Chinese companies help improve Mozambicans' livelihood
MAPUTO, May 27 (Xinhua) -- An increasing number of Chinese companies are setting their foot on Mozambique to seek broader development overseas in recent years, with their investment boosting local agricultural development and employment, and helping improve Mozambicans' livelihood.
Although sub-Saharan Africa has witnessed a strong economic performance over the past 10 years, it remains a region with the highest prevalence of undernourishment, according to a 2013 report of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
Furthermore, the African Development Bank also pointed out that the youth accounted for 60 percent of the continent's unemployed population.
Mozambique faces the same problems, with 300,000 tons of grain short of what its population needs annually, and a high unemployment rate of 27 percent nationwide.
However, the arrival of Chinese companies, with their advanced agricultural technologies and experience, has helped the south African country make a change.
Agricultural cooperation between China and Africa has been deepened with the establishment of the China-Africa Development Fund and a few agricultural technology demonstration center, bringing more investment, projects, modern farming technologies and expertise to the continent.
The China-Africa Cotton Development Co. is one of these projects. Until now, the company has extended its cotton cultivation, processing, sale and cottonseed oil refining business to Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, benefiting hundreds of thousands of people in the four African countries.
Sergio Chichava, a researcher at Mozambique's Institute of Social and Economic Studies, told Xinhua that the company has bought cotton from local farmers in the Mozambican provinces of Inhambane, Manica and Sofala, helping them increase income and make a better living.
With a processing factory in the country's second largest city of Beira, the company is also helping offer more job opportunities for locals, he said.
Nelson Mangate, who graduated last year from University of Eduardo Mondlane, the best university in Mozambique, is one of the Mozambican technicians working for the Chinese Wanbao Grains and Oil Co. in the country's southern province of Gaza.
"Job hunting is difficult, really difficult," he said. "I appreciate the job opportunity offered by the company."