Angola Programme

Alves da Rocha

Professor of economics at the Catholic University of Angola and member of the Academy of Sciences of

Nelson Pestana

Researcher

Margarida Teixeira

Finance and Administrative Officer

Miguel Paulo Francisco

Finance and Administrative Officer and research assistant

Graça Gunza Paxote

Finance and Administrative Officer and research assistant

Wilson Silva

Economist and research assistant

Alberto Luís António

Administrative officer

Lúcia Martins Couto

Assistant Administrative and Finance Officer

Angola is a country of great natural and cultural diversity. The country’s natural resource endowment is outstanding in Africa, and economic growth has accelerated since 2002 – yet most Angolans have never been able to reap its benefits. Angola’s human development indicators are persistently low nearly a decade after the end of the war. Available information indicates that the maternity-related death rate and mother-child health statistics remain among the worst in the world. Poverty and its related complex of problems are widespread, and gross inequality is a chronic feature of the country’s social characteristics and visual appearance. Images of the “resource curse” or “the paradox of plenty” are often invoked when describing Angola.

Politics in Angola were long characterised by the rivalry between the MPLA government and Unita’s forces. Although Unita dominated and controlled large tracts of the land during much of the war; it was always the MPLA party which kept power in Luanda since independence. President José Eduardo dos Santos has been in power since 1979. He has therefore overseen the transformation of Angola, from the early post-colonial days into a Cuban and Soviet-inspired one-party state and command economy, then into a multi-party democracy under a nominally liberal constitution with a free market capitalist ethos. Despite these dramatic changes the power of the ruling party has been a constant. The economic and state-sector elites are also strongly associated with the ruling party.

The CMI-CEIC research programme seeks to address social, political and economic challenges: