Angola has vast oil and diamond reserves, making it of strategic interest to British companies seeking to compensate for declining of North Sea oil production. Prospects are good: an expansion of the oil industry could double output in six or seven years from today’s 750,000 barrels per day. Angola has the added attraction of not being an OPEC member. By the end of this decade it could supply the United States with ﬁfteen percent of its oil.
Yet despite the oil frenzy, this country remains one of the most unhealthy and dangerous places to live in Africa, with the second highest child mortality rate in the world. Tony Hodges has followed developments there closely since independence in 1975. In 1999 two Norwegian Institutes commissioned him to analyse the country; this volume, which charts developments from 1975 to today, is the result.