Exclusive interview with Governor Typinge, governor of Huila Province in Angola where he discusses the potential of the country and the province.
First of all, I would like to thank you for giving this interview; we can imagine that you are a very busy man. I would like to talk a little about Angola, which is now positioning itself as a leader in various fields of sub-Saharan Africa, and gaining more and more interest from investors and others. How do you see Angola’s transformation, becoming a leader in the sub-Saharan region?
After the long war period, Angola has managed to acquire a vast experience in solving the major problems that many African countries are now facing. The internal conflict which we lived gave us a lot of experience in solving internal problems, finding peace and bringing reconciliation of our people. Today, it is thanks to that experience we gained that we are able to help other countries in conflict, in the continent.
We have proved in practice that the best way to resolve internal conflicts is through peaceful means, adding synergies and promoting reconciliation because we believe we have much to convey to those countries that are experiencing similar situations.
We have proven in practice that the best way to resolve internal conflicts is by peaceful means, joining energies and promoting reconciliation, because we believe we have a lot to show to those countries that are experiencing similar situations.
Since Angola has already recovered from the conflict and has a solid democracy, how do you see the future of the country, in view of its National Development Plan for the coming years?
As you have mentioned, we have a very important government program, Development Plan 2013-2017, which was approved two years ago and is already in its implementation phase. To help us with its implementation we have the support of a charismatic leader who is fighting for a common goal, alongside the people, of an overall reconstruction of Angola.
Regarding this program, we are going at a good speed in all the economic and social sectors. We recognize that there is still much to do ahead of us, since we are talking about a country that for many years had to be focused on the war. In these new times of peace, we have more concerns; because we have free access and movement as the State administration throughout the country, and we need to help the different people living across the country.
At the same time we were bringing peace we were also rebuilding the country so that the people are more united to work together for the growth of Angola, which is growing to levels that you already have knowledge of. In this struggle we count with the efforts of all Angolans and not Angolans, to make Angola a country, which is ever-larger and more respected in the world.
Regarding Angola’s growth, and viewing Huila as one of the most important provinces for the development of the country, not forgetting its farming industry as a key sector. How important is agri-business for the province?
Huila has a long experience that served as an example for other provinces. It has been doing livestock fairs for many years, even before independence. After the country gained independence, traditional and pedigree livestock continued. Our population has always raised cattle in the traditional way but a more modern sector is also beginning to rise in territories with large farms throughout the province.
The Southern Angolan Cattle-Breeders Cooperative was created a long time ago and has transmitted its experience to other provinces such as Benguela, Namibe, Cunene, Kwanza Sul and Malange. This year it has become a national cooperative based in Lubango. We believe that someday we will be able to produce meat for the whole country. It is planned that the next cattleman activity will take place in Moxico. Every year, we have Cattleman Day, when cattlemen from other countries come to exchange their experiences.
We have signed an agreement with the National Institute of Italy for technical assistance and animal vaccination precisely so that we can start treating our animals with the best possible techniques. Unfortunately we are still considered an endemic area, this means that the foreign community still does not believe in the quality of our cattle. And this is the reason why we are fighting to cut off the main livestock diseases so that our meat can be exported. This agreement was one of the first experiences that began in Huila but we have to believe that we can make the best of this agreement in order to expand it to the whole country.
Hon. Governor Typinge, could you talk about the major social plans you have planned for the province?
Huila is a very large province with about 3 million habitants. With this population, it is clear that we will need to invest in several areas to meet the needs of the country. In this sense, we are expanding the water supply capacity in view of the city’s demand in the future. We are also concerned about energy, which we will need to develop cohesively all other sectors. We are also concerned about the development of other industries such as the ceramic industry, metal-mechanics, mineral waters, manufacturing, beverages (Ngola, Coca Cola) ornamental stones etc.
Our bet still implies the education sector, with investments in primary, secondary, technical-vocational higher education. The students of the medical school in the province will be graduating for the first time this year. We have a law school and training programs for teachers. Our Polytechnic Institute began operating three years ago, with philosophy, construction and other engineering courses. In the health field, we are investing heavily in health centers in district hospitals, and we have managed to expand the network almost in all the municipalities of the province.
We cannot forget the government program to fight poverty, through which municipalities already have their own budgets for their health, education and sanitation programs. We are also investing heavily in new roads in Lubango, with a total of 5 projects we are undergoing at the moment. We believe that by December we will have more communication roads already open. In addition, we will now start a recovery project for secondary and tertiary roads through an INEA program. Two of our municipalities are in a critical condition: Chicomba and the Chipinde.
What is your vision on tourism potential of Huila in the future?
The province has a huge tourist potential. There was a survey that formed our Master Plan on Tourism in the province, and which will be discussed in detail in the coming days. We have important sites such as Leba, Tunda Vala, Cristo Rei, Senhora do Monte, the Waterfalls of Huila and the Bicuashe National Park, which has witnessed seen the massive return of the animals that had left during the war.
What is the importance of partnerships and relations with the United States?
Although mainly based in oil exploration for a long time, the relationship is stable and with great importance. The good news is that their relations are nowadays already stationed at other levels. Our economy is healthy; however, considering that the United States is a world power, it has much more to convey to us, since we need to support the manufacturing sector, the lines of credit and many other areas where the United States has to help us.
Agricultural development is critical because we have a great potential and good arable land, so we just need support to develop a technically advanced agriculture in order to solve one of the great evils that still plague our country and reduce the need for imports.
We have a huge amount of arable land to produce. Some days ago I received a team from Angola and South African interested in investing heavily in agriculture. It’s precisely that kind of people who we want to see here, those who start investments with their own capital and not those who depend on the government budget to implement their projects.
As an Angolan political leader, and somehow also social leader, and as one of the personalities involved in the country's decisions, how would you define your leadership regarding the main challenges that the country is facing and which legacy would you like to leave to your successor?
I'm here as a soldier and as such I will hear the voice of my commander to put his instructions into practice. We are here for the sole purpose of serving and only you and the people can evaluate our work. It is not for me to judge my own cause, but the greatest legacy that I would like to leave would be to know that the next generations will be benefited by the results of my contribution during my time and work as a governor.
We have a program that serves us as a guideline and all our effort should be aimed at continuing to follow the same program, a task for which we believe we have an efficient team.
Finally, as my last question, Mr. Governor, I would like to ask you if you had to travel and take with you three things from Huila to show to the world, what would those three things be?
First, I would take something related to the tourism potential, such as the Christ the King, the Leba or even a beautiful church we have here with an extraordinary architecture. Moreover, I would also take something related to agriculture and livestock in order to show the quality of our productions and our animals. Finally, I would pack our need to receive cooperation from other countries in areas of promotion and education, because we all know that only with a good education can any country develop. A country is only a country if it the results are good in all its sectors.