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Japan PM's electrifying visit to Mozambique

Mozambique may be Japan’s most important partner on the continent — despite the demise of two flagship projects, Japan still has big interests in Mozambique, particularly in the energy sector

Today’s front pages in Maputo. Photo © Faizal Chauque / Zitamar News

Good afternoon. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is visiting Mozambique this week — his only southern African stop on a tour of the continent that precedes Japan’s hosting of a G7 summit in a fortnight’s time.

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From the Zitamar Live Channel:

Zitamar Mozambique Live Blog
Electricity utility EDM announced today it made a profit of MZN5.2bn ($81.25m) in 2022, more than double the MZN2.1bn profit it made in 2021. ⚡️Power supplied to the grid grew 6% year-on-year⚡️Export volumes grew 5%⚡️Domestic power consumption grew 8%⚡️Total revenues grew 10%⚡️356,640 new grid…

There is a case to be made that Mozambique is Japan’s most important partner on the continent. Despite the demise of two flagship projects — the ProSavana agricultural initiative which never really got off the ground, and Mitsui’s participation in Vale’s coal mining project, which quickly went south — Japan still has big interests in Mozambique, particularly in the energy sector.

Mitsui is a member of the TotalEnergies-led consortium operating Mozambique LNG, and Japan is a likely buyer for some of that gas, too. The same company also owns a big stake in agricultural commodities trader ETG — and is apparently behind ETG’s parent company ETC’s bid to build the new mega hydropower dam at Mphanda Nkuwa. The other bidder is a consortium of French companies TotalEnergies and EDF, and Japan’s Sumitomo.

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