"For 19 years the country has benefited from the gains of peace in all areas of political, economic and social life," said João Lourenço, in a message released on the Day of Peace and National Reconciliation, which was marked on April 4.
The day marked the signing of a memorandum of understanding for a cease-fire between the government forces of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), in power since the independence of the country, and those of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), after years of civil war.
In the message, João Lourenço, highlighted "the gains in deepening democracy, the freedoms and guarantees of citizens and a greater openness to the world."
"We have made significant advances in fighting corruption and improving the business environment," he added, also pointing to the start of reconstruction with "important investments" in infrastructure and the country's economy.
"We have started, with some success, the diversification of the economy, a process that would have progressed much further if it were not for the emergence of the covid-19 pandemic," he considered.
For João Lourenço, these are achievements that Angolans want to see guaranteed, considering that this will only be possible if peace and national reconciliation are "preserved and consolidated.
"The past was painful, of much anguish and suffering. Today, the collective commitment of the entire nation is to do everything to avoid and definitively prevent the return of that dark and tenebrous cloud that fell over Angola and remained for almost three decades," said João Lourenço.
In the message, the President paid tribute to "all Angolans" who have sacrificed or lost their lives "to make possible the end of the armed conflict and the achievement of definitive peace" in the country.
He also addressed a "word of recognition" to former President José Eduardo dos Santos, "for the magnanimity shown at the time of the events that determined the opportunity to make peace.
On Friday, during lunch with a group of historical figures of the national liberation struggle, the head of state had already stressed that Angola "rose from the ashes to life" on April 4, 2002, the date that the country registered the end of the war, being "the obligation of every Angolan to protect that life.
The civil war in the country began in the post-independence period from Portugal and lasted, with intermittent truces until 2002.
Peace was achieved following the death in battle of Jonas Savimbi, leader and founder of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).
On April 4, 2002, the head of the armed forces of the MPLA government, General Armando da Cruz Neto, and the chief of staff of UNITA, General Abreu Muengo Ukwachitembo Kamorteiro, signed the peace agreement at the National Assembly in Luanda.
It was the third agreement between these two factions of the civil war in Angola after Bicesse (Portugal) in 1991 and Lusaka (Zambia) in 1994.