Vision | The Portugal-Angola relationship has entered a phase of maturity
In an interview with Lusa, Francisco Alegre Duarte, ambassador of Portugal in Angola, considers that “relationships today are excellent, without annoying guests, guided by equality, fraternity and above all maturity”, stressed the diplomat, recognizing that the passage of time “helped”.
“We had a colonial war, there was a revolution in Portugal, there was a turbulent decolonization, there was a civil war and great changes in Angola, namely in demographic terms, which also has political repercussions”, he stressed, noting that the average age of the Angolan population is 17 years old, which means that most Angolans were born after the civil war (which ended in 2002) and independence, won in 1975.
“I do not suffer from colonial or neocolonial complexes. I think it is time for us to have a mature and demanding relationship and that time has already come”, emphasized the diplomat, underlining that the relations “are excellent” and “accomplices”, as evidenced by the relationship between the two Presidents, João Lourenço, and Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who was in Angola twice last year.
For Francisco Alegre Duarte, the “said turbulence made it possible to build a relationship between equals” that had, in a way, “a joint liberation”.
“I would love for you to sign together on the 25th of April” which is about to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary in 2024, as is the case with Angola which celebrates its 50 years as an independent country in 2025.
“This is all connected”, he comments, pointing out that Portugal’s approach to Angola is not limited to the economic plan, extending to the arts and culture, with emphasis on artists such as the comedian Gilmário Vemba or musicians such as Matias Damásio, Paulo Flores , Yuri da Cunha who enjoys great popularity in both countries
“There is a huge amount of opportunities here and the State cannot do everything”, he continued, encouraging the big Portuguese clubs to create academies and Angola and universities to adopt a “more aggressive” role with regard, for example, to to attract students.
Although the number of emigrants has been decreasing since 2015, Angola continues to attract Portuguese. According to the latest report by the Emigration Observatory, the African country was among the top 10 favorite destinations – the only non-European – with currently more than 127,000 Portuguese registered in Angola (of which 60% have dual nationality).
An attraction that is justified, according to Francisco Alegre Duarte, due to the “dense relationship” and family connections with Portugal, as well as history, language and economic relations.
“It is a different community than the one we have in South Africa, Venezuela or Brazil, it is very close, very connected by relatives to Angolan society and which prefers to base its presence on description”, describes the ambassador, aspiring among his priorities to be recognition of the “contribution that (the Portuguese) made to the Angolan economy and society”.
RCR // PJA