Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi has lauded the role play by the Chinese government in infrastructural development in the continent, this is just as the China officially handed over the Xai-Xai Chongoene Airport to the government of Mozambique.
According to airspace-africa.com, the airport located at the Xai-xai district of Mozambique has been under construction since October 2018 and was funded by the Chinese government at a cost of $60 million.
It is estimated that the Airport will boost the social and economic development of the country by generating sufficient revenue.
At one point in time, the project got delayed for almost six months because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing limitations.
Despite that, the Airport was successfully completed and handed over to the government of Mozambique with the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, also in attendance.
The project was undertaken by China Aviation International Construction and Investment and features a runway of 1800m and has a capacity of 220,000 passengers constructed on an area of approximately 1.4 million square metres.
Moreover, the airport located 30 kilometres from the provincial capital Xai-Xai, has 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.
At the opening ceremony of Xai-Xai Chongoene Airport this week, President Filipe Nyusi highlighted the significance of the 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.
The president also 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, 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.