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ANGOLA

On August 19, 2019, the International School Network visited the Embassy of Angola in Tokyo for an interview with the Ambassador, His Excellency Mr. Rui Orlando XAVIER

Education (Madoka)

H.E. Mr. Xavier explained the current situation of education in Angola. The education in the country is divided into primary (grades 1-5), middle (grades 6-8), high (9-12), and university. H.E. Mr. Xavier mentioned that education from high school is specialized, and there are technical high schools that focus on areas such as IT and construction. H.E. Mr. Xavier noted that education in Angola is still developing, with spaces for growth in various aspects including the quality of education (training of teachers), and infrastructure. H.E. Mr. Xavier explained that there are still many schools that do not have adequate materials for an educational environment, such as a lack of tables. H.E. Mr. Xavier expressed his hopes to improve the environment for students to learn.

There is one public university in Angola, and about 15 private universities. There are programs in Angola in which Angolan students can study in Japan. H.E. Mr. Xavier hopes to increase such projects, and increase the cooperation between Angola and Japan in the aspect of education. H.E. Mr. Xavier commented that he is very impressed by Japan’s developed educational environment, and hopes to strengthen the ties between Angolan and Japanese universities.

 

Culture (Nanami)

H.E. Mr. Xavier stated that there are many cultures and cultural values that are spread across Angola. Angola was under Portuguese influence for centuries and only established independence in 1975. This is why their domain language is Portuguese. They also experienced a civil war shortly after their independence, and over decades of warfare, Angola naturally acquired its shape and its provinces. Although they experienced lots of conflicts, they were able to preserve and pass down their traditions. In 2017, one of its historical locations became a world heritage site. The people of Angola aims to preserve their culture and pass them down to future generations.

Relations with Japan (Madoka)

When H.E. Mr. Xavier’s was appointed as the Ambassador of Angola to Japan, he was told by his President to create the bridge between Angolan and Japanese people. Angola and Japan have been sharing a friendly and strategic relationship. H.E. Mr. Xavier noted that is his first goal to improve the people-to-people relations, even before political relations. 

The two countries’ endeavors to further strengthen relations can be seen through high level visits and increasing investments. Three Angolan Ministers have visited Japan this year, and the President of Angola (since 2017), Mr João Lourenço, has also been focusing on relations with Japan. He will be coming to Japan at the end of this month for TICAD. On Japan’s side, the President of Toyota Tsusho and the Minister of Foreign Affairs have visited Angola. H.E. Mr. Xavier’s passion for working for the betterment of Angola and Japan’s relations come from such hopes for increased cooperation, as H.E. Mr. Xavier mentioned that Japan is one of the leading developed countries of the world.

H.E. Mr. Xavier expressed his appreciation for Japan as a very comfortable place to work. H.E. Mr. Xavier has been impressed with how Japan is a very polite, kind, and clean nation. H.E. Mr. Xavier explained that he is passionate to overcome any differences, and facilitate the communication between the two countries, and sign more contracts for a stronger relationship. H.E. Mr. Xavier feels that the relations between Angola and Japan has a strong potential, and is happy to be working in Japan.

Peace (Nanami)

When inquired about the necessary steps towards world peace, H.E. Mr. Xavier stressed that it is important for everybody to be on the same page and make small changes everyday. Everybody instinctively wants peace so in order to achieve it, people must cooperate and strive for it. Within these 15+ years, there have been wars constantly somewhere around the world. Even in places where there are no wars, there exists some sort of political or social instability that could threaten peace. Achieving international peace is a huge challenge, but H.E. Mr. Xavier stated that we must try our best to prevent all further conflicts and promote peaceful exchanges.

He recently went to Hiroshima and Nagasaki to pay respects to the victims of the bombing in World War II. There, he truly felt that the world must avoid another world war at all costs. People endure immense pain and suffering during periods of war, and nothing good ever comes out of wars. He believes that people must work hard everyday to encourage peace everywhere. 

Qualities (Madoka)

H.E. Mr. Xavier noted that Angola is a country that is very close to nature, with warm and kind people. Geographically, Angola has a variety of landscapes, including mountains and the ocean, and is closely connected to its bordering nations including Congo, Zambia, and Namibia. Angola is a very wide and large country with minerals and petroleum. Angola exports oil, gas, and minerals, and imports cars and machinery from Japan.

The nation has experienced wars and gained independence on November 11, 1975, and now has their 3rd president. H.E. Mr. Xavier explained that Angola is working to improve and establish stronger relations with every country, and as the Ambassador of Japan, hopes to improve the relations between Angola and Japan.

 

Globalization (Nanami)

In terms of globalization, H.E. Mr. Xavier emphasized that no country can flourish alone. Every nation is dependant on each other, and they must realize that. Countries must work together in harmony to achieve the best conditions for its people. Nowadays, there are many conflicts in international trade, but countries must try to achieve equilibrium so that all players could be content with their trade positions. If international relations deteriorate, the consequences will be huge and will affect everyone. H.E. Mr. Xavier also mentioned that the income gap in the world is expanding, with the rich becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer. In Angola, they want to fix the income gap issue so that everybody can enjoy a safe and stable society. 

Qualities (Madoka)

H.E. Mr. Xavier noted that Angola is a country that is very close to nature, with warm and kind people. Geographically, Angola has a variety of landscapes, including mountains and the ocean, and is closely connected to its bordering nations including Congo, Zambia, and Namibia. Angola is a very wide and large country with minerals and petroleum. Angola exports oil, gas, and minerals, and imports cars and machinery from Japan.

The nation has experienced wars and gained independence on November 11, 1975, and now has their 3rd president. H.E. Mr. Xavier explained that Angola is working to improve and establish stronger relations with every country, and as the Ambassador of Japan, hopes to improve the relations between Angola and Japan.

Globalization (Nanami)

In terms of globalization, H.E. Mr. Xavier emphasized that no country can flourish alone. Every nation is dependant on each other, and they must realize that. Countries must work together in harmony to achieve the best conditions for its people. Nowadays, there are many conflicts in international trade, but countries must try to achieve equilibrium so that all players could be content with their trade positions. If international relations deteriorate, the consequences will be huge and will affect everyone. H.E. Mr. Xavier also mentioned that the income gap in the world is expanding, with the rich becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer. In Angola, they want to fix the income gap issue so that everybody can enjoy a safe and stable society. 

 

Ambassador’s Background (Nanami)

Since he was a child, H.E. Mr. Xavier had always dreamed of becoming a pilot. He was very passionate about it, and even considered taking the exam necessary to become a pilot. Even today, he claimed that he gets excited every time he sees airplanes. In the room where we conducted the interview, we saw that it was decorated with a model airplane of TAAG Angola Airlines. 

(Madoka)

H.E. Mr. Xavier joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1990. He explained that he worked “step-by-step” at different sections and gained experience in various fields. H.E. Mr. Xavier worked first as a secretary and then Counselor before being posted as an Ambassador. His previous postings as an Ambassador have been in France, Italy, and Portugal, where he worked for 9 years. He then went back to Angola to work in the department for international relations before being appointed as the Ambassador to Japan last July. H.E. Mr. Xavier came to Japan in November, and presented his credentials to the Emperor in December. 

H.E. Mr. Xavier hopes to increase talks like this interview for improving relations between Japan and Angola. He hopes students in Japan can not only work for Japan but also for the peace of the entire world.

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