• The Peace Dividend: Analysis of a Decade of Angolan Indicators, 2002–12

    By Markus Weimer. Chatham House, March 2012. Angola marked a decade of peace in April 2012. High rates of economic growth have characterized the post-conflict era, but so have high inflation and a hefty dependence on oil revenues and foreign investment. Moreover, oil production has declined in recent years due to price instability and maintenance needs, and may fall further in the future. Corruption has also surged and surpassed access to electricity, finance, and transportation as the leading obstacle for businesses. These challenges pose severe impediments for development and poverty reduction in Angola. Download the Article: [PDF]
  • Angola’s Strategic Cooperation with BRIC Countries

    By Ngwenya Kiala. South Africa Institute of International Affairs, May 2011. Angola’s double digit growth rates have attracted significant amounts of investment from emerging market leaders Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Strong relations with Brazil have been boosted by historical and linguistic ties, whereas China’s vast presence in Angola has been propelled by large amounts of assistance and high level political and diplomatic contact. Meanwhile, Russia has sought “elite” level interactions with Angolan leaders and India has developed a reputation for completing large infrastructure projects, reflecting their interest in greater engagement. Still, both countries lag in terms of their presence in Angola. For its part, Angola has ostensibly emphasized diversification of its economy and human capital development in its engagement with investors, though these aims have been compromised by extensive corruption and minimal levels of accountability. Download the Article: [PDF]
  • Legitimacy Crisis Haunts Angolan Election

    By Louise Redvers. Mail & Guardian, May 2012. As Angolan President Eduardo dos Santos reaches the tail end of over three-decades of ruling what is now Africa’s fastest growing economy, there is growing dissatisfaction with the government. Without a well-established, transparent, and credible electoral process, it is possible that a power struggle within the ruling MPLA party and rising levels of public discontent could emerge and lead to instability. View the Article: [HTML]
  • Angola’s Foreign Policy: Pragmatic Recalibrations

    By Dr. Assis Malaquias, Africa Center for Strategic Studies | May 2011 assis-acss-2

    The interconnectedness between domestic security and international relations has defined Angola’s post-colonial history. To survive various domestic security challenges, the country deployed considerable resources in two areas. Internally, Angola invested disproportionately in a strong security sector to deal with the immediate threats posed by opposing parties. Internationally, it focused diplomatic efforts on nurturing relations with key strategic allies, notably the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and Cuba, to help shape external environments to its advantage. This strategy has succeeded in ensuring regime survival.

    With the end of the civil war and as the regime sought to consolidate its gains, an important foreign policy recalibration took place that resulted in the development of a strategic partnership with China. Recently, internal expectations and demands for fast economic growth within a democratic political system have meant that relations with mature democracies like the US are likely to take precedence.

    This paper assesses the trajectory of Angola’s foreign policy as a reflection of its desire to manage three key historical challenges. These are survival, between independence in 1975 and the end of the civil war in 2002; reconstruction and growth, from the end of the civil war to the present; and the approaching task of democratic development. The paper suggests that for each stage, Angola has embraced a major international partner – the former USSR for survival; China for reconstruction and growth; and the US for democratic development.

    Read the Paper [PDF]

  • Angola: Parallel Governments, Oil and Neopatrimonial System Reproduction

    By Paula Roque, Institute for Security Studies, June 2011. The MPLA, Angola’s preponderant ruling party, has begun to demonstrate some fragmentation into four conflict-prone factions. Shadow-structures of government control developed by the party’s highest leaders as well as access to lucrative oil revenues and support of the nation’s powerful intelligence services may allow the MPLA to continue to rule Angola despite forthcoming changes in MPLA leadership. However, managing an ever-expanding patronage network has strained the shadow government’s resources, introducing new incentives and opportunities for reform in Angola’s opaque political structure.

    Download the Article [PDF]