OPEN LETTER ANGOLA PRESIDENT
Your Excellency Mr. Joao Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço
President of the Republic of Angola and the
Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA)
May 23, 2023
Subject: Repudiation of the new proposal to restrict NGOs
Excellency, Mr. President,
Friends of Angola (FoA) learned with great concern the new draft law proposed by your excellency and MPLA, which aims to restrict Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) (national and foreign) in Angola.
In 2017, the Constitutional Court declared the presidential decree 74/15 of March 23, 2015, that regulates NGOs unconstitutional, stating that “legislating on that matter is an exclusive competence of the National Assembly.”
According to Jornal de Angolan newspaper, the argument presented by the Angolan Bar Association (OAA) in 2017 on the unconstitutionality of the presidential decree is that the restrictions “make the principles of self-organization, self-government, and self-management disappear from the life of NGOs.”
In the same article, the OAA states there is an excess of intervention, control, and interference by the State in the life of NGOs, which runs counter to the collective aspiration of creating a free, democratic, and developed Angola.
Friends of Angola and many civil society organizations agree with the Angolan Bar Association (OAA) statement. The Angolan people do not want to go back to the recent past, where excessive State intervention, control, and interference in all aspects of citizen’s life stifled basic liberties and freedoms. We want to live in a democratic state where the people’s aspirations are realized in an environment of freedom and prosperity, protected by the Constitution of the Republic of Angola.
We urge you to reconsider the proposed new law. We believe that it would be harmful to the people of Angola and would undermine the country’s progress toward democracy and development.
Friends of Angola