Anxious to diversify its economy, to further process its raw materials in the country and to increase its trade with its neighbours, Angola has given priority to strengthening regional ties, relying on global and regional organizations such as the United Nations, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, the African Union, the Ports Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Developing regional trade across SADC

The Angolan government is seeking to increase the refining capacity of crude oil and other associated petrochemical products in Angola to supply a steadily growing SADC market. This, he hopes, will not only ensure increased value creation for Angola, but will also ensure security of supply for Angola and the region, as well as help boost sectors such as agriculture and electricity generation in the region that depend on products such as fertilizers and gas. Based in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, SADC is an intergovernmental organization made up of 16 southern African countries, including Angola, Botswana, Comoros, DRC, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The main objective of SADC is to promote regional socio-economic cooperation and integration among member countries as well as to foster political relations and security in the region. In 2019, HE Jofre Van-Dúnen Júnior, Angolan Minister of Trade, expressed his ministry’s commitment to put in place the conditions required to bring Angola into the SADC Free Trade Area, an agreement aimed at strengthen economic development and contribute to the improvement of national and cross-border exchanges. , and foreign investment.

Towards better Angola-Rwanda cooperation

Marking an important step in the bilateral relations between Angola and Rwanda, the Permanent Joint Cooperation Commission explored new areas of cooperation between the two countries in the areas of education, finance, defense and security, vocational training, infrastructure and tourism, among other sectors, adding to agreements previously concluded in the sectors of health, justice and agriculture. After signing nine different agreements, including the agreement to avoid double taxation, the extradition agreement and agreements on mutual legal assistance and the transfer of sentenced persons, at the first joint session of the commission, which was held in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, in April this year, the delegation was led by the Angolan Minister of External Relations, HE Ambassador Tete António and the Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, HE Dr Vincent Biruta. As countries seek to strengthen regional cooperation in the coming years, the second session of the Commission is expected to take place in Luanda in 2024.

Bilateral cooperation Angola, DRC

As a member of SADC and the intergovernmental organization, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, Angola and its neighbour, the DRC is closely involved in international relations, holding high-level contracts related to the peace, stability and security in the region. With the aim of expanding exploration and production in the hydrocarbons sector while accelerating infrastructure growth and developing a regional market, the DRC has opened up to improved cooperation with its regional counterparts, including Angola, to develop energy exploration and production. In October 2021, HE Minister António together with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the DRC, HE Cristophe Lutundula Apala and the Minister of Regional Integration, HE Didier Mazenga Mukanzu, signed a verbal process and a trade agreement with the aim of strengthening bilateral cooperation. between the two countries.

Angola and Zambia improve energy relations

Zambia is one of the world’s largest producers of copper and other key minerals with an ever-increasing demand for energy to process these minerals. Angola is positioning itself to be able to meet this growing demand for energy, both in refined products and in the production of electricity. In an effort to help reduce energy poverty in sub-Saharan Africa and improve the production of domestic oil and gas resources, Angola and Zambia signed a cooperation agreement in April 2022 for the latter to hold a stake in the next Lobito refinery in Angola, a future refinery. located in the Angolan province of Benguela and scheduled to be commissioned in 2026 with a refining capacity of 100,000 to 200,000 barrels of oil per day. The signing of the agreement was described by Zambia’s Energy Minister, HE Peter Chibwe Kapala, as part of Zambia’s efforts to improve energy relations with SADC member countries and to ensure security and energy accessibility in the region.

Angola strengthens ties with Senegal

As part of the first-ever visit to Angola by a Senegalese Head of State, HE President Macky Sall met with his counterpart, HE President João Lourenço at the Presidential Palace in Luanda in May 2022 to discuss the strengthening of international relations between the two countries, laying the foundations for strengthening mutual cooperation in economic development. With Angola recently elevated to the rank of Africa’s leading oil producer, Angola and Senegal have sought to strengthen their cooperation in economic development, particularly with regard to oil and gas reserves, two heads of state who signed six cooperation agreements in the areas of justice, trade, tourism and oil, as well as the promotion and protection of investments in Luanda.

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