Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has made Africa a priority in Brazil’s foreign policy; to help the developing continent build a future of stability and development. Brazilian trade with Africa quadrupled since da Silva became president in 2002, reports claim.
Speaking in a summit of the West African regional grouping, Ecowas, in Santa Maria, Cape Verde, President da Silva said told a gathering of West African leaders that his successor would have a moral duty to increase trade and investment.
“Today we are united for the future. Brazil – not just me – took a political decision to make a re-encounter with the African continent,” da Silva was quoted by AP.
According to reports, President da Silva has toured Africa at least ten times, visiting 25 different countries, and emphasizing “South-South” (Africa- South America) relations. He said Brazil was determined to help eliminate hunger and poverty in Africa through trade, investment and the transfer of technology.
“This is a dream come true,” said Da Silva as he launched an international television station – TV Brasil Internacional – that broadcasts to African nations this year. The Brazilan head has also promoted cooperation on agricultural development and bio fuels, and said Brazil could never repay its historic debt to the continent.
Brazil would not be what it is today without the participation of millions of Africans who helped build our country. Whoever comes after me has the moral, political and ethical obligation to do much more,” da Silva added.
According to economic institutions, trade between Brazil and Africa has grown from $6bn to $24bn under President Lula. Brazilian companies have reportedly invested heavily in oil and mining, and have taken on big infrastructure projects across Africa.
Brazil, one of the last countries to abolish slavery in 1888 – is the second-largest black country in the world after Nigeria, with 76 million Afro-Brazilians out of a total population of 190 million.