Angola: President João Lourenço Regrets Arrest of Journalists

President of Angola João Lourenço (file photo).

Luanda — The President of the ruling MPLA party, João Lourenço, regretted this Thursday the arrests by the National Police of duly accredited journalists and in the full exercise of their functions, during Saturday's foiled protest.

João Lourenço, who was speaking at the opening of the 4th ordinary meeting of the MPLA Central Committee, said he hoped that the situation, which occurred during the attempt to demonstrate frustrated by the PN, would not happen again.

Last Saturday dozens of people, encouraged by civil society activists and members of UNITA party, tried to protest against the failure to set a date for local power elections, the lack of employment and better social conditions.

At the same meeting, the leader of MPLA, recalled that young people are the majority of the Angolan population and the country is very proud of its young people.

"We are very proud (...) not only of what they have already given to the country, if we take into account that it was young people who freed the country from the colonial yoke, but also because young people are the main staff who ensure" the important sectors of national life, João Lourenço said.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, he recalled that the country is not standing still.

In the economic context, the President of the Republic also reaffirmed his commitment to domestic production of basic agricultural and industrial goods.

According to João Lourenço, one of the intentions of this bet is to increase the supply of agricultural and industrial goods in order to reduce imports, increase exports and guarantee more jobs, essentially for the youth.

According to the President of MPLA, the increase in the offer of jobs will happen with the coming into operation, soon, of important industries, built with public money, which have been stopped by harmful management.

The same will happen, he also pointed, with the implementation of the transport programs and communication ways, as well as the Integrated Plan of Intervention in the Municipalities (PIIM).

According to João Lourenço, as it happens in the rest of the world, also in Angola, as a consequence of the harmful effects of Covid-19, the labour market has contracted, because there are companies which have closed and others which, due to the fulfilment of the measures imposed by Covid-19, work only with part of their manpower.

He welcomed the opening of new industrial production plants, which were engaged in imports and now, although the employment market has contracted, are engaged in marketing.

"The effort that the government and the private business sector have been making to maintain and create jobs is visible to all, but full employment is not achieved in times of economic crisis and a profound world pandemic," he stressed.

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