Unlike many other Mozambican cities, Nampula, is not located along the coast or a major river leading to a thriving harbor. Nampula was initially a small village until the Portuguese Colonial Government moved the provincial seat from Ilha de Mozambique to Nampula in 1935, with Nampula officially being incorporated as a city in 1956.
With an estimated population of over 550,000 inhabitants, Nampula City is the capital of Nampula Province and acts as one of the major centers of regional commercial, banking and associated industry hubs of Northern Mozambique.
The city, surrounded by rolling hills, granite domes, and peaks is situated approximately 200 km inland from the coast and acts as a critical point of accessibility to the Northern region of Mozambique.
The main railway line connecting Tete to Nacala Port runs directly through this city, acting as a lifeline for economic stimulation and industry.
Nampula boasts the Nampula International Airport, which connects Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa, as well as local cities such as Tete, Beira, Maputo, Vilanculos and Pemba.
The Mozambican government, together with international organizations, is in the process of rehabilitating and upgrading Nampula’s infrastructure, most notably due to the Nacala Development Corridor. The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), meanwhile, has granted the Mozambican government funds of US$507 million to repair and upgrade the road connecting Loagonha to Nampula.
“Nampula is rapidly becoming a hub of modern development and a major attraction for business opportunities.”
Additionally, another contract between MCC and the Portuguese construction company of Gabriel Couto, has been agreed upon for the rehabilitation of the city’s storm water drainage system. The Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) is also investing in sustainable development of the Nacala Corridor, passing through Nampula, for the rehabilitation of the Nampula to Cuamba road.
These investments show great signs of revival for this strategically located city, with investments in the area not only limited to infrastructure and transport, but also agriculture. Nampula is rapidly becoming a hub of modern development and a major attraction for business opportunities, to keep up with the other major cities within the country.
Nampula is set to play a central role as a railroad corridor for the distribution of goods throughout the Northern regions of the country. The rehabilitation of the railway line between Tete and the port of Nacala will allow for the easy circulation of minerals and goods-in-transit.
By Bryan Wester