Ver Angola


US advises Angola to resort to secure and stable communications

A special envoy from the United States of America (USA) defended that Angola should choose companies that ensure secure and stable communications, given the need for data protection and cyberattacks, also warning of the debt trap.

: Ampe Rogério/Lusa
Ampe Rogério/Lusa  

Joe Biden's special coordinator for global infrastructure and energy security, Amos Hochstein, began a short 48-hour visit to Angola on Wednesday, which included meetings with President João Lourenço and the US business community, as well as the Ministers of Energy and Water, Telecommunications, Information Technology and Social Communication and Transport.

The visit follows the summit held in December, which brought together several African leaders in Washington, including President João Lourenço.

"We are at a critical moment of opportunity for Africa and for Angola in particular, we are in a global economic transformation the like of which has not been seen since the industrial revolution", in the face of climate change and the "urgent" need to accelerate the energy transition, said Amos Hochstein.

"The energy transition is an opportunity for Africa's transition" and Angola is a decisive player in supporting other countries to access critical infrastructure for global markets, he added.

On the impact of the high-level visits that Angola has received since the beginning of this year, including the head of Chinese diplomacy, Qi Gang, on relations with the US, he said that President Biden recognizes "the need to commit more in Africa", but considered that there is no competition between countries.

"We think that African countries must make their choices, work with companies and countries that want to invest in the community, hire local workers and pay them good salaries, offer medical assistance. These are the partnerships that make the economy grow", he declared, underlining that one should work transparently and openly and not create debt traps that will "asphyxiate" the next generation.

"Loans or financing that subjugate future generations to debt traps is dangerous for any country, there is no need to mortgage the future and there are many examples in the world of what happens when these debts accumulate and go bankrupt", highlighted the official.

In January, Angola, which has China as its main creditor, took on a new credit worth 249 million dollars (231 million euros) to develop broadband in the country.

Last year, President João Lourenço inaugurated, in Luanda, a technological park of the Chinese Huawei (the third in Africa, after Egypt and South Africa), in an investment of around 60 million dollars (58 million euros) , which will train 10,000 Angolans and has centers for innovation and advanced technologies.

Amos Hochstein said that the US presents financing alternatives through institutions such as the DfC (International Development Finance Corporation) and Eximbank, with Africell (a telecommunications operator that entered Angola last year) being an example of this support.

"It offers a good product, we are proud to finance its entry into Africa and it is a good example because they use European technology - not just American", he highlighted.

Asked about the risks to national security of developing broadband in partnership with the Chinese, he replied that "countries must make their choices in terms of telecommunications operators that offer security", especially at a time when progress is being made towards 5G and data protection and security against cyberattacks is increasingly important.

"We are not going to tell a country, don't use this or that technology, we think they should use reliable companies, but we don't just want to focus on what cannot be done", he stressed.

Amos Hochstein noted that the US is already an important investor in Angola in areas such as telecommunications, renewable energy and critical infrastructure and welcomed the efforts of João Lourenço in pacifying the region.

As for Serguei Lavrov's visit to Angola, also last month, he considered that the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs "would be better off in Moscow, trying to put an end to the war" and reiterated that they are not out to compete with anyone and that countries have the right to make choices.

"Our position on this horrible war is that it's not just affecting innocent lives in Ukraine, it's affecting all of Europe and the whole world, we must stand together and demand that Russia end this war, and it can do it tomorrow, withdrawing their troops from the country they invaded," he exhorted.

The USA also supports the investment of Sun Africa (photovoltaic park that is being installed in the south of Angola) because they consider that solar energy is "clearly an advantage" of Africa and are "enthusiastic supporters of the Lobito corridor that will connect countries in region, including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, to the port of Lobito, "making investments more bankable, reducing costs and increasing opportunities".

The Lobito corridor is formed by the port of this city and the Benguela Railway (CFB), being the fastest export route for copper, cobalt and other ores to countries such as Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"We have given strong support to the winning consortium [where Mota-Engil is also located], we encourage investment, we work with the leaders of the three countries involved and we will continue to discuss financing options", concluded Joe Biden's envoy.


Permita anúncios no nosso site


Parece que está a utilizar um bloqueador de anúncios
Utilizamos a publicidade para podermos oferecer-lhe notícias diariamente.