Mozambique builds $102 million airport

Mozambique is building a $102 million (70 million euros) airport in the northern city Nacala in an effort to expand infrastructure to attract tourists and investment, an official said Thursday.

Construction has already started on the Nacala International Airport, deputy transport minister Manuela Ribelo told AFP.

"It will cost $102 million," she added.

A military base is being moved to make way for the airport, which will facilitate travel to a key city in the underdeveloped north of the country. Nacala has Mozambique's only deepwater port and will serve as export centre for landlocked neighbours like Zambia and Malawi once a railway is built to connect the southern African hinterland to the city.

Mozambican President Armando Guebuza on Wednesday also inaugurated a new passenger and cargo terminal at Vilankulo airport, Ribelo said.

Located in an important tourist city in the south of the country close to the Indian Ocean Bazaruto Islands, the Vilankulo airport got a $10-million facelift to almost triple its capacity to receive 200,000 passengers a year, according to independent newspaper O Pais.

Maputo International Airport was overhauled at $75 million last year to accommodate 900,000 travellers per year and construction has started on a new domestic terminal for the country's busiest airport.

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