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Cablegate: Mozambique Hoping to Cash in On World

VZCZCXRO1041
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHTO #1236/01 3101007
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 061007Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0941
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0560
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MAPUTO 001236

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EFIN EIND MZ SCUL EINV
SUBJECT: MOZAMBIQUE HOPING TO CASH IN ON WORLD

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Less than 250 days to the FIFA Soccer
World Cup in South Africa, the largest event to be held on
the African continent. Mozambique's preparations for the
World Cup highlight the country's progress, or lack thereof,
on a number of developmental challenges, including a lack of
resources to market the country, a lack of hotel and practice
space, an incomplete stadium, one stop border post and
international airport. The GRM is using the World Cup to
prepare for the 2011 All-Africa Games to be hosted in Maputo.

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2010 NATIONAL STRATEGY
------------------------

2. (SBU) PolOff met with Isabel Maria Estevao Macie,
Advisor to Ministry of Tourism on World Cup, on 30 September.
The GRM, led by the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of
Sports, drafted and are now implementing a 2010 National
Strategy for the national cabinet. The goals of the National
Strategy includes enhancing the image of Mozambique as a
tourist destination, upgrading sport facilities and tourism
infrastructure to attract World Cup-qualified teams, provide
long-term socio-economic and cultural benefits to the local
population and attract foreign investment. Tourism and
Sports Ministries hold regular meetings with 15 commissions
to implement the National Strategy. Macie noted that each
commission is carrying our action plans with varying degrees
of success. Some activities require private sector action,
but she said the private sector does not want to take the
risk since they are unsure how many World Cup tourists will
visit Mozambique.

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POSSIBLE WORLD CUP TOURIST DESTINATION
------------------------

3. (SBU) Marketing Mozambique as a World Cup tourist
destination has been slow and hindered by a lack of funding.
A brochure published by the Ministry of Tourism called, "10
Reasons Why Mozambique Must Be Your Destination of Choice for
2010" makes an appealing case, but a lack of funds to print
the brochure and distribute them in key markets, border
posts, and on the country's national airline have slowed down
the marketing campaign. The brochure notes the close
proximity Mozambique is to three host cities; Johannesburg,
Durban and Nelspruit, as well as Indian Ocean beaches, water
activities and the unique blend of culture. Macie also noted
that unlike South Africa, Mozambique is warm during the
Southern Hemisphere's winter months of June and July when the
World Cup takes place.

------------------------
LOBBYING FOR WORLD CUP TEAMS
------------------------

4. (SBU) The thirty-two teams that will eventually quality
for the World Cup are expected to select base camps from
which their teams will stay and practice, which may be inside
or outside of South Africa. It is unclear if Mozambique will
be able to attract World Cup teams. Poor standard of
training facilities and fields detract from Mozambique.
Current negotiations are with Portugal, Brazil, Spain and
South Korea, but will soon focus on smaller countries once
additional teams qualify later in the year. Brazil is
expected to select a site in South Africa as its base and
Portugal might not classify for the tournament.

------------------------
BUT WHERE TO STAY AND PRACTICE?
------------------------

5. (SBU) Places for World Cup visitors to stay is
reportedly one of FIFA's and South Africa's main concerns,
with expected shortfalls in the availability of South African
hotel rooms. Maputo only has about 2,000 mid-to-high end
rooms, according to World Bank studies, but several new
hotels are expected to open before the World Cup, and should
increase the number of rooms if only marginally. The
centerpiece of the country's preparations should be the
Chinese government funded 42,000 seat National Stadium
currently being constructed outside of Maputo, but delays
cast doubt on the stadium's completion before the start of
the World Cup in June 2010. According to the assistant
director of the construction project, the stadium will now be
completed five months after the World Cup is over because of
cost overruns and other delays. Other project managers insist
it will be completed on time, but Macie indicated doubts. The
old 30,000 seat Machava Stadium reportedly does not have a
playing surface up to international standards. Mozambique is
also building a new municipal stadium in the Northern city of

MAPUTO 00001236 002 OF 002


Pemba, a location where the National Federation of Football
hopes it can attract a World Cup qualifying team to stay
because of the pleasant climate and direct flights to
Johannesburg. The GRM will probably lobby qualified Middle
Eastern teams because of Pemba's Muslin demographic. Other
options include a training camp and soccer field at Namaacha
near the Swaziland border.

6. (SBU) Other World Cup related infrastructure include the
jointly funded One Stop Border Post with South Africa and
expanding Maputo International Airport. The border post is
designed to significantly reduce travel time by co-locating
South African and Mozambican customs and immigration agents.
Macie claimed the border post would be complete by March
2010, but press reports indicate that disputes over funding
halted construction. Discussions in South Africa indicate
the project might be more of a priority for Mozambique.
Given South African recession caused budget constraints,
World Cup mandated national projects would come first.
Despite being shown flashy slides of a state-of-the art
international airport so far the only construction visible is
a new cargo terminal being funded by the Chinese.

------------------------
USING WORLD CUP TO PROVIDE SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL
BENEFITS
------------------------

7. (SBU) The National Strategy also implemented Alliance
2010, a forum for government, local business, media, and
civil society stakeholders to present and promote 2010 World
Cup opportunities. Initiatives include cultural fairs,
educational events for local tourism operators, and 2010
awareness campaigns for taxi drivers. It is unclear how many
of these initiatives are successfully implemented. The
government is also working with UNESCO to set up education
and cultural programs for 2010 and beyond.

------------------------
BEYOND 2010: THE ALL-AFRICA Games
------------------------

8. (SBU) Macie says much of the GRM activities and planning
will be used as a test-run for the 2011 All-Africa Games to
be hosted in Maputo. The All-Africa games are a regional
multi-sport event held every four years where competing
nations are all from the African continent.
CHAPMAN

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