Now vying to be “Africa’s Dubai”, Luanda and its building boom reflect the progress made since rebel group UNITA, decapitated by the death in battle of its leader Jonas Savimbi, signed an April 4, 2002 peace accord with President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and his victorious ruling MPLA party. But many citizens say however they feel left out of the post-war economic boom that has elevated Angola to Africa’s No. 2 oil producer behind Nigeria. They accuse Dos Santos’ government of leaving the poor behind while a ruling elite reaps the spoils of peace (Reuters).
There may be much that is shiny and new in Angola, but 10 years after the end of the war many ghosts remain, as Louise Redvers reports for BBC Focus on Africa magazine. It is a milestone that at one time few would have thought possible. On 4 April, Angola marks a decade since the end of the 27-year civil war which devastated the country, claiming countless lives and displacing millions. How times have changed. Today Angola can now boast of a booming economy – forecast to grow 12% this year – and a growing regional and international diplomatic profile (BBC).
With his thin-rimmed spectacles and philosophy degree, MCK belies the image of a streetwise rapper, but his latest album bears a message that is authentically tough. Released in January, “Proibido Ouvir Isto” (Forbidden to Hear This), assails a host of national ills, from the corruption of Angola’s elite to the squalor of its fetid musseques (slums) (The Economist).
President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos probably won’t lose power in Africa’s second-biggest crude producer, as oil income strengthens his rule, said former Prime Minister Marcolino Moco, a member of the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola. “It’s a dictatorship of oil that we have,” Moco told reporters today in Johannesburg, in neighboring South Africa. “The president dominates completely. It’s not a one-party state; it’s a one-person state” (Bloomberg).
Elias Isaac, country director in Angola for the independent Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, Marcolino Moco, a member of Angola’s ruling MPLA who is nonetheless a sharp critic of long-time President Eduardo dos Santos, and of the opposition Unita party held a news conference in neighbouring South Africa to discuss their concerns about the state of democracy in the southern African nation (News24).
You can subscribe to Atlantico Weekly here. It’s free!
Atlantico Weekly is now also on Facebook. Be welcome to join our group!
You can follow Atlantico Weekly on Twitter at atlanticoweekly.
Also be welcome to join our Atlantico Weekly networking and discussion group on Linkedin.
SPLIT SECOND POLL
Angola needs to invest US$20 billion in telecommunications, transport, energy, and water over the next decade in order to catch up with the level of infrastructure in other developing countries, according to a comparative study from the World Bank published in Washington (Macauhub).
Angola’s foreign-currency reserves dropped to $26.6 billion in February from $27.1 billion in the previous month, the Luanda-based central bank said (Bloomberg).
Angolans can now build infrastructure and farm crops more safely, as more than 870 million square metres of land have been cleared of mines since 2008, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The UNDP has contributed to local efforts by training more than 1,000 demining specialists at the National Demining Institute in recent years (Defence Web).
Boeing Co said Angola carrier TAAG Linhas Aereas de Angola has ordered three 777-300ER airplanes, a deal worth $895 million at list prices (Reuters).
At least eight airports will be well equipped and modernized in Angola this year. The director of Infrastructure of the National Company for the Exploration of Airports and Air Navigation (ENANA), Nataniel Domingos, stated that the modernization of each facility includes the construction or repair of aircraft movement areas, including runways and parking (Prensa Latina).
OIL & GAS
Angola’s state-owned oil company Sonangol EP wants to explore for oil in Cuba through a joint venture with Cobalt International Energy Inc. (CIE). Manuel Vicente, Angola’s minister for economic coordination and former Sonangol chairman, traveled to the Caribbean island last week to discuss Sonangol’s access to the country’s oil sector (Bloomberg).
A large shipyard intended to provide support to oil companies operating in the seas off Angola is currently under construction in the Porto Amboim. Called Porto Amboim Estaleiros Navais (Paenal) the shipyard started out in 2007 as a subsidiary of state group Sonangol, with a 40 percent stake, and its foreign partners are Singapore’s SBW Shipyard, and its South Korean counterpart Daewoo Shipyards, each with a 30 percent stake (Macauhub).