In January 20051, the Mozambican State awarded a concession – without a pub- lic tender – for the management of the Nacala Port and North Line, to the pri- vate company CDN – Corredor de Desenvolvimento do Norte -, issuing Decrees 20/2000 and 21/2000, both of the 25th of July, for the purpose. In addition to significant international capital, CDN’s shareholder structure also included strong participation of politicians and high-ranking State and Frelimo party officials, as well as staff of the national railway company Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM) – a problematic alliance resulting from inherent conflicts of interest.
The State has suffered enormous losses over the 10 years of the concession’s management under CDN, due to a lack of maintenance of the infrastructures, and an accumulation of debt owed both to the State and to CFM, in violation of the contractual clauses of the concession. By 2009, the accumulated losses incurred by CDN reached over 25 million [US] Dollars. Social services, such as the operation of passenger and cargo transport trains along the North Line, which were hugely important to the populations in the provinces of Nampula and Niassa, were also discontinued.