Angola. Angola became Africa's largest oil producer
during the year. But the Angolan economy was in deep crisis
with dramatically declining export earnings as a result of
oil prices being so low. According to President José Eduardo
dos Santos, Angola's foreign currency reserve was running
out, as the country was heavily dependent on imports of food
and raw materials.
countryaah, Dos Santos dismissed the state oil company Sonangol's
management and in June appointed his daughter as new
manager. Isabel dos Santos, ranked as Africa's richest
woman, was commissioned to reform Sonangol and make it
profitable. The president was accused by critics of
constitutional violations by concentrating power within his
family - his son heads the state oil fund. Others saw Isabel
dos Santos as the right person to reverse Angola's oil
President dos Santos, who has ruled for 36 years, said
Angola's economy must be widened from its oil dependency.
During the year, a shipload of bananas went to Portugal as a
symbolic start for the agricultural sector, whose exports
have been down since the Civil War (1975–2002).
Municipal budget cuts led to growing rubbish heaps in the
streets of the capital Luanda. The dirty environment caused
the outbreak of yellow fever with over 400 dead people. The
disease spread in the provinces, and WHO led a rapid
vaccination of more than 15 million residents.
The government army fought rebels who long demanded
independence for the oil-rich Cabinda region in the north.
Many casualties were demanded in repeated battles, and in
May rebels boarded a gas platform off the coast, threatening
foreign oil workers.
The country was hit by the worst drought in years and the
harvest was estimated to decrease by more than 40%. Farmers
sold their livestock to buy food but then stood without
draft animals for the next sowing.
A famous rap artist, Luaty Beirão, was sentenced in April
to four and a half years in prison for protests against
President dos Santos. Sixteen other young opposition
activists were sentenced to between two and eight years in
prison for coups, since demanding the president's
resignation. According to Amnesty International, the judges
were a parody of justice.
Supporters of the condemned protesters in Luanda but were
arrested by police, who according to eyewitnesses proceeded
violently. In October, those sentenced were pardoned.
In July, an amnesty law was passed that would give
freedom to thousands of prisoners who have served half their
sentence. The intention was to create space in the
In August, a new media law was passed which, among other
things, forces radio and TV to broadcast live all official
speeches of the president. Media is also forced to have
large equity to obtain a publishing license.
In October, the Supreme Court called on President dos
Santos to explain why he appointed his daughter to head the
state oil company. A group of lawyers had sued the president
for nepotism, which is a violation of Angolan law.