Editor’s Note: March 09, 2018
Is it time to look seriously at Angola?
When former defence minister João Lourenço succeeded José Eduardo dos Santos as Angola’s president last September, after 38 years in power, it was seen as nothing more than a cosmetic change.
For years the resource-rich country had been known primarily for its oil exports and the iron grip of the Dos Santos family on Angola’s politics and economy. The latter made for one of the most unattractive business environments in Africa.
Less than six months in Lourenço has caught many off guard. Far from seeing out the role of puppet successor he is presiding over the kind of change most thought virtually impossible.
From publicly firing Dos Santos’s children from key economic positions, to opening up strategic sectors like telecoms, devaluing the currency and reforming Angola’s notorious visa regime, there is an undeniable sense of change permeating through the country.
The aim is to attract much-needed foreign investment. For now the consensus among observers is to “wait and see” if reforms can be consolidated and sustained in the medium to long term.
This is prudent, and there is a long way to go, but it’s a good time to at least take a look at Angola as a serious investment opportunity.
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