Monday, March 29, 2021

Mozambique: The Single Largest Foreign Investment In Africa Is At Risk As France's Total Weighs Its Options

There is as much as an eighth of a Trillion dollars in committed and contemplated investment at risk from the Islamist killers.

Note: this article was written before the full scope of the most recent murders was known, it's pretty bad.

From David Keohane in France and Joseph Cotterill in southern Africa writing for the Financial Times, March 28:

Mozambique attack threatens Africa’s biggest investment

A multibillion-dollar gas development in Mozambique, the single biggest investment in Africa, faces renewed threat after an Islamist insurgent assault forced Total to suspend work for a second time this year.

Insurgents attacked Palma, a town 10km from the $20bn project in the northern Cabo Delgado region, on Wednesday, killing several foreign workers in a battle that was still raging on Sunday, according to local media.

Total said on Saturday that its workers were not among the victims but that its “absolute priority was to ensure the safety and security of the people who work on the project”. The French energy major said it would reduce its workforce on the liquefied natural gas project “to a strict minimum”. 

Total had only just announced it was restarting the project following an earlier insurgent threat, when the attack on Palma began last week. Precise casualties are not yet known because of poor communications with the area, which is roughly 2,700km north of the capital, Maputo, by road.

“The remobilisation of the project that was envisaged . . . is of course now suspended,” Total said. It declined to give details of how many staff were being withdrawn....


Readers who have been with us for a while will recognize the writers as FT Alphaville alumni.