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Angola is in a tricky place

  • By Alan Knott-Craig
  • February 12, 2013

Population approx. 20mil. Plenty oil. Plenty mineral resources.


A couple challenges.


The population is rapidly urbanizing, creating big traffic and accommodation problems in Luanda.


The government is not wildly interested in the opinions of taxpayers, mainly because oil money eliminates the reliance on taxes to pay the bills.


Long-standing Angolan troops in DRC are causing problems amongst that population, adding fuel to the fire of future conflict over joint oil fields.


But the biggest problem seems to be that the president’s daughter owns a controlling stake in the telephone monopoly, and his son owns an investment bank and sits on the board of the sovereign wealth fund.


The problem is not whether these deals were fairly done, it is how it looks. And it doesn’t look good to outsiders, and risks unwinding upon the election of a new president.


This seems to be the main cause of any doubt that he will step down in 2017, which seems to be the main cause of political unease in general.


Maybe he should do what Putin did when he came into power. He had the legislature pass a law exempting from review all deals done over four years previously. That gives security for the majority of all deals, but allows the new guy to reassess the most recent deals.


As I type this I realise how little I’d enjoy living in a country like that.


Any-hoo, at least they’re not at war anymore, and anything is better than war.

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