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Zitamar Weekly: Coal, politics, and Cabo Delgado

Zitamar analysts and special guests discuss the week's developments

Zitamar Weekly: Coal, politics, and Cabo Delgado

Welcome to a jam-packed Zitamar Podcast, featuring news and analysis from the Zitamar team and special guests joining us to discuss the week's most important events, including analysis on the Cabo Delgado conflict and the announcement of local elections next year.

🎧 [01:14] First, Zitamar News editor Tom Bowker spoke with experts on the sale of a huge coal mine in Tete province to Indian company Jindal. The mine has been controversial ever since it opened more than a decade ago, for the environmental and social impacts it has had — particularly given a lack of transparency from either the company or the government. And with this new deal — approved by the government this week — there are fears things could get even worse.

Coal dust rises over the town of Moatize. Photo: Alexandre Nhampossa / Zitamar News

🎧 [1:38] Erika Mendes of Mozambican environmental NGO Justiça Ambiental explained how the local community in Moatize has been and continues to be negatively impacted by the coal mine — and her fears for how things will develop under new ownership.

🎧 [11:35] Then Tim Buckley, a renowned expert on energy transition issues in India, China, and his home country Australia, where he heads up the think tank Climate Energy Finance, explained why India is the natural buyer for Mozambican coal — even though they too are talking about gradually weaning themselves off the dirty fuel. He started by explaining how India’s companies ended up on a big international coal-buying spree — which also included the deal which saw ICVL buy Rio Tinto’s coal mines in Moatize in 2014.

For more on this story, our article from February is now outside the paywall:

Jindal coal mine takeover raises fears for jobs, communities — and ‘greenwash’

Mozambican journalist and Zitamar Podcast regular Fernando Lima joined us to give his thoughts on the political scene in Mozambique, as municipal elections are scheduled for October next year [14:49]. He and Zitamar editor Tom Bowker also discussed whether the state should do more to ensure suppliers to government projects are producing their raw materials legally [17:01].

🎧 [21:21] Finally Piers Pigou, an analyst on the Cabo Ligado project, brought us up to date on efforts to win outside funding for the Rwandan and SADC military deployments in Cabo Delgado — and what might happen if no funding materialises.

His latest article on that topic is published on Zitamar here:

Nyusi seeks to shore up Cabo Delgado support

The full Cabo Ligado monthly report is available here:

Cabo Ligado Monthly: February 2022

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Until next week, goodbye.