Talking Business Amidst Corruption
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has met with Angolan leaders on the second stage of her three-nation tour of Africa and indicated Berlin's readiness to help Angola in the defence sector.
Merkel was welcomed with military honours by President Jose dos Santos at the presidential palace, becoming the first German government leader to visit Angola since it gained its independence from Portugal in 1975.
"Angola is an important partner for us. Together, we could be getting a lot more things going," she said. Amid the international financial and economic crisis, Angolan-German trade had shrunk by 40 per cent to around 500 million euros (700 million dollars).
Merkel cited energy, technology, equipment for schools and universities and raw materials development as potential areas of investment. With Angola being an oil producer and with oil prices rising, there was the possibility of "good economic development," she said. "Germany is a fair partner. We naturally want to be economically successful, but we also want success for the people in your country," Merkel said. People in Angola would only achieve affluence "if there is a good connection between economic success and social balance."
Delegation officials note that many German firms are avoiding Angola because of corruption in the country. President dos Santos, asked about the issue of poor governance, retorted, "This conclusion could only be reached if you did not know Angola before independence." Angola had always been a poor country, said dos Santos, who has ruled since 1979.
Dos Santos underlined his will to undertake political reforms in a country which emerged from almost three decades of civil war in 2002. After decades of civil war which ended in 2002, Angola is devoting itself to developing rural regions and building up the infrastructure, he said.
Turning to political reforms, Merkel said Angola had made great progress since its civil war but, could do more to boost transparency, fight corruption and ensure freedom of expression.
[More details here , here, here and here]
Angola: When Increasing Wealth Doesn't 'Trickle Down'
Qual A Diferenca Qual E' Ela?...