L to R: H.E. Teresa Ribeiro, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Alternate Governor for Portugal, Hon. Pedro Luís da Fonseca, Minister of Economy and Planning, Alternate Governor for Angola and Mateus Magala, Corporate Services and Human Resources Vice President and Chair of the Lusophone Compact Steering Committee.
Luanda, Angola, 15 July 2019 -Angola is the latest African Portuguese speaking country to sign a country specific memorandum of understanding for the implementation of the Lusophone Compact, which aims to accelerate private sector development.
The Lusophone Compact is an initiative championed by the African Development Bank in the six Portuguese-speaking countries of Africa (PALOPs): Angola, Cabo Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe. The platform is anchored by three pillars, which include risk mitigation, investment products and technical assistance.
The agreement, between Angola, the African Development Bank and Portugal, was signed July 10 during the Luanda International Fair and was witnessed by over 300 participants, including representatives of the Angolan Government, development finance institutions, and international and local investors. The agreement follows the signing of the general Memorandum of Understanding for the Development Finance Compact for Portuguese-Speaking Africa ("Lusophone Compact"), which took place in November 2018 during the Africa Investment Forum.
Opening the conference, Minister of State for Economic Cooperation, Manuel Nunes Junior highlighted the importance of the private sector in accelerating economic growth and competitiveness through knowledge, investments and technology. His remarks were echoed by Hon. Pedro Luís da Fonseca, Minister of Economy and Planning Fonseca, who further emphasised the need for diversification of the Angolan economy an enabling environment for private sector development and complementary initiatives such as the Development Finance Compact for Portuguese-Speaking Africa.
The Bank was represented by Corporate Services and Human Resources Vice President and Chair of the Lusophone Compact Steering Committee, Mateus Magala, while H.E. Teresa Ribeiro, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation represented Portugal.
"Unfortunately, PALOPs do not share borders, however, they are interlinked by a common language, history and culture, as well as ambition for socio-economic development, which is a very strong asset," Magala said, adding that "the Compact serves to strengthen this connection and promote a new dimension in promoting rapid and sustainable economic development, while transforming PALOPs' economies into mature and developed economies."
As a tribute to Angola's historic, cultural and economic relationship with Portugal, the country-specific compact was signed on a day designated as "Portugal Day" during the international fair. Ribeiro reaffirmed Portugal's commitment of EUR 400 million as a guarantee to support implementation of the Compact. The guarantee will leverage private investments, creating room for the Bank to finance more bankable projects and technical assistance programmes in PALOPs.
The pipeline of projects for implementation under the Lusophone Compact in Angola include agriculture, energy, fisheries and infrastructure. The Bank and the Governments of Angola and Portugal will work closely with the African Investment Forum to advance private and PPP projects to bankable stages under the initiative.
Amba Mpoke-Bigg, Communication and External Relations Department, African Development Bank, tel: +225 57 25 77 00