- Angolan legislators are expected to endorse the new constitution that will strengthen the three decades-long rule of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. The vote comes earlier than expected as the nation reels from a deadly rebel attack last week. The vote was expected in March.
The endorsement scheduled for 21 January, will keep the president as head of government and the armed forces but replace the prime minister with a vice president, ensuring the presidency has greater control.
It will also let President dos Santos keep power without a direct ballot because the president is chosen as the leader of the party that wins the 80 percent of the vote for parliament last year.
However, critics have accused the government of trying to stifle public debate by holding the parliamentary vote while Angola is hosting the Africa Cup of Nations, the continent\'s premier football event.
President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has been in power for 30 years, but has only faced an election once, in 1992 that triggered a new phase in Angola\'s civil war, with the country’s main opposition party Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) claiming widespread rigging.
The proposals to strengthen are opposed by the main opposition party, UNITA. Separatists vowed to continue attacks Wednesday after claiming two civilians had been killed by government forces in retaliation for the attack.
UNITA has been highly critical of the reform process and the indirect election idea, which President dos Santos suggested himself during a public press conference.
Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) party won a landslide victory in 2008.
The lack of visibility over the presidency has been a source of political and economic uncertainty in the Southern African nation.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.