Luanda — Message to the Nation from the President of the Republic of Angola, João Lourenço, on the occasion of the 46th anniversary of the National Independence.
Dear fellow countrymen
When, in the dawn of November 11, 1975, the late President António Agostinho Neto solemnly proclaimed, on behalf of the Angolan People, before Africa and the World our National Independence, a new country was born and the hope of a whole People was sacred.
That night, together we celebrated with jubilation the culmination of a long and difficult journey. By proclaiming our Independence, we became free and equal, masters of our own destiny, we became, finally, proud ANGOLANS.
From that dawn onwards, our Flag floated high in the concert of nations and our Anthem, the anthem of freedom and hope, echoed loud and clear.
The colonial occupation was the first great test of our capacity for resistance, our fearless ability to fight for our rights and objectives, our unwavering unity in the face of great challenges and our firm will to win. United we fought and won the challenge of Independence.
This is therefore a moment to acknowledge and thank all those who, from the earliest days of colonisation, fought, sweated, shed their blood and gave their lives so that from the darkness of the night, the light of freedom would be born.
The achieved dream of Independence was, however, a means, so that the ultimate goal of building a prosperous society could be achieved.
Unfortunately, the joy hailed by National Independence was postponed soon after its inception. The dream proclaimed on 11 November 1975 of building a prosperous society for all was postponed.
The prolonged war shattered the lives of many Angolans, destroyed our country and prevented us from fulfilling the dreams of our Independence, postponed the country, jeopardised the future of several generations and delayed the fulfilment of our yearnings.
In this area too, our capacity for resistance, struggle, unity and strong will to overcome challenges were put to the test, but once again WE WON!
We achieved peace, maintained national unity and, with sincere forgiveness on the faces and in the souls of every Angolan, we reconciled the nation.
Indeed, the challenges of maintaining the conquests of peace, building national unity and building a reconciled nation are permanent and must be part of our daily lives.
In the almost 20 years of peace, together we have travelled a path that we should be proud of. The country has been rebuilt; we have built and rebuilt ports, airports and railways, we have invested in education and health by building and rebuilding schools and hospitals throughout the country and recruiting thousands of teachers, doctors and nurses.
We have increased the supply of housing, we have reduced the illiteracy rate, we have increased the number of scholarships at all levels of education, we considerably increased the number of hospital beds, means of diagnosis and treatment in the national healthcare system, we considerably increased investment in the production, transportation and distribution of electricity and drinking water on a national scale.
The achievements of National Independence and peace are indelible milestones of our history, which fill each one of us with pride and encourage us to face the long path ahead, to overcome the challenges of our time.
We have a past that makes us proud and drives us to build a better future. Making Angola a prosperous Nation is the main challenge of our time, it is possible and it is within our reach.
The road is long and complex, but I am sure that together we will succeed if we all work to maintain political and social stability, continuing to build and consolidate a democratic society based on the rule of law and respect for the Constitution and the Law.
To overcome today's challenges we need to continue investing our time, our knowledge and our resources in changing the economic structure of Angola by diversifying our economy.
Exploiting all the potential we have is crucial to relaunch and diversify the economy, encourage private national and foreign investment, promote growth, generate employment and make the social state sustainable.
In order to overcome today's challenges, it is essential that we continue to invest in the moralisation of society and in building a nation whose foundational pillars are moral values. We need to continue to mobilise every Angolan so that we take part in the fight to prevent and combat corruption.
The COVID-19 pandemic still does not allow us to celebrate our Independence as we would like, forcing us to continue with the biosecurity measures recommended by the health authorities and to massively adhere to the vaccination posts, so that we may more quickly create the conditions to return to normal life.
But despite this, today is a day of celebration, a day of victory, of hope and of glory, a day to reflect on our glorious path, and on how much we have ahead of us to overcome the challenges of our time.
As in the past, this is a time to believe, to fight and to work hard, to win the battle of development.
HONOUR AND ETERNAL GLORY TO THE HEROES OF THE MOTHERLAND!
LONG LIVE ANGOLA!