Bill met H.E. J.A. Chissano when Mr. Chissano served as Mozambique’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and sought to open channels to the West (particularly with the United States) for Mozambique’s (then) President Samora Machel. Bill repeatedly traveled to Mozambique in the 1980s, meeting with government officials and discussing the potential role and positive effect of American investment in Mozambique and the region.
Bill and his wife re-located to Maputo in 1988 and subsequently maintained residences in Mozambique and South Africa during a time of profound change on the continent. They made a demonstrative case of American investment to facilitate President Chissano’s removal of barriers created by Mozambique’s colonial legacy and the country’s Marxist-Leninist political and economic ideology. Despite challenges presented by the civil war, their seafood exporting company was one of the first private, direct foreign investments in the country, and was the first in Mozambique to be insured by the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).
In the 1990s, Bill encouraged an American company to enter Mozambique’s nascent energy market. He secured exclusive concessions for development, drilling, and pipeline rights for Mozambique’s Pande/Temane natural gas fields.
Throughout 15 years living in southern Africa, Bill strengthened his knowledge of the region and his understanding of the continent’s political dynamics, government leaders, and economic development concerns. During this period he reinforced relationships with important decision-makers and government leaders throughout the SADC region. He met with Heads of State and their Ministers regarding diverse private and public initiatives in various countries. He traveled frequently from Africa to Washington, DC on business and policy related initiatives of importance to several governments. Bill worked closely with relevant US House and Senate Committees and their Chairmen regarding Africa-focused policies, as well as coordinating dialogue with the US Department of State.