08/12/2011: ANGOLAN PRESIDENT SPEECH ON THE STATE OF THE NATION
Speech on the State of the Nation, delivered by His Excellency José Eduardo dos Santos, President of the Republic of Angola, at the opening ceremony of the Fourth Session of the Legislature
II National Assembly Legislature
Luanda, October 18, 2011
HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY,
HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT,
HONORABLE MEMBERS OF THE ASSEMBLY,
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
In accordance with Article No. 118, Section III, Chapter II of the Constitution, I would like to address you and all the people of Angola, regarding the State of the Nation.
I will try explain as clearly as possible my ideas, findings and views concerning the current national situation and the Executive Power’s suggestions and proposals for the future. My task is made easier, because the country has a direction.
This direction is clearly defined in our Strategy for Long Term Development, known as "Angola 2025", which exposes and explains the objectives that constitute our national ambitions.
These general and specific objectives were not found by chance. They are the result of in-depth studies and discussions and consultations that took place throughout the national territory and which ultimate approval of the National Agenda of Consensus at the National Conference representing all strata of our people, held in Luanda in May 2008.
It is worthwhile remembering them, because they summarize the objectives of our people and will guide us in our daily lives. They are, namely:
1. Ensuring the unity and national cohesion, promoting peace and Angolan identity;
2. Promoting human development and welfare, eradicating hunger, poverty and disease, and raising the educational and health levels of the population;
3. Promoting sustainable development, ensuring the efficient use of natural resources and a fair distribution of national income;
4. Ensuring a high rate of economic development with macroeconomic stability and structural diversity;
5. Developing the national territory smoothly, boosting the competitiveness of the territories and promoting the most disadvantaged regions;
6. Building a democratic and participatory society, guaranteeing the fundamental rights and freedoms and civil society development;
7. Promoting the competitive integration of the country in the global economy, ensuring a leading position in sub-Saharan Africa.
These general objectives have been explained and also developed in the electoral program of the MPLA, which was democratically submitted in 2008 to evaluation by the Angolan electorate and approved by majority vote.
My name appeared first in the list of those who called for the vote and vowed to actually implement this program, which was unequivocally voted by more than 82 percent of voters. These voters thus placed their trust on us to govern Angola until 2012.
This happened in an open, transparent, free and competitive electoral process, confirming that in Angola there is a regime based on popular will, expressed through the freedom of political organization, freedom of expression and direct suffrage and secret ballot.
Therefore, there is no basis to the claim that in Angola there is a dictatorial regime that does not recognize the rights, freedoms and guarantees of its citizens. There is no dictatorship here. Quite the contrary, we have a recent, alive, dynamic and participatory democracy, which consolidates with every passing day
It is therefore with a mandate from the sovereign will of the Angolan people that the Executive is leading the implementation of specific objectives set out in its development strategy, having transformed them into sub-executive programs.
This is the sustainable development that respects the laws of the State and public policies on the preservation of the environment and biodiversity, at the same time sharing in the international community's efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.
In evaluating the degree of implementation of these programs, we find that we are moving on the right direction and have not deviated from the path initially defined. We also note that we are accelerating our progress to reach, as soon as possible, the general or final objectives of this Strategy.
Consider some of these findings:
Petroleum and Natural Gas.
This is the most important sector of the Angolan economy by far. Crude oil, the strongest foreign exchange earner, is the main source of funding for the State Budget, corresponding to more than 80 percent of tax revenue, widely financing the country's imports. The highlight at this point is the increase of crude oil refining all over the country and the production of fuels, lubricants, paints and solvents, etc..
Geology and Mines.
From 2008 to 2011 the Geology and Mining sector posted an average annual growth of 11.8 percent, as reflected on an annual average production of diamonds to the tune of 2.5 percent and increased production of quartz and mineral building materials such as sand, pebbles and gravel.
In the diamond sub-sector several actions are underway aiming, besides the extraction, expanding out activities of all stages of the industry's production chain, since the marketing of rough diamonds to processing, including jewelry.
Through a joint venture between the public and private sectors, iron and manganese mining has resumed, with an integrated project which includes metallurgical and steel plants, providing for the creation of more than three thousand jobs in Huila. The initial investment is about 400 million and reaching over two billion dollars.
Advanced negotiations are being held with leading international partners, concerning the exploitation of phosphates and potassium in the north for the production of fertilizers and agricultural development.
Initiatives are also underway for the production of gold and copper and the increase of production of ornamental rocks and other raw materials necessary for the construction materials industry.
It is expected that as of 2013 the Geology and Mining sector will contribute significantly towards the increase in state revenues and the diversification of the national economy
and increasing employment.
Education and Health
Under the Education Reform in progress, the Executive remains committed to expanding the school network, improving the quality of education and strengthening the efficiency and equity of the education system at all levels.
Thus, from 2002 to 2010, the annual average of students enrolled in various levels of education was more than 4.5 million. From 2010 to 2011 alone, there was an increase of 572,842 students enrolled, representing a growth of 9.3 percent.
In 2010, the total number of students enrolled in the non-university education system in introductory education was 668,358 and 4,273,006 in elementary education (ten times
more than in the last year of the colonial period!).
In both cycles of secondary education the figure was 868,225, a total of 5,809,589 in the non-university education system. In 2011, that number rose to 6,115,649, distributed as follows: 709,576 in introductory, 4,455,548 in elementary, and 950,525 in the two cycles of secondary education. In turn, from 2002 to 2010 the teaching staff had an average growth rate of 14.54 percent.
In 2010 the Ministry of Education had 200,698 teachers across the country. During this period, the number of classrooms in elementary and secondary levels has increased from about 19,000 to more than 53,000 in 2010, a growth rate of 165.71 percent.
However, since 2008, higher education experienced a remarkable growth, and currently the network of educational institutions has expanded reaching all provinces of the country with 17 public institutions, 7 of them universities, 7 colleges and 3 higher education schools, as well as 22 private institutions, 10 universities and 12 colleges, comprising a total of 39 higher education institutions, attended by about 150,000 students and around two thousand professors, including domestic and foreign.
This growth has allowed a significant increase of the number of professors in different majors, currently estimated at about twelve hundred professor a year, plus an average of 160 professors trained abroad.
The private sector has made an important contribution to this process, to the tune of 5 percent in the elementary and secondary education and about 50 percent in higher education. This sector needs to improve its management, more adequate infrastructure and equipment, teach more technical programs and also to review its pricing policy, since charges and fees for different services are still too high.
The Executive is committed to creating a social support system for students, especially those most in need, contributing to the creation of conditions for academic success, including the granting of scholarships for training in the country or abroad.
In 2011 three thousand domestic scholarships were granted, which should double in 2012. As for international grants, these have been awarded for many different specialties and countries, with priority given to science and technology, education sciences and medical sciences.
In terms of health, in turn, the primary care network has been reinforced and the direct allocation of an equivalent amount of about two million dollars annually was made to each municipality, for primary health care, to guarantee coverage of 78 percent of the population.
To ensure the provision and quality of services to the population during the year 2010, 1255 qualified nurses and technicians were trained, and 3565 others were trained in key areas for reduction of maternal and infant mortality, which allowed a significant reduction in maternal mortality rates, which dropped from about 1,400 per 100,000 live births in 2001 to 610 in 2010.
The routine immunization activities allowed the immunization of 91 percent of children under one year of age throughout the country and more than 6 million children under 5 years in each of the four national immunization days against polio. More than 55,000 women of childbearing age received tetanus vaccines, in routine immunization.
The number of HIV counseling and testing centers increased significantly, from eight in 2003 to 547 in 2010. Additionally, virus vertical transmission prevention centers increased from 3 in 2004 to 200 in 2010, and antiretroviral treatment centers for adults and children increased from 3 in 2004 to 133 in 2010.
These centers monitor 80,127 adults and children, 41,371 of them receiving antiretroviral treatments. As a result of these efforts, the survey conducted in 2010 showed a stabilization of the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS at the national level, which remains one of the lowest of our continent.
In order for all these health gains to be sustainable, the Executive has sought to prioritize the effective implementation of public policies at the municipal level, with the improvement of sanitation, food security, drinking water supply, reduction of maternal and infant mortality, control of endemic diseases and some non-transmissible diseases. Meanwhile, the hospital network will be reinforced, under a regional integration perspective.
Energy and Water.
The program 'Water for All' already provides drinking water to one million 200 thousand people. Water consumption increased from 67 liters per capita/day in 2008 to 101 liters per capita/day in 2011, an increase of 51 percent. By the year 2012, this program aims to ensure access to safe drinking water to at least 80 percent of the rural population.
We have several ongoing medium and large-scale projects, to ensure water supply in many urban centers, but for now there is a national portfolio of structural projects to satisfactorily solve the water problem, as there is in the Energy sector for electricity.
The country needs a National Water Plan, depending on water availability, providing for different uses in agriculture, industry, human consumption and hydroelectric power generation. Measures have been taken to prepare this National Water Plan as soon as possible, and then a structure project portfolio will be prepared.
However, in order to overcome the challenge of reducing the electricity deficit in the country to zero, the rehabilitation of the Gove, Mabubas, Lomaum and Cambambe I dams are underway, to be completed in 2012. These projects will add 295.6 megawatts to the power system.
In order to improve the situation, thermal power generation units will also be installed in 2011 and 2012 in Cabinda, Luanda, Dundo, Lubango, Namibe, Menongue, Ondjiva, Huambo and Benguela.
In order to better distribute the energy produced a 'power grid' will be built, which main axis is the interconnection between the north and center of the country. There currently are under way rehabilitation and expansion of the electricity distribution network in Cabinda, Saurimo, Dundo, Caxito, Sumbe, Porto Amboim, Huambo, Caala, Lubango, Namibe and Tombwa.
On the other hand, structural projects that have been approved will be implemented in Soyo, Cambambe, Lauca, Caculo Cabaca, and Keve/Ebo by the year 2016, which will generate an output of 5000 'megawatts', an investment of 8 billion dollars for production and about 9 billion for the power distribution and transportation system.
Thus, if the Executive energy sector subprogram is fully met, the power supply will improve significantly in 2013 and from 2017 the main problems will be practically solved.
Agriculture and Industry
The Executive is committed to ensuring access to all Angolans, at all times, to food of adequate quality and variety so as to contribute to human, economic and social development. In that connection it is developing programs aimed at increasing food production, especially at the family farm level.
The Agricultural Credit Campaign has involved $ 47 million and benefited 24,000 small farmers, living in 68 municipalities in 17 of the 18 provinces of the country, which
represents the fulfillment of 75 percent of the commitment assumed with the peasant communities.
However, over the past two years the resources mobilized for rural development and fighting poverty privileged, have prioritized the continued social and productive inclusion of the rural population and improving the provision of basic social services and promotion of social harmony.
Farmers considered credit an instrument that can help them in the fight against poverty and consider the interest rate of 5 percent and the repayment period compatible with the agricultural and livestock activities and the needs of this business activity.
Poverty rates fell from 68 percent in 2002 to 36.6 percent in 2010, as stated in Integrated Survey on the Welfare of the Population (IBEP), but they may fall further, if we work on the access roads used for transporting agricultural products from farm to city.
A suitable mechanism for the marketing of agricultural products can avoid the huge crop losses of many peasant families, helping them to quickly eliminate hunger and poverty.
Therefore, special emphasis will be given to the rehabilitation and reconstruction of secondary and tertiary roads throughout the country and the Rural Trade Program, as these factors are catalysts of increased agricultural and livestock production and the organized and decentralized marketing for the local administrator, and thus help improve the living conditions of rural population.
We conclude that the rates of poverty and hunger are declining and this is proof that the freeing the Angolan from hunger and poverty is possible!
In 2012 we will develop a more vigorous support for micro and small businesses, prioritizing financial aid with credits to help those people who are already conducting various small business activities.
The vast majority of them are women who work with a lot of dedication, courage and sacrifice to get means to support and educate their children and so deserve our consideration, respect and support! These and other women in other areas are an important family stabilizing factor and social inclusion and cohesion.
We will also continue to take care of gender balance, through the promotion of education and the rise of more women to management and leadership roles and fighting all forms of discrimination and violence.
PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY,
From 2008 to 2011, the manufacturing sector registered an average annual growth of around 8 percent. 750 private companies in almost all sectors were created and put into operation, with emphasis on food and drinks. The number of direct jobs created was 25,120 and the value of private investments reached about 4 billion dollars.
The textile, clothing and footwear industry is now starting to take its first steps, with the revival of cotton plantation and weaving and rehabilitation and development of textile production in order to create jobs and replace imports. For the next year three textile mills will be implemented, including Textang II, in Luanda, Africa Textiles, in Benguela, and SATEC, in Cuanza-Norte and Dondo.
It is anticipated that from 2012 to 2017 the manufacturing sector will post an average annual growth of around 10 percent and the average annual number of jobs created will be 7,400 direct and 7,580 indirect, and the estimated value of investments at 8 billion and 500 million dollars, included in the portfolio of the Ministries of Industry and Mines and Geology.
Urban Development and Housing
The structure and evolution of the urban system and the national housing stock continue to grow gradually, thus providing a structured environment for the country's development and strengthening of their conditions of territorial affirmation and cohesion.
In this context, the National Housing Program entered an intense project phase, with emphasis on the construction of new cities and urban centers and redevelopment projects for large settlements, to cater to the social and middle income housing needs .
In the context of the National Urbanization and Housing Program, the State, private sector and cooperatives are conducting in all provincial capitals and 127 municipal centers programs and construction projects of urban infrastructures, totaling 350,091 homes of different types, of which 210,024 are under state responsibility. The population to be housed is estimated at 2,100,546.
In some provinces there are some construction delays due to logistic conditions, but it is estimated that, once the constraints are overcome, the first homes will be delivered in 2012.
To ensure the population's access to home ownership, the Executive has established a system of mortgage loans that enables access on favorable terms for financing home ownership or purchase of land for construction.
Another aspect to consider is self-construction, under supervision, and modular houses, or houses that are being built in phases as a function of disposable income. In this regard, we wish to involve the private sector, both domestic and international, because it can contribute decisively to solve the problems of two homeless million people.
We must also take into account, however, that the military conflict has forced many citizens to leave their places of origin and settle informally in critical areas or locations reserved for public projects. Our purpose is to ensure support for the solution of their problems, the two forms of construction described above, that is, supervised self-construction and modular house construction.
The Housing and Urban Development Program in progress in Luanda, involves the construction of three thousand modular homes. Over five thousand are expected to be built by 2012, in an area with infrastructure for twenty thousand homes. They are intended for families who still live in tents in the districts of Cacuaco, Viana and Zango. The same program will cover the people who are in the same situation in the provinces of Huila, Cunene and Huambo.
Also underway, a more comprehensive diagnosis project is being conducted at the national level, in order to ascertain the actual number of people at risk of homelessness.
Finally, the city of Luanda is undergoing a major transformation, both in its old urban quarter or in its surroundings, but its image still remains very poor. I ordered the Minister for Urban Planning and Construction, in cooperation with the Governor of this province, to present a plan for the complete renovation of the image of the capital city, addressing the repair of sidewalks, the repair and repave roads, improving street lighting and signage and speedy completion of the anticipated parking lots, in order to improve circulation.
This plan also involves the painting of buildings and should begin in early 2012, so that Luanda reflects our desire to change for the better!
Transportation, Infrastructure and Logistics.
Of all the subprograms, this one had the most outstanding growth. 6,500 kilometers of roads were rehabilitated and built, hundreds of bridges were built, railroads were revamped, airports were recovered and trade and logistics increased.
Some weaknesses of the sector should be overcome, and the transportation systems are to be coordinated and integrated, specifically the ports with railways, airports and roads to the highways, and all of them with the logistics infrastructure. In 2012/13 we anticipate the completion of all roads, railways and the port of Lobito.
The Executive has approved the construction of the country's largest commercial port in Barra do Dande, Bengo province. It will be the main gateway for entry of goods, thus contributing to economic growth and job creation.
Another important ongoing investment in the sector is the construction of a new jetty in Cabinda, which will serve as a support base for the construction of a deepwater port in the locality of Caio, whose executive project is nearing final stages of preparation.
The rehabilitation of the airport infrastructure continues at a rapid pace. The airports of Cabinda, Catumbela, Benguela, Malanje, Ondjiva, Lubango and Huambo were rehabilitated and modernized, and the airport of Cariango in Ndalatando, is ready to open.
Later this month contracts will be approved for the rehabilitation of the airports of Soyo, Dundo, Saurimo and Luena. Next year we will complete the first phase of the new international airport in Luanda, which, on the final phase, will have the capacity of 15 million passengers per year.
Most of the Luanda's road structure rehabilitation program projects should be delivered still in 2011. Of the 19 points of intervention, at least 14 are already being finalized. The Luanda and Kifangondo and Viana-Cabolombo-Cacuaco Expressways are examples of projects that have led to significant improvements in traffic and urban planning.
Hospitality and Tourism.
Given the existing economic conditions, this sector has experienced tremendous growth and is one of the most promising in terms of future development. The implementation of the recently approved Tourism Master Plan shall contribute towards that goal.
Tour operators are confident and continue to invest in creating hotel infrastructure and the like. In 2010, there was a 16.1 percent increase in tourist arrivals, the hotel supply has grown to 136 units with an average occupancy rate of 89 percent, and the estimated investment in the sector amounted to the equivalent of over a billion dollars.
The Executive approved the guidelines for the creation of three new tourism development centers, which will complement the Tourism Development Centers of Futungo de Belas, namely the Tourism Development Centers of Calandula, Cabo Ledo and the Okavango Basin.
In the latter case, Angola is part of an ambitious project to create a pool of cross-border conservation of wildlife and eco-tourism involving Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia, called the Okavango-Zambezi or simply KAZA-ATFC .
The aim is to structure tourism around natural resources, landscape, sun, beach and cultural heritage, also increasing business travel. The aim is to achieve in the next ten years four and a half million visitors and a million direct and indirect jobs, increase the inclusion of civil society and local populations; and get closer to the international hotel standards; and increase the contribution of hospitality and tourism to the Gross Domestic Product.
Culture and Sport
Two important laws have just been appreciated by the Board of Ministers and sent to the Assembly, the Sponsorship Law and Languages Act, which may contribute decisively to a greater support and dynamics of artistic and cultural activities and to restore the dignity and ethno linguistic identity of various regions of the country.
The legal framework of the National Public Libraries Network was also defined, which will allow greater and easier access to key works for knowledge and education, and also the Cultural Centers, which provide a privileged space for socializing and cultural enrichment and sharing of experiences at all levels.
We appreciate and consider worthy of recognition the efforts of several artists and all culture producers to enrich the spiritual heritage of the nation. The Executive will approve this effort, also accelerating the completion of the middle and higher art education institutes, to improve the skills of cultural producers.
In regards to sport, our policy has been geared to obtain its maximum benefits as a social phenomenon. The investments are linked to the creation of infrastructure conditions, which have given an unquestionable contribution to improving sports and also to improve the quality of life and welfare of populations.
The studies for the construction of an Olympic Village, a Training Center and High Performance Center are currently in advanced stages of completing.
At the same time, the Sports Law has established the general national sport framework, promoting and guiding the organization thereof, and generalizing it to all society, as indispensable to the formation and health of human beings, especially through physical education and school sports.
Henceforth we will pay more attention to defining a coherent system of national sport funding and the study and implementation of strategy and action plan for the levels of training in all sports.
Also in this area, we salute, in particular, the achievements of the woman's handball and basketball team and Paralympic athletes, who not only filled our people with joy and pride, but also projected the name of the Angolan nation abroad.
PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY,
Aware of the risks of major international financial and economic crisis, from 2009, the Executive conducted a Macroeconomic Policy supported by a strong high quality Fiscal Policy, consistent and credible, capable of ensuring an opposite effect to the economic stagnation trend that appeared to be imminent and eventually happened in all developed and developing countries and emerging markets.
Our anti-cyclical policy was guided by a firm determination to avoid a recession without resorting to the growth of debt and money issues, in order not to compromise the fiscal and foreign exchange fundamentals and macroeconomic stability.
The Public Investments Program continued to invest on the physical reconstruction, economic and social development of the country, maintaining growth, avoiding recession and continuing the fight against hunger and poverty.
Data released by the International Monetary Fund last September indicated that Angola was one of the few countries in the world to escape recession in 2009, as its GDP grew 2.4 percent, while the world's GDP decreased 0.7 percent.
In 2010, the trend continued, as the GDP grew 3.4 percent and the Angolan economic environment was characterized by the slow recovery in oil prices and the fiscal effort to further consolidate the pillars of macroeconomic stability.
The country's net international reserves rose in 2010, from the equivalent of 12.6 billion to about 17.5 billion and stood at the end of June of 2011 at 21.4 billion, representing an increase of 23.6 percent since the beginning of the year.
The increasing dynamism of the construction, agriculture, industry and services industries showed the increasing participation of non-oil sector in GDP, with growth of 8.3 percent in 2009 and 7.8 percent in 2010, while the oil sector dropped (respectively -5.1 and -3.0 per cent) due to the sharp reduction in oil prices in 2009 and reduction of the volume produced in 2010.
For 2011 the GDP growth is estimated at around 3.7 percent, lower than expected in the general budget of the initial state, because of reduced oil production by BP, for technical reasons, but that was offset in part by increasing the annual average price of the crude oil barrel and faster growth of the non-oil sector, due to the decisive effect of the Public Investment Program.
Such investments were accompanied by a rise in the level of social sector spending in the State Budget, which rose from 12.7 percent in 2009 to 34.3 percent in 2010, a condition achieved in part thanks to the restructuring of short-term debt securities carried out in the last two years.
Inflation remains a challenge for Angola. After years of sustained decline, the inflation rate rose 6 percent in 2008, reaching 13.7 percent, and rose again to 14.7 percent in 2010.
It is estimated that in 2011 inflation will stay below the 12 percent projected in the State Budget, since the variation accumulated from January through August this year stands at only 6.86 percent compared to 8.4 percent in same period of 2010.
However, the overall public debt remains within the internationally accepted safety factors, both in terms of volume and costs, as well as its maturity profile.
The low cost of foreign debt, in conjunction with the recovery of export prices of oil, reflected on the improvement of the balance of the Current Account Balance of Payments, which evolved from a deficit of 7.572 billion in 2009 to a deficit of only 348 million in 2010.
No wonder, for all the reasons set forth above, the Angolan nation continues to receive the international community's recognition of its growing macroeconomic strength, according to reports issued in 2010 by the International Monetary Fund and the three main sovereign debt risk international rating agencies.
As a projection, since the fiscal year has not yet finished, the State Budget for 2012 indicates a potential for revenues and expenditures to approximate $ 3.5 trillion kwanza, without a deficit.
The projections also indicate a 12% real growth rate of GDP, 13.4 per cent for the oil sector and 12.5 percent for the non-oil sector, with an inflation rate of around 10 percent.
PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY,
In 2000, the United Nations upon analyzing the major world problems defined a set of objectives to be achieved by member states by 2015, in order to reduce by half all calculated indexes.
Eight objectives were recommended:
1 - Eradication of extreme poverty and hunger;
2 - Achievement of universal elementary education;
3 - Promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women;
4 - Reduction of child mortality;
5 - Improvement of maternal health;
6 - Fighting HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases;
7 - Ensuring environmental sustainability;
8 - Creating a global partnership for development.
As we could see on the findings noted earlier, when referring to the degree of implementation of Executive programs in various fields of national life, Angola has been addressing all of these concerns, not only with the organization of the basic conditions and the allocation of resources into concrete actions, but also with training and mobilization of the entire society to bring them to fruition.
It is important for the Gentlemen to appreciate this data and monitor the work of the Executive, so that you know how the country is meeting its international commitments.
PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY,
In adopting a political and ideological option for multiparty democracy and social market economy, we chose a political, economic, social and cultural democracy, based on equality and respect for fundamental freedoms and guarantees of citizens. Our goal is to build a market economy that serves Angolans and provides better and improving living conditions.
The national economy is still in the design phase, but there is no market economy without entrepreneurs and private owners and we expect Angolan private entrepreneurs, whether large, medium or small, to begin now to take the reins of our economy and the provision of productive services, as the state is reducing its presence there.
Wealthy people will, and are in fact, emerging. The state is not against the rich, but it's important to say that the main concern of the Executive is to fight hunger and poverty with increasing energy in order to reduce it gradually, until complete eradication.
The private sector can and should contribute by making more investments to create more good paying jobs, pay taxes and increase national wealth.
In this context, I think the country needs laws and regulations with clearer rules for the participation of business leaders, assembly members and other public office holders and any eventual incompatibilities.
The Constitution recognizes every citizen's equal rights and it is important to know how to act when there are conflicts of interest or ethical and moral values, preserving and separating private from state affairs. The country needs everyone's contribution, with confidence, on the present and future and its institutions.
PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY,
The youth has a historical tradition of active participation in all noble causes engaged by the Angolan people. It participated in the National Liberation struggle, both the guerrillas and underground. It was the most important and active party in the defense the country against foreign invasions and military-political destabilization and helped the people to build peace and democracy which makes us so proud today.
Our youth has never acted outside of the will of the people. The youth emanates from the people and has always worked for the people. We need to maintain this rich tradition that comes from our ancestors!
Today there are some misunderstandings and even misconceptions that need to be clarified. I think they still happen because the dialogue is not sufficient. The Executive must improve social dialogue and listen, hear and discuss more, so that issues are treated in the right times and places, and consensual solutions are found and applied.
The executive program for the resolution of Youth issues, whose implementation was suspended, will be adjusted by the Government and its implementation will be periodically evaluated by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, with representatives of the National Youth Council, as done before.
The country needs everyone's contribution. We need the strength, dynamism, creativity and availability of young students, workers, peasants and intellectuals as well as young entrepreneurs or business people. The country relies on the patriotism and public spirit which has always been the attribute of young Angolans.
The confusion and misunderstanding has caused situations of violence that caused many misfortunes and suffering to the Angolan people in the recent past. Ultimately, when we understand each other, we realize that the Angolan people's problems will be solved by reconciliation, peace and that, together we will solve the problems of the Angolan people.
PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY,
According the normalization of the country's political life, and terms of the Constitution, a general election for President and Vice-President of the Republic and National Assembly members will take place in the third quarter of 2012, ending the four-year parliamentary term resulting from the 2008 legislative elections.
I ask of the National Assembly to urgently approve the laws necessary to define the legal guidelines and composition of the National Electoral Commission, as well as the mechanisms of interaction with other relevant institutions of the state, and allow the creation of conditions for well organized, free and transparent elections.
The electoral registration process is currently being updated and it is important that every voting age citizen be registered, to fulfill his duty, because only then he can exercise the right to vote and participate in the choice of political representative for the next five years, as defined by the Constitution.
PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY,
The safety of the Angolan nation, despite the persistence of some threats and low intensity risks, has appeared generally stable and under control, as the proper authorities have proactively ensured the order and public peace, protecting the State institutions.
Therefore, the efforts of officials and staff of the Defense, Security and Public Order forces are worthy of praise and gratitude, for not only have they preserved peace, protected our borders and enforced the legality of the Constitution of the Republic, but have also participated in social emergency actions, such as mine evacuations and reconstruction of local infrastructure and cooperation missions outside the country.
I take this opportunity to emphasize and appeal to the institutional strengthening of solidarity between Parliament, the Government and the Courts, which are, respectively the legislative, executive and judiciary, which are the cornerstones of a democratic rule of law in Social Justice and Peace
I extended this appeal to other state agencies, such as the Attorney General's Office, the Court of Auditors and the Prosecutor's Office, calling upon them to perform their specific noble tasks speedily, accurately and impartially.
PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY,
Our foreign policy continues to be guided by objective actions and events leading to the consolidation of the understanding and cooperation among nations and the preservation of peace, stability and international security.
Having a painful war experience, which still has serious consequences for the lives of our people, Angola advocates dialogue and negotiation principles for reaching peaceful resolution of all differences and disputes that may arise at the international level.
This position is increasingly relevant in a world in which any crisis reaches a global dimension, where imposition and the threat of force to resolve internal conflicts or disputes between sovereign countries are again being widely used.
We will continue to fulfill our obligations and our responsibilities at the international level, particularly with regard to Africa as a whole and particularly in the context of economic and political groups to which we belong, such as SADC and ECCAS, and also the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries.
At a broader level, Angola will also continue to cooperate with the international community in fighting terrorism and criminal networks, money laundering, human being trafficking and psychotropic substances and endemic diseases.
As in the past, we will never allow the interference of foreign governments or entities in our internal affairs. We will defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity, our political and economic choices and our identity as a nation, putting the best interests of the Angolan people above all.
ANGOLA WILL WIN!