ANGOLA: Cuba, Brazil offer study and science support

Cuba will send teachers to Angola to train personnel in a variety of fields, and 1,000 Angolan students will go to the Caribbean republic to study during the next five years, it was announced during a five-day visit to Angola by the Cuban Minister for Higher Education, Juan Vela Valdês. Angola has also entered a partnership with Brazil for technological cooperation.

Valdês was invited to Angola under an agreement between the two countries signed in Havana in 2007. On his arrival he told the Angola Press Agency that this accord, "already in force, provides for Cuban teachers to come and participate in the opening of new public universities. The treaty also envisages sending Angolans undertaking postgraduate studies - doctorates, specialisations - to Cuba, as well as carrying out joint research".

While with Angolan Prime Minister Antonio Paulo Kassoma, Valdês confirmed that Cuba would provide Angola with 'hundreds' of teachers to train personnel in a number of fields "and contribute to the development of the country", reported Angola Press.

"If we cooperated during the war so that Angola would be free, independent and sovereign, we must strengthen relations to fight against under-development and poverty," he said.

Nearly 200 Cuban teachers are currently working in Angola, said Angola Press.

During a trip with Valdês to Huambo, Angolan Secretary of State for Higher Education, Adão do Nascimento, announced that 1,000 Angolan students would go to Cuba during the next five years, half of them for medical studies, reported Angola Press. Do Nascimento said Valdês' visit reinforced cooperation between institutions, with creation of new medical courses in the provinces of Huambo, Huila and Malarje, and the strengthening of those already in existence in the provinces of Benguela and Cabinda.

In Huambo the two ministers met Cuban teachers working in the faculties of agrarian and veterinary sciences, at the Institute of Educational Sciences.

The Angolan government has also signed an agreement with the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil for cooperation in the field of technology. The project will start in 2009 and enable Angolan graduates and postgraduates to study at the Brazilian university.

Orlando José da Mata, Angolan Vice-minister of Sciences and Technology, said at the signing: "Our country is crying out for ideas to produce growth, and that's why we are giving priority to investment in this field. To catch up our scientific and technological backwardness we must invest in training personnel in different branches of knowledge."

Angola must promote technology in scientific investigation "in such a way that teachers and researchers in different higher education institutions can achieve the same capabilities as those states with greater technico-scientific development", he said, quoted by Angola Press.

On behalf of the Rio Grande do Sul University, Professor Jaime Alvares Spin said the partnership was a "big responsibility", and he hoped the programme would grow "positively for the two countries", reported Angola Press.