4 Jul 2010

Brazil determined to build more ties with Africa

12:57 pm on 4 July 2010

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil has told a summit of West African leaders his country is determined to increase its unity with Africa.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is on his last visit to the continent before he steps down later this year.

On his last African tour as president before he steps down later this year, he said Brazil could never repay its historic debt to the continent.

Mr Lula told West African leaders in Cape Verde that his successor would have a "moral duty" to increase trade and investment,

Brazilian trade with Africa has quadrupled since he became president in 2002.

Trade between Brazil and Africa has grown from $US6 billion to $US24 billion since then.

Brazilian companies have invested heavily in oil and mining, and have taken on big infrastructure projects.

The BBC reports Mr Lula has made improving links with Africa a vital part of his foreign policy, which emphasises "South-South" relations.

He has toured the continent at least 10 times, visiting 25 different countries.

The current trip also takes in Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa, where Mr Lula will attend the FIFA World Cup final on 11 July as leader of the next host country.