Angolan political activist Florindo Chivucute said today, in a videoconference of the Institute of World Politics, in Washington, that “now is the right time for the United States and other countries to invest in democracy in Angola”.
Founder of Friends of Angola (Friends of Angola), Florindo Chivucute defended that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) need a lot of support to strengthen the voice of civil society in that country, with more financial funds, local resources and freedom.
The Angolan gave as an example the intention of advances by China on the African continent, namely in Angolan territory, as a “regression in implementing democratic values”.
Florindo Chivucute spoke in a ‘webinar’ organized by the World Policy Institute, in Washington, in which also the Mozambican Martina Perino, program manager at the Republican International Institute, participated in electoral reforms in Angola and Mozambique.
“We have a large young population that wants change and has the right to ask, to question, has the right to dream and have an education. It is the government’s responsibility to create services and provide opportunities for everyone, ”said the Angolan project manager.
“Civil society is courageous, determined and persistent. Unfortunately, it is a small segment of the population, but it has already been smaller and has grown, ”said Chivucute, referring to the“ few civil society organizations ”in Angola, who, he said, should receive national and international financial support.
From his own experience, the founder of Friends of Angola, an organization of social projects for the training of civil society, said that new organizations that want to emerge in Angola have to wait a long time before they can obtain licenses to operate.
The Angolan added that the United States should invest more in local NGOs in the African country.
Resident in the United States (USA) for more than 15 years, Florindo Chivucute defended that the North American institutions can work alongside the Angolan parliament to create more “instruments” of governance and ways to “mitigate corruption”.
“Nobody has to fear for life because they have a different opinion from the leaders,” added Florindo Chivucute, a master of conflict analysis and resolution at George Mason University in Virginia.
The activist praised some policies of Angolan President João Lourenço, such as the fight against some responsible for corruption in the country, including members of the family of former President José Eduardo dos Santos (in power from 1979 to 2017).
Even so, he considered the activist, other culprits are missing, such as Manuel Vicente, vice president between 2012 and 2017 and “mentor of corruption in Angola”, he accused.
Florindo Chivucute also said that “there is no relationship between the people and the government” in Angola, given the lack of local elections, which, in the activist’s view, calls for constitutional reform.
“Angola is the only country in southern Africa that has not yet implemented a system of directly electing local governors,” said Chivucute, criticizing the “empty promises” over 45 years.
Martina Perino, of the Republican International Institute, defended the holding of public debates and dialogues for the adoption of legislation regarding local elections, and underlined the importance of reaching a political consensus.
The program manager also defended that “small investments go far” and allow more debates and participation in civil society, which agreed to be stronger in Mozambique than in Angola.
For the Mozambican political expert, “party competition is very important” and “healthy” within a country, because it guarantees the sharing of power and accountability on the political scene.
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