Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

Angola wants German investors and warships

Angola’s President Joao Lourenco is in Europe to promote the country as investment-friendly. In Germany, he is not only seeking ordinary investment in agriculture, technology or construction. Lourenco wants warships.

Lourenco was on a two-day official visit to Berlin, 11 months after he was picked to succeed Angola’s president for 38 years, Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

“We’re inviting German investors to work with the Angolan state to protect our coastline – either for the supply of war vessels, for our navy, or of other electronic means in order to control our vast maritime frontier, which is a part of the Gulf of Guinea used by pirates and terrorists,” Lourenco said.

The visit is not Lourenco’s first to Berlin and Angola’s interest in acquiring German-built naval vessels is not new. In 2014, as defense minister, he signed a cooperation deal in Berlin and said Angola needed more warships.

Three years before that, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had suggested the sale of such vessels to Angola during a visit to Luanda. That offer was so sharply criticized by the German opposition that it never materialized.

Merkel open for talks

On Wednesday, after meeting with Lourenco, Merkel said she remembered the old controversy but was still open to discussing defense matters with the southern African country.

“It might be that certain investments on the Angolan side materialize and then, naturally, we would gladly partner when it comes to such investment decisions by the Angolan navy,” Merkel said.

Angola is Africa’s second largest oil exporter after Nigeria. These exports are its main source of revenue. Faced with falling commodity prices and a $21.5 billion (€18.5 billion) debt to China, Angola is now trying to diversify. Germany has promised to help.

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