Angola is the seventh largest country in South Africa. Its leader is José dos Santos. As a young boy, he was very interested in politics. While he was still in school, he joined the “People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola” (MPLA). He went to college at the “Azerbaijan Oil and Chemistry Institute” and eventually went back to his home country. Once he got back to Angola, he joined the MPLA again and played a big part in the fight for Angola to be free from Portuguese colonial rule. Soon after the country became independent, he was named Minister of Foreign Affairs and then Minister of Planning. After that, he was chosen to be the President of Angola, a position he has held for the past 36 years. When he became President, he also took over as the leader of the military. He became President of the “People’s Assembly” the following year. At first, he was popular, even though opposition political parties were leading a civil war. But soon, elections were stopped, and the president stayed in office without the votes of the people. The new constitution said that the President will be the leader of the party that wins the most seats in the legislature. Since “MPLA” recently won, he was re-elected as President and is still doing this job.
Early years and childhood
José Eduardo dos Santos was born on August 28, 1942, in the Sambizanga district of Luanda, Angola, to Avelino and Jacinta Paulino. His parents came from So Tomé and Principe, an island in the Gulf of Guinea.
After going to elementary school in Luanda, he went to “Liceu Salvador Correia,” which is now called “Mutu ya Kivela” for his secondary education.
The young boy joined the political party “People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola” while he was still in school. During the same time, the Portuguese ruled the country, and José had to flee to the nearby Republic of the Congo because they were so harsh.
From Congo, he moved to the Soviet Union. In 1969, he graduated from the “Azerbaijan Oil and Chemistry Institute” in the Republic of Azerbaijan with degrees in radar communications and petroleum engineering.
Jose Santos’s Career
In 1970, Santos went back to Angola and joined the “People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola” (MPLA) guerrilla troops again. The “People’s Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola” (FAPLA) was this part of the “MPLA.”
He was the “FAPLA” radio transmitter in the Cabinda Province, and four years later, he was made the sub-commander of the telecom branch for the area.
As a representative of the “MPLA,” he went to Congo, Yugoslavia, and China. After that, in Mexico, Angola, he joined the “Central Committee” and “Politburo” of the MPLA.
In 1975, José took over the management of the MPLA’s “Department of Foreign Affairs” and “Department of Health.” When Angola was no longer ruled by the Portuguese, the “MPLA” took over.
The opposition parties “National Union for the Total Independence of Angola” (UNITA) and “National Liberation Front of Angola” (FNLA) started a civil war, though.
In 1975, the political leader of Angola was named the country’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs. Three years later, he was also named the country’s first Minister of Planning.
On September 10, 1979, José became the President of the MPLA. Ten days later, he was sworn in as the President of Angola. During the same time, he was also put in charge of all the military forces.
The President was chosen as the leader of the “People’s Assembly” on November 9, 1980, the following year.
In 1992, the President of Angola beat Jonas Savimbi, who was running against him for the presidency. But there was a second round of voting because neither candidate got more than half of the votes.
People thought that the elections had been rigged, and the “MPLA” army killed a lot of protesters. This three-day war in which protesters died led to it being called the “Halloween Massacre.”
After the massacre, Savimbi dropped out of the elections to join the ongoing civil war, and President Santos kept his job.
In 2001, the President said that he would step down after the next election. Two years later, he was named President of “MPLA” again, and there were no more elections after that.
In 2008, the “MPLA” won a majority of the seats in the legislature and began to work on a new constitution. With the changes that were made, the President would be the leader of the political party that wins the most seats in Parliament.
In November 2006, the President helped start the “African Countries Diamond Producers Association.” The goal was to help almost twenty African countries get more foreign investment in their diamond industries.
When the “MPLA” won most of the seats in parliament in 2012, José stayed in office because the new constitution said he could.
During his time in office, this President has also been at the center of some controversy. He has been accused of getting rich at the expense of Angolans’ standard of living. When the Parliament told the President he couldn’t invest in companies, the leader of the country had his daughter plow money instead.
Works of note
Angola’s President has been in office since 1979. He is known for being a key figure in the country’s fight for independence and for promoting peace and democracy there.
Awards & Achievements
The Angolan President was named “Man of the Year” by the magazine “Africa World” in 2014. This was in recognition of his work to improve Angola’s democracy and economy.
Personal History and Legacies
He has been married three times and has six kids. He is now married to Ana Paula dos Santos, who used to be a model and a flight attendant on the Angolan presidential plane.
Jose Filomeno, his son with his second wife Lusa Perdigo Abrantes, and Isabel, his daughter with his first wife Tatiana Kukanova, are his most well-known children. Isabel is one of the wealthiest businesswomen in Africa, and Filomeno is the head of Angola’s money fund.
In 2014, an Angolan historian named Patricio Batsikam wrote a book called “José Eduardo dos Santos and the Idea of the Angolan Nation” (José Eduardo dos Santos and the Idea of the Angolan Nation), which was about the President’s rule.
Jose Santos’s Earnings
The President of Angola is thought to have a net worth of about $20 billion.
According to government reports, this Angolan President was almost killed in 2010 when a car full of weapons got in the way of his car. Two people in the other car were killed when the President’s bodyguard shot at them. Later, the hidden weapons were found.