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Last Updated: Monday, 3 November, 2003, 02:42 GMT
Brazil's president visits Angola
Lula says Brazil owes Africa a historic debt
Brazilian President Luiz Inacia Lula da Silva has arrived in Angola as part of a five-nation tour of Africa which began in Sao Tome and Principe.

The visit is seen as particularly significant because of the countries' common past as Portuguese colonies.

It is aimed at promoting health, cultural and commercial ties, Brazilian Culture Minister Gilberto Gil said.

Lula earlier signed accords on health, farming and education with Sao Tome, also a Portuguese ex-colony.

The snap visit to the tiny island state off Nigeria "went very well", a local official was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

On Sunday evening, Lula flew into Luanda where he was whisked off in a car with darkened windows by Angolan Foreign Minister Joao Bernando da Miranda.

Brazil, like African states such as Angola, Mozambique and Sa Tome, is a former Portuguese colony and they still speak the same language
From the 16th to the 19th Century, one in three of black slaves shipped to the New World ended up in Brazil and today only Nigeria has a larger black population
The Brazilian president, who has set himself up as a spokesman for the developing world, has a packed agenda for his 48-hour visit to the country.

Lula is accompanied by more than 100 Brazilian businessmen who are eyeing the opportunities 18 months after the end of Angola's devastating 27-year civil war.

Speaking at the airport, Angolan Deputy Prime Minister Aguinaldo Jaime said Lula's first trip to Angola would seal the already strong relationship between the two countries.

Brazilian entrepreneurs, he added, would be encouraged to look further afield than Angola's traditionally lucrative sectors of oil and diamonds, to areas such as infrastructure, construction and agriculture.

After Angola, Lula is due to travel on to Mozambique and from there to Namibia and South Africa.

Lula: The shoe-shiner's journey
09 Jul 03  |  Americas
Country profile: Brazil
05 Jul 03  |  Country profiles


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