Democracy and rights
Over the past year, Angola has taken several
important steps in a democratic direction. But major
challenges remain, including corruption and judicial
According to the Constitution, Angola is supposed to
be a democracy with multi-party systems, but in practice
the same party has ruled the country for decades. In
recent years, much power has gathered with the president
and his family. The opposition has had little
opportunity for influence and the elections have been
bordered by reports of irregularities (see Current
Offers a comprehensive list of airports in Angola, including international airports with city located, size and abbreviation, as well as the biggest airlines.
In 2017, the country got a new president, João
Lourenço, who has shown signs of cautiously wanting to
democratize the country. For some years now, for
example, it has become possible for people to gather in
demonstrations. Human rights organizations, which
previously had difficulty working in the country due to
constant harassment from the authorities, testify to a
significantly improved situation and that the government
is now open for dialogue.
The Angolan women have a relatively strong position
in society. The legislation gives men and women equal
rights and gender discrimination is prohibited (see
social conditions). In 2017, the proportion of women in
parliament was 38 percent. In the last year, several
women have taken up leadership positions and in 2018 the
country got its first female vice president.
Nevertheless, Angola is ranked 125th in the World
Economic Forum's index of gender equality in 149
countries, which is mainly explained by the fact that
few women have access to education.
Homosexuality was decriminalized in 2019. At the same
time, rules were introduced to curb the discrimination
against homosexuals, for example, it would be punishable
to refuse any employment due to sexual orientation (See
Freedom of religion prevails and is generally
Expression and media r
In recent years, more people dare to talk openly
about sensitive topics, but a certain degree of
self-censorship remains. State-owned and controlled
media dominate the media landscape and laws of slander
have until recently been widely used to silence critical
Lourenço has emphasized the importance of a free
press and urged the state media to start serving the
citizens. Since 2018, more critical votes have come to
light and a well-known journalist accused of throwing
the regime out has been cleared of suspicion.
Nevertheless, it is still a criminal offense to insult
the president and government institutions.
Reporters Without Borders places Angola in place 109
in its ranking on freedom of the press in 180 countries,
which corresponds to a push upwards of twelve places
Although the law criminalizes corruption, it
permeates all aspects of society. Bribery is required to
gain access to public services such as school and
medical care. Transparency International places Angola
at 165 in its latest ranking of perceived corruption in
180 countries (see list here).
Over the past year, several senior officials from the
previous administration have been arrested, including
the former president's son who is suspected of
transferring US $ 500 million to an account in the
United Kingdom (See Calendar). The former president's
daughter has been fired from her position as head of the
state oil company.
Lourenço has shown a desire to clean up the
notoriously corrupt oil sector by establishing an
independent body to oversee the award of concessions.
Judicial system and legal security
The Constitution of Angola provides for an
independent and impartial judicial system. However,
institutional weaknesses such as a lack of courts,
trained personnel and political influence are major
problems affecting independence. The President appoints
judges to the Supreme Administrative Court and the
Supreme Court. The World Justice Project ranks Angola at
111 in its index of the rule of law in 126 countries in
Major problems with impunity for security services
and government representatives occurred during the
previous regime. The impunity, which occurs in all
classes of society, can also be attributed to the
ineffectiveness of the courts, which means that many
cases do not receive a judicial decision.
Angola has been a human rights ombudsman since 2005
and since 2010 a State Secretary for Human Rights
Torture is prohibited but, according to reports,
still exists in the police and security service.
The police force is poorly educated, undisciplined
and corrupt. Human rights organizations such as Amnesty
International and Human Rights Watch have accused the
police of murder, assault, torture, arbitrary arrests
and arrests. It happens that people are imprisoned for
political reasons. Many defendants have to wait a long
time for a trial. The prisons are overcrowded and the
conditions in them are often life threatening.
The death penalty has been abolished.
Unita members leave in protest
Members of Unita in Parliament leave a session in
protest against MPLA voting through new electoral laws
which, according to the opposition party, weaken the
national electoral commission. Unita believes that the
new laws will give the government full control over the
process before the 2012 elections, for example over
voting lengths, ballot papers and voting.
Thousands of people support the president in
More than 20,000 people participate in a manifesto in
support of President dos Santos. The demonstration is a
reaction to calls on social media to protest against the
government. The calls follow in the wake of the
so-called Arab Spring, which is spreading in a number of
countries in the Arab world at this time.