The wealth this city engenders essentially derives from its strategic location at the heart of a region serving three land locked countries whose needs are catered for by its Port.
As a holiday destination it was one of the unheard of gems along the east African coast. In the early sixties with the growth of the travel industry it became a favourite tourist destination for Rhodesians.

This contributed to the diversification of the local economy and brought the urban centre further into prominence as a nucleus for trade and commerce.
Years of neglect ensued during the mid twentieth century due to the fact the vast potential of this enclave was not recognised. Currently this is being remedied. There is a construction surge taking place, along the coast line. The area of Ponta Gea is regaining the status it once held with new developments such as Santa Cruz.

The neighbourhood of Chaimite is fast becoming the modern commercial centre of the city with a mercantile ethos. Shopping precincts such as Bulha Shopping are the perfect showcase of this transformation.

The port is become increasingly relevant to the local and regional economy. A commercial alliance concerning The Mozambican Ports and Railway Company (CFM) and the Dutch owned company Cornelder de Moçambique is designed to enhance the expertise required for the ports logistics and communications system operating within the requirements of the International supply chain. This falls in line with the resolutions of the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) that met in 2011 at a grand event in Busan South Korea, calling for the timely development of port infrastructure recognising the role they play in local economies.

The Spanish company Pescanova in 2006 acquired the Mozambican Companhia de Pesca do 
Oceano Indico (COPOIC), thus creating a Mozambican subsidiary Pescamar Ltd. This enhances the regions prominence as an Agribusiness hub.
The Mozambican Ports and Railway Company (CFM) has rehabilitated the Sena railway line. Passenger and cargo train now cover the entire 574 kilometres of this railway route from the city of Beira to the mining town of Moatize.
Nevertheless there are still remains the serious challenge of creating a competitive industrial and service sector in the city of Beira.  The foundations for this lay in designing a dynamic and environmentally sustainable manufacturing industry.
The process has already begun to take form with street traders in the city of Beira fixing foreign electronic appliances regardless of their complexity. Indians have a word for this phenomenon called “jugaad”.
The debate ensues on how to accomplish industrialisation. This discussion according to the 

Beira based Musoke Think Tank should be centred on the sociological approach of contemporary philosophy plainly depicted by Emile Durkheim in his description of positivism as an endeavour to extend “scientific rationalism to human conduct.”
Musoke Think Tank emphasises the need to foment local ingenuity by inspiring the development of an industrial sector based on a consensus amongst emerging engineering firms that quality merchandise should be the trademark of goods produced in the city of Beira.

As a unique selling point it will allow for the establishment of an overseas market already offered to us here in Mozambique in the form of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) that is the most liberal access to United States consumers except for that offered to countries that have free trade agreements.
By adopting the classical European Industrial Model the city of Beira can produce products whose life cycle is not affected by planned obsolescence.
I interviewed a young American Peace Corp Volunteer named Samuel Paddington, he stated that “what Americans value most in Africans is their positive outlook” and the city of Beira will strive for this vision to be the basis of its commerce.

Article by Costa Magiga

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