I’m not the only one who has noted Angola’s busy week in politics. Africa is a country has a post on this. Here are the big themes:
The elections are six months away. It is unlikely that the current ruling power, MPLA, will lose power, but that doesn’t mean others are not challenging them.
- A UNITA population, Abel Chivukuvuku has now created his own party to launch his presidential campaign: CASA, short for “Ample Convergence of Angolan Salvation” (Africa is a country)
- Independent newspaper, Folha 8, was raided by Angolan authorities.
- Anti-government protests took place in Luanda and its suburbs. There were minor clashes with police. Attempts to protest in Benguela as well were apparently blocked by police intervention. Concerns about the head of the electoral commission were central to these protests.
- Rafael Marque, who I was fortunate enough to meet not so long ago, testified this week regarding human rights crimes in Angola’s diamond mines (Africa is a country). If human rights is his cause, he might have more work cut out given reports on how the police have handled the recent protests: “Activists Beaten Just Days Before Protest.”
Meanwhile, the President is trying to bolster his self-image. Dos Santos announced new investments in small and medium businesses. Shrikesh Laxmidas at Reuters has a quick overview of the“Key political risks to watch in Angola”: succession, protests, the election itself, transparency, economic growth, and oil dependency.
Angola saves Portugal
The tone of this theme was set last fall, when news reports showed increased investment flows from Angola to Portugal. And, while it has been standard in recent years to discuss the problems of African immigration to Europe, it seems that migration flows are the other way around with respect to Angola. From Reuters:
Pedro Luz, 34, who recently graduated with a second degree in business management, is a typical young professional who has been drawn to Angola by opportunity and better pay. Sent out from Lisbon, he is working as a business consultant on a project that will last four months but expects to stay longer.
“As expatriates here we have a lifestyle we simply don’t get at home,” he said. “If we didn’t have this crisis in Europe, Angola wouldn’t be my first choice.”
Songangol is reportedly in talks to “buy more of Portugal’s Galp”.
Updated: I shouldn’t post things late at night. I accidentally pasted the wrong quote above in the original version of the post (a quote about migration to Brazil instead of Angola… both are covered in the Reuters article).