On a lighter note, a refugee journalist
from the Democratic Republic of the
Congo (DRC), Roger Kamako, who arrived in Angola in April 2017, is working as a journalist at a UNICEF-created
community radio station at a refugee
camp in Dundo, far north-eastern Angola – just a few kilometres from the border with the DRC. He broadcasts health
and hygiene information provided by
NGOs, as well as requests from fellow
refugees trying to locate lost relatives.

The jury is still out on where Angola
stands on freedom of expression. This
is primarily due to the staggering number of radical changes introduced in the
last quarter of the year by President João
Lourenço, the effects of which have yet
to be felt and analysed. For a better picture, please consult the section ‘Looking
Forward to 2018’.

October is ‘radio month’ in Angola
in memory of the first visit by the first
president of Angola to the studios of the
national radio broadcaster in 1977. According to Angolan journalists, the new
Press Law (the ‘mother’ law for the entire media sector), Law No. 1/17, is a
step backwards, as it takes away hardwon conquests already enshrined in
earlier legislation and fails to uphold the
Windhoek Declaration regarding the
national obligation to promote the media. Speaking at an event in the scope
of radio month, a civil society activist
voiced his disappointment at the new
laws for the media sector approved early
in 2016, which again failed to provide
for community radio. He said there were
no community radio stations in Angola
in the true sense of the word; those that
existed were mere extensions of the national radio. The SJA also felt strongly

about the issue, stating that municipal
radio stations created by the national
radio are not community radio stations.

“Only with freedom of
expression and press
freedom could the
country move towards
a true democracy –
in as much as these
are rights that are
enshrined in the
Constitution of the
Republic of Angola,
and which must
be upheld by all.”
President João Lourenço
Angola has had access to information
(ATI) legislation from as far back as
2002, in fact, it was the first country
in Africa to adopt an ATI law. In 2017,
two additional laws were added, the
Protection of Information Systems and
Networks Law and the General Law on
Archives, the latter being an instrument
to preserve and enhancing the historical, cultural, documentary and archival
heritage of the country, including documents abroad as long as they are considered property of or belonging to the
Angolan State.

So This is Democracy? 2017


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