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Published 2nd March 2007

Vol 48 No 5


Angola

Authoritarian alliances

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Party stalwarts want a centralised dictatorship to develop the country. The government seems to be listening

Angolans are waiting for a peace dividend five years after the Forças Armadas Angolanas (FAA) tracked down and killed Jonas Savimbi, leader of the rebel União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA). Social indicators such as child mortality remain among the world's worst, according to the UN, although Angola's oil riches make it one of the world's fastest growing economies. The promised crackdown on corruption has not happened; there is more secrecy about state oil revenues than during the war. Instead, there has been a crackdown on political dissent.


Global prisoner

The arrest and imprisonment on national security grounds of Sarah Wykes of Global Witness in Angola's Cabinda Province draws attention to the government's clampdown. Global Witness...


The grudge match goes on

Facing multiple corruption charges, Vice-President Abubakar accuses President Obasanjo of electoral sabotage

Vice-President Atiku Abubakar insists that he remains a candidate in April's presidential elections despite what he describes as 'every effort to destroy' him. Behind that campaign...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

The celebration on 6 March of the 50th anniversary of Ghana's Independence from Britain will be Africa's biggest party this year, but also a time of national introspection. Ghana's politics have reached an equilibrium under a multiparty system which organises some of the freest elections in Africa. After Independence, politics was dominated by the bitter battle between supporters of Kwame Nkrumah's state-led socialist model and J. B. Danquah's market economics. Nkrumah's vision of pan-African u...
The celebration on 6 March of the 50th anniversary of Ghana's Independence from Britain will be Africa's biggest party this year, but also a time of national introspection. Ghana's politics have reached an equilibrium under a multiparty system which organises some of the freest elections in Africa. After Independence, politics was dominated by the bitter battle between supporters of Kwame Nkrumah's state-led socialist model and J. B. Danquah's market economics. Nkrumah's vision of pan-African unity and rapid industrialisation ended in a military junta. By the time of the 1966 coup, Nkrumah and the Convention People's Party were running a single party regime incorporating trades unions, youth and women's wings that set a pattern across post-Independence Africa. Ghana's economy was thrown into a parallel turmoil. From a national economy which in 1957 pegged level with Malaysia, Ghana's plans of diversifying from dependence on cocoa and gold exports into self-sustaining industrialisation were derailed by the political chaos. Ghana may now have grown out of its political straitjacket, but it is almost as economically restricted today as it was 50 years ago.
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