President Edgar Lungu has said that there is a need for Zambia and Angola to actualize the signed agreements in an effort to cement relations, adding that the two countries must implement the signed agreements, saying that not much has so far been implemented.
Speaking when he met Angola’s Ambassador to Zambia Azevedo Xavier Francisco who paid a courtesy call on him at State House on Monday, President Lungu said Zambia will continue to work towards boosting the cooperation that it shares with Angola and assured the Angolan government of Zambia’s utmost cooperation.
“Over the years Zambia has interacted with Angola with the two leaders of the two countries having cross-pollinated ideas at political party level and Government to Government on how to enhance this cooperation,” said the President.
President Lungu expressed concern at the slow implementation of signed cooperation agreements in various social and economic sectors between Zambia and Angola adding that there was need to expedite implementation.
“Some agreements have been signed and ceremonies have been held and it is time we moved to the next stage which is implementation. Of course, we have done some implementation but not much. With the road from Shangombo district in Western Province into Angola, we have not done enough. With your coming, l think that we will implement as much as possible,” adds the President.
The President adds that the people of Zambia were craving for the cementing of cooperation between Zambia and Angola and noted that the border between the two countries is expansive.
“But we also share a common culture and l do not see why we cannot collaborate. Hence, we need to provide a good road network to facilitate trade between Zambia and Angola. We also need the railway line coming from Angola into Zambia, and from Zambia into the Democratic Republic of Congo for us to have triangle trade,” added the President.
Earlier, Angola’s Ambassador to Zambia Mr. Azevedo Xavier Francisco informed the President that the Government of the Republic of Angola would like to boost the cooperation that exists between Zambia and Angola.
Mr Francisco said the Angolan government would like to expedite the implementation of all the agreements of cooperation which were signed between the two countries to actualise them.
The Ambassador acknowledged that Zambia and Angola were neighbouring countries whose people shared the same language and culture hence the need for the two countries to cooperate.
“We have specific areas of cooperation such as petroleum and oil, mineral resources, road and railway transport, salt and fish including the health sector among others,” said Mr Francisco through an interpreter Jose Luis.
The Ambassador added that the private sector in Angola was willing to fund the road and railway projects and only required the political will of the two leaders of Angola and Zambia.
The meeting was attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Malanji, Presidential Affairs Minister Freedom Sikazwe, Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Isaac Chipampe, Special Assistant to the Presidents for Economic and Development Affairs, and Political Hibeene Mwiinga and Chris Zumani Zimba respectively.
Angolan officials who attended the meeting were Alexander Lucas Tchilumbu and Joao Sergio de Andre Silva.