Present and future more important: Lourenço

04 May 2018 09:10am
WINDHOEK, 04 MAY (NAMPA) – While acknowledging Namibia and Angola’s unparalleled historic ties, the present and future relations of the two countries is of paramount importance and ought to deepen further, Angolan President João Lourenço has said.
He made these remarks at State House in the capital on Thursday, during bilateral talks with his Namibian counterpart, President Hage Geingob.
Lourenço said Angola was deeply indebted to the people of Namibia and that a good bond exists between the two southern African countries.
However, the 64-year-old leader believes that the bond that binds the two countries can deepen even further.
“We are not going to talk much about our past. Although it is a difficult past, we have overcome it,” he said.
He then said: “Our obligation now is to think about the present and the future. Let the ministers and business people identify areas of common interest.”
Chiefly, Lourenço pointed to infrastructure development - particularly road and rail - that will facilitate the smooth flow of goods and services between the two nations.
Other areas of mutual interest include water, energy production and tourism, he said.
Echoing similar sentiments, Geingob praised Angola for its selfless role in Namibia’s quest for independence.
“You suffered a lot because of us,” Geingob said, adding that Namibia’s liberation struggle only took shape after Angola’s political independence in 1975, when Swapo moved its headquarters to Luanda.
On the bilateral front, Geingob said time was now ripe for the two governments to implement all outstanding projects they have agreed upon.
“Your Excellency’s visit to Namibia, accompanied by a high-powered delegation, is testament of commitment toward the solidification of the bilateral relations and cooperation between our countries and people,” Geingob said.
Lourenço is in Namibia on a three-day State visit.
He will participate as guest of honour in the commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the Cassinga Massacre on Friday at Heroes’ Acre in Windhoek.
Lourenço will also witness the renaming of Snyman Circle in Ausspannplatz to Dr António Agostinho Neto Square in honour Angola’s first president.
Lourenço succeeded José Eduardo dos Santos last September, pledging to tackle an endemic culture of corruption and bring economic reforms to Angola, Africa’s second biggest producer of crude oil.
This vow has been followed by the purging of high level officials who are tainted by graft allegations or links to his predecessor, Dos Santos.