Economic growth in 2012 fell to 8.4%. In 2000-10, the
country had one of the highest growth rates in the world
with 11.1% average annual growth. The largest trading
partner is China, which in 2012 reduced 45.8% of Angola's
exports, followed by the US with 13.7%.
In early April 2013, the United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, visited the country at the
invitation of the government. During his visit, Pillay
raised numerous concerns about the country's respect for
human rights: restrictions on freedom of expression,
excessive use of force to suppress protests, mistreatment
and sexual abuse against unregistered emigrants, forced
removals, and violation of economic and social rights.
Pillay's visit put a rare spotlight on the country's human
rights, largely ignored by Angola's regional and
international parties, which prioritize trade relations with
the country. Despite the visit, conditions did not improve.
In 2014, the country was subject to the regular
inspection (UPR) of the UN Human Rights Council. Angola had
then accepted 192 of the 226 recommendations from the
previous review and declared that it would consider the
remaining 34 recommendations further - many of them in the
areas of freedom of expression and assembly. But in March
2015, the government declared it rejected the 34
Angola gained a seat on the UN Security Council on 1 January
2015 - for a two-year term. The country was hit hard by the
drastically falling oil prices during the year, as the oil
accounted for 97% of export revenue.
Fifteen young activists were arrested by security forces
in the days of 20-24. June in Luanda. They had attended a
peaceful meeting to discuss politics and governance under
dos Santos' leadership. In September, they were charged with
preparing for the uprising and conspiring against the
president. Four activists began a hunger strike in the same
month in protest of their illegal detention. For the longest
lasting, it was a 36-day hunger strike. The lawsuit against
the 15 was opened in November. The penalty for the charges
they were put on trial was about 3 years in prison. The
imprisonment of the 15 triggered demonstrations, clashes
with security forces and new detentions.
In March, Parliament passed a new tight law regulating
the activities of NGOs in the country. The law imposes
strict restrictions on funding and the actions of NGOs, and
opens up extensive government intervention against NGOs, and
thus the country's civil society.
The fall in oil prices on the international markets in
2016 meant that Angola reduced the state budget by 20%. The
cuts triggered demonstrations, and in July, the United
Nations Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Committee
warned about the consequences of the general cuts. Among
other things. that the healthcare sector was no longer given
the necessary resources.
In June, President dos Santos appointed his daughter,
Isabel dos Santos, the director of the country's largest oil
company, Sonangol, involved in bribery scandals.
The parliamentary elections in August 2017 were a minor
defeat of the ruling MPLA, which went back 25 seats to 150.
In contrast, the largest opposition party UNITA went 19
seats up to 51. Already in December 2016, the MPLA had
decided that the incumbent President dos Santos should not
line up again. The party's leader and first candidate should
instead be Defense Minister João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço.
As MPLA received 61.1% of the vote despite the decline, João
Lourenço was appointed as the country's president in
Ten days after the August elections, UNITA filed an
election fraud complaint, but this was rejected by the
Supreme Constitutional Court a few days later.
In November, President Lourenço removed former
president's daughter Isabel dos Santos as director of the
state oil company. However, she still controlled the
country's largest mobile phone company Unitel, satellite TV
company Zap and was good for US $ 3.3 billion.