Getting a visa to Angola used to be a major operation. Fast forward to 2018: South African nationals no longer require a visa. In a further sign of change, the head of state oil giant Sonangol, Isabel dos Santos — one of Africa’s richest women and daughter of the former long-standing president — was recently fired, sending shockwaves through the international business media. All of this began in September 2017 when former defence minister João Lourenço was elected as the country’s president, becoming the first new head of state in 38 years. Perhaps the most important changes to be expected from Lourenço will be the implementation of economic reforms laid out in his economic and social improvement plan. This in effect amends the 2013-17 national development plan and leads into a new development blueprint for the period 2018-22. These reforms are sorely needed. Following the oil price crash of 2014 Angola has endured a recession, skyrocketing inflation and empty supermarket shelves ca...

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