Angolans plan to protest in the capital on Saturday to show their frustration about deteriorating living standards and unemployment. The protester believe they should not be struggling as much in Africa’s second-biggest oil producer, Angola.
Angola’s oil-dependent economy has been hit hard by the corona-virus pandemic. The subsequent plunge in crude prices also threw the country into an unexpected position.
Gross domestic product has shrunk for the past five years. It is expected to remain stagnant this year. The country’s unemployment rate stood at almost 33% in this year’s second quarter. The country’s inflation also accelerated to 24% in October which is the highest position since January 2018.
The coming demonstration will be closely monitored by police. There was also a similar event on Nov. 11. That demonstration coincided with the marking of 45 years of independence from former colonial ruler, Portugal. The Nov.11 demos led to clashes with heavily armed security personnel and at least one person being killed.
The demos scenery were reminiscent of weeks of violent protests in Nigeria against police brutality. The Nigeria demos left dozens of people dead or injured.
The World Bank estimates that about a third of the population lives on less than $2 a day.
Protest organizer Laura Macedo said Angolans are sick and tired of not being heard.
“All we want is a more serious, good and just governance for for all, without exception. Many people wake up in the morning and don’t know what they’re going to eat next,” she said in a phone interview.
President Joao Lourenco has taken steps to revive the economy and stamp out corruption, succeeding long-time ruler, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, but his government’s efforts have been stymied by the virus and little has filtered down to the people.