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World Bank Group, Mozambique Announce Landmark Community Tourism Project

Maputo, Mozambique, December 17, 2010 – The World Bank Group and Mozambique today announced that a local community association has signed a landmark agreement with Mozambique’s Ministry of Tourism to develop and operate an ecotourism project that will create jobs, and pave the way for greater community participation in the country’s tourism sector.
The A Hi Zameni Chemucane Association, representing 850 people from three local communities, signed a 50-year concession to build and operate an ecotourist lodge in the Maputo Elephant Reserve, a conservation area renowned for its biodiversity, and pristine beaches.
The lodge, to be developed through a community-public-private partnership, has an estimated investment value of $3 million, will create about 50 direct jobs, and bring other tangible benefits to local communities.
Babatunde Onitiri, IFC Country Manager for Mozambique, said, “This agreement will increase local participation in Mozambique’s important tourism sector. Helping Mozambique build its tourism industry is part of The World Bank Group’s strategy to promote economic growth in the country, especially among local communities.”
Fernando Sumbana Júnior, Mozambique’s Minister of Tourism, said, “The Government policy has been to involve the local communities in the management of natural resources and to encourage their engagement in the economic opportunities created in protected areas. This pilot partnership model with the communities is a means to support poverty alleviation and promote the sustainable use of natural resources.”
The Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group is supporting Mozambique’s efforts to develop a sustainable tourism industry through the Mozambique Tourism Anchor Investment Program, a joint initiative of Mozambique’s government, represented by the Ministry of Tourism, and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.
Through the Anchor Program, IFC and the World Bank are helping Mozambique capitalize on its natural assets by identifying, packaging, and promoting to investors sustainable tourism sites. The program is also helping Mozambique improve its business environment to make it easier to invest in the tourism sector, and is helping the government develop guidelines for sustainable investment.
The World Bank is also helping Mozambique implement a program to create and manage cross-border conservation areas to promoting regional collaboration for the sustainable use of ecosystems. The Maputo Reserve is part of the Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation Area, created in 2000 by the Governments of Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland.
The Anchor Program is supported by the governments of Denmark, Japan and the Netherlands, the African Development Bank, the Financial Investment Advisory Services (FIAS) of IFC and INATUR, the National Institute of Tourism.
About the Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group
The Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group helps governments implement reforms to improve their business environment, and encourage and retain investment, thus fostering competitive markets, growth and job creation. Funding is provided by the World Bank Group (IFC, MIGA, and the World Bank) and over fifteen donor partners working through the multidonor FIAS platform.