Angola Gets New Leader After 38 Years as Lourenco Sworn in
Joao Lourenco was sworn in as president of Angola in a ceremony marking the first leadership change in almost four decades in sub-Saharan Africa’s second-biggest oil producer.
The 63-year-old former defense minister takes over from Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who steps down after 38 years in office but will continue to lead the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola until next year. The MPLA won 61 percent of votes in elections last month, securing 150 seats in the 220-member parliament.
“Joao Manuel Goncalves has been named president of the republic following general elections that expressed the will of the people,” Rui Ferreira, chairman of Angola’s Constitutional Court, said at the swearing-in ceremony. Among heads of state attending were President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa of Portugal, Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo and Jacob Zuma of South Africa.
During his campaign, Lourenco pledged to tackle corruption and bring in foreign investment to reverse an economic slump caused by the drop in the price of oil, Angola’s main export. After expanding for 14 consecutive years, the economy posted zero growth last year and foreign exchange inflows have dried up. Lourenco told the Washington Post earlier this year that the government should invest in agriculture, cattle raising and fisheries to reduce its reliance on oil.
A new government will probably be appointed within days. Finance Minister Archer Mangueira and central bank Governor Valter Filipe Duarte are likely to retain their positions, the newspaper Valor Economico reported on Sept. 18, without saying where it got the information. Read more at:https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-26/angola-gets-new-leade...
By Candido Mendes