|Myself between children in Sambizanga - Luanda|
After almost four years in Angola I’m very close to leaving this country for good. When I first came here I tried to get a press visa in order to continue my job of investigating the many different ways the human being uses to carry on with its life despite the difficulties due to environmental or governmental issues.
I failed, this is not a nation we can call “journalist friendly”, and that’s why I opened my blog, africawildnews http://africawildnews.blogspot.com , where I published several stories from Angola, that reached roughly 30 thousand page views in three years.
In my blog I published stories related to a population that gained its independence from the Portuguese only 40 years ago and after that went through a violent civil war to decide who would have ruled the country, a war which lasted 27 years.
So far Angolans have been in peace for only 13 years and this, as a matter of fact, is a post-war country facing all the consequences linked with this status.
The consequences of the war are still affecting this population: landmines are disseminated in the countryside; thousand of people moved from their villages during the war years and headed to Luanda, the capital, to look for a better and safer life; the great plantation of coffee and cotton were abandoned and all the industries, such as the sugar refineries, shut down leaving thousand of families without any chance to survive.
The civil war also left the heritage of a one dominant party system (MPLA), that for more then three decades has been leading the Country. The Mpla-isme, even if its hard to say for someone born and raised in a democracy, now looks to me as one of the few ways to run a Country that most of all want to keep its stability in the middle of a Continent on the brink of a breakdown. Unlikely, wherever you look in Africa, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Sud Sudan, Burundi, Somalia, Nigeria, Eritrea, just to mention a few countries, you'll easily encounter instability, refugees, illegal immigration, ethnic wars, religious issues, terrorist attacks, Isis, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab, and so on. The truth is that Angola has been ruled for 35 years by the same guy, Josè Eduardo Dos Santos (re-elected President in the last 2012 presidential election), just like a child in the hands of a father!
As a foreign correspondent in Gaddafi’s Libya and as a witness of the end of that regime and of what has been going on since Gaddafi died, I’m wondering what could happen in this country, by now, if this man will be dismissed?
Deepening day by day for the last four years my knowledge of Angola, I found myself thinking of what should be the costs of introducing in such a Country, by force from the outside or with a revolution from the inside, a real Democracy and a real multi parties system, not one almost fake as the one in Angola nowadays. This is a Country that is clearly growing its confidence and, after 500 years of colonialism, 27 years of civil war, is still savouring the taste of freedom and the one even sweeter given by the peace gained in 2002. So the question is: what matters the most? The peace or our idea of what a democratic country is? What I’ve learned here is that event though this is not the land of perfection and even though there’s an unfair distribution of wealth and even though here what is a basic right for me, it is believed a privilege for an Angolan, a safe life, without weapons, blood and death, is more desired than anything else.
Today the reality is that Angola is one of Africa's major oil producers and a member of oil cartel OPEC since 2006. Most of angolan GDP comes from the oil sector, most of its oil is exported to either China or the United States. The country, which is also rich in diamonds, phosphate and iron is developing infrastructures and facilities in all its most important cities. Of course, despite all these Angolan valuable resources, most of its people still live in poverty and that’s something the Angolan economic partner and steackholders must push to a real change, but hopefully in the smoothest way possible.