On Wednesday (14), President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Workers’ Party) begins his second official trip to the African continent in his third presidential term. This time, he will head to Egypt and Ethiopia, countries that recently became BRICS members with the support of Brazil.
Lula’s trip starts in Egypt. He will be in the country on Wednesday (14) and Thursday (15) invited by Egyptian President Abdul Fatah al-Sisi. The visit marks 100 years of relations between Brazil and Egypt, to be celebrated in 2024.
Brazil aims to expand relations with Egypt, a country that was key in the negotiations for the departure of Brazilians who were in the Gaza Strip amid the conflict in the region. "Egypt is an important player in the region. The dialog took place at various levels to achieve the repatriation of Brazilian citizens. This circumstance has made the relationship [between Brazil and Egypt] even more relevant," said Ambassador Carlos Duarte, Secretary for Africa and the Middle East at Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Duarte also emphasized that the country is one of Brazil's main trading partners in Africa. "It's a strong and diversified trade, especially in agriculture products."
The Egyptian government is expected to approve, soon, new slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants in Brazil for beef exports. In 2023, the African country opened its market to various Brazilian products, such as fish and fish products, poultry, cotton, gelatine and collagen. The opening of an air route between the two countries, from São Paulo to Cairo, will also be discussed.
From Egypt, Lula will fly to Ethiopia, where he has meetings scheduled between Friday (16) and Sunday (18). In the Ethiopian capital, Adis Adeba, Lula will attend – as a guest – the 37th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, which has 55 African countries as members.
To Duarte, the invitation can be understood as a prestige demonstration, since most of the times only African leaders take part in this event. "It's a recognition of the priority the president has been giving to Africa," he said.
Another important point is the convergence between Brazil and the African nations in the top three priorities that guide the Brazilian Presidency of the G20: the fight against inequality and hunger, sustainability and energy transition and, finally, the reform of international organizations to allow greater participation of developing countries in the global decision-making system.
Edited by: Matheus Alves de Almeida