Wednesday, 4 August 2010
Lula's 11th African tour commences with a summit of the Community of West African States
At the outset of his 11th African tour, Lula landed in Cape Verde on 3 July and attended a summit of the Community of West African States (CEDEAO). In his conversations with the Cape Verdean authorities, Lula said that he would request that Petrobras undertake E&P in the country's deep waters.
Lula's visit on 4 July to Equatorial Guinea, where a repressive dictatorial government has been ruling the oil-rich country for 31 years, has been widely criticised in Brazil, but the Foreign Ministry justified the visit in the name of 'business.' Lula proposed inclusion of the former Spanish colony into the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), although no Portuguese is spoken there.
Lula then flew to Nairobi, Kenya, where on 6 July, he praised the country's (questionable) democracy. Lula expressed Brazil's interest in signing an agreement for the production of bio-fuels in the African country, with Brazilian technology. Bilateral agreements were signed in the spheres of trade, education, agriculture, and investment.
On the same day, Lula proceeded to Tanzania, and subsequently to Zambia. In all of these countries, he signed cooperation agreements. On 8 July Lula arrived in South Africa on an official state visit.
His plan had been to award the coveted Jules Rimet cup to the victorious team of the World Soccer championship, scheduled for 11 July in Johannesburg.
When Brazil was soundly defeated by Holland, Lula's photo opportunity disappeared. Alleging fatigue and the need to monitor the relief effort for victims of the floods in northeastern Brazil, he returned home, thus breaking the tradition whereby the head of state of the next World Cup country (Brazil, in 2014) presents the prize to the winning team (in this case, Spain).
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