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?
Embarking on his third term in power, Xi Jinping is firmly in control of China’s foreign policy, which is expected to accentuate the enlistment of African support for reshaping global institutions and validating China’s governance norms.
As senior Portuguese representative, Captain Joaquim Pacheco dos Santos serves as a liaison between the Africa Center and the Portuguese Ministry of Defense, coordinating exchanges on security-related Africa policy and scholarship.
Global warming is causing an increase in the frequency and intensity of storms in Africa, which are exacerbating other socioeconomic stressors across the continent.
China's reported plans to add another naval base in Africa raise questions about China's increasingly militarized strategy and may stoke fears of compromised sovereignty amid a new "scramble" for Africa.
The invasion of Ukraine is a wake-up call to the implications of Russia’s attempts to export its governance model to Africa—with sobering consequences for African sovereignty and stability.
Responding to the coups, conflicts, and other derailments of democratic processes in recent years, Africa’s 2022 elections are, in large part, an effort to right the democratic ship of state on the continent.
Arms embargoes can be effective but require regional and international buy-in, adequate monitoring, and the imposition of sufficient costs on actors who evade the sanctions.
Ruling party militias in Africa are an increasingly employed tool to intimidate political rivals and keep populations in check—violating democratic rights and undercutting military professionalism.