Despite government attempts to repress or deflect it, there is little doubt that popular antagonism to the corrupt enrichment of the elite will be the dominant theme of the presidential election, forecast for next year. The invitation therefore of Angola's President Jose Eduardo dos Santos to this year's Crans Montana Forum in Switzerland, due to take place from June 26-29, where he was set to pronounce on issues of transparency and good governance, has a certain piquancy.
During the forum, which gathers every year heads of state and of governments and decision-makers from the corporate sector or international organisations, the Angolan head of state, along with the chairmen of the national oil company Sonangol, Manuel Vicente, and of the diamonds corporation, Endiama, Manuel Calado, was set to speak about the implications of peace in Angola for the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Dos Santos was expected to speak on "democracy, transparent public affairs management and foreign investment in Africa".
The forum is now in its 14th year and, according to its website, gives an opportunity for "officials and businesses to get acquainted and create personal links for the success of their projects".
Other prominent figures in the 50-strong Angolan delegation will deliver speeches on a number of issues. The president's wife, Ana Paula dos Santos, well-known in Luanda for her expensive shopping trips to Brazil, will elaborate on women's health in developing countries, while Foreign Minister Joao Bernardo de Miranda will deliver a speech titled …