17 October 2017

Angola: Head of State Pledges Mandate Focused On Citizens

Luanda — The Angolan Head of State, João Lourenço, last Monday pledged that his mandate will be focused on the valuing of the citizens, as well as will adopt an open, inclusive and participative governance, counting on the collaboration of those Angolans that are committed to the nation.

João Lourenço was delivering his State of the Nation Address at the opening of the 2017/2018 Legislative Year, as mandated by the Constitution.

He reiterated his commitment to the rule of law and strengthening of the democratic system, as well as called on MPs and government officials to perform their duties with responsibility, honesty and shrewdness in the defence of the national interest.

The Angolan President went on to say that the reinforcement of the democratic system implies an exaltation of the patriotic values, promotion of the respect for the institutions of the state and fundamental liberties.

He spoke of the need for a more efficient public administration, investment in the training and dignifying of public servants, enticing young cadres into the system and provide a just remuneration.

João Lourenço defended also that special attention will be paid to the performance of firms, so that they can guarantee employment and contribute to the sustainability of the families and the economy.

He pledged greater transparency in public contracts, major commitment of the Court of Audits and the various inspection services or organs.

In the same speech, the president pointed out as one of the main challenges for his five-year term the implementation of the local governments, with a view to taking state services closer to the citizens, having also promised to promote the creation of associations, valuing trade unions and other professional organisations.

João Lourenço defended a speedier justice system, one that must be more and more committed to just and ethical decisions, alongside the need to continue the reforms in this area.

He appealed to the MPs to ensure the draft Penal Code and draft Criminal Lawsuit Proceedings Code are approved in this legislative year, with the aim of bringing about speed in justice administration and raise people's trust in the system.

To him "to invest in justice is fundamental for the maintenance of social peace, having in view economic development (...)".

In the economic perspective it is highlighted the fact that the Head of State wants to provide fiscal incentives to those firms that accept to invest in the interior of the country, with a view to contributing to the reduction of regional asymmetries, poverty and increase jobs and the income of rural families.

He announced the drafting of a competition law, soon to be submitted to the National Assembly (Angolan Parliament), which is intended to eliminate the existing market imperfections in the economy, such as put an end to monopolies.

He also announced other bills for other sectors, with highlight on education and health.

The Angolan Head of State spoke of the need to have rural areas electrified, family agriculture boosted, the necessity of investments in mechanised farming, as well as announced the granting of incentives to companies that will be operating in the field of farming products transportation from the production areas to the cities.

He deemed it important to start focusing more on alternative sources of energy, such as solar and wind power, as well as tackling environmental issues.

João Lourenço also deemed essential to invest more in the internationalisation of the Angolan culture, especially in regard to aspects like music, fashion, literature and cuisine.

He defended the creation of cultural centres in all municipalities of the country and the need to reinforce the role of the country's indigenous languages by integrating them in the education system.

The president also recognised that churches in Angola are strong partners of the state, having appealed, however, for adequate exercise of the religious freedom. "We must not confuse faith with business and entrepreneurial activity", he warned.

Finally, the Head of State expressed his concern for the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), having wished that the Congolese people and politicians find, through dialogue, a solution to the crisis which can guarantee effective peace and stability in this neighbouring country.

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