“Brazil’s Return to Africa: Embracing Opportunities and Growth – Insights from President Lula”
The spirited words emerged from the lips of Brazil’s President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, affectionately known as Lula. He shared these sentiments while addressing a gathering in South Africa during the annual Brics summit, a forum uniting Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
Against the backdrop of Johannesburg, South Africa’s bustling commercial heart, Lula’s message carried weight. It also held an implicit contrast to his predecessor, the right-leaning Jair Bolsonaro, who refrained from setting foot on African soil throughout his four-year presidency.
Stepping into the presidential role in January 2023 after a hard-fought election, Lula’s current term marks his return. Notably, he had previously held office from 2003 to 2010, during which he fostered strong ties with Africa through multiple visits, including to Cape Verde earlier this year.
Lula’s vision is clear – he aims to deepen relations with the “global south,” a cornerstone of Brazil’s foreign policy. As he shared, “During my initial two mandates, the African continent took precedence. I embarked on 12 journeys across 21 countries in Africa.”
Yet, despite Brazil’s welcoming approach to international relations, the nation seems reserved about enlarging the Brics membership, an aspiration championed by China and Russia.
Following his participation in the South African summit, Lula’s journey will continue across Africa’s landscapes. His upcoming destinations include Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe, illustrating his dedication to strengthening bonds with the African nations.