Speech Archives

26/09/2017: INAUGURAL SPEECH OF THE INCOMING PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA

INAUGURAL SPEECH OF THE INCOMING PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA

 

Luanda, September 26, 2017

 

Honorable Judge President of the Constitutional Court,

His Excellency Engº José Eduardo dos Santos, Outgoing President of the Republic,

Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government Present,

Venerable Judges Counselors of the Constitutional Court,

His Excellency President of the National Electoral Commission,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is with particular emotion that I greet all Angolans, from Cabinda to Cunene and from the sea to the East, which are the reason for my presence here and that justify my intention to assume from today, on your behalf and benefit, the presidency of the Republic of Angola.

I would like to extend a special salutation to President José Eduardo dos Santos, which ceases today his functions as President of the Republic. This salutation would be incomplete if it did not mention the long and victorious path taken by Angola over the last 38 years. The Angolan people is grateful for the dedication and commitment of President José Eduardo dos Santos.

I extend this salutation to each of the personalities of the Legislative Power and the Executive Branch, who cease functions after having exercised them deservedly and in a self-sacrificing manner during the last constitutional mandate, and also to the judicial authorities, while holding one of the three powers of the State, to whom I urge an ever greater commitment to comply with the Constitution and the laws in force.

I also greet the ecclesiastical and traditional authorities who, as State partners, have fulfilled their role in the arduous process of harmonization and moralization of the society and the inclusion of the majority of Angolans.

I also wish to extend my greetings to civil society organizations that have contributed a lot and will continue to contribute to the process of democratization in our country and to the indispensable dialogue and approch between governors and the governed.

The participation of civil society organizations in the electoral process was unquestionable and I hope that during my mandate they will intensify their civic action and their relationship with State organs, contributing to the design and implementation of consensual public policies.

I also address from this rostrum a greeting to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to Angola, thanking them for their role as senior representatives of sovereign States with whom Angola maintains ties of friendship and cooperation.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In this solemn act of my investiture, I pay a simple homage to all heroes of our glorious history and our beloved homeland. The resistance to the colonial presence lasted centuries and extended to several points of the territory that is today Angola. The legendary names of Ngola Kiluanji, Ginga Mbandi, Ekuiki II, Mutu ya Kevela, Mandume, among many others, symbolize this heroic struggle that inspired the liberating movements of the fifties and sixties decades.

In this liberating movement, in the modern Angolan nationalism, the figure of Dr. António Agostinho Neto, our Kilamba, whose birthday we celebrated few days ago, was able to faithfully interpret the heroic traditions and aspirations of our people, leading to the armed struggle of National Liberation, which culminated in the proclamation of National Independence on November 11, 1975.

After his premature passing, on September 10, 1979, the MPLA entrusted President José Eduardo dos Santos with the historic mission of directing the Angolan people in defending the achievements of National Independence, strengthening the State, in the implementation and consolidation of multiparty democracy, in the conquest of peace, in the reconstruction of the country and in launching the foundations for development.

President José Eduardo dos Santos fulfilled his mission with unusual brio, with dedication and with a high patriotic spirit. For this reason, its figure symbolizes the victory of national unity, peace and dignification of Angolans at domestic and international levels.

Angolans,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have just been elected democratically for a five-year term as the third President of the Republic of Angola in orderly, peaceful and enthusiastic elections that have had the fair internal and international recognition. Once again, the Angolan People attributed to the MPLA the leading political power of the State, whether at the level of the National Assembly or at the level of the Executive.

It means that the MPLA Government Program for the period 2017-2022 was voted at the polls. I am grateful to all those who voted for the MPLA list, which I had the honor of leading, the renewed confidence, but once I am in office, I will be the President of all Angolans and I will work to improve the living conditions and well-being of our entire people.

To match the great expectation created around my election and renewed confidence in the MPLA, I will govern using all the powers conferred upon me by the Constitution and the strength of the votes of the citizens expressed at the polls given to me.

In this new political cycle that begins today, legitimized at the polls, the Constitution will be our guiding compass and the laws our decision criterion. The construction of democracy must take place every day, but it is not only solely for the organs of State power. It is a project of the whole society, a project of all of us. Let us, therefore, build alliances and work together, so that we can overcome possible contradictions and enhance our country.

I am now committed to implement my electoral promises, with public policies that meet the wishes of the citizens and with inclusive governance that appeals to the participation of all Angolans, regardless of their place of birth, sex, mother tongue, religion, economic status or social position.

I will try to mark this mandate by a responsible attitude towards the problems of the Nation. It is important that anyone who takes office in the Executive branch should be concerned, with this mission, who is to commune us all, beyond the political or ideological color options of each. The national interest must be above private or group interests, so that the defense of the common good prevails.

It is our responsibility to build a prosperous and democratic Angola with peace and social justice. The most importantly continues to be to solve the problems of the people. This is not done only with words, but with public policies that respond as best they can to the wishes and expectations of citizens, which implies an increasingly serious commitment in the social sector, in a context of sustainable growth of the country. This is what we intend to do in this mandate, even in a context of global financial crisis.

We also intend to deepen the Democratic rule of Law, strengthening institutions and promoting the full exercise of citizenship, with a more incisive action by the civil society. We will pay attention to the reform of the State, in order to allow the harmonious and sustainable development of the territory and the communities, with the decentralization of powers, the gradual implementation of the municipalities and the municipalization of services in general. To this end, it is imperative to put into practice the slogan of the diversification of the economy and the fight against regional asymmetries.

Any governance will be successful without an open dialogue with different social forces. For this reason, we are going to bet on a closer approach to trade unions and professional orders, non-governmental organizations and some pressure groups as partners of the Executive.

All these forces in Angola must be called upon to contribute to the conception and execution of the public policies that the National Assembly and the Executive may approve.

As the Head of State, I will work to ensure that the sacred ties of the social contract between rulers and citizens are constantly renewed through the creation of public spaces for debate and exchange of views and by creating effective and rapid means to demand respect for rights and to ensure participation citizens in solving the problems of the communities in which they are inserted.

In the last fifteen years, Angola has made significant progress in the quality of information. There are more newspapers, more radio stations and more television stations. The debate is more pluralistic and has also improved press freedom. But we are aware that much remains to be done and that we are far from achieving the ideal in this matter.

In this mandate, we will ensure greater public investment in the media sector, so that Angolans have access to reliable information throughout the national territory. I therefore appeal to the public servants to maintain a greater openness and learn to live with criticism and difference of opinion, favoring the debate of ideas, with the ultimate purpose of safeguarding the interests of the Nation and the citizens.

The strengthening of patriotic sentiment and national unity, as essential factors in the affirmation of our culture, our identity and Angolanism also occupies a prominent position on our agenda. During our mandate, the Angolan Executive will continue to extol these cultural components, as well as to emphasize the cultures of all those who make up the Angolan human mosaic. We stand for unity in diversity and the promoting diversity of unity.

The integration of Angola in the world presupposes the deepening of bilateral and multilateral relations with all countries, the strengthening of scientific and technical cooperation for development and the contribution to the elimination of tensions and conflicts in our region, in Africa and in the world.

I cannot fail to mention here our solidarity with other peoples, but without forgetting the Angolan diaspora, which deserves greater attention and whose importance for the development of our country has to be taken into account.

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Angola is a country characterized by a predominantly young population. This reality constitutes an objective basis for the definition and implementation of public policies that promote their human development and well-being, indispensable condition to build a more prosperous country.

The size of the working-age population and the growth trend in the coming years mean that youth are at the center of our attention. To bet on the young is to bet on our future, the progress of Angola and its insertion in the increasingly competitive global world.

This requires serious investment in the education of young people and in their technical and vocational training, adjusted to the needs of the labor market and the development of the country. In this way, we will be able to put available resources at the service of the Nation, guaranteeing the general improvement of Angolan living conditions on a fair and equitable basis.

Bet on the young is also to invest in programs that promote improved reproductive health with a view to reducing maternal, infant and child-to-child mortality rates and preventing early pregnancy in girls and sexually transmitted sexually transmitted diseases (in particular HIV/ AIDS), as well as the eradication of the influence of customs and traditions with negative social effects.

Angola needs healthy, well-prepared young people with a high entrepreneurial spirit who, with their work and initiative, can help Angola to grow and become a country where, thanks to the favorable conditions created, it is worth living.

Women are another important fringe of our society that deserves our particular attention. The importance of women is such that families and communities resent their absence or their small representation in decision-making bodies.

Women should have the opportunity to stand with men, whether in access to school, in the labor market, in partisan action or in the exercise of public office. In fact, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights considers investment in gender equality and women's empowerment a vital factor in improving economic, social and political conditions in developing countries.

The promotion of gender equality, which is considered central to international development policies in line with sustainable development objectives, within a framework of social peace, will enable us to achieve new formats and new commitments in the context of Southern Africa and Africa in general and on a global scale.

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On the economic front, we believe that if the State fulfills its role as inspector and regulator of the economic activity, becoming less interventionist, we'll boost the private sector leading it to occupy the space that it deserves and is incumbent.

The need for transparency in the performance of public services and public servants, as well as the fight against economic crime and corruption that is rampant in some institutions, at different levels, is an important front to fight seriously, in which we all have the duty to participate.

Corruption and impunity have a direct negative impact on the capacity of the state and its agents to carry out any governance program. I therefore urge all our people to work together to eradicate this evil that seriously threatens the foundations of our society.

I urge therefore all our people to work together to root out this evil that seriously threatens the foundations of our society.

Combating poverty is an unavoidable priority. We will, therefore, bet on the creation of stable employment and the meritable distribution of available resources of available resources, ensuring the adoption of policies of economic and social inclusion, which necessarily involves the protection of workers.

In addition, to support targeted micro-credit programs and credit programs for small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as youth credit, is another step that must be taken now. In rural areas, we will focus on agricultural production and livestock production on a small and large scale guaranteeing the flow of produce from the countryside to the towns and cities.

The reduction of social inequalities involves a greater emphasis on the social sector, in particular in the access to education and knowledge, basic assistance for all, social security and assistance to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.

In addition to the priority tasks already mentioned, we must promote the social State, with economic policies, social inclusion and reduction of inequalities, betting on a development with great emphasis on the rural environment and the increase of domestic, agricultural and industrial production.

Over the next five years, we will try to set the inflation rate within acceptable and controllable limits. This will force us to impose strict rules of exchange policy and fiscal rate. We will focus on strengthening the systems for controlling illegal acts that may discredit the financial and banking sector, internally and abroad.

We aim to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the governance apparatus by focusing our action on reducing bureaucracy and following up State initiatives. We will start a process of reviewing the public investment program, supporting private agents who can manage projects more effectively and sufficiently.

We also intend to focus the actions of the State on measures that promote the monitoring, supervision and promotion of sectoral activities and eliminate administrative barriers that do not add value to the processes.

Credit to the economy must be in accordance with the needs of economic agents and with the obligation of economic diversification, drastic reduction of imports and bets on exports. We will continue to focus on the electrification and industrialization of the country. The production, distribution of electricity and piped water will be improved, which will allow a greater and more serious investment in the creation of industrial poles across the country.

To this end, we will act in two directions, namely in credit to industry and foreign investment for the sectors of agriculture, industry, fisheries, tourism, transport, real estate and other sectors of relevant importance to the economy, with due transparency and speed, in order to give credibility to the process.

In the field of transport, we will invest more and better in the mobility of citizens. We plan to invest in the creation, expansion and improvement of the public transport network (road, rail and fluvial), in order to increase the quality of life. On the other hand, we will pay particular attention to the country's integrated logistic plan, with the aim of reducing the constraints that seriously undermine the economy.

It is also important to ensure the protection of the environment as an essential requirement for growth and sustainable development in Angola. Safeguarding the environment, fauna, flora and natural resources is one of the exercises that enable us to guarantee economic and social sustainability and to project a promising and happy future for future generations, taking advantage of the good practices that can be created in this field, in particular eco-tourism.

Angolans,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the field of public administration, we will promote a reform that will increase the efficiency of services. The merit, professionalism, transparency, rigor and spirit of public service will be the parameters that should guide the appointment of future leaders at central, provincial and local level. The Executive's structure will be reduced, so as to guarantee its functionality, without dispersion of means and avoiding wasting and wasting resources, which are increasingly scarce.

We want the reform of public administration to be centered on simplifying procedures and valuing human capital, so as to allow the best staff to be retained through a policy focused on the areas of training, motivation, remuneration and career of agents and public employees. It is their duty to resolve rapidly the problems and needs of citizens who use their services.

Justice plays a central role in restoring the sense of trust in State institutions because citizens need to believe that no one is rich or too powerful to evade punishment, and no one is too poor to be protected.

The reform of Justice, which has just begun, needs a new impetus in order to complete the various codes being re-examined and to adopt administrative and operational measures to reduce the high number of pending cases. We will give due dignity to the Judiciary, whose importance for the process of democratization is indisputable.

With regard to local power, Angola has a great territorial extension and the problems of people, families, communities and companies cannot wait for decisions that are taken in the capital, often neglecting the specificities of each region.

We will therefore, during this mandate, proceed with the progressive implementation of the municipalities, reinforcing and deepening autonomy and local control over the implementation of public policies.

It will be necessary to focus on administrative and financial deconcentration, progressively extending the powers of municipal and communal administrations, thus initiating the desired transfer of competences to elected bodies closer to citizens to promote community and local development.

In this context, we must not forget the traditional authorities, as representatives of rural communities and faithful custodians of our history, our culture and our traditions.

Angolans,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As we have already mentioned, we will prioritize the social sector, with a serious focus on human resources. This is the only way, if we really want to get the country out of the way it is, in terms of various indicators of human and economic development.

The adoption of good practices, whether in the public exercise or in society, will require the reinforcement of moral values, social cohesion and patriotism of families, schools, churches and other civil society organizations.

In addition to the need to eradicate hunger and combat poverty through an integrated program, we will fight for the empowerment and support of the most disadvantaged families, in view of the social ascent of a good number of Angolan families, both in the urban and in the countryside.

We will continue to include in the governmental agenda, the protection and valorization of children and youth, guaranteeing gender equity, valuing and protecting the elderly and former combatants and veterans of war.

In the area of ​​housing, we will continue with the implementation of the housing development program and we will increase the focus on construction, especially for young couples and young people.

We will work to ensure the full functioning of hospitals and health centers, with respect for ethical principles and values ​​that should guide professional ethics. Over the next five years, our objective will be to considerably reduce current infant mortality and mortality rates, with the assistance of public and private health units, as well as with the reactivation of the health education program.

We will guide the health sector towards the creation of a system of evaluation of hospitals, health centers and clinics, carried out by an independent entity, which will allow us to provide citizens with correct information about the quality of health services in each health unit.

The domain of education is the one to which we will devote special attention, within the framework of the Angolan staff training project, so that they can compete with the others. The Executive will continue to view education as a constitutional right, which must be guaranteed to all Angolans.

This will demand from us a clear and permanent commitment on the equity of the education system, on pre-school education, on the quality of primary education, on the quality of the teacher training subsystem, on reforming the school administration and management system, on curricular reform taking into account the regional specificities and the valorization of the teaching career at all levels of our education and teaching system.

The Executive branch will work to reduce the illiteracy rate and will invest decisively in technical-vocational and special education.

At the center of our concerns will be the need to adopt a book and reading promotion policy, including exemption from customs duties and taxes on the importation of school books and books for libraries.

The investment in the quality of university and polytechnic higher education will be another great bet of the Executive branch in the next years, with a view to the creation of a model of higher education that is more in agreement with the universal practices.

Dear Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

During our mandate, we propose to carry out a wide dissemination of the museums, monuments and sites that integrate the historical, cultural, architectural and natural heritage of Angola, for their use by the population and for the promotion of tourism.

An important step in the cultural diplomacy crusade was the recent UNESCO World Heritage Site classification of Mbanza Congo, which greatly dignifies our country, our history and our people, as well as universal history.

The Kingdom of the Congo was one of the most important kingdoms in Africa, from where, although forced, Africans left to the entire world, taking with them their culture, translated into religions, music, dance and rituals of Bantu origin, thus spreading throughout the world our identity. Also of great importance is the acceptance of the World Heritage applications of the Cuanza Corridor, the rock paintings of Tchitundo-Hulo and Cuito Cuanavale.

This last place is also a memory of the liberating struggle of our people for its symbolism in the defense and preservation of peace and its significance in the history of our country, Southern Africa and our continent in general, and the monument commemorating the historic and legendary battle was inaugurated few days ago by President José Eduardo dos Santos.

Sport must also take on an inspiring and formative dimension in order to build a more inclusive and fraternal Angola, where the barriers of prejudice and intolerance are being overthrown. We recognize that our sportsmen and women have been able to honor the national anthem and flag across the border, bringing the Angolan people together.

In this mandate, we will encourage school sports, return to school championships and university championships and demand from the leaders of the sports infrastructure greater responsibility in their conservation and management.

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In my new capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Angolan Armed Forces, I wish first of all to greet the generals, admirals, senior officers, captains, junior officers, sergeants and squares, as well as officers and agents of the National Police and of Intelligence Services.

We will continue to prioritize the preservation of national unity and cohesion, the preservation of peace and stability and the reduction of urban crime and juvenile delinquency rates.

We will focus on modernizing the Angolan Armed Forces and taking solid steps towards the creation of a defense industry.

We will reinforce the operational competence of the National Police and intelligence agencies, giving priority to preventive action, not neglecting the improvement of criminal investigation services, with a guarantee of overcoming and updating the professional.

Dear Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Republic of Angola conquered by its own merit a place of enhancement in the concert of the nations. In this regard, we must continue to strive to maintain relations of friendship and cooperation with all peoples of the world, on the basis of the principles of non-interference in internal affairs and reciprocity of advantages, cooperating with all countries to safeguard peace, justice and progress of humanity.

With regard to relations on the African continent, priority will be given to neighboring countries on the basis of good neighborly relations and cooperation. Given their proximity, these are important relationships for the defense, security and development of the southern sub region, without neglecting of course the SADC countries with which Angola shares geopolitical affinities.

The African Union is a very important place for Angola and, for that reason our country should remain one of the biggest contributors to its budget.

We will conduct a policy of approximation to the countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for the exchange of information in the field of security, for the prevention and combating of terrorism. Angola must therefore maintain its role as an important actor in the maintenance of peace in its sub-region, acting firmly in the organizations of which it is a part.

Because of its historical importance and the need to continue cultivating the forged ties during the period of conquest and consolidation of our independence, the relationship with the Portuguese-speaking African Countries (PALOP) will always be present in our options.

We will work to ensure a greater presence of Angolans in the United Nations system, the African Union and regional organizations, which presupposes a greater emphasis on the training and monitoring of young Angolans for future diplomatic campaigns.

Angola will give priority to important partners such as the United States of America, the People's Republic of China, the Russian Federation, the Federative Republic of Brazil, India, Japan, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, The United Kingdom, South Korea and other partners, as long as they respect our sovereignty.

As for economic diplomacy, it is one of the most important aspects of our foreign policy, both at the strictly economic and commercial level of the bilateral, regional and multilateral relations, and in promoting the image of the country abroad, both in the expectation of exports of goods and attracting foreign direct investment.

We intend to re-examine the role to be assumed by Angola in the current regional and international context, giving priority to contacts with interested partners, reinforcing the participation of Angolan diplomatic representations in attracting foreign investment and promoting access to scientific, technical and technological development, helping Angolan businessmen and industrialists to be more present in Africa, with a greater focus on regional trade and domestic production for export.

Angolans,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As it is easy to see, the challenges we face are enormous, in order to successfully lead the destinies of our country, to honor the heroes of our history and to prepare a better future for the present and future generations.

We will have a mandate that will be marked by the reinforcement of the importance of the citizen, so that his wishes and expectations are permanently on the agenda of the Executive branch.

We will strengthen the linkage and institutional collaboration between the three branches of government, so that each of them can fulfill its role and its independent action, thus helping to strengthen our young democratic system.

Our slogan will be: "Renewal and transformation into continuity - Improve what is right and Correct what is wrong."

I will try to listen to the different strata of the population and the various organized groups of the civil society, because only then we will be able to successfully carry out the governmental action. We appeal, to the support of all in this difficult journey.

Angolans,

Dear fellow citizens,

I want to renew the thanks for the vote of confidence that, as voters you have deposited in my person and in my Party.

I would also like to thank in particular the political formation to which I belong and my wife and children, for the support provided and the support that I hope will continue receiving, to carry out the mission entrusted to me by the Angolan People.

To finish I would like, publicly endorse my commitment to the actions and projects I have presented here. I want to ensure every Angolan that I will give the best of my efforts to humbly serve the Angolan State and People.

Long live Democracy!

Long live Angola!

Thank you!