Windhoek-Brazilian Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes Ferreira arrived in Namibia yesterday morning to kick off his round of diplomatic discussions with southern African countries over the next eight days.
Ferreira is scheduled to have discussions with Namibian Minister of Foreign Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nand-Ndaitwah in Windhoek today.
A communiqué on Ferreira’s visit by the Brazilian Foreign Affairs Ministry noted that Brazil maintains “a prominent naval cooperation project with Namibia, which began in 1994 and has already resulted in the formation of more than 1,000 Namibian military personnel in Brazilian schools, contributing to the common goal of promoting peace and security in the South Atlantic.”
“The mission of Ferreira gives concrete form to the priority that Brazil attributes to relations with Africa. Brazilian political engagement on the continent has strengthened multiple strands of cooperation, trade and investment in the last decades.
“The visit reaffirms these ties and opens up prospects for cooperation, focusing on Africa as one of the most promising regions for the celebration of economic and commercial partnerships and an actor destined to assume increasing prominence in the global scene,” read the communiqué.
From Namibia, Ferreira is expected to visit Botswana, then Malawi the next day, before traveling to Mozambique, the only country that would receive an extended visit of two days on 11 and 12 May.
There, Ferreira is expected to have discussions with ministers of foreign affairs, agriculture, mineral resources and energy, among others.
Mozambique is the largest Brazilian cooperation partner, with pioneering and structuring projects that cover areas of health, agriculture, education and vocational training. The country is also an important destination for Brazilian investments, whose stock has reached US$9 billion dollars (about N$154 billion).
Ferreira will also be witness the inauguration of Mozambique’s Nacala Logistics Corridor, an important investment of Vale in partnership with the state-owned Portos and Railways of Mozambique. The project, which has given Brazil the status of the country’s largest foreign investor, is expected to contribute to the development of the Mozambican and Malawian economies.
Ferreira is also expected to sign a number of agreements in Mozambique, including the Social Security Agreement and the Memorandum of Understanding for the Establishment of Political Consultations.
In Botswana, Ferreira is expected to reaffirm Brazil’ support for the Botswana’s development and the strengthening of relations in defence and trade.
It would, however, be the first time that a Brazilian foreign minister visits Malawi since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1964.
The Brazilian foreign ministry notes that the relationship with Malawi has diversified in recent years with the launching of a cooperation and investment agenda. “During the visit, the Memorandum of Understanding for Facilitation of Business Visas, the Visa Waiver Agreement for Diplomatic, Official and Service Passports and the Agreement for the Exercise of Activities Paid by Dependents will be signed,” noted the foreign ministry.
Ferreira would conclude his southern African visit in South Africa, where he is expected to discuss issues of cooperation in terms of the India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum and the role of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.