Luanda — The everlasting peace achieved in 2002 permitted the construction of new universities, hospitals and free movement of people and goods countrywide, said on Saturday MPLA MP, João Pinto.
The MP said so when addressing a workshop on "Gains of peace" addressed to students of teaching institutions in Angola.
"In 2000, there was only in Angola one public university, today with the achievement of peace, there are more than 20 higher education institutions in all capital cities", he said.
In another sector, the MP said that the economy, inflation and the value of the money was almost nothing, the net international reserves for exporting goods were not closer to USD 10 billion, but now with peace it reaches to USD 30 billion.
It was on 4 April 2002 that the Angolan people enthusiastically witnessed, in the "Palácio dos Congressos", in Luanda, the embrace of solidarity between children of the same country, until then split apart by the war, during a ceremony marked by the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding Complementary to the Lusaka Protocol.
The accord, signed by the chief of State of the Angola Armed Forces (FAA), gen. Armando da Cruz Neto, and the then member of the High Command of the UNITA's armed wing, Geraldo Abreu Muendo "Kamorteiro", changed the course of the history of the Republic of Angola.
The event, which marked the end of a long lasting war which killed, displaced, maimed and orphaned thousands of people, was witnessed by the head of State, José Eduardo dos Santos, representatives of the international community and various national entities.
Since then, the FAA and UNITA military chiefs began to take significant steps to implement the ceasefire, by holding the formal ceremony of incorporation of the officers and soldiers from the rebel movement into the national armed forces.
Thus, the 4 April 2002 became one of Angolan people's greatest achievements after the national independence on 11 November 1975, setting a turning point in the political process and development of Angola. The date was declared a national holiday and set a historical reference in the struggle of the Angolan people.
Today, the country is experiencing an environment of lasting peace, achieved without the imposition of external forces, but as a result of the efforts made by Angolans themselves who understood that there was need for a cessation of hostilities and engagement in the process of completing the remaining tasks under the Lusaka Protocol, with a view to the reconciliation and reconstruction of the country.
For the first time, a protocol was signed towards peace in the country without any foreign mediation, in response to the most legitimate interests of the people of Angola.
Hence the general belief that this is a definitive peace, as it is consolidated on a day- to-day Angola, through practical actions and attitudes that require the contribution of all to become truly irreversible.
This reflects the intention of Angolans to remove all negative factors of the past, with a view to a unified, consolidated and mature homeland, guided by the values of national unity, democracy, freedom, social justice and respect for one another.
"He who truly loves peace must learn to forgive, reconcile with the neighbour, thus contributing to a true and firm reunion of Angolans, despite the differences of opinion," said the President of the Republic, José Eduardo dos Santos on the occasion.
With peace achieved, new challenges arise ahead, in view of the need for an effort toward its consolidation, through the development of a set of actions aimed at fighting hunger and poverty.
While until 2002 more than four million Angolans were displaced, about 170,000 maimed, and there was an unemployment rate of about 43 percent, the last 12 years have recorded one of the major economic growths, with concrete signs of control of inflation, supported by a macro-economic policy recognized by major international institutions.
Angola stands as a country of the future, where the government has designed programmes and goals for reconstruction and a strong investment in the social sector.
The State Budget has now taken the social sector as one of its major concerns, with the inclusion of various programmes directed to the reinforcement of several measures designed to enhance a balanced economy.
With peace, Angolans are not only making economic and social achievements, but also promoting tolerance and respect for differences of opinions and encouraging a patriotic sentiment among the young people and children, while working to strengthen the institutions of a lawful and democratic State as indispensable premises to firmly take new steps towards the country's harmonious growth.