Guebuza, who was speaking at a meeting in Lisbon with hundreds of Mozambicans resident in Portugal, stressed that the demand for cadres with university degrees far outstrips the number who have been trained in Mozambican universities.
The shortage of qualified staff had become increasingly evident with the recent discoveries of enormous reserves of coal, natural gas and other minerals. He noted that for coal exploration and production alone, more than 2,000 geologists and engineers are required.
“Mozambique has been at the centre of international business attentions, due to the recent coal and gas discoveries”, said Guebuza. “One of the greatest challenges posed by these discoveries concerns the availability of Mozambicans to work on these undertakings”.
“Our higher education institutions are training many technical staff. This training is even being undertaken abroad, including here in Portugal”, the President added. “But the numbers don’t meet the demand – hence the need for many more trained staff”.
Guebuza was pleased at the “warm and hospitable way you have received me. Even outside Mozambique, I feel that I’m in Mozambique, because I’m among Mozambicans”.
He praised the peaceful and honest behaviour that has characterized Mozambican communities abroad, which has earned them admiration and respect from their host countries – including Portugal, where they have acted as “informal ambassadors”.
Among the students and other Mozambicans who spoke at the meeting several declared that they intend to return and do their utmost for Mozambique’s development.
Others complained of the difficulties they face – particularly those on scholarships who said that the money they receive is insufficient for their needs and sometimes arrives late.
Just one participant had a political complaint, regretting that parties did not alternate in power in Mozambique. The ruling Frelimo Party has been in power since independence in 1975, and he thought that this endangered the country’s stability.
Guebuza replied that he knows of no law that obliges a party to share power or cede it to another party. Those who determine who rules the country are the people through electing the party of their preference.
“Political alternance is not like a game of ping-pong, where the ball is with this or that player”, he said. “The people decide, at the ballot box, who should govern in accordance with the programme the party presents to the voters”.
“Parties don’t come to power or stay in power just because they want to”, he stressed. “The will is that of the people, and it is because of the will of the people that Frelimo has been in power since independence”.
At the end of the meeting, Guebuza said he was pleased with the openness and spontaneity of those who spoke. They had shown themselves to be “true Mozambicans”.Post published in: Africa News