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Saturday, 23 May 2015


I am here to reinforce Angola-Hungary relationship, says Pena

 Our managing editor, Hakeem Babalola, had a chat with Her Excellency, Lizeth N. Satumbo Pena, Angolan ambassador to Hungary, in our continuation of profiling and projecting each African country in Hungary and around the world. In this exclusive interview, Ms Pena discusses her country’s mutual cooperation with Hungary and many more: Excerpts

Briefly introduce yourself to our reader

I am
Lizeth Satumbo Pena, Angolan ambassador to Budapest. I have been in Budapest since 2011. 
Previously I worked with NGO (West Africa).  I was in Poland for 8 years. I am here to continue the work of my predecessor (Miguel). I am here to reinforce the relationship between Angola and Hungary.

You are the 2nd ambassador to Hungary

Exactly. I am the 2nd one

How has it been?

It is always difficult. You never know what to do. As ambassador you always have to find what to do, how to do it. Our job is really to find ways to have some relationship; to find people who want to work with us. Everybody says Angola is a very rich country – that Angola has everything. But if you don’t reach out –and that is why our aim is to negotiate with the Hungarian government to bring students here and prepare them for the task ahead. And also to exchange the know-how. Hungary has the knowledge and know-how implementation; and we need this in our country. For instance, in the area of medicine, agriculture, technology, education and so on. So we need cooperation in this regard. For example, we have had Angola-Hungarian Business Forum. It was successful. Many people came. The president of ANIP came here from Angola for the conference. Hungarian economic delegation also went to Angola to speak to the members of our government. During Budapest-African forum we also had business and education delegation. How to implement this cooperation is vital to the progress of both nations.

So all these things…Are they still in process or there have been some achievements or success?

Many of them are still under process. You know the process is very important though it always seems it takes long, however it needs strong foundation. By next year there would be tangible result. 

Hungarian president, Janos Ader congratulated Angolan president and reiterated strengthening the cordial relationship and fruitful cooperation between the two countries…How far is this true? Is it just a political statement?

It is not a political statement because we had our independence in 1975. And in 1977 we started our relationship with Hungary. And during this time, we had cordial cooperation and relationship. Our leaders came here to share ideas and experiences. We had students here from 1977 to 1990. Many of our students studied here. Even government officials came here for experience. After the Berlin war, there was a break because of some circumstances facing both countries at the time. Afterwards we resumed relationship again. So President Ader’s statement isn’t political. It is the existing fact between Angola and Hungary.

Angola has an embassy here while Hungary doesn’t have an embassy in Angola.  What are the logistics challenges facing Angolans.

Thank you. We are also looking at it if we can re-open Hungarian embassy in Angola. Because it has been difficult since June 2012 to obtain visa as a result of biometric data passport needed for Angolans to come to Hungary. Apparently it may be more difficult without the embassy especially for logistic purposes. We had to go to South Africa before. Now we need to do it the other way. I think the best would be to re-open the embassy in Angola. 

During your Independence Day speech, you said that Angolan ethnic diversity constitutes an endless wealth of talents hardly known abroad. How do you want to make it known?

By showing our culture, food, clothes, and so on at every opportunity available. We want to show how we live through exchange of cultural activities. Angola was somehow known as a country of war but we are showing the difference side our heritage. 

You also said that Angola is counting on Hungary “to accompany us in this process”. Can you please explain further

I was actually speaking about the position of our president regarding economic development. He wants to diversify our economy.  He passionately believes that both the so-called big nations and not so big nations should have opportunity to invest in Angola. It doesn’t only depend on “cash richness” but knowledge and know-how also count. Some countries may not be conventionally rich but well developed when it comes to know-how. Angola wants to attract these groups of nations as well. I mean that it is not only countries but individuals as well. Yes, Angola has opportunity for Small Medium Enterprise (SME). Both big and small investors are welcome. So if anyone has a good project, contact ANIP (National Agency for Private Investment), which is in partnership with the government. 
How would you convince the business circle about the security in Angola so as to allay the fears and stereotypes common in the west about Africa insecurity?

In business there must be a spirit of adventure and risk. Not everything is 100% safe in business. You cannot predict 100% accuracy. I think genuine and pragmatic business executives understand this aspect of their profession. However I want to assure investors that Angola yesterday’s of war and lack of security is gone – forever. Security minimum is guaranteed. I can proudly say that major airlines have increased their flights to Angola. Air France now go to Angola twice weekly; Lufthansa also twice weekly while Belgian airline has increased its flight schedule from trice to four times a week. There has been twelve years of peace in Angola when the war ended in 2002.

So how did the Angolan government overcome the challenges of rebuilding the country after the war?

It’s because we believe so much in reconciliation. We needed to do our best. We vowed that our children must have or know another way of life instead of war. Everybody was tired. Nobody knew why we were in the war. So we sat down and truthfully discussed about our future. 

What would you like to achieve during your tenure?

I would like to maintain the high level and good cooperation between Angola and Hungary in relation to education, agriculture, technology and so on. I also would like to see that our students benefit from their program, and then return to Angola to contribute their wealth of experience. I want every Angolan to know that each of them is an ambassador in Hungary.

How long are you staying here to implement this?
It depends on the President. You know unlike many other countries in which ambassadorial posting depends on Foreign Affairs Ministry, in Angola it depends on the President. But I think maximum is 5 years. 

Thank you Madam. African News Hungary wishes you successful stay here in Hungary

Thank you sir for coming

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Love the article on Gaddafi
We must rise above tribalism & divide & rule of the colonialist who stole & looted our treasure & planted their puppets to lord it over us..they alone can decide on whosoever is performing & the one that is corrupt..but the most corrupt nations are the western countries that plunder the resources of other nations & make them poorer & aid the rulers to steal & keep such ill gotten wealth in their country..yemen,syria etc have killed more than gadhafi but its not A̷̷̴ good investment for the west(this is laughable)because oil is not in these countries..when obasanjo annihilated the odi people in rivers state, they looked away because its in their favour & day! Samosa Iyoha

Hello from
I was amazed to find a website for Africans in Hungary.
Looks like you have quite a community there. Here in SA we have some three million Zimbabweans living in exile and not much sign of going home ... but in Hungary??? Hope to meet you on one of my trips to Europe; was in Steirmark Austria near the Hungarian border earlier this month. Every good wish for 2011. Geoff in Jo'burg

I'm impressed by
ANH work but...
Interesting interview...
I think from what have been said, the Nigerian embassy here seem to be more concern about its nationals than we are for ourselves. Our complete disregard for the laws of Hungary isn't going to help Nigeria's image or going to promote what the Embassy is trying to showcase. So if the journalists could zoom-in more focus on Nigerians living, working and studying here in Hungary than scrutinizing the embassy and its every move, i think it would be of tremendous help to the embassy serving its nationals better and create more awareness about where we live . Taking the issues of illicit drugs and forged documents as typical examples.. there are so many cases of Nigerians been involved. But i am yet to read of it in So i think if only you and your journalists could write more about it and follow up on the stories i think it will make our nationals more aware of what to expect. I wouldn't say i am not impressed with your work but you need to be more of a two way street rather than a one way street . Keep up the good work... Sylvia

My comment to the interview with his excellency Mr. Adedotun Adenrele Adepoju CDA a.i--

He is an intelligent man. He spoke well on the issues! Thanks to Mr Hakeem Babalola for the interview it contains some expedient information.. B.Ayo Adams click to read editor's mail
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