Cabo Delgado is now a no-go zone for Total. Its giant LNG project is on hold until Mozambique can guarantee safety in the province.
France, Portugal, and Italy are not the only ones paying attention to the conflict in northern Mozambique. Other members of the European Union, chief among them Germany, are increasingly interested in Maputo, both by offering their good offices and in seizing economic opportunities.
The slow legalisation of the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, which got under way in Canada and the United States in 2016, has started a veritable agricultural revolution in Africa. From the mountains of Lesotho to the South African coast, taking in Malawi and Zimbabwe, the sector's major operators have set up partnerships with local entrepreneurs able to oversee plantations and talk to governments about the liberalisation of a form of cultivation which is still largely forbidden on the continent.
To coordinate ground offensives more effectively with the aerial bombardments being conducted by his aircraft against the self-proclaimed jihadist insurrection, Colonel Lionel Dyck is overseeing training for the Mozambican police.
Le Drian's new advisor on Africa Arnaud Suquet, 43, whose CV includes stints at the oil major Total, the French embassies in Khartoum and Addis Ababa and at the EU's Africa division, has years of experience on the African continent.
Total is deeply concerned about the problems posed by the increasing number of terrorist actions in the province of Cabo Delgado. The French major has called in a former military officer to take charge of security at its sites there.