Now Firmly in Control in Angola, Will Lourenco Make Good on His Reform Pledges?

Now Firmly in Control in Angola, Will Lourenco Make Good on His Reform Pledges?
Angolan President Joao Lourenco, center, arrives for an event at the EU-Africa summit, Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Nov. 29, 2017 (AP photo by Geert Vanden Wijngaert).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.

When Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who served as president of Angola for nearly four decades, confirmed last year that he would not run for another term, many expected him to continue wielding power behind the scenes. This was especially true after he announced he would stay on as head of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, or MPLA, which has been the ruling party since the oil-rich southern African country attained independence from Portugal in 1975.

“He is going to stay in a very powerful position in the party, which means he is going to stay in control and the president will defer to him,” one analyst said at the time.

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