On November 11th, the Embassy of Angola held a reception marking 38 years of independence at the Daniel Hotel in Herzliya.
The Ambassador of Angola - Jose Joao Manuel,Antonia Manuel and senior staff of the embassy greeted guests with a warm handshake at the entrance hall.
Among the distinguished guests were Naftali Benett, Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, Minister of Religious Services and Minister of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs; foreign ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions, heads of organizations, senior members of Israel's business community and friends.
Here are some interesting points about Angola: Angola, officially, the Republic of Angola, is the world's twenty-third largest country, bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of Congo on the north, Zambia on the east, and the Atlantic Ocean on the west. The former Portuguese colony became an independent country in 1975 and was formally named the Republic of Angola. Interesting photos of Angola and images that revealed the changes in industry in the country in recent years, were projected on giant screens in the hall.
Before the ceremony, I had the opportunity to chat with the head of a delegation of Angolan agronomists who came to Israel in order to gain practical experience with modern Israeli agricultural methods. He told me that his team was staying at Kibbutz Beit Alpha and that they are traveling around Israel visiting agricultural fields in various parts of the country. At these fields, they are experiencing first-hand the agricultural methods in place here so they can implement these latest methods in their own country.
After playing the national anthems of Angola and Israel, the Ambassador of Angola, Jose Joao Manuelwelcomed all the guests and said that although Angola is a young country, it has enormous potential that guarantees its socio-economic development and offers great business opportunities.
Angola's goal is a consolidated peace and a stable political situation based on the pillars of democracy. He added that in spite of economic setbacks that have negatively affected the economies of many countries – the growth of the Angolan economy for 2013 is projected to reach 5.1%.
"Revenues from the sales of oil, gas, diamonds and other natural resources are being used, on one hand, to reconstruct infrastructures destroyed during the civil war, and on the other hand, to build a modern country with the capacity to provide commodities and services essential for the welfare of its inhabitants". Ambassador Manuel mentioned that this endeavor is already producing visible results, As a matter of fact, quite a few of the guests here today can confirm this, because they too, have been and continue to be a part of this mission of re-building Angola".
He said that Angola is growing with the help and cooperation of many countries, with Israel being one of them. The multifaceted cooperation between Angola and Israel involving human training is going through a very productive phase, mostly recognizable in the agricultural, energy, water, health, telecommunications, defense and security sectors.
In order to emphasize the fact that the Angolan market remains open for Israeli entrepreneurs interested in assisting in the building of the New Angola, he quoted the President of Angola, José Eduardo dos Santos who said: "There are businessmen from Israel who are interested in our market because Angola is a country that offers great business opportunities, allowing relations with Israel to be dynamic and multifaceted, thereby satisfying the interests of both countries."
Ambassador Manuel said that Angola is focusing on promoting cultural exchange visits by Angolan groups and artists to Israel, and with Israel sending cultural emissaries and groups to Angola. This has had a positive effect on bringing the nations closer than ever together.
Regarding Angola's foreign policy, Ambassador Manuel referred to the speech of the Vice President of the Republic of Angola Manuel Vicente, in front of the UN's General Assembly in New York where he made clear that the government of Angola supports the mediation efforts made by Secretary of State, John Kerry, and expressed the hope that the resumption of the bilateral dialogue between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority will result in a lasting peace settlement, culminating in the establishment of a Palestinian State that will coexist with the State of Israel.
Israel's Minister of Economy, Naftali Bennet, represented the Government of Israel and the People of Israel in congratulating the government and people of Angola. He praised the fact thatafter decades of civil war, Angola has developed into a stable, secure, and prosperous nation. "Angola’s recent elections have once again demonstrated the country’s commitment to stability, democratic values, and the rule of law". Minister Bennet mentioned that last year, Angola’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Georges Rebelo Chikoti, visited Israel, and added "This year we received João Baptista Borges, Minister of Water and Energy, who participated in an international conference in Tel Aviv. Such visits are invaluable, strengthening our diplomatic ties and reaffirming our bilateral relations". He continued: "Israel’s business initiatives in Angola are as vast as they are diverse, which include agriculture, mining, construction, water, energy, and more".
He added that Angola’s economic development, as seen in its capital Luanda and other cities and provinces, is quite impressive and Israel has been a proud partner in this endeavor.
Minister Bennet thanked Ambassador Manuel for all his hard work and wished him great success in his next position. Ambassador Jose Joao Manuel will soon be completing his role as Angola’s first Ambassador to Israel (ending what will be a 13 year tenure). "We will warmly welcome his successor and help the next Ambassador to continue to further the ties between our two countries".
Minister Bennet wished Angola peace, stability, and prosperity and praised the good relations and friendship between the State of Israel and the Republic of Angola and expressed the desire for it to grow ever stronger in the years to come.
Photo Silvia Golan