Editor’s Note: April 19, 2019
Angola’s reform story is stumbling
Angola has annulled the awarding of the country’s fourth telecommunications licence, ordering a new tender to be run in the next 30 days, following criticism of the process.
An obscure company called Telstar Telecomunicacoes, reportedly owned by an Angolan general, had secured the licence last week, over interest from 26 other international and local firms.
This raised eyebrows, and questions about the sincerity of pledges by president João Lourenço to promote transparency in Africa’s second-biggest oil producer.
This is part of a an unexpected reform-drive since he took office in September 2017, aimed at cleaning up Angola’s image and boosting foreign investment.
The Telstar incident is not alone to raise questions.
A government plan to revamp the national airline – which includes a company linked to the president – has also come under fire.
In March authorities released José Eduardo dos Santos’s son Filomeno and his business partner Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais – who had been accused of trying to steal $1.5bn from the central bank – without charge.
It all reeks of the kind of nepotism that has long plagued business and politics in Angola, and will fuel suspicions that Lourenço’s reforms have more to do with consolidating power than meaningful change.
It’s too soon to dismiss Angola’s reform story, but this is a good reminder to be vigilant.
From The Continent
Uganda’s supreme court has backed constitutional changes removing presidential age limits, giving the final green light for 74-year old incumbent Yoweri Museveni to contest polls in 2021. Already in power for 33 years the move is seen as a bid to extend his rule indefinitely. More: Anadolu Agency
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The Daily Stat
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The Global Perspective
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