Speech by His Excellency João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, President of Republic of Angola, delivered at the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana


H. E. João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, President of Angola

Your Excellency, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana,

Honorable Members of Parliament,

Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a great honor for me to accept the invitation extended to me to address the Honorable Members at this house, the seat of the Legislative Power and the true stronghold of democracy in the Republic of Ghana.

I express my gratitude for this fraternal gesture, which illustrates the good relations existing between our two countries, and I take this opportunity to reiterate my cordial greetings to the people of Ghana, represented here by Your Excellencies.

I accepted this invitation with double satisfaction, as in my capacity as Head of State, I am the bearer of a message of friendship and solidarity from the Angolan people to the sister people of Ghana, with whom we have historical ties of friendship and cooperation that unite us since the beginning of our struggle for the National independence.

Having been a parliamentarian for nearly three decades in different positions within the Angolan Parliament, mandated by my party, I have a profound understanding of the important role played by Members of Parliament as guarantors of the interests of the Ghanaian people and democracy.

I am extremely proud to be among you, former colleagues, I believe that I have come across in the past in various parliamentary forums held in our continent and around the world.

Your Excellency Mr Speaker, Honorable Members of Parliament, Ladies and Gentlemen

Your country is an unmistakable example of democratic maturity and political civility, cultivated over decades in which your people demonstrated, with the dignity that characterizes them, in the process of rescuing sovereignty and independence, a unique ability to lead their destinies in a domestic context of broad national harmony.

The democratic milestones achieved by Ghana are also the result of commitment and patriotism of important figures in your nation, of which I would like to highlight Kwame Nkrumah, who became famous in Africa and in the world for his profound dedication to cause of Africa’s liberation and for his Pan-Africanist vision, from which many of the ideas that guide our continent today derive in the pathway of its journey to assert itself as a respected space on our planet.

It is wise to use this moment to make a brief incursion into the history of the Angolan democracy, which began to be built in 1992, with the holding of the first general elections in the country, after several decades war that deeply fractured the Angolan society.

In that difficult context and of many misunderstandings and external interference, the first celebration of Angolan democracy was followed by a frustrating period for all Angolans as they had to face the resumption of the armed conflict, triggered those who were not ready to accept the results which democracy had legitimized through the ballot boxes.

These historically dramatic facts led to the suspension of the regular cycles of democratic elections, as there were no objective conditions for holding other elections within the constitutionally established deadlines.

During this troubled period of our history, an attempt was made to rehearse in Angola a model for solving the conflict by means of accommodation in the bodies of the legislative and executive powers, representatives from the political organization that was militarily hostile to the country, and in favor of which it sought to confer a status of parity with the Government, within a framework under which mechanisms for the international verification of the peace process was implemented.

All of these proved ineffective and unable to help instate a definitive solution to the serious problem facing the country.

It was only possible to reach the peace and stability that has prevailed in Angola for almost two decades, through the courageous and genuine dialogue between the warring brothers of the country, a fact that reveals the ineffectiveness of other solutions generally orchestrated from outside our continent.

Your Excellency Mr Speaker, Honorable Members of Parliament, Ladies and Gentlemen

We have now a democracy that regularly complies with its elections cycles, with an acceptable extent of maturity, and which allows our National Assembly to address the country's fundamental problems and concerns within a healthy and harmonious environment.

At the heart of the current political debate in Angola is the prompt Constitution amendment aimed at deepening democracy and make it more participatory and inclusive.

Your Excellency Mr Speaker, Honorable Members of Parliament, Ladies and Gentlemen

In the course of this visit to Ghana, I am encouraged by the desire to take a further step towards deepening our bilateral relations so that we can complement the results achieved with the visit by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in August 2019, during which we defined a framework under which we have established a set of initiatives and actions aimed at strengthening exchanges between our countries.

In reality, our two countries possess enormous resources of various kinds, and for that very reason, huge potential for them to explore much more areas of cooperation in which we are strong, in order to build among us as Africans solid foundations on which we can make prospect for progress and development.

I am convinced that we can achieve the goals that I have alluded to by optimizing the use of the important continental mechanisms to leverage its resources and obtain tangible results within the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), whose headquarters your country had been proudly honored to host, so as we can promote undertaking of investments and businesses to propel development.

Your Excellency Mr Speaker, Honorable Members of Parliament, Ladies and Gentlemen

In the framework of my visit to Ghana, yesterday we identified the fields in which our countries will implement cooperation activities, namely in oil and gas exploration, agro-livestock, tourism, culture and sectors from which we want to achieve mutually advantageous results with direct impact to improve the living conditions of our peoples.

*I thank you for your attention*