Heads of state during better days.Angola cannot be bullied anymore
Angola has followed trends by Zimbabwe and Gambia who recently reviewed ties with former colonial masters. With Angola’s increasing economic strength and solid relationships with most world countries, Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said this may be the time to break off what had been the beginning of a strategic partnership with Portugal.
Zimbabwe in 2003 pulled out of Commonwealth organisation of former British colonies after UK questioned Mugabe on human rights abuses. Gambia followed suit in 2013 after UK accused President Jammeh of abuse of human rights , including a purge on witches he accused of killing his aunt in 2009.
The relationship between the two countries has been strained recently, made significantly worse by Portugal’s apparent mistrust of several high-level Angolan business people and accusations of corruption.
“In the battle against corruption, the anti-corruption organizations in the West are deliberately creating misunderstandings in order to intimidate Africans who are generating wealth and who want to get access to it. They are creating the general impression that a rich African is invariably a corrupt one,” said dos Santos as quoted by AFKinsider
In particular, he was referring to Portugal’s chief counsel’s investigations into the activities of several Angolan business elite. Although Rui Machete, Portugal’s foreign minister, apologized for the actions, he was later forced to withdraw his apology due to public backlash.
Trade between Portugal and Angola is very important to both countries, but more so to Portugal, said Jose Cantiga Esteves, professor of economics at the Lisbon economics institute ISEG due to their current economic difficulties.
Portugal exported products worth over 3 billion euros — $4.11 billion U.S. dollars — to Angola in 2012, making its former colony the country’s fourth largest export market behind Spain, Germany and France.
Approximately 10,000 Portuguese firms have business ties with Angola, said Nuno Magalhaes, head of the parliamentary group of the Democratic and Social Center – People’s Party (CDS-PP).
While many in Portugal believe the country has done all it can in recent years to maintain good relationships with Angola, others are certain Portugal will do all they can to rectify the issues that are upsetting to dos Santos and others in Angola.
NewsAfrica reported recently that PriceWaterCoopers believed that Angola holds 4 billion barrels of crude more than previously estimated. Oil , gas , diamond and other natural treasures have given Dos Santos the courage to ask Portugal to treat Angola as an equal partner rather than a colony.
Natural resources play a pivotal role in making Angola self sustained.Portugal can go to hell
In June 2013, IMF in a report-Angola Economic Update indicated that although Angola did not escape the effects of the recent financial turmoil, economic recovery is now gathering momentum. There is robust GDP growth supported by strong fiscal and external balances, a stable exchange rate and moderate inflation. The recovery has been necessitated by the extraction of natural resources and better fiscal policies -http://www.imf.org/external/country/AGO/rr/2013/060113.pdf
- Debt inspectors review Portugal’s reforms progress (bigstory.ap.org)
- Portugal and Angola: Dos Santos shows who’s boss (dailymaverick.co.za)
- Angola’s Jose Eduardo Dos Santos hits out at Portugal (africareview.com)
- Angola’s Dos Santos Threatens Portugal Trade Over Investigations – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- What Price for Angola’s Oil and Diamonds? (carnegieeurope.eu)
- Angola’s Jose Eduardo Dos Santos hits out at Portugal (arunbabyveranakunnel.wordpress.com)
- Angola’s Dos Santos says relations with Portugal unhealthy (antiguaobserver.com)