Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the veteran left winger and former president of Brazil, has dramatically returned to power after a bitterly-fought run-off victory over rival Jair Bolsonaro.
Lula, the fifth-time left-wing candidate, and founder of the Worker’s Party, has secured 50.9% of the vote to Bolsonaro’s 49.1% after 99.97% of votes have been counted. He has been congratulated by world leaders including US President Joe Biden and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Lula’s return to power signals a new era in African-Latin American relations, says Carlos Lopes, professor at the University of Cape Town, former executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and expert on African economies, policy and geopolitics.
“Brazil’s Lula and Colombia’s first ever black VP Francia Marquez will contribute to change the relations between Latin America and Africa. Both have made clear their commitment towards that. Africa in turn has to engage them more than symbolically.”
His presidency could also be transformative for Brazil-Africa trade integration after a period of stagnation.
During his two terms in office, from 2003 until 2010, Africa experienced a revamped Brazilian presence, with exports from Brazil to sub-Saharan Africa increasing by 25% per year.
Source: African Business