Mozaico do Indigo
In 2003, the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Mozambique, identified and designated some 18 Priority Areas for Tourism Investments (PATIs), across the country. To initiate a transformative tourism development process, the Ministry in 2006, began implementation of two major projects – i.e. Projecto Arco Norte (Northern Mozambique Tourism Programme) and Project Âncora (Anchor Project) with funding and technical assistance from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), respectively. While both projects differed in scope, scale and objectives, a common denominator was to attract quality private sector investments into the development of major resorts in select PATIs.
However, an ad hoc approach and lack of integrated planning; the fragmentation and difficult access to developable land; lack of investments in supporting infrastructure of roads, water, electricity, sanitation and sewerage, and telecommunications; the absence of a management authority to coordinate the resort development process, assure standards and investor care and support remained major obstacles to attracting private sector tourism development investment. To address these challenges, the Council of Ministers in June 2008, adopted the Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS) as a framework for tourism development. In tandem, the Council approved the Conceptual Landuse Plan & Framework for Tourism Development in Northern Mozambique and recommendations therein for the establishment of a Special Purpose (Public/Private Partnership) Vehicle to drive and manage the integrated resort development process in the Arco Norte. Other measures enacted include:
- The promulgation in December 2009 of a decree that sets out guidelines, procedures and rules for the declaration of Zonas de Interesse Turístico (ZITs) or Special Tourism Development Zones with the Instituto Nacional do Turismo (INATUR) as the management authority and sole organ responsible for providing title, licensing, approving and authorizing any economic activities in the ZITs; and
- The formal declaration on 13 July 2010 of sites earmarked for integrated resort development under Projectos Arco Norte and Âncora, as ZITs.
As a corollary, Mozaico do Indigo S.A (MdI) was conceived and incorporated in April 2009, as a special purpose limited liability Company with Instituto Nacional do Turismo (INATUR) and the Instituto de Gestão de Participações do Estado (IGEPE), as shareholders. MdI was to be capitalized and structured to play an innovative and pivotal role in the process of integrated tourism development in the ZITs. Officially gazetted in April 2010, and with the appointment of the Conselho da Administração (herein the Board of Directors) in May 2010, the Company commenced business. Unfortunately MdI’s objectives as stated in the statutes of the Company were rather numerous (10 in all), which contributes to a broad, poorly defined and unfocused mandate. Given the broad vision and mandate expressed in MdI’s Statutes and compounded by the start-up nature of the Company as an innovative vehicle for Mozambique, beginning operations and getting MdI to function has proven unwieldy. Subsequently, the Shareholders and the MdI’s new Board Chairman sought the assistance of USAID. The latter under the SPEED Project brought in the Lead Consultant to help MdI sort out its thinking in order to develop an executable strategy acceptable to its Shareholders and ultimately, to commence active operations. A knowledgeable Local Consultant provided technical support and insight.