The panel discussion was moderated by the incoming Executive Director of Finance for Peace, Rosy Khanna (left), and joint by speakers (from left to right): AfDB Mozambique Country Manager Cesar Mba Abogo; Executive Director of Mozambican civil society organisation MASC João Pereira; Leonardo Nhavoto, Local Content Manager, TotalEnergies; and Sarah Logan,Lead Researcher of the Finance for Peace research in Mozambique, and Director of Msasa Consulting.
The session titled “Call for Action on Innovative Peace Positive Private Investments” was designed to help the forum audience put the concept of Peace Finance into context in a fragile setting on the African continent. This 12th and final session was the only one at the forum to focus on one country a a showcase, and also the only one to bring together the civil society and the private sector. Through Mozambique as a case in point, the panel outlined how we can mobilise peace-positive development finance and private investment for Africa’s fragile and conflict-affected areas.
Sarah Logan raised the curtain on some of the initial findings of the AfDB and Finance for Peace initiative’s innovative, joint research project, which is identifying opportunities for conflict-sensitive and peace-positive investment in the country.
Helping to outline the country context to the audience, Cesar Abogo said: “Mozambique is writing a new chapter and it is proving to be a very resilient country. The African Development Bankis playing a pivotal role by investing in agricultural, transport, sanitation, governance, gender, and climate change… 70% of our projects aims to build resilience in Mozambique."
He went on to say: We want to build a virtuous cycle to further the development of the country and the joint research by Finance for Peace and AFDB will support this.”
Representing the civil society of Mozambique, João Pereira, Executive Director of MASC, underlined the importance of working with all parties in conflict resolution. This entailed creating opportunities for all. He said: “By creating infrastructure like roads, people will start to develop their own enterprises. By focusing on creating infrastructure, we create opportunity for the people.”
When studying a context such as Northern Mozambique it is impossible to ignore the impact of global operators such as TotalEnergies. All actors need to be part of the solution.
At the start of his remarks, Leonardo Nhavoto, Local Content Manager at TotalEnergies in Mozambique, said: “Having Mozambique as a case study of conflict finance is bittersweet for me. Hopefully ten years later we can look back at this 5th edition of this 2023 Africa Resilience Forum and note that things have changed a lot.”
“When conflict hit in the north, it was a moment of shock. The first stage of action for us was very humanitarian actions. We are now in the third phase, and the local government has returned to the area. We need to assess if the conditions are there for the local people to return. Total has an MoU with the government for vocational training.”
The joint research project between Finance for Peace and the African Development Bank continues in Mozambique until the end of the year.