28 November 2007 – Speaking at the official handover of the Cahora Bassa dam to the Mozambican state on Tuesday, Mozambican President, Armando Guebuza told the assembled crowd "The last mark of 500 years of foreign domination in our country has finally been removed."
He was speaking on a visit to the dam wall and power station as part of the hand over proceedings. He was accompanied by Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi, Presidents Festus Mogae of Botswana and Levy Mwanawasa of Zambia, and the Prime Minister of Swaziland Absalom Dlamini.
The final documentation and financial arrangements were finalised for the hand over on Monday and Tuesday in order to transfer ownership of Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB) from Portugal to Mozambique.
Mozambique is to pay US$700 million for a 67% stake in HCB, pushing Mozambican ownership to 85%. A new board and chairperson will be chosen to reflect the Mozambican majority shortly.
"Cahora Bassa is ours!" Guebuza declared. "As from today Cahora Bassa joins the other resources of Mozambique to participate in implementing our national anti-poverty agenda".
He responded to criticism that Cahora Bassa actually belonged to the banks that had financed the loan by saying "When someone invests in a flour mill, or a fishing boat, or a mini-bus taxi, that equipment belongs to him, and not to the institution that lent him the money. So all Mozambicans should feel proud that they are now the owners of Cahora Bassa".
Cahora Bassa is the second largest hydro power dam in Africa and has an installed capacity of 2 075MW.