Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said Thursday that his government will prioritize the country's relationship with Africa, updating its policy towards the continent.
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Lula's statements came on the occasion of Africa Day, which is celebrated on May 25. At an event in Brasília to commemorate Africa Day and close the seminar Brazil-Africa: Relaunching Partnerships, the president affirmed that "our relationship with Africa is a State policy that crosses all of Brazilian society."
In this regard, Lula said that the South American country needs to expand its presence in Africa in a lasting way with the opening of embassies, cultural centers, and state institutions.
Thus, "the various government departments, with the active participation of the academic world, the media, and civil society," will work to foster this relationship as a priority, he said.
"Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the world. Its relevance in world trade is significant," the Brazilian president said while reaffirming Brazil's support for the African Union's entry into the G20.
Lunch in celebration of Africa Day. The resumption of relations with the African continent is a reunion of Brazil with itself. Recognizing the value of our African roots means celebrating Africa's contribution to our culture and renewing our ties.
According to the Brazilian president, the African Continental Free Trade Area, which came into force in 2021, is the largest in the world, with 1.3 billion people and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 3.4 billion dollars.
Lula also said that he will propose the extension of the International Decade for People of African Descent convened by the United Nations (UN), which ends in 2024.
The president further said that he wants the BRICS bank formed by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa to consolidate as a financing alternative and to strengthen the work with the African Development Bank.
The president stressed the importance of supporting the internationalization of Brazilian companies to respond to the African call for investment and generate knowledge, employment, and income.
Lula brought up common agendas and partnership opportunities in environmental issues, energy transition, communications, access to health, and the fight against hunger.