Angola, a former Portuguese colony, is on the west coast of Africa: below the Congo (formerly Belgian) and above Namibia (formerly German). Angola was colonised by the Portuguese in 1575 and was big in the slave trade, slaves being the main export at that time. In the 19th century when the slave trade was abolished, the Portuguese colonisers had to resort to other resources. Shipping of slaves was banned in 1836 but slavery was still legal within the Portuguese empire until 1875.
After the nationalist movements of the 1950s and independence, Portugal were quick in their departure and did not oversee any kind of handover to another government. Angola’s first president in 1975 had some help from the former Soviet Union (Russia) and Cuba. As a result, Angola become part of the Cold War with the communist world helping the president and the west offering assistance to the opposition forces. Fidel Castro sent troops in to Angola in 1974 as he was eager for communism to gain a footing in Africa.
Below is a timeline of events up until the Portuguese landed in Africa and what has happened in Angola up until the elections took place earlier this week.
1484: The Portuguese land in Africa for the first time, in Zaire, in neighbouring DRC.
1565: The Portuguese colony of Angola is formed.
1836: The slave trade is abolished. Angola focused more on agriculture and the export of raw materials, including rubber and the ivory trade.
1910: The end of the monarchy in Portugal and Portugal goes from a monarchy to a republic.
1920s: Despite the end of slavery, Angolan plantations (coffee and cotton) work on a system of forced labour.
1921: The Angola Diamond Company is established, although it has been in operation in Luanda (the capital of Angola), since 1916.
1926: A military coup in 1926 in Portugal brought in a military dictatorship which tightened their grip on their colonial possessions as a result. Whatever happened in Portugal was very relevant to what happened in their overseas ‘possessions’.
1950s: Nationalist movements emerge and various conflicting guerrilla movements are formed.
1956: MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola), formed by a group of radical Angolan intellectuals. Its leaders were mostly mixed race although the group included a number of white Angolans, some of whom had links to the underground Angolan communist party (there was one in Portugal too, which had been banned). Many of its leaders were caught in a series of arrests carried out by the secret police in 1959 and 1960. For a while they became an organisation in exile and based their offices in Paris. In 1959 they moved to the capital of Guinea and in 1961 to the Congo close to the border with Angola. The leader of the MPLA (who became Angola’s first president after independence) was Agostinho Neto, a former doctor and accomplished poet. They were supported by the Soviet Union and later on by Cuba.
The MPLA were the first guerrilla movement to form and fight for independence from Portugal. They have been, since independence in 1975, Angola’s ruling party.
1961: FNLA formed. Another guerrilla movement fighting for independence. They are now a political party and were one of the main contenders in this week’s elections in Angola. Also this year in March, an explosion of violence in the north of Angola in which many isolated European settlements and plantations are attacked. Several hundred whites are killed, including women and children. African migrant workers are also massacred with machetes and various other crude hand styled weapons. Portugal are able to regain control of the area but it takes six months. This uprising was organised by an Angolan exile group who were based in the Congo: the UPA. They were formed in 1957 and their leader, Holden Roberto, had spent most of his life living in exile in the Congo working as an accountant for the Belgian administration. In 1958, he attended in All African People’s Conference in Accra, (the capital of Ghana), and it was here that he was converted to the nationalist cause. North Angola had a bone to pick with Portugal as they had had nicked a lot of their farming land to produce coffee and palm oil. After a while the UPA collapsed. It’s leader, Roberto, let the power go to his head somewhat and Martin Meredith in his book ‘The State of Africa’, said that he ran it as his own ‘personal fiefdom, controlling all finance and administration and tolerating no rivals’ (136). For a time and indeed at the time of the Carnation Revolution in Portugal in 1974 (see below), the UPA (who later become known as FNLA), were the strongest guerrilla faction in terms of military power. Roberto, being based in Zaire in the Congo, received a lot of help from Mobutu (the then leader in the Congo) who himself aspired to play a role in Africa’s nationalist struggle.
As a result of the uprising in Northern Angola, Portugal issued a series of reforms in an effort to try to pacify the locals. Decrees were issued ending all forms of compulsory labour and prohibiting illegal land appropriation. Equal rights were granted to all; whether native Angolan or Portuguese settler. Further, a program of social rehabilitation, education and economic development was launched in northern Angola. Aside from this, Portugal still retained control over Angola in every other sense; certainly politically and economically.
By 1960, Angola’s capital city Luanda had become the third largest city in the Portuguese domain after Lisbon and Oporto. Angola had a white population of 200,000 (134, Martin Meredith, ‘The State of Africa’).
1962: UPA change their name to FNLA and receive additional support from Tunisia and Algeria. Their campaign doesn’t last long as they too were fought by splits and desertions, although they still exist as a political party today.
1963/1964: With Portuguese reluctance to initiate political reform in their colonies, guerrilla wars break out in all 3 colonies and Portuguese armies have difficulty containing them. The guerrilla movements suffer from ‘internal dissension, personal feuds and tribal antagonisms’ (Meredith, 137).
1966: UNITA are formed and they remain the main opposition party to MPLA to this day. Their leader is Jonas Savimbi, one of Roberto’s former associates. They receive a small stash of weapons from China but other than that, have no other international assistance (at this time).
1973: The leader of the FNLA, Roberto, visits China in December and musters up support from them, thereby increasing the weapons stash for his party This also comes with military instructors to boot. At this time, Roberto also receives some help from America (under Kennedy) and has an established relationship with the CIA: the reason being that the opposition power, MPLA, are sponsored by communist countries and America is determined to counter the spread of communism.
25th April 1974: ‘Carnation Revolution’ in Lisbon, Portugal in which the armed forces seize power. You can read more about the Carnation Revolution and why it was called so in the Huffington Post article in the sources below. This revolution makes the Portuguese military think and there is concern over the number of Portuguese lives lost during the period in which the Portuguese army are fighting against insurrections in the Portuguese colonies. Additional the cost of the upkeep of Portugal’s colonial possessions is not to be sniffed at.
By September 1974, Portuguese Guinea-Bissau is recognised as an independent republic.
Also during this period, the MPLA struggle under their leader Agostinho Neto. The party splits into 3 rival groups. Furthermore, the USSR stop supplying the MPLA with arms for fear that they will exacerbate internal fighting. Tanzania had once supported the MPLA but become disillusioned with the internal split; they then encourage China to support the FNLA instead. It is only in October 1974 when FNLA troops were sent into northern Angola that the Russians resume military supplies to the MPLA once more. Whilst the FNLA have their support base in northern Angola (with its leader operating from Zaire in the Congo), the MPLA maintain their stronghold in Angola’s capital city, Luanda.
Independence from 1974 onwards
In 1974, Portugal had 3 African colonies and all rebelled. The upkeep of colonies was expensive and nationalist movements troublesome so, as a result, all three were granted independence: Portuguese Guinea in September 1974; Portuguese East Africa (now Mozambique) in June 1975 and Angola, (who were deep in internal civil war at the time), in November 1975. Angola’s civil war was heavily financed by oil and the diamond industry and along with its international sponsors, it was able to flourish even beyond independence.
January 1975: The 3 nationalist leaders, Roberto, Neto and Savimbi, meet and agree to form an interim coalition government in conjunction with the Portuguese and to hold elections before independence day which was scheduled for 11th November 1975. Said coalition takes office later on in January 1975 but none of them get on, especially the FNLA and MPLA. They fight. The FNLA are joined by troops from Zaire and Russia follows suit by sending military supplies to the MPLA. In March 1975 there is heavy fighting and thousands of Portuguese settlers, around 300,000 of them, flee the country for fear that civil war is about to break out. The Portuguese supported government collapses and so does the economy. In subsequent months, the MPLA receive assistance from Cuba. They had already been receiving help from Castro with military training since 1965. With this additional help, the MPLA are able to drive UNITA and the FLNA out of Luanda in July 1975.
June 1975: Mozambique, one of Portugal’s other colonial possessions in Africa, becomes independent. It is not a peaceful transition and after a revolt by right wing whites, many lives are lost. There is an enormous exodus of white Portuguese settlers who flee to the coast and subsequently leave the country. By independence, some 200,000 whites had already fled.
July 1975: The MPLA finally drive the other opposing factions, UNITA and the FNLA, out of Angola’s capital (see above). From this point, the MPLA retain control of Luanda. Also this month, the Americans take more of an interest in the situation in Angola. American defeat in Vietnam in April 1975 had damaged their reputation. The rise of Soviet and Cuban influence in Angola with their support of the MPLA was cause for concern. Furthermore, warnings about a possible Soviet role in Angola had also come from several other African leaders (including Mobutu in Zaire, as mentioned above). Zambia’s leader also expressed concern and in fact, in April 1975, the Zambian leader Kaunda visited Washington and urged them to counter Soviet activity by supporting the two opposing factions: UNITA and the FNLA. US Secretary of State at the time, Henry Kissinger, said the following:
‘Our concern in Angola is not the economic wealth or the naval base. It has to do with the USSR operating 8,000 miles from home when all the surrounding states are asking for our help. I don’t care about the oil or the base, but I do care about the African reaction when they see the Soviets pull it off and we don’t do anything’ (Meredith, 316).
After this, America provided arms to the opposition factions and flew them into Zaire in the Congo, where Mobutu took safe delivery of them. South Africa followed suit and sent troops up to neighbouring Namibia in an endeavour to prevent a Soviet style incursion crossing their threshold. (They later pull out in 1988 – see below). South Africa are keen to impress America with their assistance in the prevention of the spread of communism. They are also keen for a more pro-western government to take power in Angola that will better serve their own interests. They, like America, support the opposing factions and through a series of secret meetings with them, agree to offer their support with (1) arms, (2) training and (3) to launch an invasion from their side if necessary. All attempts fail however by the time the MPLA has assistance not only from the USSR but from Cuba.
8th November 1975: Shortly before independence, Castro sends his own troops into Luanda to help the MPLA. There is fighting between all three factions but the MPLA, with additional air support from Cuba, defeat the other two.
11th November 1975: Angola become independent from Portugal. On the day of the transfer of power in Luanda, not one Angolan is present to witness the speech from the Portuguese high commissioner, Admiral Leonel Cardoso. They were probably all afraid of the fighting and the risk of getting injured. Cardoso declares a People’s Republic of Angola. Savimbi refuses to recognise it and proclaims his very own Democratic People’s Republic of Angola.
As the Portuguese administration disintegrates, nationalist factions compete for power and what was once a colonial war turns into a civil war. During the course of the civil war in Angola, many landmines were planted. This made the headlines internationally when Princess Diana visited the country in 1997 and drew attention to it.
December 1975: America run out of money to support the FNLA in Angola and when Kissinger asks for more, Congress decline. The FNLA do not receive any more financial support from America until Reagan is in power. During his second term which was at the height of the Cold War, Reagan overturns the decision of Congress (known as the ‘Clark Amendment’ of 1976) that had banned further financial and military aid to Angola and he provides military aid to Savimbi’s party UNITA.
20th September 1979: Dos Santos takes office after his predecessor and leader of the MPLA, Agostinho Neto, dies. The first years of his power are not great. For 15 years since independence, Angola has a ‘Soviet inspired system of centralised planning and nationalisation, causing the collapse of both industrial and agricultural production. Oil revenue was the only source of wealth. Oil enabled the government to prosecute the war against UNITA, to pay for food imports for the urban population and to provide the nomenklatura with extravagant lifestyles. The rural population was meanwhile left to fend for itself. Even in Luanda there were constant shortages’ (Meredith, 604).
When education and healthcare became bad, the rich just sent their children and families abroad which was paid for by the public coffers. Dos Santos lived in luxury while the slums had little electricity and suffered from outbreaks of cholera.
1986: Savimbi is invited to the White House in Washington and is lauded as a ‘champion of democracy’. The Americans are impressed with his ability to speak 3 African languages and 4 European ones (Meredith, 603-4). During this period, Savimbi gains greater power and support and is able to overrun many of the diamond fields in the Luanda region. What he takes accounts for three quarters of Angola’s diamond production. Savimbi at this time is also continuing to receive assistance from his pal Mobutu in Zaire.
Meanwhile, the MPLA is raking in money from Angola’s off shore oil fields and spends heavily on military equipment that is sourced from their allies in the Soviet Union.
Throughout the decade of the 1980s, more than 350,000 people die in Angola’s civil war and over a million people are uprooted from their homes (Meredith, 603).
1988: Pact with Cuba in which both sides, Cuba and South Africa, agree to withdraw troops from Angola and Namibia. So ends the Cold War conflict in the African arena and the civil war in Angola becomes a domestic affair. Angola had become a pawn for a while in the Cold War game with the United States and South Africa assisted: they were adamant that the Soviet backed MPLA would not be the ones to gain power on independence, which they did, as you can see above.
June 1989: Mobutu in Zaire is eager to win favour from America and he invites Savimbi and the leader of the MPLA, dos Santos, for talks. His attempts are futile. Whilst they are there, Savimbi’s minions attack the electricity supply in Luanda.
March 1990: Namibia, south of Angola and north of South Africa, celebrate independence. They were formerly a German colony. American and Russian officials, whilst there, try to talk about peace in Angola and Portugal join in the talks.
April 1990: Portugal hosts a round of peace talks between the MPLA and UNITA. Russia at this point, (they have their own political issues to handle as communism is collapsing all over the place), lose interest in Angola and the MPLA abandon the communist approach, choosing to embrace economic reform. They privatise state owned assets but it is the elite who benefit. The MPLA become renowned for corruption.
In terms of the beneficiaries of the money that comes in from oil revenue and diamonds, Keith Somerville says that the much of it goes into the ‘Bermuda triangle of the treasury, the state oil company (Sonagol) and the National Bank’. He goes on to say that oil and diamond revenues, along with external loans, enter this triangle ‘never to be seen or heard of again’ (325).
31st May 1991: In Lisbon, dos Santos and Savimbi sign a 60 page agreement intended to bring an end to 16 years of civil war (Meredith, 603). Angola creates a new Constitution in which there is a merging of the two rival armies and multi-party elections are held.
29th and 30th September 1992: Angola’s first democratic general elections take place and are supervised by the UN. A remarkable British woman who I have only just discovered, Margaret Anstee, is sent by the UN to monitor the elections in which the incumbent party, the MPLA, win. So favourable is her reputation there that the 1991 peace agreement becomes known in the slums around Luanda as ‘Margaret’s peace’ (Meredith, 604).
During her time in Angola, 5 million voters have to be registered. Anstee is given a budget of $132 million to oversee the elections: a contrast to the $430 Namibia had received for theirs and the $2 billion that was donated to Cambodia. She was the first woman in the UN to be deployed on a peacekeeping mission and called it the ‘world’s cheapest peace keeping operation’ (Meredith, 608). According to Meredith, a total of ‘800 elections observers were assigned to monitor 5,820 polling stations in an area larger than the combined territories of France, Germany and Italy’ (608).
Keith Somerville in his book ‘Africa’s Long Road Since Independence’ (published 2015), gives us some more figures:
‘The UN provided a verification and monitoring force but it was tiny with only 350 observers, 90 UN police and 400 election monitors’ (321).
Despite these efforts, the task of promoting peace was nigh on impossible whilst dos Santos and Savimbi were always loggerheads: neither one was willing to share power.When the polls closed on 30th September 1992, there were barely any reports of violence and an astoundingly high electoral turnout of 90%.
17th October 1992: Election results are announced and Anstee says that the results are free and fair. The official results give the MPLA 53.74% of the vote and UNITA 34.10%, thereby putting dos Santos 9% ahead of Savimbi (Somerville, 322). Unsurprisingly, the opposition UNITA did not accept the result and civil war resumed even more violently than before. UNITA go on to take control of large parts of the interior and the diamond producing areas around Luanda.
31st October 1992: A battle for Luanda erupts. After 3 days of fighting, UNITA are driven from the capital city. This is followed by a battle for control in other areas and Angola is portioned into government and rebel held areas. Whilst Savimbi no longer has the support of America and South Africa, (his former allies), he still has support from Mobutu in Zaire and he has money from diamonds with which to buy weapons. The diamonds are known as ‘blood diamonds’ not because people were out toiling in mines and dying in the process but because of what they were being used to pay for: an ongoing civil war.
Mobutu allows Savimbi to stockpile weapons in Zaire in return for money and diamonds. Meanwhile, Togo gives sanctuary to Savimbi’s children (at the behest of Mobutu, who gives them money to do so).
Within the space of 2 years, over 2 million people are displaced and over 20 million landmines are planted by the opposition. It is Angola where Princess Diana famously went to bring public awareness to this. Throughout the course of the civil war, two thirds of all roads in Angola are unusable as a result of the landmines or they are destroyed by collapsed bridges (Meredith, 607).
January to March 1993: UNITA’s fight for Huambo in the centre of Angola leaves 12,000 dead. 25,000 are killed in Kuito in the centre. (These figures according to the UN). In 1993, UNITA have over two thirds of Angola’s territory but that wanes the following year as the Angolan government reorganise their forces and spend half their national budget on arms. America, (with Russia and Cuba now being out of the picture), are more concerned with getting a share of the Angolan oil industry and throw their ‘diplomatic weight’ (Somerville, 323) behind dos Santos where previously they had worked surreptitiously against him for fear of the spread of communism.
20th November 1994: Savimbi starts to lose ground. The UN mediate. Shaky peace is agreed in Zambia and the opposition agree to disarm and participate in politics. This is a new peace deal sponsored by the UN and they send out 7,000 UN troops. Savimbi is offered a power sharing agreement in a transitional government but it doesn’t work. He turns down an offer from dos Santos to be vice president, in which he tells a foreign journalist: ‘Do I look like a puppet?” (Meredith, 613). The peace agreement lasts, with intermittent skirmishes, for 4 years; but the war resumes in 1998.
April 1997: During this intermittent period of peace (with ‘skirmishes’), a government of national unity is formed which includes UNITA ministers. The UN are hopeful that it will work and remove many of their peace keeping force, leaving behind a residual mission of ‘1,500 troops’ (Meredith, 614).
Savimbi however doesn’t allow the unity government to exercise any power over the areas under his control, particularly where the diamond mines are located.
May 1997: Mobutu’s regime collapses in Zaire in the neighbouring Congo and Savimbi loses his last foreign ally. Savimbi still however has a lot of money stored up in his ‘diamond chest’ and is able to procure arms to keep the civil war going.
August 1997: The UN impose sanctions against Savimbi’s UNITA party as a result of his failure to cooperate.
June 1998: The UN Security Council order a ban on the purchase of Angolan diamonds and a freeze on UNITA’s bank accounts and other financial assets. This annoys Sivimbi, naturally.
December 1998: Civil war continues but the rest of the world doesn’t notices as it’s all kicking off in Kosovo at the time. Dos Santos eventually loses patience with Savimbi and finally declares that war is the only option. He calls an end to the pace deal that Savimbi is ignoring completely and orders a military offensive against UNITA’s strongholds. At the same time, dos Santos cannily hires mercenaries who had previously fought for Savimbi (clearly he’s offering them more money). Said mercenaries are used to protect on shore oil fields from Savimbi’s attacks.
The UN are at the end of their tether and they decide to close their mission. By this time, they have spent some $1.5 billion on Angola since 1994 to no avail. The war of 1998 goes on to last more than 3 years. According to Meredith in his ‘State of Africa’ book:
‘Both sides used forced recruitment, destroyed villages, looted property, murdered civilians and raped women and children. Nearly one third of the entire population – about 4 million, were left homeless and destitute’ (614).
UNITA gives up capturing towns and starts to attack government strongholds instead.
During her time in Angola, UN envoy Margaret Anstee said that if only the UN had kept more troops there, peace could have been achieved. However, it wasn’t until Savimbi’s death in 2002 that any peace was achieved and it is highly unlikely that with him around, any peace could ever have been achieved, irrespective of the amount of peacekeeping troops who were present.
22nd February 2002: UNITA leader Savimbi is killed by the Angolan national army. Following his death on 4th April 2002, a new ceasefire agreement is signed to end the civil war and UNITA lay down their arms. The peace agreement is negotiated internally without international assistance and this now puts an end to civl war for good.
50,000 of Savimbi’s troops are demobilised: some are integrated into the national armed forces but most return to civilian life (Somerville, 323). For many of them, war has been all they have ever known and many suffered form a lack of education and basic agricultural skills during that time. UNITA, at long last, become a political party without the violence and despite Savimbi’s death, they still have money from their oil and diamond revenues which eases them into politics.
The MPLA cut the size of the government army as a result of the end of the civil war but the military budget still eats up a large portion of government income. Those high up in the army who are loyal to dos Santos are awarded financially and, as Somerville puts it, became ‘a key part of the ruling network of political military and economic power that centred on President dos Santos and his extended family; they all benefited from access to oil contracts and diamond concessions’ (324).
During the 27 year civil war, it is thought that some 500,000 people died.
5th September 2008: The MPLA win the first peace time elections.
Spring 2011: Angola is not unaffected by the Arab Spring demonstrations making their way around the Middle East. For a short period there are protests demanding greater democracy and participation in government, freedom of expression and better living conditions. These are quickly put down by police, at dos Santos’ request, sometimes violently. After that, all demonstrations are banned (unless of course they agreed with the government). Dos Santos’ use of violence and persecution of members of the opposition is criticised by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the international community. Dos Santos puts pressure on journalists and human rights activists not to speak out against his regime.
2012: The MPLA win again taking 71.8% of the vote. Dos Santos is sworn in and is ‘formally’ elected for the first time, although he has actually been in power since 1979.
March 2016: Dos Santos arrests some activists and sentences them to 2-8 years in prison but they are granted amnesty later on that year.
February 2017: Dos Santos confirms that he will not be standing for president in the forthcoming elections and names Joao Lourenco, defence minister, as the presidential candidate for the ruling party.
At the same time, Angola’s vice president, Manuel Vicente, is charged with paying a US $810,000 bribe to a Portuguese judge to quash a corruption investigation. He is accused of laundering money by buying apartments in Portugal. Investigations are ongoing and he has denied the allegations. The charges brought by the Portuguese prosecutor relate to when Vicente was CEO of Sonangol prior to Isabel dos Santos taking over; not to his time as vice president.
Prior to becoming vice president in September 2012, Vicente was CEO of the state owned oil company, Sonangol. Back then he is said to have paid a Portuguese prosecutor, Orlando Figuera (arrested in 2016 and now in prison in Portugal) for paying him a bribe. Figuera was looking into Vicente’s 2011 purchase of a luxury apartment in Lisbon that is or was worth US $4 million.
Furthermore, according to Keith Somerville in his book ‘Africa’s Long Road Since Independence’: ‘Under Vicente, Sonangol has diverted billions of oil revenue from the public treasury into private pockets’ (326).
Vicente was once touted to be dos Santos’ successor but in April 2012, many within the MPLA Congress objected to this as he was seen as not having any (a) political experience or (b) any military background. Perhaps this is why Dos Santos proposed Lourenco instead.
20th July 2017: Dos Santos returns from Barcelona were he has been staying for medical treatment. It is rumoured that he is/was suffering from prostate cancer but do Santos has not confirmed these rumours.
23rd August 2017: Elections are held with Lourenco being the favourite to win. These are Angola’s fourth ever elections.
Friday 25th August 2017: Lourenco’s win is confirmed as MPLA take the majority vote.
Some background on the current President, Jose Eduardo dos Santos
He joined the guerrilla army for the MPLA at the age of 19 to fight for Angola’s independence from Portugal. Shortly after Angola became independent in 1975, civil war broke out and lasted for 27 years.
Angola is Africa’s largest crude oil producer after Nigeria; in fact it briefly overtook for a while as a result of the conflict in the Niger Delta that hampered oil production. Being the biggest oil producer does not necessary mean that they have the biggest reserves so bear that in mind. In Africa, the top 5 oil producing regions, in order, are Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Libya and then Egypt. Libya are currently exempt from OPEC’s recent decision as a conglomerate to lessen oil production in an endeavour to boost oil prices once more. This is because Libya has been hampered by conflict and the intrusion of ISIS for some time and they are now trying to recover their economy.
Most of Angola’s oil is situated off shore as deposits on shore are considered risky for exploration because of the on and off conflict in Angola; irrespective of the peace that has been maintained since 2002.
Angola became a member of OPEC in 2007, 5 years after the end of the civil war. This was at the peak of their oil boom when they were raking in money. Over the last decade, oil production in Angola has seen a gradual decline.
Natural resources: Crude oil, natural gas, phosphate, diamonds, zinc, aluminium, gold, iron, silicone and uranium.
The local currency in Angola is the ‘kwanza’.
What needs to be done next
Combatting poverty and an improvement in living standards for every day Angolans is something that needs to be addressed. Many lost their homes fleeing civil war. Hospitals (built with Chinese investment funds) are falling apart and there is a lack of trained staff. Money is not invested because the well off seek medical treatment outside Angola with their private health insurance plans. Education needs to be looked at severely. Basically, the elite need to stop pocking all the money and using some or their resources to help their own people.
According to Keith Somerville:
‘Wealth maintains power, which is used to generate more power, while poverty increases marginalisation and disempowers the majority’ (327).
Government handouts for the poor perpetuate poverty: some of the oil and diamond revenues should be invested in those who cannot afford the privileges of the elite: education, pensions, homes, health care, transport, communications and other improvements in living standards need to be seriously activated or the situation will continue to remain the same.
Isabel dos Santos spoke about some of this when was asked to speak at the London School of Economics in April 2017. Let’s see if she can put her money and her time where her mouth is. It is clear that Lournenco will have limited power given the legislation that curtails it (certainly, at least, for the next 8 years). In that regard, the dos Santos family need to step up.
Agencia Angola Press, A History of Libya:
Meredith, Martin, ‘The State of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence’, Simon & Schuster, my edition (2013). First edition published 2011.
Somerville, Keith, ‘Africa’s Long Road Since Independence’, Penguin, 2015.
Huffington Post article on the Carnation Revolution in Portugal in 1974:
Reuters, 25th August 2017, ‘Angola’s ruling party declared election winner as opposition cries foul’:
22nd August 2017, New York Times, ‘Portugal dominated Angola for centuries. Now the roles are reversed’. This article looks at money laundering and corruption in Angola vis a vis investments in Portugal.
AFP, 21st August 2017, ‘The Dos Santos Regime’s Key Moments’. This is a great article with a very simple timeline that illustrates how things have been in Angola since dos Santos took over in 1979:
Newsweek, 17th February 2017, Portugal charges Angola’s Vice President with Corruption:
Here is her address to the students at LSE at their Africa Summit in April 2017:
Agencia Angola Press, 5th May 2016, one of Isabel’s projects that she discusses in her address to the LSE Students in London. ‘Candando’ means ‘hug’ or ’embrace’ and it is her project to increase domestic food production in Angola so that less food is imported and makes the people more self sufficient. Money is invested in domestic farms and the food is then sent to the supermarkets where it is sold. Below is an article about the first supermarket that opened in Angola’s capital, Luanda. The first supermarket cost $40 million in terms of investment and created 750 jobs. They want to open ten over the next 5 years with an overall investment of $400 million.
27th April 2017, European Supermarket Magazine, Isabel’s second supermarket is opened:
Alex Vines from Chatham House writes about the next foreign policy priority for Angola, 21st August 2017:
Chatham House on Margaret Anstee, former UN Special Representative to Angola (1992-93), 12th November 2015:
Alex Vines from Chatham House writes about Margaret Anstee after her death, 8th September 2016:
The Guaridan obituary of Margaret Anstee, 1st September 2016:
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