Angola: Conflict and development, 1962-2002

Manuel Ennes Ferreira


Can a country achieve its development goals or, at least, its economic growth goals when it faces forty years of war? Angola's case serves as a paradigmatic example to answer this question. From 1961 to 1974, Angolans opposed Portuguese colonial rule by violent, revolutionary struggle. But from 1975 (Angola's independence year) to April 2002 (the date of the last cease-fire), a civil war pitted the ruling MPLA party against the main rebel group, UNITA. Macroeconomic performance differed across these two time-periods. The article explores the influence of internal and external economic and political conditions on Angola's development, under circumstances of war, and speculates on Angola's immediate future. The article argues, in particular, that Angola's elites have used the civil war as an excuse behind which to hide atrocious economic policy.

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