Luanda (AFP) Angola has suffered a week of fuel shortages, a bitter irony for one of Africa’s leading oil producers, and a hardship that some people blame on opponents of President Joao Lourenco. The majority of petrol stations in the capital Luanda have had long lines of motorists for seven days now, all waiting for the chance to fill up their tanks. “We don’t have any more,” said Henriques Carvalho, a pump attendant in the Bairro Popular district. “They came here to refuel but demand has been so great thatRead More
Luanda (AFP) Angola is to allow a fourth mobile operator to enter its profitable telecommunications sector in a move which could impact business interests linked to former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos. “The government is to issue a tender for a fourth telecoms operator which will include land line, mobile and television subscriptions,” said Telecoms Minister Jose Carvalho da Rocha. “We are increasing competition to improve the service, and will work on pricing and quality of service,” he told reporters. The mobile phone sector is currently shared between two privateRead More
Luanda (AFP) The start of the clean-up operation did not take long. Within three months of taking control of Angola, President Joao Lourenco sacked his predecessor’s daughter as head of the state-run oil company and set about dismantling the empire built by Jose Eduardo dos Santos. A presidential decree in mid-November swiftly ended the reign of Isabel dos Santos — Africa’s richest women — as boss of Sonangol, the country’s troubled economic flagship which supplied three-quarters of its revenue. A little over a year ago, the 44-year-old “Princess”, was namedRead More
Luanda (AFP) Angolan President Joao Lourenco on Wednesday fired his predecessor’s daughter from her influential post as head of the Sonangol state oil company, the presidency said in a statement. The sacking marks a watershed moment in Lourenco’s young presidency as he seeks to assert his authority and clear out the legacy of his controversial predecessor Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled with an iron grip for 38 years. Lourenco swept to power as the ruling party’s candidate in August elections after pledging to clean up Angola’s endemic graft, tackleRead More
Luanda (AFP) Angola’s new president unveiled a programme of corporate tax sweeteners on Monday intended to boost foreign investment and ease the oil-rich country’s dependence on the lacklustre price of crude. “We expect to adopt tax incentives for businesses that invest in the country,” President Joao Lourenco said in his first address to parliament since taking office following the August 23 vote. “Our country is in a difficult economic and financial situation due to the drop in oil prices on the international market and the consequent decline in foreign currencyRead More
Luanda (AFP) In Mabor, a dusty and neglected corner of Luanda, the sound of a catchy beat rising means only one thing to the area’s youngsters: time to dance the kizomba. The Angolan dance is gaining worldwide popularity and has a committed contingent of students in Mabor who are drawn to class by its romantic rhythms. “Stop! Boys stay still, only the girls move now. Like that, that’s good!” said instructor Vitor Especao, wearing a bright purple shirt as he guided his pupils. The dancers followed his instructions closely, theirRead More
Luanda (AFP) The leader of Angola’s main opposition party UNITA said Wednesday he would quit following defeat in last month’s election, which he alleges was rigged in the ruling party’s favour. Isaias Samakuva, 71, took over UNITA after longtime rebel leader Jonas Savimbi was killed in 2002, a death that marked the beginning of the end of Angola’s bloody 27-year civil war. “I told Angolans before and during the election campaign that after the vote I would give up the role as president of UNITA, and I confirm this decision,”Read More
Luanda (AFP) Angola’s incoming president Joao Lourenco faces a slew of challenges that include dwindling oil prices, rampant poverty, soaring unemployment and the long shadow cast by his predecessor and his family. These are the key tasks that will confront him on his first day in the job on Tuesday: – Fix the economy – Angola has been in the grip of an unprecedented economic crisis for three years as the global price of oil has remained flat. Black gold provides 70 percent of Angola’s revenues and almost all ofRead More
Luanda (AFP) Critics of outgoing Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos accuse him of stripping his country of much of its vast oil wealth to enrich himself and his family. Dos Santos, who will step down on Tuesday after 38 years of iron-fisted rule, has appointed several family members to key economic jobs during his presidency. Banking, telecoms, media and most significantly oil are among the industries that have felt the far-reaching influence of the Dos Santos brood. “The president has privatised the state to benefit his family and aRead More
Luanda (AFP) Jose Eduardo dos Santos’s 38-year reign over Angola finally came to an end Tuesday when his hand-picked successor Joao Lourenco was inaugurated as president at a ceremony in Luanda. Lourenco read an oath in which he vowed “on my honour to devote myself” to the role of president, as he took power after the ruling MPLA party won last month’s election. Dos Santos, who was at the ceremony but is reportedly in poor health, surprised many by announcing his retirement earlier this year, saying he would not beRead More