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Aní­bal Leite

MOZAMBIQUE - Real Estate & Construction

A Span to Bridge

Administrator, Mota-Engil Africa


Aní­bal Leite has completed a diverse range of studies, including Quality Control studies in CEQUAL and a post-graduate degree in Business Management from AESE Escola de Direçío e Negócios in Portugal. He has served many functions within Grupo Mota-Engil, from ensuring the quality standards of concrete for over a decade, to Director of QUALIBETíƒO, MAPREL, and has become a member of the management team of Associaçío Portuguesa das empresas de Betío Pronto.

How would you characterize Mota-Engil’s role in Mozambique’s construction sector? Mota-Engil has been present in Mozambique for over 20 years, having been involved in the construction of numerous reference works […]

How would you characterize Mota-Engil’s role in Mozambique’s construction sector?

Mota-Engil has been present in Mozambique for over 20 years, having been involved in the construction of numerous reference works for the present and future of Mozambique, such as the Armando Emilio Guebuza Bridge, the water supply system of Maputo, and the African Games Village, as well as the construction of roads and other infrastructure. Currently, Mota-Engil group has three major projects under way: a new bridge over the Zambezi River in Tete; the 235-kilometer Chimoio-Espungabera Road, and the upgrade of the Sena railway line’s capacity to 20 million tons. We recently completed the 80-kilometer Milange-Mocuba Road, as well as the rehabilitation of the Sena Line to 6 million tons. We have also constructed schools, as well as a general hospital in Mavalane, and have undertaken the rehabilitation of the maternity ward of Maputo Central Hospital, among others. Our projects have significant strategic importance for national development, and should be viewed not as civil construction, but rather, as engineering projects, that include bridges, viaducts, highways, and railways. Furthermore, the group has many ongoing civil construction projects developed by Mota-Engil and its associate Emocil, such as works at the Port of Maputo, the 24th of July Condominium, and the Tilweni Condominium tower. One of our major projects is the upgrade of the Sena Line, which is at the heart of Mozambique’s coal transport infrastructure. We are also looking at projects along the Moatize-Macuse line and have begun to work in the natural gas market in a project for ENI.

How are Mota-Engil’s projects contributing to overall development in Mozambique?

We are working on roads, railways, bridges, and ports that require logistics, and our projects have a major effect on the overall national economy. We won the emergency intervention railway project for the Sena Line, where we vitally contributed technical advice in solving the logistical problem of coal transportation. The African Games Village was created after the relocation of the games in 2011 from Zambia to Mozambique, around two years before the event. A consortium was signed with Mota-Engil 15 months before the opening of the Games. We completed this scheme of more than 800 houses in a record time of 13 months, and ahead of the scheduled event opening. Another project that is having a noticeable effect on the country is the Ecolife project started in October 2013. This involves the collection of urban solid waste in Maputo’s downtown district. This was our first contract in Mozambique in the environment and services sector. Ecolife’s main goal is to promote environmental education, and the project is our first in the environment and services sector here. We are also involved in real estate, where a good example of our work is the Tilweni Condominium, a 20-floor building in downtown Maputo.

What is the breakdown of your business by segment?

Infrastructure represents around 80% of our business volume and civil construction represents 20%. Currently, in real estate, we have two projects in Mozambique: one is already completed, while the other is coming to fruition, and we are poised to commence another here in Maputo. The city’s market is beginning to reach saturation, and our conviction is that within five years the real estate opportunities will have dried up. This explains why we are already positioning ourselves in the other provincial capitals of Nacala, Beira, Palma, and Pemba. Our strategic plan regarding the positioning of real estate projects until 2015 is Maputo, but beyond that date we are repositioning to the north where there will be a need for construction.

“ Our company predominently comprises national employees, whom we intend to develop to even higher levels. “

What major challenges have you faced as an international company in Mozambique, and how have you overcome them?

Mota-Engil’s approach is to contribute in developing essential infrastructure shortfalls and provide solutions. We do so in various divisions of our group, as I already mentioned. Our presence in Mozambique does not only concern construction since we are a diversified entrepreneurial group. In addition to the strategic positioning of Mozambique, recent growth of the sectors of coal and natural gas has created a demand for logistics. The country has new business opportunities for all sectors and for which we must be able toreply.

Projections show continued economic growth of around 7.8% on average in the period of 2013 to 2015 and 8% in the period of 2016-2017. Real estate has been growing because there is a need to house the technicians arriving to execute these megaprojects. This is how I see matters panning out; certain sectors will gradually grow as a result of the successful exploitation of our resources.

What role does human resources development play in your operations?

Mota-Engil has significant human capital in Mozambique. Mota-Engil’s view in Mozambique is aligned with the traditional corporate view of the company, which is to seek the best technical and financial options for projects. Our company predominently comprises national employees, whom we intend to develop to even higher levels of competency. We have around 1,700 employees, of which there are 1,600 Mozambicans, making for just 100 employees from abroad. We have pursued the systematic training, supervision, and follow-up of our human resources. We attempt to ensure reliable foreign partnerships through the signing of a letter of commitment to tutor young Mozambican staff, with the goal of guiding, training, and introducing them to Mota-Engil’s culture. In other words, we do not mobilize any staff to Mozambique without their signing of this letter, since it is the only sustainable way that we can grow in Mozambique. Human resources are key to our success.



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