Angola and Italy leaders address bilateral cooperation

Angolan President João Lourenço was received Wednesday by the Italian Head of State, Sergio Mattarella, at the beginning of his visit to Rome, which includes meetings with the Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni.

Speaking to the press at the end of the meeting, the Italian Head of State, after praising Angola’s performance in favour of peace in Africa, considered President João Lourenço an important actor for stability on the African continent.

Sergio Mattarella highlighted the existing exchange between the two countries in the energy sector and hoped that it would extend to other sectors, including higher education.

While the Angolan President said that the visit to Italy is meant to reciprocate the visit the Italian statesman made to Angola in 2019.

“We are here to seal the ties of friendship and cooperation with Italy”, said the Angolan Head of State.

João Lourenço expressed Angola’s desire to receive Italian businessmen who intend to invest in the national market.

“We have the doors open for Italian investment”, underlined the Angolan statesman.

The visiting agenda of the President João Lourenço, who arrived Tuesday in Italy, include laying of a wreath on the “Altar of the Fatherland”, a monument of the unknown soldier, followed by a meeting with Senate leader Ignacio La Russa.

The programme also features meeting with the Speaker of Parliament, Lorenzo Fontana.

The visit to the Italian Republic is part of the framework of economic diplomacy with which the country has been attracting more foreign investment, with Italy being a priority.

With this visit, the Angolan Head of State fulfils the invitation made by his Italian counterpart President Sergio Mattarella, who was in Angola on an official visit, in February 2019, to strengthen bilateral cooperation.

On the occasion of that visit, the parties signed a memorandum of understanding in Luanda between the Angolan Ministry of Finance and Casa Depositi e Pretiti.

Angola and Italy also share interests in the oil sector, with the oil company ENI playing a significant role in the Angolan national economy.

Angola is Italy’s third-largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa, after South Africa and Nigeria.

The Italian Government considers Angola a priority country for its cooperation strategy in sub-Saharan Africa since 1989.

The two countries formalised diplomatic and cooperation relations on June 4, 1976 and on August 3, 1977 signed the Technical Cooperation Agreement, as well as the Memorandum of Intents through which the Angola/Italy Joint Commission was created.

Both States signed the first legal instrument called the Air Transport Agreement on April 10, 1976.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)