Merkel visits Angola to boost bilateral ties, discuss corruption

FILED - German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) meets with Joao Lourenco, President of Angola, during a welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace. Photo: Kay Nietfeld/dpa

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was meeting with Angolan President Joao Manuel Goncalves Lourenco on Friday, on the second leg of her three-day visit to southern Africa.

After talks in the capital Luanda that focused on bilateral political and economic relations in the capital Luanda, Merkel and Lourenco were expected to sign a scholarship programme as well as an aviation agreement between Germany and the oil-rich southern Africa nation.

The chancellor, who is accompanied by a delegation of business leaders, is expected to show her support for the Lourenco government’s reform course, particularly the fight against corruption.

The southern African nation’s political elite has been accused of endemic corruption for the past four decades.

Most recently, Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of former long-term president Jose Eduardo dos Santos and reportedly Africa’s richest woman, has come under investigation for embezzling millions of dollars of public money from a state oil company she headed.

In the afternoon, the chancellor and the president were expected to open a German-Angolan economic forum and engage in a conversation with representatives of civil society.

Merkel will also visit the National Museum of Anthropology. The collection is intended to provide information about the life and culture of Angola’s different population groups, with most of the pieces stemming from the collection of German ethnologist Hermann Baumann.

On Thursday, Merkel visited South Africa, where she met President Cyril Ramaphosa for talks on strengthening the countries’ business ties as well as the conflict in Libya.

South Africa is Germany’s largest economic partner in Africa.

The chancellor also attended a round-table discussion with German and South African business people and met students at the University of Pretoria’s new Future Africa campus.

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