“I would like to see bilateral relations increasingly strengthened”
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“I would like to see bilateral relations increasingly strengthened”
  • By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik with Editor Kevin Lee
  • 승인 2022.06.14 13:55
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This year marking the 30th year of diplomatic relations with Korea

By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik with Editor Kevin Lee, Joy Cho, Song Na-ra

Madam Domingas Martins, spouse of the Ambassador of the Republic of Angola in Seoul, said, “As an Angolan citizen and the spouse of the Angolan Ambassador in Seoul, I would like to see bilateral cooperation relations between our countries increasingly strengthened.”
Then she said, “The histories of our countries coincide in some points that could be explored in the interest of our peoples, besides that, if we associate the fact that Korea has know-how and Angola, natural resources to be explored, it opens the possibility of our business relationships interlink, either through public-private partnerships or through Korean direct private investments in Angola.”

President João Lourenço of the Republic of Angola (left) with First Lady Ana Dias Lourenço.
First Lady Ana Dias Lourenço (right) and her husband, President João Manuel Lourenço.

The Republic of Korea and the Republic of Angola are two very friendly and cooperative countries. This year, 2022, is an especially important year for both Korea and Angola as it marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
After a long civil war ended in 2002 and following the achievement of the national integration, Angola is now a major player in international arena, especially in the relations and cooperation with Korea as a major oil-producing country in Africa.
Angola has been achieving a rapid economic growth based on abundant natural resources such as diamonds, iron ore, and gas. 
After establishing diplomatic relations with Angola on Jan. 6, 1992, Korea established a resident embassy in Luanda, the capital city, in December 2007, and Angola established a resident embassy in Seoul in August 2008, the following year. Since then, the two countries have maintained active exchanges in various fields such as political affairs, economy and culture, as well as high-level consultative bodies including the Ministerial-level Joint Economic Committee, as well as working-level policy councils. 

Ambassador Edgar Gaspar Martins (right) of Angola in Seoul and Madam Domingas Martins answer questions asked by The Korea Post reportorial team at the ambassador’s residence in Seoul on June 14, 2022.
Ambassador Edgar Gaspar Martins (right) of Angola in Seoul and Madam Domingas Martins answer questions asked by The Korea Post reportorial team at the ambassador’s residence in Seoul on June 14, 2022.

The activities of Korean companies, which have been focusing on shipbuilding and construction, have recently been expanded to include automobiles, agricultural machinery, and new and renewable energy. 
Currently, the Angola government is very much interested in sharing Korea's development experience, including national and industrial strategies and government innovation, and it is expected that this mutual cooperation will intensify.
At this juncture, The Korea Post media, including 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications since 1985, has requested the Madam of the Ambassador of Angola in advance of a formal interview with the Ambassador—to begin with the ‘soft’ areas in advance of the official one. Here are excerpts from an interview with Madam Domingas Martins:

Question: Please offer us a good idea for further promotion of relations, cooperation and friendship between Korea and Madam’s country.
Answer:
As an Angolan citizen and Spouse of the Angolan Ambassador, I would like to see bilateral cooperation relations between our countries increasingly strengthened. The histories of our countries coincide in some points that could be explored in the interest of our peoples, besides that, if we associate the fact that Korea has know-how and Angola, natural resources to be explored, it opens the possibility of our business relationships interlink, either through public-private partnerships or through South Korean direct private investments in Angola.
In this regard, I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to all South Korean entrepreneurs and businessmen to embrace this challenge. I believe that this will also be a valuable contribution to ending unemployment and gradually eradicating poverty in my country.

Ambassador Edgar Gaspar Martins of the Republic of Angola in Seoul and Madam Domingas Martins (second and third from right, respectively) pose with Managing Editor Kevin Lee, Vice Chairperson Joy Cho (left and second from left, respectively) and Vice Chairman Song Na-ra (far right) of The Korea Post at the ambassador’s residence in Seongbuk-gu, Seoul on June 14, 2022.
Ambassador Edgar Gaspar Martins of the Republic of Angola in Seoul and Madam Domingas Martins (second and third from right, respectively) pose with Managing Editor Kevin Lee, Vice Chairperson Joy Cho (left and second from left, respectively) and Vice Chairman Song Na-ra (far right) of The Korea Post at the ambassador’s residence in Seongbuk-gu, Seoul on June 14, 2022.

I would also like to refer to the universities and the various South Korean technical-professional institutes to open up more to Africa in general and Angola in particular, granting opportunities and scholarships to train our staff. It is well known that the increase in human resources represents a great gain for any country. To the public and private institutions of this sector in Korea, I address my appeal, in the sense of granting, whenever possible, more opportunities to our young staff, who are the majority in Angola and guarantee for our future development.

Q: Women have played a huge role throughout Korean history, including Madame Shin Saimdang. Please introduce yourself and your family.
A:
My name is Domingas Martins, spouse of Edgar Gaspar Martins, current Ambassador of Angola to the Republic of Korea. I am Angolan, born in the province of Cabinda, graduated in Modern Languages and Literature, at the Nova University Lisbon, Portugal.
My primary and secondary studies were carried out in Angola, in the Angolan provinces where I had been, especially in Huambo and Cabinda. I was a civil servant, having first started at the Public Television of Angola (TPA) and then transferred to the Ministry of Commerce, until I retired. As a civil servant, I participated in several conferences, bilateral technical committees representing the Ministry of Commerce. I was also a professor at the Lusiada University of Angola for 8 years. Among my favorite hobbies, I mention: reading, cinema, music, traveling and getting to know different cultures.

Q: Please introduce the First Lady of your esteemed country and the First Family. This is very important to the First Lady of Korea and the Family.
A:
The First Lady of the Republic of Angola is called Ana Dias Lourenço, she was born in Luanda and is mother of three daughters. She is married to João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, current President of the Republic of Angola. She was elected as member of the National Assembly in August 2017 elections, but in October of the same year, as First Lady of the Republic, she requested the suspension of her mandate and, in this condition, created her office where she works, one of her priorities being the implementation of social projects. 

First Lady Ana Dias Lourenço within the scope of the Born Free to Shine Campaign, launched in December 2018.
First Lady Ana Dias Lourenço within the scope of the Born Free to Shine Campaign, launched in December 2018.

The First Lady of the Republic of Angola has a degree in Economics from Agostinho Neto University, in Angola, in addition to being an influential woman with an enviable curriculum. Among other courses, she did her complementary training in the area of Project Management and Analysis and Evaluation and Macro-Economic Policy Management at the World Bank's Institute for Economic Development.

She has experience in Economic Planning, Investment Planning, Project Design and Evaluation and Forward Analysis. She also holds a certificate in Macroeconomic Policy and Management.
Among other functions he held, in 1997she was appointed Deputy Minister of Planning, having in 1999 held the position of Minister of Planning, with considerable perspicacity. As the holder of the Ministry of Planning, and by virtue of these functions, she was, by appointment of the Government of Angola, also President of the National Statistics Council, President of the SADC National Steering Committee, President of the SADC National Commission, and President of the Council of Ministers of SADC. In 2014, after leaving the government, she served as Governor of Angola for the World Bank, having also been National Coordinator of EDF Funds.

As part of the social projects developed, in 2018 she launched and became patron of the national campaign “Born Free to Shine”, an initiative of the African Union, the Organization of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) and partners to address growing complacency in the response to pediatric AIDS in Africa. The campaign aims to leverage the engagement and advocacy of First Ladies in Africa, reinforcing the political commitment of African leadership to end mother-to-child pediatric AIDS and keep mothers healthy. The Born Free to Shine campaign has three objectives which are 1) To reduce the number of new HIV infections in women of reproductive age, 2) To prevent vertical (mother-to-child) transmission of HIV, 3) To ensure that children born with HIV receive appropriate treatment.
In 2020, she also created Dikota_E 6.0, which is as a platform whose initiative and purpose is to value the transfer of intergenerational knowledge and the transmission of values and knowledge within communities.
As First Lady, she created and made the public presentation, in 2022, of the Ngana Zenza Foundation, an expression in Kimbundu that means Lady Isabel, in honor of her mother. This Foundation aims to promote community development with a view to improving living conditions and economic empowerment of the population, especially in rural areas and pays particular attention to vulnerable groups, especially young girls, the elderly, children and people with disabilities.

Q: Who are the most prominent ladies in your country besides the First Lady, such as leading women in the political world, business circles, social circles and other areas? Please introduce them in detail.
A:
In addition to the First Lady, other prominent Angolan women have emerged and continue to emerge, beginning by citing an Angolan historical figure, Queen Nzinga Mbande, in the 16th -17th centuries (1587-1663), who was a fierce woman and one of the most feared African heroines. She is revered as the Angolan heroine of the early resistances of Angola's modern nationalist movements. It has aroused a growing interest among historians and anthropologists to understand that historical moment that characterized the political and arms prowess of this African queen in resisting the Portuguese occupation of Angolan territory and slave trade. 
In the present day, I would like to highlight, as distinguished Angolan ladies, the Venerable Counselor Judges, the President of the Constitutional Court, the Vice-President as well as the five (5) Counselor Judges, making up a representation of 64% in this judicial body. Venerable Counselor Judge, President of the Court of Auditors, another judicial body made up of more than five women (constituting 55% of the total). I cannot fail to mention, in this range of women, the Ombudswoman of Angola.
In terms of the Angolan government, where 33% are women, I would like to highlight the Minister of State for the Social Area, the Minister of Finance of Angola and the first woman to hold such a post in Angola. At the government level, I also cite the Ministers of Health; of Public Administration, Labor and Social Security; of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation; of Education; of Social Action, Family and Women Promotion; and of Youth and Sports.
At the legislative level, where 30% of the deputies are female, I would like to highlight, as an example, the 1st Vice-President of the National Assembly, although there are other members holding positions of relevance at the level of the main Angolan parties.
In terms of Diplomacy, I would like to highlight Secretary of State for External Relations, in addition to 13 other women who head Angolan Diplomatic Missions around the world. In the business world, I also highlight a large number of women entrepreneurs. In the artistic and sports field, I highlight as well a large number of woman, without forgetting Leila Lopes who won the Miss Universe title in 2011. 

Q: Please introduce Madame's social activities, including the Korean ladies who are friendliest to Madame and in your country – in government, business and other areas?
A:
I know, in a very general way, some Korean women with whom I have been in different activities that I participate, of philanthropic, cultural, recreational nature, both integrated in civic-diplomatic life. 

Spouse of the Angolan Ambassador engaged in the Kimchi festival
Spouse of the Angolan Ambassador engaged in the Kimchi festival

As a member of the Ambassadors’ Spouses Association in Seoul (ASA), I have participated in several activities and events of charity in Korea. I cite as an example, projects and activities with KDS (a Korean support organization for young people with down syndrome); visits and giving gifts to children at the oncology hospital on the occasion of May 5, Children's Day in Korea; silent auction with a painting by an Angolan painter to raise funds to support Holy Family Welfare Hospital (K-auction); participation in the Forum Global Hospital ASAN/ASAS with an exhibition of products from Angola. 

Spouse of the Angolan Ambassador in the company of counterparts during the visit to Gyeongsangbuk-do
Spouse of the Angolan Ambassador in the company of counterparts during the visit to Gyeongsangbuk-do

In addition to ASAS charity programs and events, as a member of this association, I have participated and supported other projects such as the International Red Cross of Korea, where, together with other ladies, including spouses of members of the Korean government, we pack and sew bags for product packaging for donation. I have also participated in Siwa/ASAS and Red Cross bazaars.
Last year, I participated in the World Kimchi festival in Gwangju and the Seoul Food Ambassador Festival. In the latter, I was able to learn, with a renowned Korean chef, how to make the famous samgyetang. Either in one or the other, they were experiences that I will never forget.
I have a special affection for children, that's why, very recently, I made a donation to the Holy Family Child Adoption Center Orphanage in Korea, and in Angola, to Lar Kuzola, an institution that takes in abandoned children in the city of Luanda. In both situations, modest amounts of money were donated, but with relevant symbolic meaning. In Angola, at Lar Kuzola, in addition to the monetary amount, I also donated material to combat COVID-19.

Mrs. Gaspar Martins in a Tour of Hahoe Folk Village
Mrs. Gaspar Martins in a Tour of Hahoe Folk Village

Q: Korean people, especially Korean businessmen who always travel, need rest and recovery. What are your tourist attractions?
A:
Angola is a country located in the southern region of Sub-Saharan Africa, with a tropical climate and a total area of 1,246,700 km2, which benefits from excellent tropical Atlantic beaches, in addition to a system of rivers and deserts that extends to Namibia. In addition to the already mentioned tourist attractions in Angola, I also give you an example with these:
• Ruacana Falls, Cunene
• Kalandula Falls, Malange
• Binga Waterfalls, Kuanza Sul
• Quissama Park, Luanda
• Huila Waterfall, Lubango
• Maiombe Forest, Cabinda
• Tundavala Rift, Huila
• Chiumbe River Falls, Lunda Sul
• Nzenzo Caves, Uíge
• Carumbo Lagoon, Lunda Norte
• Morro do Môco, Huambo

Madam Domingas Martins (right), spouse of the Ambassador of the Republic of Angola in Seoul, takes a commemorative photo with a director of the Holy Family Child Adoption Center after donating 1 million won to the center.
Spouse of the Angolan Ambassador makes a donation to the Holy Family Child Adoption Center.

Q: What are the most important holidays in your country? Please elaborate.
A:
The National Holidays, Places and National Celebration Dates Act contains 12 national holidays and 8 national celebration dates. Among the dates of national commemoration, I only highlight the following:
• January 1st – New Year's Day – New Year's Eve.
• February 4th - Day of the Beginning of the Armed Struggle for the National Liberation of Angola, started in 1961, for the country's independence.
• March 23rd - Southern Africa Liberation Day. On this day we celebrate the military battle during the war that Angola faced against the apartheid regime that prevailed in South Africa at the time. Angola's victory in this war contributed to the liberation of Namibia and the end of apartheid in South Africa.
• Carnival Day (variable date) - Festival of the Angolan cultural manifestation.
• April 4th - Day of Peace and National Reconciliation – the date marks the end of the civil war in Angola and national reconciliation.
• Good Friday (variable date) – Celebration of the Catholic religion that remembers the death of Jesus by crucifixion on the Cross.
• November 11th – Date of the conquest of Angola's National Independence and the end of colonization in Angola.
• December 25th - Christmas and Family Day.

Spouse of the Angolan Ambassador in activities with KDS
Spouse of the Angolan Ambassador in activities with KDS

Q: Add any other details that Your Excellency considers important.
A:
As an Angolan citizen and Spouse of the Angolan Ambassador, I would like to see bilateral cooperation relations between our countries increasingly strengthened. The histories of our countries coincide in some points that could be explored in the interest of our peoples, besides that, if we associate the fact that Korea has know-how and Angola, natural resources to be explored, it opens the possibility of our business relationships interlink, either through public-private partnerships or through South Korean direct private investments in Angola.
In this regard, I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to all South Korean entrepreneurs and businessmen to embrace this challenge. I believe that this will also be a valuable contribution to ending unemployment and gradually eradicating poverty in my country.
I would also like to refer to the universities and the various South Korean technical-professional institutes to open up more to Africa in general and Angola in particular, granting opportunities and scholarships to train our staff. It is well known that the increase in human resources represents a great gain for any country. To the public and private institutions of this sector in Korea, I address my appeal, in the sense of granting, whenever possible, more opportunities to our young staff, who are the majority in Angola and guarantee for our future development.

Publisher’s note:
The Republic of Angola, located in the southwestern part of Africa, is a large country with a population of about 32 million and a land area more than five times the size of Korea.
In 2002, after the civil war that had lasted for about 30 years ended and national integration was achieved, Angola is a major oil- producing country in Africa and has been experiencing rapid economic growth based on abundant natural resources such as diamonds, iron ore, and gas. 
Although Angola has been experiencing a recession due to low oil prices since 2014 due to its high dependence on oil at 80%, there is still great potential for cooperation with the Republic of Koreqa as a major African country amid political stability through democratic regime change since 2017. .
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, after establishing diplomatic ties with Angola on January 6, 1992, Korea established a resident embassy in Luanda, the capital, in December 2007 and Angola established a resident embassy in Seoul in August 2008, the following year.
Since then, the two countries have maintained active exchanges in various fields such as political affairs, economy and culture, as well as high-level consultative bodies including the Ministerial-level Joint Economic Committee, as well as working-level policy councils. 
In particular, this year 2022 is a meaningful year to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and Angola, and various events are being prepared to further develop bilateral relations.

With the President of the Red Cross of Korea.
With the President of the Red Cross of Korea.
Spouse of the Angolan Ambassador participating in the Red Cross Bazaar
Spouse of the Angolan Ambassador participating in the Red Cross Bazaar
AIPEX - Private Investment and Export Promotion Agency the only interlocutor for investment issues
AIPEX - Private Investment and Export Promotion Agency the only interlocutor for investment issues
Special Economic Zone (ZEE) open to private investment
Special Economic Zone (ZEE) open to private investment
Tundavala Rift, Huíla Province
Tundavala Rift, Huíla Province
Huila Province Waterfall, Lubango City
Huila Province Waterfall, Lubango City
Maiombe Forest, Cabinda Province
Maiombe Forest, Cabinda Province
Chiumbe River Falls, Lunda Sul Province
Chiumbe River Falls, Lunda Sul Province
Nzenzo Cave, Uíge Province
Nzenzo Cave, Uíge Province
Carumbo Lagoon, Lunda Norte Province
Carumbo Lagoon, Lunda Norte Province
Môco Hill, Huambo Province
Môco Hill, Huambo Province
Baía Azul - Benguela
Blue Bay, Benguela Province
Ruacaná Falls, Cunene Province
Ruacaná Falls, Cunene Province
Kalandula Falls, Malange Province
Kalandula Falls, Malange Province
Binga Waterfalls, Kuanza Sul Province
Binga Waterfalls, Kuanza Sul Province
Quissama Park, Luanda Province
Quissama Park, Luanda Province

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