Ex-President Eduardo dos Santos Who Looted His Own Country Dies
Updated: Jul 10, 2022
Africa | Commentaries | Angola July 9, 2022
Ex-President José Eduardo dos Santos of Angola is dead. He died in hospital in Barcelona, Spain, on July 8, 2022. He was 79.
Ex-President Eduardo dos Santos has been praised in some quarters for involvement from young age, in the war for the liberation of Angola from Portuguese colonial rule. He has also been credited for ensuring continuation of the Government of Angola’s unwavering support to the liberation struggle in neighboring Namibia after he became president.
Notwithstanding, however, the highly controversial ex-president whose regime spanned 38 years from September 1979 to September 2017, has been lambasted in numerous quarters for dictatorship through suppression of the opposition, and above all looting of the national wealth through complex mechanisms and proxies of corruption. As such, making Angola one of the most corrupt countries in Africa. We will briefly elaborate this as thus.
After ascending to power, ex-President Eduardo dos Santos pioneered two major ideological shifts in Angola. First was ditching communism in favor of social democracy in 1991 after the country adopted multi-party democracy. That was shortly followed by a rather dramatic shift by which the country moved on and adopted pure capitalism in 1992 hence embracing passionately free market economic liberalization and development.
Pure capitalism albeit said to have led to rapid economic growth in Angola through, among others, increased production and export of crude oil and diamonds, as well as attraction of foreign investments into the country, reportedly provided loopholes for flourishing of corruption and particularly for enabling the ex-President Eduardo dos Santos loot his own country’s enormous wealth to enrich himself, family, relatives, and associates in Angola and abroad. The looting is said to have been massive, leaving very little for most of the people of Angola, 70% of which are said to currently living on $1.90 per day.
According to some media sources, ex-President Eduardo dos Santos (and accomplices) looted over $24 billion of Angola’s wealth during his reign. That is definitely a colossal amount of money that if it were used for the public good, could have helped transforming Angola into a modern and prosperous state through delivery of, let say, electrified railway systems, expressways, clean water supply for all, modern health system, modern housing for most Angolans, intensive urban and rural electrification, etc.
From the foregoing, therefore, ex-President Eduardo dos Santos’ rule in Angola is an African bad political story of excessive selfishness. It helps explain what some naively think is a paradox in some African countries where most of the populations are income poor, while at the same time massive wealth is being generated daily by local and multi-national companies. _____________________________ © 2015 - 2022 Africauptodate. All Rights Reserved