The Australian Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Africa, Bob McMullan, officially launched the Mozambique-Australia Alumni Association in Maputo on 17 August 2012.
He officiated at the event during a visit to the region – and his first to Mozambique – to attend a Southern African Development Community (SADC) meeting.
Mozambique has participated in Australian Scholarship programs since 1989. This has resulted in a growing number of Alumni who are skilled, knowledgeable and highly motivated professional leaders, poised to advance the future of their country.
Mr McMullan commended Mozambique for its ever-increasing number of Awardees, noting that scholarships benefit both African countries and Australia. “People use their skills to the benefit of their countries, but also to the benefit of Australia. Two years of scholarships translate into a lifetime of benefits for Australia,” he said.
The Special Envoy said the Australian Government had donated AUD8,800 towards establishing the organisation and commended association members for the initiative, urging them to become advocates for the awards.
Addressing the same occasion, Australian High Commissioner to Mozambique, HE Ms Ann Harrap, said scholarships played an important role in Australia’s increased engagement with Africa.
Mozambique-Australia Alumni Association Board member, Romão Xavier, told the gathering that the first group of Mozambican Scholarship Awardees who landed in Australia in the 1990s had been a source of inspiration to those who followed in later years.
He said the association was committed to complementing the investment of the Australian Government by working with returned scholars and encouraging them to contribute to their country’s development.