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Mozambican president inaugurates new airport funded by China

With an annual passenger capacity of 220,000, Xai-Xai Chongoene Airport in the southern province of Gaza is expected to boost the region’s economy.

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With an annual passenger capacity of 220,000, Xai-Xai Chongoene Airport in the southern province of Gaza is expected to boost the region’s economy.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:40 am

A new Chinese-financed airport has opened in the southern province of Gaza, Mozambique.

At the opening ceremony of Xai-Xai Chongoene Airport this week, President Filipe Nyusi highlighted the significance of the US$75 million airport and the cooperative relations between his country and China.

“It is with a sense of accomplishment that we have just inaugurated this new airport, linking all the airports across the country and allowing connections with the outside world as well,” said the president, as Gaza was previously the only province in Mozambique without an airport.

The airport is a landmark for the country’s infrastructure, and is expected to help develop tourism, industry, agriculture and logistics in Gaza, thus boosting the regional and national economy, said the president.

Efficient transport could facilitate the country’s development, promote national cohesion and unity and contribute to good governance and political stability, he added.

With a potential annual passenger throughput of 220,000, the airport, located 30 kilometres from the provincial capital Xai-Xai, has a 1,800-metre runway, a 28-metre control tower and an apron large enough to harbour four Embraer 170 aircraft, according to information released by Hebei Construction Group, one of the contractors.

 The president praised China’s role for standing with African countries which are pursuing strong growth, integration, and industrialisation.

“Nothing can separate those who have the same aspirations,” he said.

China’s Ambassador to Mozambique, Wang Hejun said the construction of the airport, which started in 2018, is one of the practical outcomes of the China-Africa cooperation.

“I am confident that this airport will contribute to Mozambique‘s economic development, livelihood improvement and national progress,” said Wang, who thanked the contractors for overcoming difficulties to complete the project on time during the pandemic.

President Nyusi toured the airport and witnessed the landing of the first aircraft, one of the national flag carrier LAM’s fleet which passed through a ceremonial  “water gate” as part of the welcome ceremony.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:40 am

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