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.
According to countryaah, the current population of Angola is 32,866,283. 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 crisis.
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 overcrowded prisons.
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. According to thereligionfaqs, a group of lawyers had sued the president for nepotism, which is a violation of Angolan law.