Have you heard of the Mozambique Channel?

Carte du canal du Mozambique

Source : MediaWiki – legends by the author

Located between the east of the African continent and the west of the Indian Ocean, the Mozambique Channel region is rich in ecosystems and unique biodiversity. For several centuries, it has seen intense maritime exchanges, on a secondary route of the Great Spice Route, and a certain linguistic unity, with Swahili as its lingua franca. In the age of globalization, the links between its nations have become weaker, and borders and national languages have reinforced the withdrawal of certain countries, particularly island nations, at the expense of a regional unity that has yet to be built.

It should also be noted that, despite general progress towards the protection of genetic resources and local traditional knowledge, the countries concerned have not yet fully completed the protection of their natural heritage under the Nagoya Protocol of the Convention on Biological Diversity. However, traditional medicines are an area of research for several of these countries (Madagascar and Mozambique).


The production and export of agricultural products, and the valorization of endemic species, aromatic and medicinal plants, spices and essential oils derived from them could form the basis of regional cooperation and intensification of regional trade, which the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Mayotte wishes to encourage, with the construction of a Multlab with a regional vocation, providing analysis, agro-processing and business support services.. Drawing on our experience in the region and our national contacts – in French, English and Portuguese – the Mayotte Chamber of Commerce and Industry has commissioned us to carry out a feasibility study on the services to be offered by this new emerging organization, which will be equipped with a wide range of analytical instruments (food safety, water and environment, animal health), aimed at companies and producers in the Mozambique Channel countries. This study, carried out at the end of 2023 with the collaboration of a team of 4 national consultants in the Comoros, Madagascar, Mozambique and Tanzania, was completed in January 2024. Without revealing any confidential information, here are some of the results of this study:

  • Countries with a high degree of agricultural specialization (Comoros, Kenya) contrast with countries whose production and, above all, exports are more diversified (Madagascar, Tanzania, Mozambique). The needs of these types of countries are different, and so are their analysis and certification facilities.
  • Madagascar is well endowed with analysis laboratories, but companies in other countries in the region have to outsource many of the analyses required for export to the European Union and markets for certified organic and/or fair trade products.
  • Demand from companies in the region converges on 4 basic types of analysis.

We analyzed the competitiveness and opportunities of Mayotte’s future Multilab along 4 complementary axes: equipment, expertise, partnerships and business model, before putting forward strategic recommendations for building an offering that meets the needs of the region’s players. These focus on competitiveness and cooperation with regional players.

Ultimately, the establishment of the Mayotte Multilab, scheduled for the end of 2026, could be an opportunity to strengthen regional cooperation ties in the Mozambique Channel, and for Mayotte to showcase its assets and raise its profile among countries in the region.


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