November 16, 2023
Excellencies, Minister of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation Bragança and Minister of Commerce and Industry de Oliviera, American companies, entrepreneurs, students, alumni community, and visitors: good morning! Welcome to the first U.S. Fair! It is my great pleasure to be with you as we gather to celebrate our ever-growing friendship.
I also welcome members of the media because a free and open press is a crucial component of a mature and prosperous democracy.
In addition to celebrating the friendship between our peoples, we also celebrate International Education Week and Global Entrepreneurship Week.
This year, we are celebrating three decades of diplomatic relations between the United States of America and Angola.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the partnership between the U.S. and Angola has grown dramatically over these three decades, reflecting our leaders’ recognition that together, we can deliver positive outcomes for our people.
The U.S. embassy is a team of Americans and Angolans working together every day to advance and deliver results for the Angolan and American people. We have a simple motto to remember our goal: One Team, One Mission.
Our mission in Angola is to build bridges that lead to common prosperity, and that would not be possible without American businesses and other organizations doing their part. Thank you, for your hard work, for your efforts to spread the American way of doing businesses and American core values globally, and particularly in Angola.
American businesses are greatly improving the lives of Angolans. More than 70 U.S. companies are delivering on key projects including $900 million in financing for sub-Saharan Africa’s largest solar energy development program, a $250 million direct investment to enable the transformation of the Lobito Corridor and delivering 186 bridges across all of Angola’s 18 provinces. We are building reliable mobile telecommunications services, modernizing the national broadcasting system, providing cost effective drinking water solutions, improving aviation safety, and so much more.
As we have seen in recent years, health, safety, and the economy are interdependent. The United States is proud to be the largest bilateral contributor to the health care system in Angola. Programs such as the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) have saved lives all over Angola.
Likewise, good governance is critical to a democratic society. To that end, the United States supports the efforts of the Angolan government and civil society to root out corruption and increase transparency. Again, let me say – a free and independent media is critical to a democratic society and fosters a strong business environment, more foreign investment, and the increase of jobs for the Angolan people. We will continue to work with Angola towards this end.
Today, as we look at the potential of the next 30 years – the future looks bright.
All of you – as students, as future leaders have an extremely important role to play in building this future and strengthening the bridges between our countries.
We continue to face challenges to ensure that the world we live in makes room for everyone to be more diverse and inclusive. As we move forward, it is important to share our experiences, our challenges, and the lessons we learn. This is how we build bridges of understanding, partnership, and growth of more inclusive societies. Inclusion spurs innovation.
The principles of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion are pillars for a thriving economy. In our embassy, we encourage this spirit of innovation through our various exchange programs. For example, this year we sent thirteen Angolan coaches and athletes to the United States to exchange ideas
on building inclusive sports programs. Sports are a way to overcome sensitivities and transcend linguistic and socio-cultural differences and can be a sustainable source of income when added to business initiatives.
We also foster inclusion by working with local entrepreneurship programs, such as the “Who Wants to Be an Entrepreneur” program. This program was successfully implemented twice by our partner Acelera Angola, who is here today in support of Global Entrepreneurship Week. I am happy to hear they will lead a session today on university education and enhancing the business start-up culture.
Last year, we offered an Empowerment Leadership Access program for young women, with a goal of inclusion. The program provided a six-month training in entrepreneurship for women university students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
In the United States, entrepreneurship drives prosperity. And entrepreneurs play a critical role in finding solutions, fostering innovation, creating jobs, and generating prosperity through economic and social development. The some of the best lessons of entrepreneurship are taught in American universities. These universities help students to develop the skills necessary to develop their entrepreneurial vision.
For this reason, I am excited to introduce you to the American universities that are present here today. I invite everyone to visit the university tables to learn about the advantages of choosing higher education in America. Through our exchange programs, speaker programs, and relationships with Angolan partners, we are building a strong foundation to produce positive results for both our peoples.
In conclusion, I want to thank the BAI Academy for hosting our “U.S. Fair” today. To the Angolan government representatives, I am thankful for our deepening relationship. To the exhibitors and business representatives, thank you for your support and partnership. To the many volunteers who made this event possible, thank you for your willingness to serve. And of course, to the students, parents, and teachers; thank you for considering the United States for your future studies.
Throughout the past thirty years, American investment in Angola has been and continues to be above all for the people and with the people to build a fair relationship based on equity and partnership.
Today, I reiterate U.S. commitment to help build the bridge to a brighter future for both our peoples. A fair and prosperous future for Angolans and Americans!
I wish you all a great event! Thank you very much!