Angola. President José Eduardo dos Santos made his first state visit to France in two decades, a mark of improved relations with Paris. The French oil company Total is the largest operator in Angola’s oil sector and invests in several new offshore oilfields that will be exploited down to 1,900 meters below sea level.
Relations with the United States were also strengthened when Foreign Minister John Kerry visited Angola.
In May, the country conducted its first census since 1970, when Angola was a Portuguese colony with 5.9 million residents. In recent years, the population has been estimated at just over 20 million. The final result of the new census is expected to be completed in 2015.
A radio journalist was convicted in February of slander after asking questions to police about screams heard from detainees at a police station. The reporter was sentenced to six months in prison. He works for a radio station supported by the opposition party UNITA, which accuses dos Santo’s regime of suppressing civil rights.
According to this year’s edition of the UN’s so-called happiness index, Angolans are Africa’s happiest people, ranking 61 on the list of 156 countries in the world. The report is based on data on, among other things, GDP per capita, life expectancy, perceived freedom and affiliation, etc.
According to Countryaah.com, Angola population in 2020 is estimated at 32,866,283. Angola announced in August that the country was prepared to grant half of its outstanding loans to Mozambique. The remainder of the debt of approximately SEK 420 million would be converted into Angolan investments in Mozambique.
Amnesty criticizes Angola for fatal shootings
The human rights organization Amnesty International criticizes Angola’s security forces for lethal violence in connection with interventions to maintain the state of emergency during the corona pandemic. In a report, the organization writes that at least seven people, most of them teenagers, were shot dead during the summer, but that there are probably significantly more. “A state of emergency is no excuse for such serious human rights abuses,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty’s head of East and South Africa.
Ex-president’s son convicted of fraud
The Supreme Court sentences José Filomeno dos Santo, son of former President José Eduardo dos Santos, to five years in prison for fraud. He is convicted of attempting to steal $ 500 million from the state fund he headed between 2013 and 2018. It is the first conviction against anyone from the dos Santos family, but a fraud charge has also been filed against José Filomeno’s sister, Isabel dos Santos (see January 23).