U.S. tire maker Goodyear plans to improve its operations in Mozambique, a Southern African country notorious for the poor condition of its roads.
Goodyear has had a presence in Mozambique for more than 25 years and wants to expand there based on the country’s double-digit gross domestic product growth, according to a report in VenturesAfrica.
The company also has a business presence in Swaziland, Kenya, Namibia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The tire maker has 78 employees in Mozambique but that could soon increase to 120, said Victor Soares, newly-appointed country manager.
Mozambique has become an investment destination for global and neighboring South African investors, the report said. South Africans favor Mozambique because of relatively few obstacles for starting businesses there.
Investment confidence in Mozambique sank in the past year with the reappearance of Renamo, a guerrilla opposition that clashed with the ruling Frelimo party in a bloody civil war ending 21 years ago.
Roads throughout Mozambique are generally in poor condition, especially when compared to South Africa, according to wikitravel.
Although construction is underway to improve national roads along the Inchope-Caia and Beira-Inchope sections, slow rate of improvements has led some transportation companies to transfer cargo from the port of Beira to Durban, South Africa, according to a September, 2012 report in Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias. Around 3,000 vehicles to and from Mozambique’s landlocked neighbors including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana and the Democratic Republic of Congo, are affected.