Bourgeois to talk health care with Mozambique president


Flanders’ minister-president Geert Bourgeois is scheduled to meet Filipe Nyusi, the president of Mozambique, today to discuss co-operation agreements

First-ever General Assembly

Flemish minister-president Geert Bourgeois will receive the president of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, today to discuss bilateral political and trade relations. President Nyusi (pictured) will be accompanied by his trade and industry ministers.

Flanders has been present in Mozambique for more than 10 years as a development partner, in particular in the field of sexual and reproductive health. Central to the meeting today will be Flanders’ new strategic programme on development co-operation, in which additional attention is given to sexual health care for adolescents. Mozambique continues to suffer the effects of the HIV/Aids epidemic, with 1.5 million people infected, according to 2014 figures.

Following the talks, Bourgeois and the Nyusi are due to sign a declaration committing the two sides to closer collaboration, including an average €5 million a year from Flanders for “ the training of health-care workers, improvement of sexual and reproductive health and rights as well as the development of the practice of evidence-based medicine, aimed at promoting health among adolescents”.

The meeting today follows Flanders’ first-ever General Assembly, called by Bourgeois earlier in the week to bring together all stakeholders in the field of development co-operation. The event brought together 120 representatives of the regional and municipal governments, parliament, NGOs, international organisations, the private sector and academics.

“The time when development work centred around budgetary contributions by bilateral donors has passed,” Bourgeois told the gathering. Bilateral aid now comprises a much smaller portion of the financial resources of developing countries than before. That is why we have to reach out to a larger number of players, who can each, from the point of view of their own speciality, contribute to the development of the south.”

Flanders is committed to the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, he said, as well as to the goal of more effective co-operation. “We are a modest player, and that is why our aid needs to be as effective as possible.” 

Photo: Imago/BELGA