Angola: US secretary of state visit to focus on corruption, trade and investment

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Luanda on Sunday night for a 24-hour visit focussed on the fight against corruption, strengthening trade relations and investment opportunities, according to Angola’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On Monday, Pompeo’s program in the Angolan capital begins at 10 a.m. local time (9 a.m. in Lisbon) with an audience with the president, João Lourenço, the statement says.

The secretary of state, who is accompanied by a high-level delegation, is an hour later to go on for a working meeting with his Angolan counterpart, Manuel Domingos Augusto.

The visit continues at noon with a stop at the Coin Museum, where Pompeo is to take part in a roundtable with business leaders, according to the ministry.

After a lunch with Domingos Augusto, Pompeo is expected to meet with businessmen and -women, as well as with US diplomatic officials accredited in Angola.

“Angola and the United States of America maintain excellent mutually beneficial cooperation relationships in various areas,” reads the ministry statement, citing politics and diplomacy, defence and security, industry, oil, health, education, technology and telecommunications as major areas of cooperation. 

Speaking to Lusa, the president of the Americana Chamber of Commerce in Angol, Pedro Godinho Domingos, argued that corruption is the biggest obstacle to trade relations between Angola and the US, and that Pompeo’s visit would therefore focus on issues such as corruption, transparency and compliance. 

Pompeo is to leave Luanda on Monday afternoon for Ethiopia, the country where he is to conclude his African tour. Before Angola he had visited Senegal.

Angola is seen by the US as a country with great potential for a lasting economic partnership. In August last year, after a meeting with Manuel Domingos Augusto, the assistant secretary at the State Department, Matthew Harrington, said that bilateral relations were at a “very different” point from in the past and at a “turning point”.