Amandio Roberto Macuácua
On Friday, October 1st – and one year late, due to the Covid-19 pandemic – Expo-2020 Dubai opened to the public. The event, which ends on March 31, 2022, is the first mega-event since the start of the pandemic in early 2020. Expo Dubai brings together, for 182 days, more than 200 participants from 192 countries, including Mozambique, as well as multilateral organizations, companies and educational establishments.
Mozambique’s Commissioner-General at Expo 2020 Dubai has been working for nearly two years on the country’s participation in the event.
In an interview with ‘Noticias’, Miguel Mkaima said he hoped that Expo Dubai would boost the country’s cultural, social and economic development by attracting new investments.
Mozambique takes to Expo-2020 the theme “Respect for Nature, the Best Legacy for Generations to Come”, and the national pavilion is framed in the sub-theme “Sustainability”, whose contents cover matters related to the four priorities of the government: agriculture, infrastructure, energy and tourism.
“Our pavilion’s focus is on disseminating the real image of the Mozambican people, their wealth and potential for the environment they have,” said Nkaima
As Expo Dubai is one of the most important world events and an international fair that brings together different sectors, what are Mozambique’s ambitions by participating in it?
“Mozambique’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai aims to promote and publicise the country’s good image, exchange innovative ideas to face current challenges, ensure the establishment of new partnerships in the economic, social, cultural and technical-scientific areas.
We also intend to attract more investments, ensuring the transfer of technology to areas where Mozambique has competitive and comparative advantage, such as agriculture, infrastructure, energy, culture and tourism.
Obviously, we will not neglect the need to promote cultural, social, economic, scientific and technological development for the sake of peace, progress and development of humanity.
What is intended then, in practice, is to make Mozambique known to the world?
“Yes. Mozambique will take advantage of the event to make itself known to the world, above all, in its way of thinking and promoting the country’s development. Therefore, the event is an opportunity for us to make new friends, partners, foreign investors. The country invested with everything it has to make its participation in the Expo a success.
An event like this entails costs not only for the organizers, but also for the participants. Do you believe that ExpoDubai can bring returns to our country?
“The earnings will be high and we are fully hopeful that Expo participants will welcome Mozambican presentations on issues such as the environment and business opportunities, as well as on investment needs in the areas of agriculture, industry, among others.
The benefits of the Expo are not immediate, as universal exhibitions are a platform for exchanging experiences and innovative ideas for the benefit of economic, social, cultural and scientific development aimed at future generations.
Returns should be seen as a short, medium and long term. Therefore, returns must match the country’s development plan.
We will spread the real, positive image of peace and development in Mozambique to millions of people who will come to our pavilion. The return we aim is for us to be able to attract more investments in the economic, social, cultural and technical-scientific areas.
We also intend to establish partnerships and strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation between Mozambique and the various countries present at the event.
Showcase the best in the world’s biggest showcase
The General Commissioner of Mozambique at Expo-2020 Dubai, Miguel Mkaima believes that the fact that the country is participating in the universal exhibition allows it to be “in the biggest showcase in the world”, so the delegation’s objective is to reap the greatest possible dividends in the event, exposing its full potential.
What does Mozambique propose to present in this exhibition?
“Mozambique will exhibit the best it has. The focus of the country’s pavilion is the dissemination of the real image of the Mozambican people, their wealth and environmental potential. We intend the pavilion to be interactive, implementing substantive thematic itineraries with a view to providing visitors with virtual and multimedia trips based on new information and communication technologies and with territorial and environmental referencing, highlighting the economic, social, cultural and tourist aspects of our parents.
Among the activities to be developed, we highlight the sale of products with an artistic, cultural, touristic or gastronomic impact from Mozambique in our pavilion throughout the six months of the Expo.
There will also be a participation of the Mozambican business sector in seminars, debates and colloquiums around the theme of the fair and on business and investment opportunities for the country, in addition to the promotion of artistic and cultural activities within the scope of the National Day of Mozambique at Expo 2020 Dubai.
How will Mozambican business participate in the world mega-event?
“In general, companies carry the largest volume of Mozambican products with an impact on our trade balance.
We have long since launched the dissemination of Mozambique’s presence at Expo 2020, at a national level, involving all provinces so that we can ensure greater participation in the event. At the moment, we have about ten government sectors that presented concrete and structural projects to be sold at the Expo, in search of interested investor partners.
In general, these are projects in four sectors that we carry out, namely, infrastructure, agriculture, energy and tourism, which are ‘the flag’ of Mozambique. But that is not to say that other sectors are not participating.
What were the selection criteria?
“The sectors that we’re bringing were chosen based on the actions defined by the government as being priorities for the present five-year period: agriculture, infrastructure, energy and tourism.
As I mentioned, the central theme of Expo 2020 Dubai is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”. This theme also privileges connectivity, partnership and collaboration between nations and international organizations in the search and identification of sustainable solutions to the planet’s global problems. Thus, is an event that aims to boost cultural, social, economic, scientific and technological development for the sake of peace, progress and development of humanity. The theme is structured around three sub-themes, namely, Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.
The government approved the framing of the Mozambique Pavilion at Expo within the ‘Sustainability’ sub-theme, taking into account that it practically covers matters related to the four priority actions: agriculture, infrastructure, energy and tourism.
Lack of resources limits larger gains
The General Commissioner for Expo Dubai also spoke of the constraints on Mozambique’s participation in this event, considering that this fact will limit the possibility of the country having greater gains in the universal exhibition.
What are the main challenges faced in the process of organising Mozambique’s participation?
“The great constraint is the fact that the country is poor in terms of financial resources.
A project to participate in an event like Expo Dubai always brings with it financial needs, because one thing is what we write in our plans and another is its implementation, based on the financial conditions of each participant. I confess that we are not able to financially meet the requirements of all activities during the Expo, which is one of the major constraints.
It is in this context that many national participants will pay for their round trip and stay in the UAE. The entire technical team of the Commissariat-General of Mozambique at Expo is already in Dubai.
About Expo 2020 Dubai
Dubai is the largest city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a federation of absolute monarchies in the Persian Gulf.
Expo 2000 is expected to attract 25 million visitors during the six months it will be open, 70% of whom from outside the UAE, making it the largest expo ever held.
The three sub-themes of the event highlight sustainability, pointing, in this context, to sustainable sources of energy and water, since in today’s world, where there is accelerated population growth, innovations aimed at production, supply and energy and water consumption are becoming more and more important.
Expo 2020 Dubai will be a platform to put new production models at the service of the flow of financial and intellectual resources, to consolidate the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation.
The exhibition also focuses on the various means of identifying possible partnerships, with the aim of producing a legacy of innovations.
The event was initially scheduled for the period October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was rescheduled for the period from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022 , while retaining the name “Expo 2020 Dubai”.