India-Angola ties: An Ideal Deal of Development

Underpinned by a vibrant energy partnership, the bilateral ties between India and Angola, one of the major oil producers in Africa, date back to pre-independence era of Angola when India, in an act of solidarity with the latter, supported Angolan freedom struggle against the Portuguese colonial rule till its attainment of independence in 1975. The ties between the two nations have been nurtured and brought up with a firm commitment towards each other. Since then, India has retained robust ties across decades with the reigning political establishment in Angola, i.e., MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola).

Reiterating their commitment to achieving new heights in bilateral ties between the two sides, the governments and people of both the nations have been contributing their strong will and efforts in various fields, including political, economical and commercial. With their strong and unwavering commitment towards nurturing the ties between them, both the nations have maintained a friendship and solid cooperation in various fields, including, regional as well as those in concern with the international agenda while on the other hand, mutual sympathy towards each other is highly visible in the efforts incorporated by India and Angola. The Non-Aligned Movement, since its inception, has been an epitome of mutual efforts and mutual cooperation ideology in taking the ties further ahead on economical, commercial and financial front.

Both nations, being the Member States of the Non-Aligned Movement, have acknowledged each other’s participation, unadulterated and permanent support on various levels and smooth economic and political ties which come out as manifestation of their warm and friendly relations since their establishment. The ideal deal of development, which India and Angola have been a manifestation of, encompasses the real motive of the very foundation of inception of the Non -Aligned Movement.

Be it the high-profile visits that include the much-remembered trip by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to Angola in May 1986 or it having been reciprocated by President José Eduardo dos Santos in April 1987 or Angola’s rich resource base including petroleum, diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, copper, feldspar, gold, bauxite, uranium to form a strong energy partnership or India sharing its technology expertise to form a multi-layered economic cooperation, both the nations have provided a host of opportunities for each other. All these instances of advanced expertise and opportunities are a manifestation of the strong and unwavering commitment India and Angola hold towards one another. Since the time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President João Lourenço met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit at Johannesburg in July 2018, the two sides had acquired a renewed push in their bilateral exchanges.

In a move to take these robust ties to newer heights, India and Angola held the first Joint Commission Meeting through video-conferencing. Held on September 7, 2020. The meeting was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister of India S. Jaishankar and Minister of External Relations of the Republic of Angola Ambassador Tete Antonio. Both the leaders, in order to foster the bilateral ties between the two nations, comprehensively reviewed the entire spectrum to diversify the trade basket, and discussions in the areas of political, economic, defence and security and development cooperation were held. Apart from this, both the nations discussed cooperation in health, agriculture, digitisation, telecom, pharmaceuticals and food processing.

The signing of 3 pacts between India and Angola, including agreement on visa exemption for holders of diplomatic, official and service passports, cooperation between the Ministry of External Relations of Angola and Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service and cooperation in the field of Health, are a clear stance of both the nations being in cooperation with each other towards promoting investment and trade ties. Also, both the nations have agreed to cooperate in the field of space so as to extend benefit to the Angolan health and education sectors.

Having acknowledged the excellent bilateral cooperation between the two nations, the two Ministers reaffirmed their commitment towards countering terrorism and also exchanged views on regional and global developments of mutual interest. The India-Angola Joint Commission also noted that the development cooperation between the two sides could be further fostered through lines of credit and buyer’s credit arrangements in order to enhance the capacity of Angolan entities.

Overall, the Joint Session between India and Angola is quite a manifestation of the efforts needed in line with NAM’s ideology to boost mutual interests and enhance respect towards each others’ territorial integrity while ensuring the peaceful co-existence with the Member States and the world.

Photo Credit : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_India.svg, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_Angola.svg

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