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Tue, 04 Dec 2018 19:03 - Updated Tue, 04 Dec 2018 19:03

Head of State discusses strategies with civil society

Luanda - The President of the Republic, João Lourenço, met on Tuesday with heads of civil society to discuss current issues, without the presence of the activist Rafael Marques, formally invited to the event.

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Membros da sociedade civil recebidos pelo Presidente da República

Photo: Francisco Miudo

President of Republic welcomes representatives of the non government organizations (NGO) and the civil society associations.

Photo: Francisco Miúdo

So far, the reasons for Rafael Marques's absence are not officially known.

The meeting took place 24 days after the Head of State awarded medals of merit to distinguished personalities who fought for national independence in a gesture that aims to consolidate the process of reconciliation among Angolans.

João Lourenço followed the strategy of extending the dialogue to civil society organizations that have long demanded the right to be heard and to contribute to their views or opinions.

The meeting, which was attended by representatives of more than a dozen NGOs and civic associations, aimed to ensure the improvement of the performance of government action in relation to many subjects, including the quality of education.

Among them were activists who were usually critical of the government, including Luaty Beirão and Alexandra Simeão  from (HANDECA Association), Fernando Macedo (Justice, Peace and Development Association), Salvador Freire (Free Hands Association ) and José Patrocínio from (OMUNGA).

Representatives of other associations, such as the Mosaic Cultural Center, the Action for Rural Development and Environment (ADRA), AMANGOLA and the National and Provincial Youth Councils also participated.

Speaking to journalists, the representative of the HANDECA Association, Alexandra Simeão, said that the visit to the Presidential Palace represents a public recognition that the President of the Republic has had "a courageous government".

"We cannot always agree with everything, but in general it has been an attempt to build a new country. Let's wait and encourage this to happen, "said the activist, who welcomed the opening of the Head of State to contact their support services and get their proposals forward.

The representative of the Angolan Political and Social Observatory (OPSA), Sérgio Calundungo, said that it was a "symbolic meeting that marks a very important moment" in the relationship between the President of the Republic and the voices of civil society that for a long time , criticized what was being governance.

"The President demonstrates that he is not afraid to dialogue, even with the most critical voices of society," said the activist.

José Patrocínio, from OMUNGA Association, stated that civil society is still waiting for the resolution of sensitive issues, such as the fight against corruption, one of the issues that the Head of State is most concerned with.

"The important thing is that things have become matters of public domain," he said.

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