"I think this was the best visit I've ever made to Angola, the best visit I've ever made, I also want to thank the affection that President João Lourenço had with my delegation, perfect treatment and I just have to thank you, I'll give a score of 10 for this visit and next time I will give 10.5", Lula da Silva replied to Lusa.
Speaking to journalists, in the balance of his two-day visit to Angola, the Brazilian head of state said that the occasion served to signal Brazil's return to Angola and the strengthening of bilateral relations that have lasted for almost fifty years.
Taking stock of his visit to Angola to the Guimarães Rosa Institute (IGR) in Luanda, where the Ovídio de Andrade Melo Gallery opened this Saturday, the Brazilian President also expressed his country's willingness to share experiences with Angola on the "Zero Hunger" programme.
"I think Angola has all the conditions, I am having information about the water channel under construction in Cunene, I think it is extremely important, and we are interested in exchanging with Angola all the experiences of our social inclusion policies, taking into account the reality of each country", he said.
According to Lula da Silva, hunger can be combated "if countries understand that poor people have to be part of the nation's budget".
"It's no use starting to make the budget with so much for diplomacy, defense, health, education, everything is important, but you have to have the part of the poor people and that's what we managed to do and it worked in Brazil", he noted.
"If we provide conditions for small producers to produce, we will put an end to hunger", concluded the President of Brazil.
Creation of a general consulate in Luanda
Also on Saturday, Lula da Silva announced that Brazil will set up a consulate general in Luanda, the first in a Portuguese-speaking African country, to further strengthen relations with Angola, where almost 30,000 Brazilians live.
"With approximately 30,000 Brazilians, Angola is already home to our largest community in the entire African continent, which is why I instructed the Minister (of Foreign Affairs of Brazil) Mauro Vieira to study the opening of a general consulate in Luanda, which would be the first in a country of Portuguese language in Africa", he said.
The Brazilian head of state also announced that Luanda and Salvador will host, in 2025, a conference of intellectuals, as part of the 50 years of bilateral relations.
Education and culture marked the last day of the State visit of the President of Brazil to Angola, having unveiled the plaque at the Ovídio de Andrade Melo gallery, on display at the IGR, also known as Centro de Cultura Angola – Brasil.
Lula da Silva inaugurated the gallery, greeted the figures present in the auditorium, among them the Angolan writers Artur Pestana "Pepetela", Camões Prize, and Ondjaki, in a ceremony also marked by the exhibition of the Angolan folk music group "Nguami Maka".
He highlighted the importance of the building, located in Bairro dos Coqueiros, in the center of Luanda, which today houses the IGR, built in 1920 and which for decades housed the colonial elite until the Angolan independence war.
Regarding Ovídio de Andrade Melo, a figure honored in the space, the Brazilian head of state said that he was a "great Brazilian diplomat and humanist noted for his courage".
"Even under adverse political circumstances in Brazil he supported the struggle of the Angolan people for their independence, in his long diplomatic career, always accompanied by his wife, he was at the forefront of other tasks of great importance", he noted.
"This institute, the result of cooperation with Brazil, is a dynamic space where our cultures meet, here different generations of Brazilian and Angolan intellectuals and artists contribute to the cultural scene of Luanda", he noted.
He reaffirmed, in his speech, that the return of Brazil to Africa will also take place through the paths of culture and promised the re-edition of the conferences of intellectuals from Africa and the diaspora, an event already held in Senegal, in 2004, and in Salvador in 2006.
"This initiative that brought together intellectuals from both sides of this river, called the Atlantic, as part of the preparations for the 50 years of diplomatic relations present between our countries, in 2025, we are going to repeat this conference in Luanda and Salvador", he guaranteed.
Lula da Silva ended his intervention with a quote from the Angolan writer Pepetela: "There is nothing worse in a man than a lack of imagination, it is the same in a couple, it is the same in politics, life is a constant creation", he alluded.
In relations between Brazil and Angola, it is necessary to "dream high and dream far away", he concluded, with strong applause from those present.
At the end of the ceremony, which was also honored by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Angola, Téte António, the Brazilian President invited the musical group "Nguami Maka" for a photo and, following this, the Brazilian delegation took the stage and danced the samba to the sound of performers of traditional instruments from Angola.
Also during his visit to Angola, Lula da Silva invited João Lourenço to participate in the G20 summit, which will take place in September next year in Rio de Janeiro. "I want to take the opportunity to invite President João Lourenço to participate in the G20 meeting during the Brazilian presidency that will start in December of this year and we will hold the next G20 meeting in Rio de Janeiro, possibly in September 2024", he said.