Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Peace in Angola

April 4th was the fifth anniversary of the advent of peace in Angola. I was on my way out of the country, so I missed a lot of the activities. My mother sent me this BBC article on the anniversary. I think it presents a just-average overall picture of the reality in Angola: the abrupt change from fear of stepping into the street to being able to move about freely, oil riches that the masses don't see, the presence of foreigners (as described by a local rapper)- but strangely doesn't mention corruption or the Chinese. (An article about Angola without mentioning the Chinese? What?)

They do mention Angola's first shopping mall, Belas Shopping. Goodness gracious, this mall is being promoted like it's a sign that Angola is truly evolving. Never mind that not even a tenth of the general population can afford to pay the transportation costs to be able to shop there. To me it just seems like a slap in the face of most Angolans who struggle to make ends meet. I realize that bringing commercial enterprises to Angola is important, but I think it is more important to promote micro, small and medium enterprises owned by Angolans and reform the Angolan laws to make them more business-friendly.

Most Angolans' shopping mall

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