Brazilian leader at AU summit

2009-06-18 14:33

Addis Ababa - Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will be a special guest at next month's African Union summit of heads of states in Libya, the AU said on Thursday.

Lula will address the July 1-3 bi-annual summit at Sirte. The invite was a "recognition of the particular attention President Lula has personally given to Brasil's relationship with Africa," catapulting trade, a statement said.

Trade between Africa and Brazil has zoomed by 415% since 2002 when Lula took office.

"Africa has watched with keen interest, the domestic policies of President Lula, which have contributed to the upliftment of the poor masses, many of who are Brazilians of African origin," the statement said.

Brazil is home to the largest population of people of African origin outside the continent itself, according to the AU.