Mozambique President talks up education links

13 March 2013

Mozambique President Armando Guebuza meets Australia Award students
Mozambique President Armando Guebuza meets Australia Award students

Armando Guebuza, the President of Mozambique, stressed the importance of his country's educational links with Australia on a visit to the University of Sydney today (March 13).

After being welcomed to the University by Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence, the President was introduced to some of the Mozambican students who are studying in Australia on Australia Award scholarships.

They included Sydney students Carol Santos, who is studying for a Master of International Business, and Emidio Mavila, a Master of Economics student.

Mozambique has enjoyed a decade of strong economic growth, largely as a result of its rich natural resources, but faces underlying problems of inequality and poor life expectancy.

Guebuza, a successful businessman who has been President since 2005, said Australia's experience in areas such as mining and transportation were potentially of huge benefit to Mozambique.

"We're here because we don't want to be poor, we refuse to be poor," he said.

"But we are facing challenges such as moving coal 500 kilometres or 1000 kilometres to ports, and we want to know how Australia has responded to those challenges. We are here to learn."

Guebuza said he would like to see more Mozambican students studying in Australia.

"Since independence we have worked closely together and Australia has shown that it understands our needs and objectives," he said.

"As time passes we will see many more Mozambicans coming to Australia and may more Australians going to Mozambique to work."

There are 33 Australia Award students from Mozambique studying in Australia, and students from Queensland, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide travelled to Sydney to meet the President.

Amy Haddad, Director of AusAID's Australia Awards program, said: "We believe in the power of education to contribute to development. The Australia Awards are strengthening the connection between our two countries."

Dr Spence said the University of Sydney was excited to be part of Australia's growing partnership with Africa, and with Mozambique in particular.

Contact: Richard North

Phone: 02 9351 3191

Email: 4a5a30263415306c2c0841205022340b0f3e21485e113300761426