Historic State Visit of King Felipe VI of Spain to Angola. His First to a Sub-Saharan African Nation

His Majesty King Felipe VI made a historic visit to Angola on February 6, 2023. His first state visit to a sub-Saharan African country. 

He was accompanied by his wife, Queen Letizia, Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, and the Secretary of State for Commerce, Xiana Méndez.

istoric State Visit of King Felipe VI of Spain to Angola
King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia, and the Spanish delegations left Spain on February 6 for Angola

istoric State Visit of King Felipe VI of Spain to Angola
The King and Queen of Spain received by the President and First Lady of Angola

It took place after the official visit to Spain by the Angolan president, João Lourenço, in September 2021. The visit served to highlight and reinforce ties and bilateral relations between the two countries.

Their Majesties the King and Queen arrived at the Quatro de Fevereiro International Airport in Luanda, Angola on February 6, 2023, and they were received with a Cordon of Honor by the Spanish Ambassador to Angola, Manuel Lejarreta, and the Angolan Foreign Minister, Tète António.

istoric State Visit of King Felipe VI of Spain to Angola
he King and Queen of Spain received by the President and First Lady of Angola

istoric State Visit of King Felipe VI of Spain to Angola

On Tuesday, February 7, the King and Queen went to the Presidential Palace, where they were officially received by the President of the Republic of Angola, João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, and the First Lady, Ana Afonso Dias, with military honors.

They also visited the tomb of Angolan former President, Antonio Agostinho Neto by laying a wreath of flowers and observed a minute of silence. 

Agostinho Neto was a historic figure in Angola. After his death in 1979, the Angolan Government commissioned the design of a Mausoleum to house the remains of the President. The structure of the Memorial was inspired by Agostinho Neto's poem "O Caminho das Estrelas".

State visit of King Felipe VI to Angola
The King and Queen arrives in Luanda airport 

State visit of King Felipe VI to Angola
Arrival in Luanda airport 

King Felipe VI held a meeting with President Lourenço while Queen Letizia met with the First Lady, who is a trained economist and keen promoter of women's rights. 

Queen Letizia of Spain fashion state visit Angola
Queen Letizia and the First Lady of Angola visit a local hospital 

The First Lady is the president of the “Ngana Zanza” Foundation, in which women leaders from Angolan civil society discussed education as a factor of empowerment.

The President and the First Lady hosted a private lunch to Their Majesties the King and Queen. The King and Queen later proceeded to the Economic Bank and attended the presentation of the International University of Cuanza, which was inaugurated in Cuito in 2021 and which is integrated into the network of institutions collaborating with the Ibero-American University Foundation (FUNIBER).

Their Majesties attend National Assembly meeting in Angola 

Subsequently, Their Majesties the King and Queen inaugurated the Joan Miro exhibition "El Cántico del Sol y Las Maravillas Acrostáticas", made up of 52 original works divided into two series, which make up the Cultural Work of FUNIBER.

Queen Letizia of Spain fashion state visit Angola
Queen Letizia rewore her polkadot Jose Hidalgo dress

Queen Letizia of Spain fashion state visit Angola
Queen Letizia's fashion during their state visit to Angola. From left: Pink satin Hugo boss, Jose Hidalgo polkadot, Massimo Dutti red dress

Their Majesties also met the Spanish community in Luanda where the King said, "The relationship between Spain and Angola since its independence has been close, and very early on, Spain made a great effort to the development cooperation, sustained for thirty years, in particularly tragic times for this Nation. Throughout all this time, we have been able to lay the foundations that have allowed a good collaboration between us. We want to continue deepening these ties. And we are sure that the Angolan government and people want it too, therefore, I want to end my words by encouraging you to continue strengthening this close relationship, of which you are an essential component; the best expression of our friendship"

Early Wednesday morning, His Majesty the King together with President Lourenço, inaugurated the Angola-Spain business meeting: “Together building the future”, during which a Round Table was held focused on: “The construction of the development. Joint public and private effort”.

Angola is Spain's second-largest oil supplier in Sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria. There are between 35 and 40 Spanish companies present in the country, mainly in the energy and infrastructure sector. Among them are Elecnor, Airbus, Indra or Navantia. Angola is the second-largest oil producer in Africa and the fourth-largest in diamonds.

Queen Letizia and the First Lady visited the Lucrecia Paím Maternity. During her tour of the center, the Queen visited the breast milk bank, the neonatology, HIV screening and triage rooms, and the doctor's office. The visit ended with a meeting with patients and health personnel from the maternity hospital.

Their Majesties later visited the Angolan National Assembly and held a meeting with the president of the Chamber, Carolina Cerqueira. 

His Majesty the King took the floor and addressed the National Assembly of Angola stressing that "Today, Angola is a land of opportunities. After the period of economic crisis, aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic, Spain positively values ​​the reforms that Angola is carrying out to promote its economic development, diversify its economy and encourage business presence".

On February 8, 2023, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia left Angola and returned to Spain.

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