The rehabilitation of the São João Baptista Fortress in the Ibo Island district, part of the government’s efforts to boost tourism in this part of Cabo Delgado province, will be completed next year.
The announcement was made by Cabo Delgado Celmira da Silva during her presentation of the 2018 Economic and Social Plan and budget to the provincial assembly a few days ago.
The idea is to transform the Fort of São João Baptista do Ibo into a tourist attraction and open up the space for other community and commercial activities.
The government started efforts to finance the rehabilitation works with cooperation partners last year, with the Provincial Directorate of Education and Human Development taking the lead.
Built in 1781 and last restored in 1953, the Fort of São João Baptista do Ibo is the second largest fortification of Mozambique. Star-shaped and located next to the sea, the fortress has interior buildings able to house about 300 men and a chapel, as well as 15 iron cannon.
In addition to the São João Baptista fort, Ibo also has the 1760 Fortim de São José, which it replaced, and the 1847 Santo António do Ibo fort that once defended the local port.
Ibo was elevated to the category of village in 1761 after the detaching of the province of Mozambique from the Portuguese State of India in 1752, thus becoming the first capital of Cabo Delgado.
Its government was installed in 1763, and comprised a municipal council and court.
Ibo saw its economic apogee at the time of the slave trade, whose abolition spelt a slow economic decline that was consummated, politically, with the transfer of the last divisions of the administration of Cabo Delgado to Pemba (then called Port Amelia) in 1929.
- The Qurimbas archipelago consists of about 32 islands, including Ibo, Matemo, Medjumbe, Quirimba, Metundo, Quisiva, Vamizi Island and Rolas Island all going up to the Tanzanian border. The Quirimbas National Park, spanning an area of 7,500 square kilometres (2,900 sq mi), includes the 11 most southerly islands, which are partly surrounded by mangroves. The park was established in 2002 as a protected area