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Angolan President João Lourenço conspicuously absent from Mashujaa festivities

By Wangu Kanuri October 20th, 2023 2 min read

Angola President João Lourenço was conspicuously absent from the Mashujaa Day celebrations in Kericho on October 20, 2023.

Mr Lourenco is in the country on a State visit and Prime Cabinet Secretary  Musalia Mudavadi, after receiving him at the airport, announced he will, alongside First Lady Her Excellency Ana Dias Lourenço, be in attendance at the Green Stadium in Kericho for the celebrations.

But it wasn’t to be.

Speaking at the event after he was invited by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Angola Foreign Minister Tete António explained the President could not make it to the event due to ‘unforeseeable reasons’.

“On behalf of the President, I would first like to convey his apologies. He would have loved to be here but for unforeseen reasons, he could not make it to Kericho but he sent you a warm greeting. Thank you for the warm reception we have been granted every time we come to Kenya,” António said.

On his part, President Ruto said, “Our guest my friend Tete Antonio minister for Foreign Affairs is representing my brother the President of Angola who is in Kenya as we talk and he will be having a State visit tomorrow,” before reading his speech.

A source told Nairobi News other engagements of the Angola President’s Kenyan visit remained intact.

Angola is Kenya’s strategic ally and Africa’s second-largest producer of oil after Nigeria.

It has a large population of Kenyans living and working in Luanda and recently overtook Kenya on Africa’s richest list.

Last year, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, during his visit to Angola, encouraged Kenyans residing in the country to explore untapped business opportunities.

“Food in this country is from Brazil. You must think outside the box. We should look into these potential business opportunities,” he urged.

Furthermore, Deputy President Gachagua emphasized that under Ruto’s administration, they would actively seek out business prospects for Kenyans while promoting the nation internationally.

“Approximately 70 percent of our diplomacy will revolve around the commercial interests of our country. We will establish two-year memoranda of understanding with ambassadors, outlining specific deliverables. Ambassadors will be tasked with identifying markets to enhance our trade opportunities.”

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