A leading African magazine said in an editorial note Friday that Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva's victory and impending return to the presidency of Brazil last Sunday spelled good news for the entire continent, which had been cast aside under the incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.
During Lula's two terms in office, from 2003 until 2010, he visited 27 African countries and exports from Brazil to sub-Saharan Africa increased by 25% per year. Trade relations with Lusophone Angola and Mozambique and Anglophone Nigeria and South Africa were deepened, African Business Editor David Thomas wrote.
But after those years of bonanza, it was all downwards. It all began under Dilma Rousseff and Michel Temer, but it took a turn for the worse in the Bolsanaro years.
“Bolsanaro did not even visit Africa,” says João Bosco Monte, president of the Brazil Africa Institute. “It gives a symbolic idea that he did not consider the continent as part of his political and economic agenda,” African Business noted.
“Under Lula, the Brazilian foreign agenda will reconsider the African continent as a priority,” says Kamilla Raquel Rizzi, associate professor at the Federal University of Pampa in Brazil, the publication went on.
Naturally, this will stimulate foreign trade between Brazil and Africa, using public policies, a concession of credit, and more appetite within the private sector,” Rizzi was also quoted as saying.
African Business also underlined Brazil's potential to boost exports in the fields of transport, machinery, and electronics, and also to share knowledge on its transformational agricultural policies, while revamping ties through BRICS and other 'global south' forums.”