Angola was rich in natural resources, had a large petroleum industry, and had the potential to be a major agricultural producer. From 2002 to 2010, Angola experienced astounding economic growth. In 2004 the GDP grew by 12.2%, by 19% in 2005, and by over 20% in 2000. In 2010, Angola surpassed Nigeria as the largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa. As of 2011, Angola was producing about 1.6 million barrels per day, which for technical reasons, was well under its estimated capacity of 1.9 million barrels. Angola was a member of OPEC, but OPEC was not enforcing quotas. Crude oil accounts for 95% of exports, more than 72% of government revenues, and over 50% of the country's GDP.
On the UN Human Development Index (HDI), Angola ranked 148th of 187 countries worldwide in 2010, falling within the “low development” category. The HDI is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, and standards of living for countries worldwide. It is a standard means of measuring well-being, especially child welfare.
Adapted from: "Angola." Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations, edited by Timothy L. Gall and Derek M. Gleason, 13th ed., vol. 2: Africa, Gale, 2012, pp. 19-34
"Marching towards riches and democracy?" Economist, 30 Aug. 2008
THE END OF APARTHEID
Apartheid existed in South Africa from 1948 until 1991, allowing institutionalized racism and segregation across many areas of daily life. During this time, many anti-apartheid groups such as the African National Congress (ANC) were banned, and notable anti-apartheid leaders – such as Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) – were imprisoned.
Following president P.W. Botha’s (1916-2006) stroke and subsequent resignation in 1989, his successor F.W. de Clerk (1936-present) announced in his first address to parliament (February 1991) that the ban on anti-apartheid groups such as the ANC were to be lifted. Alongside this, figures such as Mandela would be released, press freedom was restored, and the death penalty was repealed, among other sweeping changes.
During the early 1990s, negotiations were held that gradually deconstructed the legal framework that allowed apartheid to be enforced, and in 1993 de Klerk and Mandela were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Despite violence during these years, in 1994 South Africa had its first election under universal suffrage. The ANC won the election on 27th April, with Nelson Mandela sworn in as South Africa’s first post-apartheid president – April 27th is still celebrated as Freedom Day in South Africa.
"Free at last, free at last - thank God almighty, but it's just a start." Economist, 21 Oct. 1989
THE MAU MAU REBELLION
From 1952 to 1960, violent conflict took place between parts of the British Army and Mau Mau in British Kenya. “Mau Mau” was used as an overall name for various aligned factions of the Kikuyu, Kenya’s largest ethnic group.
After some early acts of violence, a State of Emergency was declared, and military activity mobilised. Mau Mau leaders were arrested, including Jomo Kenyatta (c.1890-1978), with various operations launched to detain key figures and gain intelligence on the various Mau Mau groups operating throughout the country. In January 1955, Governor-General of Kenya Evelyn Baring (1903-1973) offered an amnesty to the Mau Mau, revoked in June after receiving no response. The end of the rebellion and British military activity came in 1956 with the capture of Dedan Kimathi (1920-1957), though the conflict is regarded as ending in 1960 when native Kenyan majority rule was established and Kenya began to move toward independence.
After being released in 1959 and living in exile until 1961, Jomo Kenyatta became leader of the Kenya Africa National Union (KANU), and won the general election in 1963. He became the first Prime Minister of Kenya, overseeing the transition from a British Colony to an independent republic, of which he became President until his death.
"Emergency in Kenya." Economist, 25 Oct. 1952
From 1990, Rwanda had been in a state of civil war, fought between the Hutu-led government and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), largely formed of Tutsi refugees. Violence between Hutu and Tutsi factions had been ongoing since Rwandan independence in 1963, until a ceasefire in 1993 after international pressure on Juvénal Habyarimana’s (1937-1944) government.
The ceasefire ended when Habyarimana was assassinated in April 1994, starting with Tutsis and moderate Hutus being executed by police, soldiers and militia. The genocide occurred between April and July 1994, when nearly 70% of the Tutsi population were killed, with estimates of 500,000 to 1,000,000 people killed over a 100-day period, and another 2,000,000 Rwandans were displaced.
The RPF gained control of the northern part of Rwanda and eventually the capital, Kigali, by the end of July 1994, beginning the end of the massacre. The depopulation had severe consequences on the economy, and many Hutu’s fled to neighbouring countries, prompting further cross-border military actions. The genocide has had many legacies in the international world, especially as a contributing factor to the establishment of the International Criminal Court to prosecute crimes against humanity and war crimes, and many countries (including the United Kingdom, France and Belgium) were heavily criticized for their inaction during the atrocities.
"Genocide in Rwanda." Economist, 21 May 1994
SOUTH AFRICAN WORLD CUP
In 2010, South Africa became the first African nation to hold the football (soccer) FIFA World Cup tournament. The bidding process to host the tournament had only been open to African nations, and in 2004 South Africa were chosen ahead of Morocco and Egypt. The growth in popularity of the sport in the continent, the increase in prominent African players in major international leagues, and the ever improving performances of African nations in tournaments meant that an African nation had become a viable host for the tournament.
Like many large sporting tournaments, it brought problems. The expectations that construction and infrastructure costs would be offset by increased tourism failed to materialize, and the restrictions on local businesses led to reduced income during the tournament. Many people were ‘evicted’ as a method to make the cities more aesthetically pleasing, including the controversial N2 Gateway housing project, and the Elimination and Prevention of Re-Emergence of Slums Act that would force many shack-dwellers into temporary transit camps. Despite these issues, FIFA awarded South Africa a nine out of ten rating for organization, meaning that they are considered a ‘plan B’ for future tournaments.
"South Africa set to score." Economist, 8 May 2004