De Oliveira presents a thoroughly researched overview of one of the obfuscated African nations, providing many excellent insights But, his writing style is convoluted, while too often he doesn t elaborate on the many small remarks he puts in as matters of course while describing a larger narrative Mostly, these are issues an editor should have taken care of, and take away from the accessibility of the book.Oliveira makes the point that post colonial Angola is the only African country where the Creole, the power brokers between the colonial masters and the colonial subjects, eventually became the elite Also because there was a colonial elite to begin with, the Portuguese themselves being handsoff with the administration of their dominions, whether in Angola, Mozambique or Brazil.But, perhaps importantly, specifically for the post independent resurgence of nationalism, driven by the descendants of these Creoles, with the scramble for Africa in the late 1800s bringing in much Portuguese than just the criminals that were sent to this formal penal colony, they suffered a relative setback in late colonial times, having to compete for civil service jobs with literate, and white, Portuguese subjects, thus creating an early breeding ground for wanting to return to their former greatness.Urbanized Angolans, covetting their Portuguese connections, contrasted themselves with the savage Africans from the hinterlands, which was emphasized by the most remote parts of Angola not even being formally integrated into a centralized system until as late as the 1950s, education in these regions typically being taken care of by American and European missionary posts.So, it was eventually the elites from very different parts of the country and thus with very different backgrounds, who first pitted themselves against the Portuguese and then against each other, each having very different ideas about their own position in the world, while not considering Angola as anything but a contingent piece of land.Shortly after Portugal s retreat, two of the three movements remained, propped up by Cuba and South Africa, and the two countries themselves eventually faced off, in Angola, in 1988.Peace agreements were signed in 1991, followed by elections in 1992 UNITA, operating from the countryside, expected an easy win But, after high level defections, the tables turned, UNITA lost to the MPLA operating from Luanda, the capital, taking up their guns again, and reigniting a civil war that lasted ten years and only ended with the death of UNITA leader Savimbi.Angola was left with a president who tightly controlled his sphere of influence, focussed on exploitation of oil and diamonds, facilitated by Western companies, while having access to a very tight security apparatus, but unable to provide basic services in a country where agriculture had all but ceased to exist.With UNITA out of the way, the MPLA dictated what it meant to be Angolan a product of a Portuguese colonial history with no meaningful precolonial antecedent With the capital at its center, Angola had become the republic of Luanda.Already during the war that followed independence, the state aparatus which the MPLA controlled, was backed, or rather, undermined, by the president s setting up of a parallel system with the sole purpose of managing and controlling oil production Technocratic, but also corrupt, the system remained in place after independence and is what effectively defines the state.The Portuguese, before independence, for a bit over a decade, oversaw a period of huge growth, the country hosting the second largest contingent of foreigners after South Africa, but in 1976, all this had broken down, most foreigners having left after the start of civil war Fascinating, of course, that an exceedingly communist regime tolerated, even supported, the success of an exceedingly capitalist oil industry While the MPLA was backed by the Soviets and the Cubans and the oppositions by the Americans and the South Africans, Angolan oil was managed by the French and Americans and shipped to the rest of the world via South Africa.But after the country exchanged socialism for crony capitalism, SONANGOL, the state s oil company, went from strength to strength, at the turn of the century employing 9000 people in the second largest company in Africa.All as the president s private vehicle for control.After the war ended in 2002, the need for money in rebuilding the country and placating the former opposition grew significantly With oil prices not yet having risen steeply, Angola was short on cash, but the many conditions set by Western institutions for providing funds were balked at and nothing happened, until China became willing to invest without conditions in 2005.As a result, though not as efficient or cost effective, the state has been responsible for a wide array of infrastructural development projects, many with reasonably positive long term benefits, though many also with no clear long term plan or reasonable budgets, larger amounts available for spending also meaning money being absorbed, appropriated, by those involved.Not surprisingly, white elephants, large but pointless infrastructural projects, are plenty.The poor are not included in the process of urban renewal and though lots of foreign expertise is flown in, the state dictates the nature of change, with the elite directly benefiting from the individual projects through partnerships and kickbacks.Perhaps surprisingly, there is virtually no desire to manage skills transfers to replace the expensive expat crowd On the other hand, this is fairly typical for other oil rich states as well.Not surprisingly, with the state having ample income, development organizations have little leverage to set the agenda and, since the war, have been marginalised Meanwhile, the state pays lip service to the language of development politics, without actually implementing meaningful political change.What makes the post colonial, post civil war, politics of Angola unique is that, with the help of huge amounts of oil money, the state, that is mostly the president, managed to reinvent itself several times, while also being able to create some meaningful change, if disproportionally small in relation to the money spent, for the vast majority of the population Yet, these reinventions has as their sole objective the entrenchment of the ruling class, even if the core of this success, driven by the national oil company, was and is the responsibility of a small group of competent professionals.With the president at the center, the elite have traded power for money.In business, Angolan incompetents partnering with foreign companies or foreign managers, get rich on the spoils Though often beneficial for the foreign players, long term risks are huge, with no legal recourse available, sometimes the outcome being death or being expelled from the country.And, typical for elsewhere in Africa as well, investment horizons are short, months, not years.So, as a result, commercial agriculture and manufacturing, processes that take years to come to fruition, are avoided, virtually everything being imported from abroad.More recently, Angolan business has moved abroad, with the most popular objective being Portugal, where towards ten percent of the country stock exchange is in the hands of the Angolan elite.The author never says it, but Angola is a truly fascist state, and trying to become so everything is of the state and of the state But, the MPLA s fascist tendencies have resulted in an inclusive, if unequal society where, for now, civil war based on ethnic differences is unthinkable But, the political situation is ever precarious, lacking the economic inclusion so desired by the masses. N o obstante um PIB per capita de 5700 d lares, em 2012, a maioria dos angolanos muito pobre, sofre e morre devido a doen as evit veis e tem uma esperan a de vida que praticamente n o chega aso cinquenta anos Fant stico trabalho de investiga o conduzido por Ricardo Soares de Oliveira sobre a Angola do p s guerra, sempre devidamente fundamentado e apoiado num exaustivo trabalho de campo.Retrato imaculado de um pa s disfuncional, que nunca quis sair da al ada do estado paralelo da Sonangol e do petr leo Do controlo ditatorial do MPLA aos interesses econ micos instalados em Portugal, sem esquecer o milagre da reconstru o do p s guerra, recomendo vivamente a todos os que procurem saber mais sobre a realidade actual angolana. Livro muito elaborado e com o cruzamento cuidado de v rias fontes por parte do autor Recomenda se a quem quer conhecer melhor as origens do poder pol tico e das elites em Angola. Opini o Acho o livro um bocado desequilibrado no sentido em que alguns cap tulos s o mais ricos em pormenores e informa o que outros s vezes a escrita e o texto tornam se um bocado repetitivos e d a ideia que estamos a re ler algo que j lemos em paginas anteriores.No entanto, um livro muito interessante e de leitura quase obrigat ria para compreender a ascens o econ mica fulgurante de Angola ou de alguns Angolanos na ltima d cada O Autor explica um pouco a s bita ascens o da economia angolana e o seu enquadramento no sistema internacional Mostra como os oligarcas angolanos habitam o mundo da economia global de luxo Demonstra igualmente a interesseira complac ncia dos pa ses ocidentais que j nem sequer fingem censurar os cleptocratas..Sinopse Magn fica e Miser vel retrata as mudan as vertiginosas que se vivem em Angola, um pa s incontorn vel como exportador de petr leo e diamantes, e cada vez mais influente em frica Com base em tr s anos de pesquisa e no seu conhecimento pessoal do pa s, Ricardo Soares de Oliveira descreve a s bita ascens o da economia angolana e o seu enquadramento no sistema internacional desde 2002, ano em que emergiu de uma das guerras civis mais longas e sangrentas de frica Num pa s historicamente marcado pelo tr fico de escravos, pela explora o colonial e pela guerra, os angolanos pretendem agora construir uma sociedade decente Perante esse desafio, como tem agido o governo angolano, presidido por Jos Eduardo dos Santos desde 1979 Conseguir o regime dar resposta s expectativas do seu povo By far the best overview of Angola and Angolans since the end of the Angolan civil war Should be read by anyone who has an interest in Angola Much better than IMF annual reviews of Angola and or US Government publications. O autor tinha muito material para elaborar um estudo interessante acerca de Angola Ap s a parte introdut ria bastante interessante, com uma explica o simples da hist ria da guerra de Angola e de quais foram as partes intervenientes nos conflitos, o resto do livro torna se confuso, muito repetitivo e aborrecido.O autor aborda sistematicamente o sistema paralelo e o enriquecimento il cito, refere alguns casos exemplificativos, mas o livro n o passa do mesmo, p gina ap s p gina, cap tulo ap s cap tulo. Magn Fica E Miser Vel Retrata As Mudan As Vertiginosas Que Se Vivem Em Angola, Um Pa S Incontorn Vel Como Exportador De Petr Leo E Diamantes, E Cada Vez Mais Influente Em Frica Com Base Em Tr S Anos De Pesquisa E No Seu Conhecimento Pessoal Do Pa S, Ricardo Soares De Oliveira Descreve A S Bita Ascens O Da Economia Angolana E O Seu Enquadramento No Sistema Internacional Desde , Ano Em Que Emergiu De Uma Das Guerras Civis Mais Longas E Sangrentas De Frica Num Pa S Historicamente Marcado Pelo Tr Fico De Escravos, Pela Explora O Colonial E Pela Guerra, Os Angolanos Pretendem Agora Construir Uma Sociedade Decente Perante Esse Desafio, Como Tem Agido O Governo Angolano, Presidido Por Jos Eduardo Dos Santos Desde Conseguir O Regime Dar Resposta S Expectativas Do Seu Povo
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Magnífica e Miserável book, this is one of the most wanted Ricardo Soares de Oliveira author readers around the world.
- 384 pages
- Magnífica e Miserável
- Ricardo Soares de Oliveira
- 07 September 2019 Ricardo Soares de Oliveira