The “Chinese connection” in Mozambique’s hosting the 2011 Maputo All-Africa Games

  • Jorge Njal


I. Introduction Mozambique‟s capital Maputo hosted the tenth All-Africa Games (AAG), between 3 and 18 September 2011. Although during the preparation period critics questioned the country‟s capacity to host the Games, others congratulated the government “for dignifying” the country. Officially, the total cost of the Games to the Mozambican state summed up to US$ 250 million, used in the rehabilitation of some sports facilities around Maputo, Matola (where taekwondo and chess competition were disputed) and Chidenguele (in Gaza province, where canoeing was held), logistics and other related activities. Considering the time and financial constraints in hosting the Games, the role of China and Portugal was crucial to the Games. China‟s direct and indirect financial involvement is estimated at about US$ 156 million, while the Portuguese government loan amounted to US$ 152 million (Mabunda, 2011, “Balanço positivo dos X Jogos Africanos!”, O País Online, 23/9). China and Portugal both contributed with more than 50% of the total amount for the Games, illustrating the importance of other countries in financing the local government‟s budget. The country has been receiving a sizable contribution to its state general budget from the donors, especially after Mozambique adhered to the Breton- Woods institutions policies in 1984 and the subsequent introduction of economic and constitutional reforms in 1987 and 1990, respectively, adoption of multiparty system in 1991 and the end of the internal conflict in 1992. External financial support amounted to more than half of the total budget until 2011. Due to improved tax collection, the government estimates that the country will manage to finance 60% of the state budget in 2012 (Rádio Moçambique, 12/12/2011, “Ajuda externa regista significativo declínio – Manuel Chang”).