Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad - Togo
Chief Negotiator of ACP Group for Post-Cotonou 2020 agreement - Professor of Political Philosophy

Prof. Robert Dussey

Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad - Togo
Chief Negotiator of ACP Group for Post-Cotonou 2020 agreement - Professor of Political Philosophy

CDL : Speech by guest Antônio Carlos de Salles Menezes, Ambassador of Brazil to Togo

Speech by His Excellency Antônio Carlos de Salles Menezes, Ambassador of Brazil to Togo on the occasion of the meeting of the Diplomatic Club of Lomé of April 20, 2018.

Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration, Robert Dussey

Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Gabon,

Dear Moderator and Illustrious Writer, Mr. Kangni Alem,

Dear colleagues of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps accredited in Lomé,

My Dear Colleague, Ambassador of Brazil to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Dear Ambassadors,

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is with great satisfaction that I accepted your invitation, dear friend Robert Dussey, to address me tonight at the Diplomatic Club of Lomé. And the theme I chose, “TOGO AND BRAZIL: AN UNPRELIDED GEOGRAPHIC AND CULTURAL PROXIMITY” is recurrent in all my speeches. I always insist that a large part of the Togolese still have an image of Brazil, their neighbor of the Southwest, like those of the chained Plato – with your permission, the Minister, and great philosopher, to mention Plato in front of you .

But I have already found that most people on this side of the Atlantic do not realize that shadows and echoes of my country, as in the allegory of the famous philosopher of Greek antiquity. They do not realize that on the other side of the ocean is a huge country of 8.5 million square kilometers, which has a lot to offer Togo, and Africa in general. But there are, nevertheless, some Togolese who have already escaped from the cave, like yourself, Professor Dussey, the Minister Guy Madje Lorenzo, the dear friends of the ITRA, our moderator (the writer Kangni Alem), and many others who know the reality of my country. So, I make an appeal to those friends I just mentioned, and to all Togolese of goodwill, for us to work together and more to intensify the visits of businessmen and agents of the State.

Perhaps the airlines will also escape the cavern, and will see, finally, that there is a market that justifies the permanent maintenance of an air link between our two countries. I say that, because the airline Ethiopian Airlines canceled, in 2017, for the second time in three years, the direct air link that existed between Lomé and São Paulo, the economic capital of Brazil. But I must point out that this week we have, in Lomé, a visit of the representatives of the Brazilian company NUTRIVITA, who are negotiating with the Togolese Government an important supply contract for school canteens in Togo.

As for culture, a literary character created by our moderator clearly mentions “the undeniable contributions of Africa to the civilization of Brazil”, and all the Brazilians are proud of this heritage. The practice of “capoeira” here in Lomé by a group of young men from the “Zumbo Fitness Studio” helps keep alive in Togo, this Afro-Brazilian cultural event. They presented themselves last September, during the celebration of our National Day, and will present themselves again next month, during the third edition of the week of the African integration, and for which Brazil is, once again, the guest of honor, thanks to your kindness, the Minister.

In the field of politics, everyone knows that my country is experiencing a political and economic storm since 2016. But fortunately recent statistics show that the recovery in economic growth has already begun. And it must be emphasized that, regardless of the problems observed, Brazil remains one of the largest economies in the world, the seventh, and a member of the G-20 and the BRICS group (with Russia, China, the United India and South Africa). Its relations with the countries of West Africa, and with Togo in particular, have been considered as priorities for decades. It should be noted that since the beginning of this century, our trade balance shows considerable figures, taking into account that Brazil is often mistakenly mentioned as a distant country, or “less close”, as in the publication “INVESTIR TOGO 2017 “. In 2017, for example, almost $ 97 million worth of goods were exported to Togo. As for the fight against corruption, I would like to mention the theme chosen by the Togolese Chancellery for the third edition of the week of African integration, to be held next month, and for which Brazil will be, again, like I have already mentioned, the guest of honor: “WINNING THE BATTLE AGAINST CORRUPTION: A SUSTAINABLE PATH TO THE TRANSFORMATION OF AFRICA”. If I replace “Africa” ​​with “Brazil”, we will see that the fight against this scourge, corruption, is one more element that unites us, in addition to geography and culture.

As for culture, a literary character created by our moderator clearly mentions “the undeniable contributions of Africa to the civilization of Brazil”, and all the Brazilians are proud of this heritage. The practice of “capoeira” here in Lomé by a group of young men from the “Zumbo Fitness Studio” helps keep alive in Togo, this Afro-Brazilian cultural event. They presented themselves last September, during the celebration of our National Day, and will present themselves again next month, during the third edition of the week of the African integration, and for which Brazil is, once again, the guest of honor, thanks to your kindness, the Minister.

 

In the field of politics, everyone knows that my country is experiencing a political and economic storm since 2016. But fortunately recent statistics show that the recovery in economic growth has already begun. And it must be emphasized that, regardless of the problems observed, Brazil remains one of the largest economies in the world, the seventh, and a member of the G-20 and the BRICS group (with Russia, China, the United India and South Africa). Its relations with the countries of West Africa, and with Togo in particular, have been considered as priorities for decades. It should be noted that since the beginning of this century, our trade balance shows considerable figures, taking into account that Brazil is often mistakenly mentioned as a distant country, or “less close”, as in the publication “INVESTIR TOGO 2017 “. In 2017, for example, almost $ 97 million worth of goods were exported to Togo. As for the fight against corruption, I would like to mention the theme chosen by the Togolese Chancellery for the third edition of the week of African integration, to be held next month, and for which Brazil will be, again, like I have already mentioned, the guest of honor: “WINNING THE BATTLE AGAINST CORRUPTION: A SUSTAINABLE PATH TO THE TRANSFORMATION OF AFRICA”. If I replace “Africa” ​​with “Brazil”, we will see that the fight against this scourge, corruption, is one more element that unites us, in addition to geography and culture.

We will have a very important election next October, not only for the Presidency of the Republic, but also for the renewal of the Chamber of Deputies, two-thirds of the Senate, the Governors of States and the Legislative Assemblies of States. More than one hundred million voters will go to the polls. And I am absolutely sure that in 2019 we will have a new country, from a political point of view, where this battle will continue on the agenda. Speaking of South-South Cooperation, I must add that Togo receives support from Brazil for the development of its agriculture through two cooperation projects of the CBA (Brazilian Cooperation Agency). This is the “Cotton4 + Togo” Project, devoted to cotton production, as well as the project to support the ITRA-Togolese Institute of Agronomic Research, which focuses on improving cassava production techniques. will be reactivated soon.

Regarding the training of technicians in cotton production, in 2017 the Brazilian government gave a university extension course for 37 African experts, aiming at capacitation and technology transfer in the cotton sector, with five Togolese among them. The course took place at the prestigious Federal University of Lavras (UFLA), state of Minas Gerais, within the framework of the “Regional Project for the Development of African Technicians in Cotton Production”, which is part of the wider context of Project “Cotton4 + Togo”. Soon, next June, three technicians will go to São Carlos, State of São Paulo, for an important activity related to seed multiplication training.

In addition, the Government of Brazil is fully aware that although Togo is a small country, it has experienced a sustained economic boom in recent years, with GDP growth exceeding 5% in 2016 and 2017, and 4, 4% in 2018, despite the negative effects created by socio-political problems, as mentioned by the recent mission of the International Monetary Fund which came to Lome. Our economic operators are also aware that the Togolese capital has a deep sea terminal that also serves other neighboring countries, as well as a modern airport, last generation.

Long live Brazil. Long live Togo. Long live Gabon

Thank you very much.

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