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Montevideo, September 24th 2023 - 11:13 UTC



Lula wants Brazil to strengthen its presence in Africa

Sunday, August 27th 2023 - 08:41 UTC
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We're going to start financing African countries again,” Lula pledged We're going to start financing African countries again,” Lula pledged

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said Saturday that the South American country wants to open a consulate general in Luanda, the capital of Angola, Agência Brasil reported.

 Lula recalled that Angola is already home to the largest Brazilian community (some 30,000 people) on the African continent. “That's why I instructed Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira to study the opening of a general consulate in Luanda, which would be the first in a Portuguese-speaking country in Africa,” he explained during the inauguration of the Ovídio de Melo Gallery at the Guimarães Rosa Institute.

“In relations between Brazil and Angola, we need to dream big and dream very far,” he went on quoting Angolan writer Pepetela before ending his visit and heading to São Tomé and Príncipe for the Summit of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP).

Lula also said Friday that Brazil would make major investments in the African continent during an appearance together with Angolan President João Lourenço at the closing event of a Brazil-Angola Chamber of Commerce business forum attended by investors from both countries.

“Now we're going back to Africa to tell Brazilian and Angolan businesspeople that we're back for real. We're going to start financing African countries again, for Angola, which is a good payer of the things Brazil has invested here,” Lula stressed.

“Brazil's return to the African continent shouldn't be a return, because we should never have left the African continent. Brazil has no idea how many things we can do. I think Africa offers Brazil the opportunities that Brazil sometimes looks for elsewhere,” Lula added.

Earlier Friday, Lula addressed the Angolan National Assembly and announced a partnership to help develop agriculture in Angola.

Lourenço invited Brazilian businesspeople to invest “to invest in Angola fearlessly.

”We are particularly interested in seeing Brazilian investors invest in agribusiness, the tanning industry [leather], the automobile industry, the manufacture of tractor implements, fertilizers, the production of solar panels, the pharmaceutical industry for the production of medicines and vaccines, the wood processing industries, tourism, real estate and all other branches that are in their own interest,” he added.

Angola is the only country on the continent, apart from South Africa, with which Brazil has a strategic partnership dating back to 2010, during Lula's second presidential term.

Lula also called Saturday for a reform of the United Nations (UN) Security Council because “The UN of 2023 is far from having the same credibility as the UN of 1945,” when it was created, he pointed out.

“The Security Council, which should be the security of peace and tranquillity, is the one that wages war without talking to anyone. Russia goes into Ukraine without discussing it within the Security Council. The United States is going into Iraq without discussing it in the Security Council. France and Britain are going to invade Libya without going through the Security Council. In other words, the countries on the Security Council are the ones waging war, producing weapons, and selling weapons. It's wrong,” Lula also said.

“What representation does Africa have on the Security Council? What is the representation of Asia, of Latin America? We've made it clear that we're in favor of Brazil joining the Security Council, along with India, Germany, and Japan. There are differences, but they're not ours,” he went on.

“In 1948, the UN managed to create the State of Israel. In 2023, it can't enforce the area reserved for the Palestinians. It has been weakened. And on the climate issue, it's even worse. At all the COPs [Conferences of the Parties], we decide many things, but none of them are complied with. Why is it not complied with? Because there is no sovereign state. The UN doesn't have the power to say: 'We have to comply with this, otherwise there will be certain actions',” he argued.

Lula also questioned the mechanism for African countries paying their debts to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “We need to start a new fight,” he said about the continent's US$ 760 billion debt to the fund.

“This debt is becoming unpayable because the money in the budget can never be paid and the problem keeps getting bigger. What is the logic? It's to try to sensitize the people who own these debts so that they can be transformed into support for infrastructure. The money from the debt, instead of being paid off, would be invested in infrastructure works,” he proposed.

“You can either cancel this debt, and I think it will be impossible to cancel a debt of 760 billion dollars, but you can extend it until these countries can pay,” he insisted. (Source: Agência Brasil)

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