Angola: Prince Harry to follow in mother’s demining footsteps

Prince Harry begins a visit to Africa on Monday which includes Angola, where he will travel through an old landmine camp visited 22 years ago by his mother, Princess Diana, and meet with the Angolan president, João Lourenço.

The stopover in Angola begins at the end of Thursday, when the Prince travels to southeast Angola, to Dirico, where he will spend the night in a mine-clearance camp run by British organisation Halo Trust.

It is in Cuando Cubango province that Halo Trust recently began a project funded to the tune of US$60 million (€54 million) to remove landmines left over during the civil war (1975-2002).

The aim is to clear 153 minefields within the Mavinga and Luengue Luiana nature parks to protect animal life, but also to free up land for use by local people and enable the development of activities such as ecotourism.

On Friday, Prince Harry will inaugurate a new segment of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy program, an international network of forests aimed at facilitating the passage of wild animals to that area of the Okavango River basin, shared with Namibia and Botswana, whose presentation will be attended by members of the government of the three countries.

The next step, according to a statement from the British royal house, will be the most “significant and moving” for the Prince, whose official title is Duke of Sussex.

Harry will visit Huambo, an area previously threatened by landmines, but Princess Diana’s campaign to clean up the area and to be photographed there in 1997, attracted worldwide attention to the problem.

Today, some of these camps now have schools, shops and homes, the result of demining operations by the Halo Trust and other organisations, funded in part by the British government.

The visit to Angola takes place on the fourth day of the ten-day itinerary, which begins on Monday in Cape Town, South Africa, where he will arrive accompanied by his wife, Meghan Markle, and son, Archie Harrison.

On Wednesday, Prince Harry will go alone to Botswana, while the Duchess of Sussex will continue a series of official commitments in South Africa.