After 400 years of Portuguese rule, Portugal’s influence in Angola is undeniable. Yet since independence, Angola’s influence in Portugal has been expanding rapidly.
Over the past decade, Angolan elites – made wealthy by the country’s oil money – have increasingly invested their interests in their former colonizer. Largely motivated by financial reasons, these investments have largely targeted Portugal’s banking, telecommunications, energy and real estate sectors. Yet, several extremely influential Angolans have also shown an interest in Portugal’s struggling media sector. While not a lucrative sector, the motives for investing in Portuguese media answer to a different – but equally beneficial - logic.
- While a number of wealthy Angolans have invested their wealth in Portugal, those investing in the Portuguese media all appear to have strong connections to the Angolan government.
- Less motivated by profit, these individuals are seeking to influence the Portuguese media in an attempt to portray Angola – and its government – in a more positive light. However, these investments have led to an environment of self-censorship – with many media outlets unwilling to publish articles that appear to criticise Angola.
- With Angola’s economic climate in decline, its influence in Portugal is waning – particularly following Portugal’s revitalised push to target corruption.