After sending signals of his plans to retire from politics for nearly a year, Angola’s president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos—the second-longest-ruling leader in Africa—announced earlier this month that he will step down at the end of his current mandate and not run in August elections. That will bring an end to a presidency that began in 1979, when Jimmy Carter was in the White House. The transition from dos Santos’ rule is the most significant political event in Angola since its independence from Portugal in 1974, and comes at a time of deep economic and social crisis in the oil-rich country.… Seguir leyendo »
Soren Kirk Jensen
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Armando Manuel, Angola’s finance minister, emphasized his country’s excellent relations with the international financial institutions in his February speech at Chatham House. There was no hint at that time however that Angola was shortly to seek financial support from the IMF. In Angolan government circles, IMF assistance is seen as coming with too many conditions, and most believed that with international reserves of about $24.5 billion in January, Angola did not need IMF support. But oil prices have remained significantly below $45 per barrel throughout the first quarter of the year, the figure used to calculate Angola’s 2016 budget, and are unlikely to increase dramatically any time soon.… Seguir leyendo »
President José Eduardo dos Santos announcement that he will step down and leave politics in 2018 after almost four decades in power is a watershed − ending a presidency that has run since 1979. It is a surprise − most observers expected him to finish a second electoral mandate and retire in 2022.
But is it a mirage? President dos Santos has signalled several times since 2001 that he was considering retirement, and used these occasions to smoke out competitors for the presidency and moved to stunt their aspirations. Two years is a long time, even for Angolan politics, and this could happen again.… Seguir leyendo »