25 September 2007

Angola: Premier Exhorts Scholars to Review Country's Pre-Colonial History

Luanda — The Angolan Prime Minister, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos, on Tuesday in Luanda appealed to scholars and researchers to deepen the quest to find the historical past of Angola and its peoples, before the presence of the Portuguese.

The Premier made this exhortation at the opening session of the Third International Meeting on the History of Angola, which for four days will analyse matters relating to the history of Angola that up until now have not been properly studied or have been barely looked into by researchers.

According to the Premier "we have to be more ambitious in the sense that we should go back in time and deepen the research, aimed at finding our historical past, from before the arrival of the Portuguese, that is, the great migrations of the Bantu people in Africa and expansion".

"This is an indispensable exercise for a loyal review of our history", he said, stressing that despite the existence of a vast documental record, which covers certain epochs, there is no reason why research should not be done to confirm the existing data.

Thus, the Angolan Prime Minister is of the opinion that it is important to carry out a broad consultation on the various research sources in the country and the world, including the unwritten ones, that is, those relating to the oral tradition, mastered by the elders, through their vast knowledge.

In this sense, he reiterated the support of the government to all actions that aim at the development of the country, because, he stressed, "the written compilation of data about the history of Angola constitutes one of the pillars of our country's existence".

Nevertheless, he warned about the need to be neutral, transparent and professional, when analysing the facts relating to Angola's history, so that there is no omission, alteration or tampering of data.

The Premier advanced, as examples, that some of the necessary information are those relating to the evolution of Angola's history, from the arrival of the Portuguese navigator Diogo Cão up until now, the alliances made between the Portuguese and the different kingdoms that existed in Angola, the origins of Christianity, the migrations of the different ethnic groups, the slave trade and the national liberation struggle, just to name a few.

After the closure of the opening ceremony of this meeting, Fernando Dias dos Santos inaugurated, in the same venue, a bibliographic exhibition, with transcript documentation and some studies on the History of Angola.

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