President Lula arrives in South Africa for the Brics meeting in 2023. (Photo: Ricardo Stuckert/PR)

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva returns next week, for the second time in his current term, to the African continent where he will have agendas in Egypt and Ethiopia, countries that became members of Brics in 2024, with support from Brazil.

The commitments in Egypt will be between the 14th and 15th of February, and Ethiopia, between the 16th and 18th.

In the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, the Brazilian president will participate as a guest at the 37th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union.

In a press briefing about the trip, Ambassador Carlos Duarte, secretary of Africa and the Middle East at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says that the invitation to the African Union summit can be interpreted as a sign of prestige, since in most Sometimes only African rulers participate in this event.

Read more: Lula travels towards ‘Brics’ and agenda of partnerships with African countries

“It is a recognition of the priority that the president has given to Africa in his foreign policy,” he says.

In the meeting with dozens of heads of state and government at the summit, the president has invitations to several bilateral meetings, which have not yet been defined.

The ambassador says that Brazil can develop stronger trade with Ethiopia.

“It is a country that has had strong and significant economic growth and is an important market. Brazil can benefit from having a greater presence in Ethiopia,” he explains.

According to Itamaraty, another important point is the convergence between Brazil and African nations on the three priorities that guide the Brazilian presidency of the G20: combating inequality and hunger, sustainability and energy transition and, finally, reform of international organizations to allow greater participation of developing countries in the global decision-making system.


The invitation to visit Egypt was made by President Abdul Fatah al-Sisi even before Lula took office.

“While still president-elect, he was invited by President Sisi to participate in COP27 in Sharm al-Sheikh. The president went there and announced the guidelines of his foreign policy, Brazil’s return to international forums and reconfigured priorities. It would also highlight the 100 years of diplomatic relations between Brazil and Egypt that are celebrated in 2024,” says Duarte.

Expanding relations with Egypt, one of the largest and most influential countries not only on the African continent but also among Arab nations, is one of the strategic actions of Brazilian diplomacy.

The ambassador explains that this dialogue has been strengthened in recent months, with negotiations for the departure of Brazilians who were in the Gaza Strip amid the conflict in the region, and were able to return after crossing into Egyptian territory through the Rafah crossing.

“Egypt is an important player in the region. This dialogue took place at the most diverse levels to achieve the repatriation of Brazilians. This circumstance made the relationship even more important”, says the ambassador.

He also highlights that the country is one of Brazil’s main trading partners in Africa. “It is a strong and diversified trade, especially in agricultural products.”

The expectation is that the Egyptian government will soon approve new slaughterhouses and slaughterhouses in Brazil for beef exports.

In 2023, the African country opened the market for several Brazilian products, such as fish and derivatives, poultry meat, cotton and gelatin and collagen. The opening of an air route between the two countries, connecting São Paulo to Cairo, will also be discussed.

With information from Itamaraty


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