At the last point of his two-day official visit to Angola, António Costa – accompanied by ministers Fernando Medina, António Costa Silva, João Gomes Cravinho and Maria do Céu Antunes – spent more than an hour at the Portuguese School in Luanda, always surrounded by dozens of of euphoric students with that program out of the usual routine.
The prime minister, with the school principal at his side, had animated conversations with some of them (children or teenagers) and entered several classrooms. In one of these classrooms, with students aged seven and eight, the teacher began by asking who knew António Costa. Almost everyone raised their hand.
One of the girls, Carolina, decided to ask the prime minister a question: "Do you know Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa? I'm a fan of his".
"Yes, I do. Do you want a message for him? I'll be with him this afternoon. I'll take a picture of you", immediately replied the leader of the Portuguese executive, then picking up his cell phone to take a picture. This Tuesday, mid-afternoon, António Costa leaves Luanda for South Africa, where, on Wednesday, he joins the President of the Republic to celebrate the Day of Portugal in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
The students wanted to know several things about António Costa. A boy asked him if he was reading any books.
"I'm reading a book called Independencia, by Javier Cercas, a Spanish writer", he clarified. He also heard a seven-year-old boy defend the following definition of relations between Portugal and Angola: "Far in the distance, but close in the heart".
António Costa liked it and, to testify to this closeness between the two peoples, he asked his Minister of Economy to speak to the students. "I was born in the center of Angola, in the province of Bié", said António Costa Silva.
Earlier, the head of the Portuguese Government was faced with a request from the chairman of the school's executive committee, Eduardo Fernandes, who said he would like to invest in special education, aiming to reinforce responses to the needs of inclusion.
In his brief speech, during the most institutional part of this visit, António Costa said that, with the investment that is being carried out, throughout the legislature, "the number of Portuguese schools abroad will practically double, which means a very important in a fundamental area of cooperation".
The Prime Minister also revealed that, on Monday, he had information that the President, João Lourenço, "made the political decision" in terms of integrating the Lubango school into the Portuguese School of Luanda from the next academic year.
In the first point of the programme, the prime minister visited the premises of Caixa Angola, an entity in which Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) owns 51 percent and which this year celebrates three decades of activity in the Angolan market.
In the part open to the press, CGD executive director Francisco Santos said that the national public bank is present in 19 countries, of which five are in Africa: Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe and South Africa.
With Finance Minister Fernando Medina attending the presentation, Francisco Santos stressed that Caixa Angola has 27 branches, is present in nine provinces and has 514 employees.
"We are a medium-sized bank, but we are at the top of Angolan customer preferences", he maintained, before the intervention by CGD chairman Paulo Macedo, which took place without the presence of journalists.
With regard to the macroeconomic evolution of Angola, the progressive reduction of the public debt, the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the last three years was praised. In 2023, growth of over 3 percent is estimated.
Despite a decrease in Angolan oil production, as a result of the external environment, revenue should remain unchanged. In this regard, an increase in tax revenue of 76 percent and a reduction in inflation to just over 10 percent were reported.