“The Involvement of Students in the Struggle for National Freedom”

H.E.Dr. Joao Garcia Bires

Ambassador of Angola to the People’s Republic of China

For the 22nd edition of the Tsinghua Ambassador talks, held on 14 April 2017, the Department of International Relations welcomed the Ambassador of Angola Joao Garcia Bires, who gave a speech on “The Involvement of Students in the Struggle for National Freedom” and answered all the participant’s questions in a fruitful Q&A session.

Ambassador Bires explained how the national movement for independence and freedom in Angola was built, and the youth was an essential component of the movement. Many of the youth originated from the countryside, and belonged to working class families. Moreover, youths who received a higher education were often the backbone of the independence movement.

He further explained that the changes and pressures present during WWI and WWII influenced the youth movement deeply. To illustrate this point further, the Ambassador used the Spanish Civil, which took place from 1936 to 1939, as a poignant example. He linked other historical events like the creation International Student Union and the World Federation of Democratic Youth, the United Nations Charter, and the Bandung Conference to the movement in Angola.

Ambassador Bires mentioned that during these times it was not uncommon for the youth to assume the struggle for independence, as they did in Angola. After explaining to the audience the struggle for independence and the civil war that followed, the Ambassador made mention of the additional challenges the country currently faces.

During the Q&A session, the Ambassador explained the importance of Chinese investments and funds in Angola. Some of these sectors include education, construction, and energy sectors of the Angolan economy.