Angolan Foreign Minister Marks Forty Years of Independence and Looks Ahead

On Monday, November 16, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted a high-level breakfast roundtable with H.E. Dr. Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, Minster of External Affairs for the Republic of Angola.

Africa Center Director Dr. J. Peter Pham welcomed participants, highlighting in his introduction the fortieth anniversary last week of Angola’s national independence, and moderated the discussion.

In his opening remarks, Chikoti underscored the progress Angola has made over the course of the four decades, especially since ending the civil war in 2002. The discussion focused on Angola’s perspective on several regional security and governance issues, including the crisis in Burundi, security in the Gulf of Guinea, the conflict in South Sudan, and the upcoming deadline for a political transition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Chikoti emphasized Angola’s preference for peace and stability and also highlighted the importance of the private sector in contributing to regional security and prosperity. The minister likewise addressed US-Angolan relations, applauding the increased US investment in the country and calling for more bilateral cooperation in military and education sectors. Finally, Chikoti briefly touched on several domestic issues, including human rights and corruption.

H.E. Agostinho Tavares da Silva Neto, Ambassador to the United States from the Republic of Angola, accompanied Chikoti. Also participating in the event was the Honorable Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs; Catherine Byrne, Senior Director for Africa Affairs at the National Security Council; Amanda Dory, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs; Todd Haskell, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs; the Honorable Johnnie Carson, former Assistant Secretary for State for African Affairs; the Honorable Constance Berry Newman, former Assistant Secretary for State for African Affairs and Africa Center Senior Fellow; and retired General Carter Ham, former Commander of the US Africa Command, among others.