Know and Demand Your Rights

The Zuela Project, embodies the theme “Know and Demand Your Rights.” This theme was introduced because as an organization, we understand that to train people to use the Zuela application in reporting and defending Human Rights, might involve certain legal precedents and we want to make certain citizens aware of them. For this reason, we have extracted excerpts from the Republic of Angola Constitution.

Why do we call it Know and Demand Your Rights? This is because it is not just enough to know individual rights alone to change reality. To achieve this, it is necessary that people are capable of demanding the realization of these rights in a peaceful and non-violent way. Our non-violent civic vision that reports all our activities, also guides the spirit of this initiative.

Civic engagement is a great challenge as it presents minor to medium risks. It is more challenging because it tries to realize everything that is shaped in the personalist political philosophy. That is to go from the theoretical or legal text to reality. In other words change the text on rights to practical and experiential reality. This is no longer the age of metaphysical philosophical grounds of human rights but rather the age of the creation of public policies to realize such rights, as said by the Italian thinker Norberto Bobbio in “The Age of Rights.”

This bleak picture that degrades the unarmed eye every day poses challenges for all Angolans. We need to know our rights and demand their implementation simultaneously in all sectors so that the universality and complementarity of rights can be translated into our Collective Right to Development.

  

CONHEÇA OS DIREITOS (Read More..)

 

Angola And China-Bilateral Economic Strategy

After a 27-year of civil war, Angola is still facing enormous challenges ahead to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Despite the exceptionally high rapid economic growth that Angola has experienced after the end of the civil war in 2002, the country is still facing high unemployment (in particular among youth and women), extreme poverty, lack a of quality education, adequate health services and environmental degradation. Corruption within the government is also a problem. Angola is the second largest producer of oil and the third producer of diamonds in sub-Saharan Africa, but it has a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0, 446, according to 2007 and 2008 Human Development Report. In addition to that, it is among the low human development countries ranked 162nd out of 177 countries (UNDAF, 2009). The primary school enrollment is still low at 54% and life expectancy is 41.7 years. In addition, maternal mortality remains high (1.700 per 100, 000) and infant mortality rates is also extremely high (134 per 1000). Only 31% of the population has access to sanitation and 53% to clean water. Clearly, Angola faces enormous economic and social challenges ahead. Thus, in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the government will need to work with civil society, private organizations and with local and international Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to implement profound reforms  (i.e., diversify its oil economy, tackle the endemic corruption…) in order to translate this high rapid economic growth into human development.

The question then becomes: How will the government fund these reforms to reduce poverty and meet the Millennium development Goals? In this paper, I will first examine the economic relation between Angola and the People’s Republic of China by looking at oil export to China and development aid from China to Angola in order to help us better understand Angolan paradox. Then, I will analyze some key Challenges aspects that Angola is facing from its bilateral trade relation with China. From there, I will provide some policy advice as to how Angola may be able to maximize the economic benefits and minimize the costs of the trade relations with China. Finally, I will briefly examine what type of reforms is needed within the government in order to have a functional and capable government to implement these reforms.

Angola and China (Research Paper)

Urban Youth Activism and the Peace Process in Angola

For decades, Angolan youth were recruited by both the Angolan’s Armed Forces (FAA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), to fight during the civil war that lasted almost three decades. After the end of the 27-year civil war, more than 118 ex-combatants were demobilized and many young former combatants without any technical or academic skills were left to fend for themselves, (World Bank report, 2003). Despite the exceptionally high, rapid economic growth that Angola has experienced after the end of the civil war, the country is still facing high unemployment (in particular among youth), extreme poverty, lack of quality educational and health care services and environmental degradation. As Nirit Ben-Ari (who is a writer and social media editor at United Nations) “Angola’s economy grows, but what about the poor?,” put it, ”as major public infrastructure investments in energy and transport kick in, Angloa’s growth is projected to reach 7.9% in 2014 and 8.8% in 2015. Yet, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reports that around 36% of Angolans live below the poverty line and one in every four people is unemployed” (The Africa Report, 2014). In 2011, a group of youth formed a Youth Movement (YM) in Luanda and started to mobilize Angolans and raise awareness about various political, social and economic problems that many people are facing throughout the country.  Indeed, the rise of the YM in Luanda marked a new era for the civil society since Angola became independent in 1975.

The aim of this paper is to help us understand the dynamics of urban youth activism in Luanda by examining the tactics that the Youth Movement (YM) are using in Luanda since 2011 in order to socially navigate and mobilize the masses and raise awareness about various political, social and economic problems that many are facing throughout the country. In order to explore these themes, I will examine the dynamics of social movement diffusion in Luanda, specifically why and how urban youth social movements choose their tactics and strategies to make their voices heard. This paper will not examine all the social movements in Angola; rather it will focus only in Luanda as noted above. This paper will benefit from a multiple sources of data; articles, documents, videos and narrative account of participant’s history, will be analyzed. Before proceeding further, it is worth to take a moment and briefly examine Angola’s history and it’s main current social and political issues to help us fully understand the current political, economic and social equation.

 Urban Youth Activism (Research Paper)

 

Situação dos refugiados na Lunda-Norte e a violação de Direitos Humanos

Gonçalves Vieira| Com o propósito de constatar de perto a vida que milhares de refugiados da RDC levam em Angola, a Rádio Angola, afecta à Friends Of Angola, uma organização não-governamental dos Direitos Humanos, fez deslocar uma equipa de reportagem à província da Lunda-Norte, mas concretamente às regiões do Cuango, Cafunfo e Dundo.
A viagem de carro de Luanda ao Cafunfo, passando pelo Cuango, sede do município, durou 21 horas, com vários constrangimentos na via, uma vez que a estrada nacional n.º 225 encontra-se bastante degradada. O troço que liga o município de Xá-Muteba ao Cafunfo, passando pelo Cuango, está completamente esburacada, com um intervalo de 45 km que vai do desvio até à sede do Cuango.

Posto em Cafunfo – já que a informação inicial indicava a existência de refugiados não só no Dundo mas também no Cuango e Cafunfo -, fomos informados de que todos dos refugiados da República Democrática do Congo (RDC) estão acolhidos no Dundo, capital da província da Lunda-Norte. Ainda em Cafunfo, a nossa equipa de reportagem fez uma constatação sobre a situação dos Direitos Humanos, e nos contactos mantidos com activistas, outros membros da sociedade civil e população em geral, percebeu-se que o cenário “ainda é dramático”. Há relatos constantes de violações dos direitos fundamentais.

 Situation of refugees in Lunda-Norte (Read More..)

 

Situação dos activistas dos Direitos Humanos em Angola (Portuguese)

 

A liberdade é um dos valores que as populações a nível do mundo almejam. Mas nem todos ainda usufruem. Na tentativa de analisar e descrever a realidade dos activistas que eventualmente estejam a enfrentar perseguições, ameaças, mortes, julgamentos injustos e inviabilizados à ascenderem de posição social, contactamos alguns para facilitar a avaliação da situação dos activistas que têm lutado em prol da defesa dos Direitos Humanos. Dos vários contactos feitos via telefónica, ao apresentarmos os objectivos do presente relatório notava-se reações variadas, alguns activistas andam calejados, tendo em conta as calúnias que são levantadas contra eles. E, outros preferiam que a/as entrevistas fossem realizadas de forma presencial, com receio de serem auscultados via telefone. A pesar da serenidade de uns e a perca de fó- lego dos outros havia algo em comum: todos sentiam a necessidade de ver o actual quadro mudado, sentia-se pela voz a vontade de assistirem o funeral da impunidade, corrupção e nepotismo e ver o renascer da igualdade.

É de lembrar que o país acaba de sair de mais uma das eleições, onde não se viu alternância partidária mas o presidente que governou a nação por trinta e oito anos foi ser substituído como pre- sidente da república. Desde o empossamento do actual presidente até ao momento, parece estar a se viver uma esperança que advem dos discur- sos do combate a corrupção, da impunidade, das exonerações de algumas figuras mais viciadas da governação anterior (apesar de todos eles perten- cerem a mesma equipa), o actual presidente pa- rece estar interessado na conquista dos corações de um povo que “nunca” conheceu a liberdade e outra forma de governação. Mas ainda não existe nenhum sabor na prática dos discursos esperan- çosos: há quem diga, são ventos temporários que serão afogados pelo poder da corrupção do seu partido. Nesta senda, ao olhar-se o ano 2017, observa-se grande parte da matriz da governação do presidente cessante.

Situação dos activistas dos Direitos Humanos em Angola (Read More..)

 

Situation of Human Rights activists in Angola (English)

 

Liberty is a value aspired by people worldwide. However, it is a value not yet enjoyed by every human being. This is a comprehensive attempt to analyse and describe the reality of activists that are facing persecution, death threats, death, unfair trials and precluded from ascending to social dimensions within societal structures and workplace ranks, we have contacted some of them to facilitate an evaluation of the situation, these activists have been fighting towards the defense of Human Rights. Various contacts were made via telephone, firstly a presentation of the objectives of the report was carried out, in this process we noted mixed reactions, some activists were abrasive, as a result of way they have been slandered and all the insults projected against them; others preferred that interviews were conducted in person, for fear of being auscultated by telephone. Despite the serenity of some and the loss of breath of others they all had something in common: altogether they felt the urge to see the current scenario transformed, through their voices a desire was manifested to attend the funeral of impunity, corruption and nepotism and to see equality and due process being reborn in the country.

The report puts into perspective the country that has just emerged from another election, with the absence of partisan alternatives, the president who ruled the nation for thirty-eight years was to be replaced as a president of the republic. Since the inauguration of the current president, it seems we are living a hope that comes in a format of speeches directed at combating corruption, impunity, the resignations of some of the entities who were power addicts from the previous government (albeit they all belong to the same team) the incumbent president seems to be interested in winning the hearts of the people who “never” knew liberty and freedom and other forms of governance. In the meantime, there is still not much to be predicted in terms of the light that shines in the dark to display the pathway; relative to practice of hopeful speeches: some say, they are temporary winds that will be drowned by the power of corruption of the President’s party. A retrospective portrayal of the year 2017, showcases much of governance matrix left by ceasing president.

Situation of Human Rights activists in Angola (Read More..)