WASHINGTON — Angolan President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço addressed an issue that African leaders had been concerned about before the end of his visit in the Oval Office. A promised visit by Biden during 2023 to Africa has not occurred. So Lourenco raised the point during the photo opportunity.
“Mr. President, one more for the Angolan people. They are looking for you. Will you visit Angola, Mr. President?
“PRESIDENT BIDEN: I’ve been there, and I’ll be back.
“Q I didn’t get it, Mr. —
“PRESIDENT BIDEN: I’ve been there, and I will be back.”PRESIDENT BIDEN: I’ve been there, and I will be back.
“PRESIDENT LOURENÇO: (As interpreted.) I’ll invite President Biden to visit Angola. Later on, we’ll negotiate the dates when the visit will take place.”
Lourenco came with the leverage of leading Africa’s leading oil exporter and the nation at the end of the rail line for many of the most coveted industrial minerals. “I would like to seize this opportunity to thank you, President Joe Biden, for having been the first U.S. president to change the cooperation paradigm between the U.S. and the African continent.
“I was here for — in Washington, D.C., for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. And at that time, President Biden promised to have a different look at Africa. He needed to provide the infrastructure which is necessary for the involvement of our continent.
“Of course, the U.S. engagement in Lobito corridor in telecommunication and energy — mainly green energy — is an evidence of that support because infrastructures like those will help the country (inaudible) not in Angola only but also the whole African continent.
“So, this is a new page that has been turned in the U.S.-Africa relations. And that’s thanks to you, Mr. President,” said the Angolan president.
Biden touted a $1 billion investment in the Lobito Corridor, refurbishing a train to Zambia and eventually to the Indian Ocean and as much as $1 billion for renewable energy to meet a goal of 75 percent renewable energy by 2029,