Rwanda: Angolans in Rwanda Prepare to Celebrate Independence

9 November 2019

Angolans in Rwanda are preparing to celebrate their national independence on Monday next week.

The Angolan independence is a national holiday that is marked by Angolans on 11 November each year to commemorate the country's freedom from Portuguese colonial rule that happened on the same date in 1975.

At a press conference organised at the Angolan embassy in Kigali, the Angolan envoy to Rwanda, Eduardo Filomeno Leiro Octavio took the journalists through some pre-colonial history of his country, the struggle for independence, and the current state of affairs in the country.

The southern Africa country was first visited by the Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão in 1484.

Over the following centuries, the Portuguese established settlements and trading posts along the Angolan coast.

It was not until the 20th century that Portuguese control extended to the interior region of Angola.

The 1950s saw the creation of political groups wanting self-determination for Angola, and these were one of the first movements towards the country's independence.

Due to the Portuguese' unwillingness to give the country its independence, an armed guerilla campaign began in 1961.

The war would later come to be known as the Angolan War of Independence.

Speaking in the press conference, Ambassador Filomeno said that after defeating colonialism and the conflicts that came a few years after independence, the country embarked on constructing relations with fellow countries.

Here, he cherished the ties between Rwanda and Angola and the opportunities they present.

Among the corporation relations, Filomeno said that Angola appreciates Rwanda's open visa policy to Angolans who want to travel to Rwanda.

"Angolans are entrepreneurs and they want to come to Rwanda for business," he said.

In 2018, Angola also waived visa requirements for Rwandan citizens, allowing them to enter Angolan territory without visas.

Among other bilateral relations, the two countries also inked a security and public order agreement earlier this year.

The deal, among other things, facilitates the sharing of technical advice and information in law enforcement, fighting violent crimes, terrorist acts, corruption as well as organized transnational crimes.

Filomeno said that plans are going on to see that RwandAir will start connecting the two cities of Kigali and Luanda the capital of Angola,

"This will be an opportunity for entrepreneurs and businessmen who want to fly in between the two countries for business."

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