Thursday 14 December 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 08/24/17)
Angola's ruling MPLA party said it would win an unequivocal victory in a parliamentary election as votes were tallied ahead of the expected release of partial results later on Thursday. Angola, home to sub-Saharan Africa's third-largest economy, held a smooth national election on Wednesday with the MPLA's former defense minister Joao Lourenco expected to be voted in as the OPEC-member's first new president for 38 years. "The victory of the MPLA is unequivocal, practically inescapable. We hope that in the next hours we can already start announcing the numbers,” João Martins, MPLA secretary for political and electoral affairs, told reporters late on Wednesday. Lourenço, a quiet 63-year-old more used to army barracks and the closed doors of party politics than...
(Xinhuanet 08/24/17)
International observers highlighted the civism and orderly manner shown by voters Wednesday at the polling stations in Angola's Luanda province, under the general election held on August 23 countrywide. This assessment was presented to the press by the head of the Observation Mission of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), South Africa's Miriam Resohoketsoe Keneiloe Saohatse, two hours after the closing of the polling stations. They expressed the opinion that the success of the voting process on Wednesday is due to the good work of the National Electoral Commission (CNE). According to her, the observers could learn various lessons from monitoring the voting process Wednesday.
(Xinhuanet 08/24/17)
Angola delays vote to Aug. 26 in 15 polling centers in parts of the country, Julia Ferreira, spokeswoman for National Elections Commission announced on Thursday. "In general terms, voting is extremely satisfying," Ferreira said, adding logistic reasons and bad weather have hampered distribution efforts of voting equipment to remote areas of three provinces of Lunda-Norte, Moxico and Benguela. Most polls closed on time, by 7 p.m. local time Wednesday in landmark election that will see the departure of long-time serving President Jose Eduardo dos Santos who has been in power since 1979 in Africa's second biggest oil producer. Voting is still underway and preliminary results for Wednesday vote are expected to be announced Thursday while final results will be reported...
(Bloomberg 08/24/17)
Every African nation that’s sold dollar debt now has at least one junk rating, but it would be hard to tell by looking at the bond market. The average yield on sovereign Eurobonds in Africa has hovered near the lowest level in two years this month, according to a Standard Bank Group Ltd. index, even after Moody’s Investors Service cut Namibia to below investment grade on Aug. 11. The world’s biggest producer of marine diamonds had been the continent’s only dollar-bond issuer without a junk rating. A low interest rate environment in the developed world has encouraged investors to look past the problems plaguing African economies, including low commodity prices, dollar shortages in some of them and rising political tension...
(AfricaNews 08/23/17)
Two former presidents of the small island nation of Sao Tome and Principe have predicted a problem-free election on Wednesday in Angola. Manuel Pinto da Costa and Miguel Trovoada are in Angola as part of the observer mission from the nine-member Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP). The mission is led by Miguel Trovoada who served as Sao Tome and Principe president till 1995 and later the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS). Trovoada told the media that the electoral process so far is going well and the events leading to the elections have been undertaken peacefully, the Angolan news agency reported on Tuesday. He added that the observer mission...
(AFP (eng) 08/23/17)
The likely next president of Angola, Joao Lourenco, is a ruling-party loyalist andformer general who endured several years out of favour after he angled for the top job in the 1990s. Since then, Lourenco, 63, has convinced key regime players he is the right man to succeed President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has ruled the oil-rich southwest African nation for 38 years. As the deputy president of the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and as defence minister until last month, Lourenco is "part of the inner circle of power", according to Didier Peclard, an Angola specialist at the University of Geneva. In February, Dos Santos named Lourenco the party's presidential candidate for Wednesday's general election.
(AFP (eng) 08/23/17)
Angolans cast their ballots Wednesday in an election marking the end of President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos's 38-year reign, with his MPLA party set to retain power despite an economic crisis. The MPLA, which has ruled since Angola's independence from Portugal in 1975, is expected to defeat opposition parties, which are stifled by Dos Santos's authoritarian regime. Dos Santos's unexpected retirement -- reportedly prompted by poor health -- has triggered the biggest political transition in decades for Angola, a leading oil exporter in Africa. His chosen successor however is Defence Minister Joao Lourenco, a loyalist expected to avoid immediate change in a government often criticised for corruption...
(AFP (eng) 08/23/17)
When Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos steps down and his successor is chosen in Wednesday's elections, it will bring to an end a 38-year reign dominated by his unrelenting authoritarian style. Though seldom seen in public, he has been a looming presence in daily life for as long as most Angolans can remember, maintaining fierce control over the country throughout its devastating civil war and recent oil boom. Now aged 74 and reportedly in poor health, Dos Santos became president in 1979, making him Africa's second-longest-serving leader -- one month shy of Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema. Until the 27-year civil war ended in 2002, Dos Santos presided over a country torn apart by conflict as his People's Movement...
(Bloomberg 08/23/17)
Angolans began voting in an election that will bring about the first leadership change in almost four decades for Africa’s second-biggest oil producer. “D-day has arrived,” Domingos Francisco said Wednesday as he stood in line behind dozens of voters outside one of a handful of blue tents that are being used as polling stations in the Rangel neighborhood in Luanda, the capital. “I arrived at 5 a.m. because I was anxious to vote.” Balloting started at 7 a.m. and is scheduled to end at 6 p.m. Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Africa’s second-longest serving ruler who led Angola through a civil war, an oil-fueled boom and a bust, is stepping down after 38 years in power. Defense Minister Joao Lourenco, the...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/23/17)
Angolans headed to the polls on Wednesday in a parliamentary election expected to usher in the ruling party's defense minister as the first new leader of Africa's second-biggest oil producer for 38 years. Joao Lourenco, who has pledged to boost growth and fight corruption, would inherit an economy mired in recession as gaping inequality, soaring inflation and high unemployment squeeze poor Angolans who have benefited little from a decades-long oil boom. The People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) is expected to remain in power but with a reduced majority. Its support has waned due to widespread political cronyism, though many Angolans remain loyal to the party that emerged victorious from 27 years of civil war in 2002. "I've...
(AfricaNews 08/23/17)
Angola is hosting 1,440 election observers in parts of the country to monitor the August 23 general elections. 1,200 of the observers are from the international community while 240 are local observers who have registered with the electoral commission, Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission (CNE), André da Silva Neto said on Tuesday in Luanda in a meeting with the observers. Among the observers are the 40-member team from the African Union led by former Cape Verdean Prime Minister José Maria das Neves; and the team from the nine-member Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) led by former Sao Tome and Principe president Miguel Trovoada. The European Union cancelled its deployment of election observers last month after Angola rejected the demand...
(Voice of America 08/23/17)
Voters in Angola are choosing a new president Wednesday to replace longtime leader Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who is stepping down after 38 years in power. Dos Santos’ People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola, or MPLA, is expected to get enough votes to remain in power, led by his chosen successor Defense Minister Joao Lourenco. Whoever takes office will face the challenge of addressing economic struggles in the oil-rich nation that has seen its growth hurt by a fall in prices. The MPLA has ruled Angola since its 1975 independence from Portugal. Five parties challenge Five parties are challenging the MPLA, and the two main opposition parties — the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, or UNITA,...
(Xinhuanet 08/23/17)
China is dedicated to enhancing its cooperation with Africa in human resource development through knowledge and technology transfer, a Chinese diplomat said Tuesday. Liu Tao, Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, made the remarks at the Chinese Government Training Program Fellowship Reception in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. He said China, since the year 2000, has sent over 2,000 agricultural experts and over 7,000 medical personnel to Africa, and has trained more than 80,000 Africans from more than 50 countries. China has pledged that it would, in three years, train 200,000 technicians and provide 40,000 training opportunities in China, and will offer 30,000 government scholarships, he said. Stating that 1,100 Ethiopian candidates are invited this year to attend short-term...
(AFP (eng) 08/22/17)
After nearly 40 years under the rule of President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, millions of Angolans are angry and frustrated -- and many seem determined to use Wednesday's elections to express their hunger for change. Few of them are signed-up members of any opposition party, but throughout the election campaign they have flocked in large numbers to rallies held by both the UNITA and Casa-CE parties. Among their ranks are youths whose education has been short cut, leaving them bereft of skills, graduates who can't find a job, and older men mired in long-term unemployment. With Dos Santos standing down after the election, the ruling MPLA party -- which has held power since 1975 -- is expected to win again...
(Bloomberg 08/22/17)
Around the horseshoe-shaped bay of Luanda, Angola’s capital, unfinished skyscrapers stand as a testament to the challenges facing Africa’s second-biggest oil producer as it prepares for its first leadership change in almost four decades. Before the oil slump, hundreds of container ships waited near the palm-tree lined waterfront to offload their goods at the port. Today, only a handful of vessels are visible. In the suburbs, gated communities built for foreign workers and a middle class that never materialized are standing practically empty. “Where did all the ships go?” said Matias Joaquim, who owns a small restaurant in the Sambizanga slum, a maze of huts on a hill overlooking the port of Luanda. “If the rich are already not doing...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/22/17)
An Angolan opposition party, CASA-CE, said on Monday it will use a computer program to minimize the chances of ballot-rigging in next Wednesday's election. The country's main two opposition parties, National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and Broad Convergence for the Salvation of Angola – Electoral Coalition (CASA-CE), have complained of irregularities in the electoral process. The People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which has ruled Angola since independence from Portugal in 1975, is expected to win this week's election. CASA-CE's program, presented to media in Luanda on Monday, will calculate results based on data from delegates at polling stations. This will enable them to pick up potential discrepancies, such as between votes cast and...
(AfricaNews 08/22/17)
After suffering a huge blow following the fall in prices of petroleum products, Angola has turned to the agro-industry to recover from the current economic crisis. The country is the second biggest oil producer Africa, but revenues have gone down by at least a third over the past two years alone due to falling prices. So the country has embarked on a process of economic diversification, and at the forefront, is agriculture. In the 1970s Angola was the leading exporter of coffee, sisal, sugar cane and bananas. But all that was seriously damaged by its 27-year civil war that ended in 2002. While agriculture contributes only 10% of its GDP, the country which has 58 million hectares of arable land,...
(AfricaNews 08/22/17)
Former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano has congratulated retiring Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos for deciding to bow out as president. Chissano, who served the Portuguese-speaking country between 1986 to 2005, said the decision to retire was timely especially in an economically viable period. “He made the decision because he thought it was a good time for the Angolans. I also did the same when I was convinced it was time to retire,” he said on Monday in the Angolan capital Luanda after a meeting with the head of the electoral commission. “President José Eduardo dos Santos deserves all the praise, because he turned a country ruined by war into a prosperous nation, introducing, in time, the necessary reforms, especially...
(Xinhuanet 08/22/17)
African officials on Monday called for urgent infrastructural development and regional integration to boost the continent's economy. At the Infrastructure Africa 2017 in Johannesburg, Zambian Minister of Finance Felix Mutati encouraged Africans to speedily address infrastructural deficit. "We have to inject some sense of urgency in ourselves. If we remain captured by business as usual, we are headed for disaster," said Mutati at the opening ceremony of the two-day event. "Competitiveness in Africa is being constrained by infrastructure deficit. We need about 93 billion U.S. dollars every year to address the infrastructure gap in the continent. We need to urgently implement projects," he said. Mutati said Africa has to narrow focus to innovative financing and design, better use of existing...
(AFP (eng) 08/21/17)
When Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos steps down and his successor is chosen in Wednesday's elections, it will bring to an end a 38-year reign dominated by his unrelenting authoritarian style. Though seldom seen in public, he has been a looming presence in daily life for as long as most Angolans can remember, maintaining fierce control over the country throughout its devastating civil war and recent oil boom. Now aged 74 and reportedly in poor health, Dos Santos became president in 1979, making him Africa's second-longest-serving leader -- one month shy of Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema. Until the 27-year civil war ended in 2002, Dos Santos presided over a country torn apart by conflict as his People's Movement...

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