International and domestic actors in the reconstruction of Angola
Ricardo Oliveira (University of Oxford )
Manuel Ferreira (Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão/ Universidade Técnica de Lisboa)
Prof Anne Pitcher
Start time:
28 June, 2013 at 10:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Since the end of the civil war in 2002, the government of Angola has managed the country's reconstruction of Angola with a rare degree of autonomy from the usual international donor pressures (continues below)

Long abstract:

continuation of short abstract) Leveraging its military victory, immense oil wealth, new partnerships with the likes of China and old allies such as Portugal and Brazil, the government of Angola is pursuing a home-grown strategy of reconstruction mostly defiant of the "peacebuilding" orthodoxy. This strategy is characterized by a profusion of foreign partners, a large-scale presence of expatriate workers (estimated at more than 500,000 in 2008), and a focus on public expenditure in physical infrastructure, all at the service of a political agenda defined by the Angolan presidency. Many critics argue that its beneficiaries are the old elite and a limited number of newcomers rather than war victims or the poor majority. The purpose of this panel is first, to examine some of the key players in this reconstruction game, from Asian investors to Portuguese bankers and multinational oil corporations, to the new class of Angolan businessmen benefiting from insider opportunities and indigenization drives as well as the key decision-making bodies in Angola itself, including the national oil company Sonangol and the presidency. Secondly, we aim at understanding the types of relations between foreign and local actors and the likely dynamics of their medium term trajectories; and thirdly, whether the current arrangements are likely to deliver in terms of broad-based development for the country. The subject of the panel should be relevant not only to those interested in Angola, but to broader debates on postwar reconstruction and the political economy of resource-rich countries.