Angola: President Addresses Parliament for Fourth Time

Luanda — For the fourth time since he took office on 26 September 2017, the President of the Republic, João Lourenço, addresses Angolans on 15 October from Parliament in the traditional speech on the State of the Nation.

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Presidente da República, João Lourenço, discursa na abertura da III Sessão Legislativa da IV Legislatura da Assembleia Nacional (Arq)

João Lourenço's speech, which emanates from a constitutional imperative, will mark the high point of the opening ceremony of the 4th Legislative Session of the IV Legislature of the National Assembly. As in 2017, 2018 and 2019, the Angolan President addressed the Nation in a very complex context for Angola, from an economic, social and epidemiological point of view, and his speech is therefore eagerly awaited, internally and by the Angolan diaspora. In this new visit to Parliament, the statesman will present the measures implemented by the Government, throughout the year, and the public policies recommended for the resolution of the main problems, promotion of the well-being of Angolans and for the country's development. The presentation of the speech on the State of the Nation represents a unique moment for the President of the Republic to speak about the impact of his governance policies and to take stock of the main achievements and difficulties encountered during the current year. In 2017, for example, on his first trip to Parliament, for this very purpose, João Lourenço listed a number of priorities that he has been seeking to achieve, focusing on diversifying the economy and strengthening the democratic system. He promised, in this regard, to invest in the qualification and dignification of civil servants, to continue modernising the Public Administration, based on the simplification of administrative procedures and the reduction of costs to be incurred by citizens and companies. He also assured that he would work towards greater transparency in the procurement of services by the Public Administration, and that the Local Power would be moved from the constitutional text to the reality of the facts, so that the State would be closer to the citizens. He promised to invest in a faster judicial system that was increasingly committed to justice, in addition to moving forward with a programme of export promotion and import substitution, in which the main player would be the private sector, both domestic and foreign. João Lourenço spoke of creating the conditions for serious investment in agriculture and manufacturing, committing himself to increasing the participation of these sectors in the GDP structure, in order to stop depending on the oil industry, among other promises. In 2018, in his turn, the President of the Republic returned to the "house of laws" and made a detailed assessment of his first year of governance, having highlighted, in his message, the issue of loans resulting from economic diplomacy. He stated categorically that the Government had already begun "to put the brakes on and even to annul some of the practices that most harmed the public treasury and the interests of the vast majority of the people", confirming the promise made that no one would have "privileges before the law". He also took stock of the Macroeconomic Stabilisation Programme, implemented from January 2019, considering the results obtained to be encouraging, in addition to mentioning the Intermediate Plan, which covered the period from October 2017 to March 2018. It was a programme that, after about nine months of implementation, already had "encouraging results" and was a necessary means for the country to achieve the objective of increasing domestic production, making the private business sector stronger and more competitive, promoting exports from the non-oil sector of the economy and reducing imports of essential consumer goods.

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