Brazil’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe Rogeiro Coutinho Jr is set to spearhead cultural exchange programs to improve ties between Harare and Rio De Janeiro.
A local group of artists has since left the country on a 14 day cultural exchange trip in Brazil.
Speaking to attendees at the Brazilian Embassy in Harare on his nation’s 201st National Day, last week, Mr. Coutinho Jnr said he had identified the ideas ,customs, and social behaviour of people and societies,as one of the most significant areas for development during his time in Zimbabwe.
“It is a little over a year since my wife and I have been her in Harare, having lived in South Africa before, when we even had an opportunity to briefly visit,” he said.
“We didn’t know much to anticipate of our lives here, and everything we expected proved pretty much accurate, but the one thing that came as an agreeable surprise to us was to realise how nice, helpful and kind the people of Zimbabwe are. This really makes us feel at home and warmly welcome in this country.
“It goes on to show how Zimbabweans are peaceful minded people which is a crucial factor for any country’s successful social and economic development. As a result of our very distant revolutions, contact between Zimbabwe and Brazil has been very limited, but the time has now come to change it.
“Thus for the past 12 months I have made several important contacts in this country from which I hope, several bilateral exchanges will be developed in several areas including agriculture, mining, trade and investments, renewable energies and cultural and education exchanges.”
The production of cotton and the breeding of cattle already have bilateral ties that are poised to begin, according to Mr. Coutinho Jr. His country will gain from native expertise in the business aspect of flowers and ornamental plants.
Learning the language was essential because Brazil is a Portuguese-speaking country and doing so would help to improve ties and make communication simpler, especially for people who planned on touring the country.
The locals will be taught the language according to Mr. Coutinho Jnr, in concert with other embassies that speak Portuguese.
“We would like to see more Zimbabwean students going to Brazil for their academic training as well as increasing the exchange between the academic and research institutions from the two countries,” he said.
“In this respect it is also our desire to develop efforts together with Portuguese speaking countries embassies here in Harare to promote the Portuguese language among Zimbabwean citizens.”
Members of the diplomatic corps, representatives from the government, including the director of arts in the Ministry of Sports Arts and Culture, National Gallery of Zimbabwe ,Director Raphael Chikukwa ,Hillock Arts Foundation Director Raphael Jamu and rising visual artist Winston Mudumo were party at the ceremony.
Jamu said he will accept Mr. Coutinho’s offer for collaborative work with art organisations to grow the sector. Jamu is scheduled to visit Brazil with a group of artists from his foundation.
“I’m happy that my organisation is one of the beneficiaries of HE Coutinho Jnr’s generosity as he is helping with both financial and logistical support for our travel to Brazil,” said Jamu.
“We will use our visit to formulate a meaningful cultural and artistic programme between our two nations.”