President Lourenço’s efforts to reform Angola have focused on fighting corruption and entrenched patronage networks after 37 years of rule of President Dos Santos. But campaigns to improve accountability and legitimacy of the state’s institutions have been unevenly implemented. The new President has succeeded in improving freedom of the press and in removing the former president’s inner circle, including his children, from their influential positions. But his moves to reform the security sector have been met with criticism and fear that they risk consolidating the ruling party’s control and reversing the progress made in integrating the former fighting factions into a unified, effective, force.
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While João Lourenço has made headlines for high-profile corruption indictments against the dos Santos family patronage network, Angola’s authoritarian political system remains largely unchanged.
João Lourenço’s first year in office has been marked by notable reforms and the consolidation of power. If ordinary Angolans are to benefit this momentum must continue, along with institutional checks that can curb the excesses of the past.
Angola’s new administration will face a myriad of challenges that cannot be resolved without reforms. Is there a chance for change or just more of the same?
2020 saw COVID-19 infect over 2.7 million Africans and kill over 65,000. A surge of cases in the last quarter of the year, combined with the emergence of more contagious mutations, pose new challenges for Africa in 2021.
China’s party-army model, whereby the army is subordinate to a single ruling party, is antithetical to the multiparty democratic systems with an apolitical military accountable to elected leaders adopted by most African countries.
There is not a single African COVID-19 trajectory, but rather multiple, distinct risk profiles. These profiles highlight the differentiating role that a free press, government transparency, and conflict play in responding to the pandemic in Africa.
With urban population densities and poverty rates among the world’s highest, innovative measures will be needed to prevent African cities from becoming hotspots of the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus is placing severe strains on Africa’s health, economic, and security sectors. Mitigation and suppression efforts will require a comprehensive government response built on clear communications and public trust.
Given its fragile public health systems and close ties to China, Africa is vulnerable to the spread of the coronavirus, highlighting the continent’s centrality to global health security.
As senior Portuguese representative, Captain Joaquim Pacheco Santos serves as a liaison between the Africa Center and the Portuguese Ministry of Defense, coordinating exchanges on security-related Africa policy and scholarship.
With Africa's population expected to double by 2050, the rapid increase in the number of forcibly displaced Africans of the past decade will continue to expand unless key drivers are reversed.