Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Bob Geldof vs. Angolan Politicians

I haven't been able to find the exact quote by Bob Geldof, but he apparently said that Angola was "run by criminals" at a sustainable development conference in Lisbon (Angolan article here). Angola replied with utter outrage!

Again, this is all according to secondhand sources, but Geldof cited new housing complexes in Luanda that are more expensive than houses in London. The Angolan prime minister, Aguinaldo Jaime, had this to say:

"He showed total disrespect for Angolan people and the remarks are unfortunate,"
Jaime told Angolan radio station RNA. "He does not know Angolan reality.
He does not know (for instance) that Angola's government has invested heavily in
the construction of affordable social houses."

The irony is clear. Which is a bigger insult to the Angolan people: that Geldof said aloud what most Angolans already think, or that PM Jaime is pretending that Angolan officials are not corrupt and reconstruction is right on track in Angola? I agree that Geldof may not know Angolan reality, but I'd bet that Jaime doesn't either.

Jaime argued that Geldof was referring to private investment so his evidence was faulty. That may be true- the luxury houses being constructed in Angola are definitely out of the reach of most Angolans. Outside of that, I haven't seen a lot. Granted, I haven't seen a lot, but the only new construction going up in Lobito was hotels in the nicest part of town, not in Canata or Bela Vista. But then again, it may not matter:

An official with Imogestin, the real estate company that runs government's social housing programme told AFP on condition of anonymity that some supposedly affordable houses "go for 180,000 (US Dollars), still out of reach for most Angolans."


Anonymous said...

We have always known that the Angolan ruling elite is made up of criminals. Dos Santos and his wife own a good number of diamond mines in the country. Dos Santos children are all now weighty entrepreneurs. I hope more people will have the courage to denounce these thugs.

Anonymous said...

its good that the angolan politician are responding thoes statements made by bob geldof, that way the wolrd will have a chance to judge on how much thoes corrupt {} politician know about their own people. im my point of view, bob Geldof is more in touch with angolan people, then thoes criminals in angola.

Tomboa said...

I am delighted to find your blog and I will read it more often as it's hard to find news about Angola - my country.

The world doesnt know whats going on in Angola because different from other
dictatorships, Angola's one share some of the stolen-money with countries that could put some pressure to free Angola for once form those Criminals.

But it's also true that, to sustain the life style of people on richest countries many had to pay the price.