Book launch marks Angola & Hungary's 40th diplomatic cooperation
By Hakeem Babalola, Reporting Africa
By Hakeem Babalola, Reporting Africa
Killing two birds with one stone, Embassy of the Republic of Angola in Hungary celebrates its nation’s 42nd Independence Day and the 40th of diplomatic cooperation with Hungary on Friday, November 10 with a book launch to commemorate the participation of Hungarian peacekeeping mission in Angola.
The event, which took place at the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus, was attended by ministers, ambassadors, clergymen, business executives, students, African and Human Rights Organisations.
Tagged 40 Years’ of Cooperation between Angola & Hungary, the speakers at the event focused on the mutual cooperation that has sustained the relationship between the two countries for such a long period and how to solidify it even further.
In her opening and welcome address, her Excellency, Lizeth Satumbo Pena went memory lane to explain the strong relationship between her country and Hungary. In doing so, she drew attention to some facts as she paid tribute to all Angolans who had sacrificed their lives for “our freedom”.
Pena stated that the recent transfer of power in Angola in August which produced a new president was successful and has reinforced the system of political governance through the new president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos.
“On the 24th last August, Angola had its first General elections since Independence and the elections were free and calmly,” adding that the International Organisations have commended Angolans for their massive participation resulting in a free and just society.
Speaking further, Pena explained that despite the financial crisis as a result of oil prices in the International market, Angola still remains an economic potential State with a promising future.
She particularly thanked the Hungarian representatives, saying their presence further intensifies the renewal and pursuit of cooperation between the two countries. Commending one of the authors of the book, Besenyi János, Pena said that the initiative for “The participation of Hungary in ONU’s peacekeeping mission in Angola” is a project well-done.
|Ambassador Lizeth Satumbo Pena|
The ambassador also described the involvement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as significant. She said, “We thank the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for its consistency of purpose that has solidified the relationship between the two countries since in the 70’s especially in the fields of education, science and technology, commerce, health, and agriculture”.
Pointing out the importance of Scholarship agreement between the two countries which has been increased from 10 students to twenty from the coming year 2018, Pena described the process as innovative as well as beneficial to both countries.
Furthermore, she said that the reopening of the Hungarian embassy in Angola is evidence that the two countries are for each other. This, she added, is a tremendous and indispensable asset to improve the political, diplomatic, economic, commercial, and cultural cooperation between the two countries.
Dr Attila Danko, head of department, Ministry of Defence, said that the 40th Anniversary of Bilateral Diplomatic and Partnership between Angola and Hungary is in line with the government policy that seeks closer cooperation in the continent of Africa, citing the reopening of Hungarian embassy in Rwanda in 2016 and also the reopening of Hungarian embassy in Angola.
Danko informed the gathering that the visit of an Angola Minister to Budapest this year is a sign of renewal and fresh cooperation between Angola and Hungary. He also said that the educational opportunity for young Angolans’ generation will continue to increase.
Speaking of the book, Ambassador András Gulyás of Árpád Gönncz Foundation said that it addresses “a very special aspect of the Hungarian-Angolan relations as well as the peacekeeping activities of Hungarian soldiers and policemen”.
Gulyás, who served in many countries of Lusophone (Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, Sao Tomé & Principe, Equatorial Guinea and Portugal) before returning to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1987, pointed out that the work of Colonel János Besenyő which was earlier published in Hungarian language is the most important aspect of the book. Gulyás added that two distinguished Professors of the Loránd University of Budapest who are well-known experts in the matter, Gábor Búr and István Rákóczi, have upgraded the book's Portuguese edition with new two chapters.
According to the former Ambassador, the list of more than ninety Hungarian officers who took part in the peacekeeping missions in Angola between 1991 and 1999 deserves special attention.
|From left - Dr Dánko Attila, Ambassadors Satumbo Pena & András Gulyás|
|Authors: Sitting Rákoczi István, Besenyő János & Horváth Sándor|