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Universo DECEMBER 2009

Animal Rescue Saving the palanca negra The Wire Subsea cables for Africa

Viva Angola!

The country gears up for the Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off in Luanda in January

Extra with this issue: Opec conference welcome supplement


oil and gas news


Universo is the international magazine of Sonangol Board Members Manuel Vicente (President), Anabela Fonseca, Mateus de Brito, Fernando Roberto, Francisco de Lemos

Sonangol Department for Communication & Image Director João Rosa Santos

Corporate Communications Assistants

Sheila O’Callaghan


Alex Bellos

Art Director David Gould

Sub Editor Ron Gribble

Advertising Design Bernd Wojtczack

Circulation Manager Matthew Alexander

Project Consultants Nathalie MacCarthy Mauro Perillo

Group President

John Charles Gasser Universo is produced by Impact Media Custom Publishing. The views expressed in the publication are not necessarily those of Sonangol or the publishers. Reproduction in whole or in part without prior permission is prohibited. This magazine is distributed to a closed circulation. To receive a free copy: Circulation: 17,000

6 Snow Hill, London EC1A 2AY Tel + 44 20 7002 7778 Fax +44 20 7002 7779 Cover: Nicolas Randall



ver the next two months, two important events will be taking place in Angola. The first is the meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), which is having its end-of-year summit in Luanda. Angola has held the presidency of Opec this year for the first time and the meeting marks the end of its term in office. The event will unite the oil ministers of the 12 member countries and take place at the Talatona Convention Centre in Luanda Sul. It will be the most important international assembly ever held in Angola, and is a sign of the country’s increasing presence on the world stage. Less than three weeks later, Angola will be hosting the Africa Cup of Nations, a football tournament that unites the 16 top national teams in the continent. Some of the best-known sportsmen in the world, such as Didier Drogba of Chelsea and the Ivory Coast and Samuel Eto’o of Internazionale and Cameroon, will be taking part. We are devoting almost half of this issue of Universo to the tournament, known as the CAN, since the event is more than just about sport and nationhood. Angola has constructed four new stadiums for the games, as well as building hotels and improving infrastructure for the fans and the teams. The CAN provides an opportunity for the country to demonstrate its increasing confidence and stature, both within Africa and as a member of the global community.

Getty Images


Letter from the editor



Nadiejda Santos, Lúcio Santos, Cristina Novaes, José Mota, Beatriz Silva, Paula Almeida, Sandra Teixeira, Marta Sousa


Angola news briefing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Luanda; South African President Jacob Zuma comes to Angola for his first state visit since taking power; The Simpsons cartoon characters have an Angolan makeover to advertise a Portuguese satellite channel; Angola’s first International Jazz Festival draws big crowds; the first tourist guide to Angola is launched; a new suspension bridge over the Catumbela River opens; the IMF is in the final stages of approving a package for Angola


Figured out A snapshot of Angola in numbers



Richard Estas




28 Underwater


superhighways The race to build three fibre-optic cables between Europe and West Africa

A 22-page guide to the CAN


50,000 fans will roar from the terraces

32 Back from the dead

Four new stadiums arise

An amazing project to save the rare giant sable from extinction

14 Political footballer

Sonangol News 38 Sonangol

news briefing

40 Natural gas Soyo’s LNG project is on schedule for 2012

44 Jungle man

Interview with Akwá

He talks to the animals

16 Yes we CAN!

46 Sugar power

Angola’s chance to win the Cup

Sonangol is investing in sugar cane to make ethanol

20 Golden history A brief history of the CAN

50 The Big Picture Pedro Vaz Pinto

24 Host cities Snapshots of Luanda, Benguela, Lubango and Cabinda

Kamene M Traça

Finbarr O'Reilly / Reuters

Peter Gudynas/Zap Art 2008


A survey of Angola’s mountains


Angola news briefing Up and over

Kamene M Traça

A new suspension bridge over the Catumbela River has been opened at the centre of the Benguela-Lobito expressway, reducing traffic congestion considerably. The modern white 438m (1437ft) structure was built by Mota-Engil and officially inaugurated by President JosĂŠ Eduardo dos Santos in September. There are two traffic lanes on each side with wide pedestrian paths set back from the vehicles by guardrails.

Ay, caramba! The Simpsons cartoon characters have had an Angolan makeover: Homer, Marge, Lisa, Maggie and Bart are shown here as they might look if they lived in Angola, complete with braided hair, Africanpatterned clothes and flip-flops. Unfortunately, there is not going to be a full Angolan version of the hit cartoon. The makeover image was created by Luandabased agency Executive Centre to advertise the arrival of The Simpsons on the Portuguese package of satellite television provider DSTV.


Figured out


Hillary in Luanda US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stopped off in Angola on a seven-nation tour of Africa. During her 48-hour visit she met President Dos Santos, held talks with a number of top Angolan ministers, addressed the National Assembly and visited an Aids clinic to announce an increase in US funding. Speaking to MPs in the National Assembly, Mrs Clinton said the US wanted to be Angola’s “partner, friend and ally”.


height of 24-floor Escom Building in Luanda, now Angola’s tallest skyscraper


IMF deal close

Historic friends South African President Jacob Zuma came to Angola for his first state visit since taking power – a move which underlines a new chapter in the relationship between the two countries following some years of distance. During the two-day visit, a number of bilateral agreements were signed, covering trade and industry, air services, sports, development of human settlement and diplomatic consultations, and more than 150 South African businesses took part in a forum exploring trade and investment opportunities. President Dos Santos hailed the visit as a “new era in bilateral relations” between the two countries and President Zuma said the new trade partnerships would “change the economic landscape of Southern Africa”. As well as talks on trade, the two presidents also discussed the supply and distribution of electricity from the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Inga hydroelectric plant and a partnership between Angolan state-oil company Sonangol and South Africa’s PetroSA for refining oil.

Angola and the International Monetary Fund are in the final stages of calculating a financing programme to help Angola weather the global economic crisis. A fall in the price of oil has dented Angola’s international reserves putting pressure on liquidity and exchanges. Economy Minister Manuel Nunes Junior said: “This is a very important moment for the government of Angola. We are on the way to securing one more important victory for the country and for the Angolan people.”

Have a nice trip! The first tourist guide dedicated to Angola has been launched. The 256-page Bradt Guide to Angola contains information on hotels, restaurants, transport options and places to see as well as 27 maps to help visitors get around. With over 1,000km of unspoilt beaches, excellent fishing and surfing, tropical forests and magnificent bird life, there is no shortage of things to see and do in Angola.

Jazz time Angola hosted its first International Jazz Festival, drawing crowds of thousands to Cine Atlântico in Luanda. The three-day event saw musicians from Angola sharing the stage with singers and performers from South Africa, the United States, Mozambique and Brazil.

$2.5million cost of fitting out the interior of the new Talatona Convention Centre Hotel in Luanda Sul


number of new post offices to be built around Angola to help relaunch the country’s postal system


launch budget for the Soyo Industrial Park in Zaire province


per cent

forecast for growth of Angolan economy in 2009


teams in the Africa Cup of Nations



In January the eyes of the world will be on Angola when it hosts the Africa Cup of Nations, the continent’s most important football tournament. In the following pages we show how the country is getting ready for what will be the largest event ever held on Angolan soil. We interview Akwá, the most famous footballer in the country’s history, and assess the chances that the national team will triumph here. And finally, we give a history of the Cup, more commonly known as the CAN, since it was founded in 1957. ➔


Wolfgang Rattay


Night game: Luanda’s new stadium



50,000 fans will roar from the terraces With more than a billion dollars spent on stadiums and infrastructure, the kick-off will kick-start the tourism industry


adio announcers, giant clocks by the side of the road and newspaper adverts – everyone and everything is counting down to January 10, when the Africa Cup of Nations, or CAN, kicks off. Teams from across the continent and thousands of fans from around the world will descend on the country to watch the games being played in four newly-built stadiums in the host cities of Luanda, Benguela, Lubango and Cabinda. The image of Angola, on and off the pitch, will be broadcast all over the world. Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos said the fact that Angola was chosen to host the CAN was “proof of the confidence placed in Angolans, its institutions, as well as the new age the country is living”. He added: “The Angolan nation will prove itself capable to face this challenge by carrying out an exemplary CAN in all its aspects. This is another victory for the Angolans, a victory for our country.”


Airport upgrades More than $1 billion is being spent to prepare the country for the tournament. New roads, hospitals and hotels are being built and many airports are receiving extensive makeovers. Catumbela Airport at Benguela is having its runway extended to accommodate international flights and $70 million is being spent on a much needed upgrade for Luanda’s international airport. Of the stadiums being built, Luanda’s is the largest with a capacity of 50,000.

Located in Camama, around 17km from central Luanda and 10km from Luanda Sul, the stadium is linked to the suburb of Benfica by a new road. Its curves have been designed as a representation of the horns of Angola’s unique giant sable antelope, the palanca negra, which is also the name of the country’s football team. Located almost midway between the cities of Lobito and Benguela, Benguela’s stadium, which has a stunning sea view from its west end, is the second biggest with space for 35,000 fans. The stadiums in Lubango and Cabinda will each accommodate 20,000 fans. The colourful Lubango stadium, sometimes referred to as Huíla Stadium after the name of the province, is in the Tchioco neighbourhood, 5km from the city centre and linked by a new 

Its curves have been designed as a representation of the horns of Angola’s unique giant sable antelope, the palanca negra DECEMBER 2009 9



expressway. In Cabinda, the stadium – expected to be the first to be finished despite earlier delays – is in the Chiazi district, 15km north of the city of Cabinda. In each city three additional pitches with competition-standard grass are being built or refurbished to offer training space to teams, and in the longer term to boost community football facilities in each region. All the stadiums have been built by Chinese construction companies to full international standards in terms of safety, and disabled access has been provided.

Giant screens Each facility will have standard, VIP and VVIP seats, but according to Angola’s organising committee, COCAN, the majority of the tickets will cost between 200 and 500 kwanzas (less than $6) to ensure that the games are accessible to all. For those unable to make the games, there are plans to set up ‘fan zones’ around the country with big screens in parks and city squares to show the matches live to as many people as possible. For Benguela, Lubango and Cabinda, all substantially smaller than the capital Luanda, hosting 10 SONANGOL UNIVERSO

After CAN we will continue to use the stadium for sport. It has not just been built for football but has an athletics track as well

CAN, which is sponsored by Orange, is seen as an invaluable tool for reconstruction and growth. “CAN is going to bring great social, economic and financial benefits to our country, and in particular to Benguela,” said Pedro Garcia, Benguela COCAN’s executive director. “It is going to develop aspects of sporting facilities in the province, and have social benefits such as new hospitals, extra policing and infrastructure. “I can’t talk about exact figures, but the stadium alone is costing $117 million. Add to that all the other investments we are making in the province and you can see that we are spending a considerable amount of money.” Garcia, known as ‘o Capitão’ (the

captain) from his playing days at Angolan clubs including Nacional de Benguela and Primeiro de Agosto, added: “After CAN we will continue to use the stadium for sport. It has not just been built for football but has an athletics track as well. It will have bars, shops, restaurants and businesses there and will continue to serve Benguela in various ways.” Pepe António, part of COCAN’s Huíla team, is also excited about the benefits CAN will bring to Angola. A former player, he said: “CAN in our country is going to relaunch infant and youth football; it’s going to be a motivator and an inspiration. It is also bringing a big investment in infrastructure. “This means the players can train on 

Pictures: Kamene M Traรงa



Bus in Lubango with COCAN logo

DECEMBER 2009 11


grass pitches whereas previously they have had to play on artificial surfaces.” CAN will be Angola’s first major postwar test in terms of visitors and there is hope that the tournament will kick-start what could become a very healthy tourism industry. Hotel staffs are being given extra training and there are moves for a more streamlined visa system to allow travelling fans to come into Angola.

“Angola is still quite an immature market in terms of tourism but it does have very beautiful places to visit. It’s a destination for pioneers,” said Briton Paul Wesson, who runs the Luanda-based Eco Tur travel agency with Angolan partner Mário Pinto. “CAN is going to be an exciting event for Angola and I think we will see lots of people coming here. We’ve had inquiries from travellers in the UK, Holland, Germany and beyond wanting to come.” Rafael Loureiro, who runs a farmhouse B&B in Lubango, is also confident. “There is so much to see in Angola, particularly in

Kamene M Traça


the south. I think CAN will bring lots of people here,” he said. “I really hope so because when you have tourism it brings in money, and that money helps develop the country.” Labourers have been working under

floodlights to keep to schedule, particularly at Luanda, the largest and most ambitious project. In September, a delegation from the Confederation of African Football (CAF), African football’s ruling body, completed a six-day visit to the stadiums

A survivor’s tale

Kamene M Traça



housands of Angolans have volunteered to help out during the Africa Cup, but Solito Gamba has an extra special reason for wanting to take part. He is volunteering in memory of the 48 people who died in a plane crash on the way back from a football game in 1995. Solito, 44, was one of only four who survived when the plane carrying players and staff from Maboque FC came down just short of Catumbela Airport in Benguela. “It was just like any other Saturday and we had gone to Cunene to play a game,” said Solito, who was Maboque’s coach at the time. “We played, we won and we got back on the plane to come back, but only a few minutes before were due to land, the plane just fell.” Pointing to a large zigzag scar on his head, Solito said he suffered a number of injuries including a fracture to his collar-

bone and damage to his spine. But the physical injuries were nothing, he said, compared to how he was affected psychologically. “I was on the plane, and all around me were people who were dead or dying,” he whispered, choking back tears. “We had worked together as a team for two and a half years and that’s a long time to be together. You get close – and for all of these people to disappear in one go, it was extremely hard. Even today, I’ve not been able to get over that part of my life and what happened. It will never leave me.” It is in memory of the lost members of Maboque FC that Solito proudly wears his white CAN 2010 volunteer’s cap. “If they knew that today Angola would be hosting CAN, I think they would be extremely happy, and that’s why I’m volunteering, so I can be a part of it for them.”


CAN is bringing a lot of development and gains to this country. Regardless of what happens on the pitch, Angola has already won, just by hosting the tournament and support facilities and left nodding with approval. CAF executive committee member Suketu Patel, speaking after a meeting with Angolan Sports Minister Gonçalves Muandumba, said: “I think it’s going extremely well. There are a few things that need to be resolved and we brought those to the attention of the government. We are quite confident it will be a very good CAN in the end.” As well as the physical changes CAN is bringing to Angola, the tournament is also about promoting social development and cohesion. One advertising slogan says simply “Estamos Juntos” – “We are together” – and as the kick-off approaches,

Fernando Baptista Moutinho, President of the Huila FA

the excitement is growing among old, young, male, female, rich and poor. For some, it is about famous international footballers such as the Ghanaian Michael Essien and Didier Drogba of the Ivory Coast coming to play in their home town. For others, it is about showing that Angola is known for more than just its oil and diamonds.

“Our economic and political life is improving because of seven years of peace,” said Martinho Bangula, a 24-year-old teacher from Benguela. “We are building here not just walls and roads but also new human

beings.” University lecturer Paulo Bernardo, aged 32, from Lubango, added: “I am very happy that our country is hosting the Africa Cup of Nations. Since peace arrived, this town is growing so fast; there is a lot of development going on here. With this CAN, we hope that more things will happen.” Fernando Baptista Moutinho, president of the Huíla Football Association, said: “CAN is bringing a lot of development and gains to this country. Regardless of what happens on the pitch, Angola has already won, just by hosting the tournament.” Let the games begin. 

projects in education, energy efficiency and road safety, and the COCAN logo is now displayed on all Williams F1 cars. (Above, it can be seen on the tail fin). The sponsorship deal was launched at the European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain, in August, with COCAN’s general director Justinho Fernandes and executive director António Mangueira

among the Angolan delegation who met Frank Williams. Williams boss Adam Parr said: “Angola has a strong programme of social and economic development. Road safety and education are important challenges for the people of Angola, and we are pleased to be able to provide assistance in these areas.”


LAT Photographic/Williams F1

Racing fund

Hosting the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations is certainly raising Angola’s profile in the footballing world. But the organisers, COCAN, have also linked up with British Formula One team Williams to promote the country among motorsports fans as well. Williams is setting up its first charitable foundation in Angola to support

DECEMBER 2009 13

Akwá: “We have a lot of talent in this country”



Political footballer The scorer of the most important goal in Angolan football history now treads the corridors of power


abrice Maieco – better known as Akwá – is arguably Angola’s most famous football player. After scoring the goal against Rwanda to qualify the Palancas Negras for their first World Cup in 2006 in Germany, the ace striker attained a place in every Angolan heart. The 30-year-old has since retired from professional football and will not be playing in the upcoming Africa Cup, but he continues to play a public role as a newly-elected member of parliament and an advocate for sports in Angola. “Hosting the CAN championship will bring benefits to the country, not just in terms of sport but also because it will advertise the name of Angola to the world,” said the father of four. “It’s good for the country and it’s bringing more development. We’re getting four new stadiums, and other pitches are being refurbished. This will enrich football in all the provinces. Investing in football is a long-term investment because it brings ongoing benefits to a country.”

Kamene M Traça

Untapped talent Akwá started playing when he was seven and made his debut for the youth team of Nacional de Benguela at the age of 13. In 1994, he transferred to Benfica in Portugal, playing there for five years. Next stop was the Middle East, starting at Al-Shabab de Riyadh in Saudia Arabia, and then with title and cup-winning stints at Al-Wakra Sport Club in Doha and Qatar Sports Club. Returning to Angola in 2005 at the time of “that” goal against Rwanda, Akwá signed for Petro de Luanda but hung up his boots a year later to concentrate on his football-development projects. “We have a lot of talent in this country but unfortunately not so many opportunities,” he told Universo. “When I was growing up, I was lucky to have many places to play football where I lived and I always played at school. Today, because of the construction work and the fact that Angola is changing, the spaces where perhaps people used to

play aren’t there any more. It’s really important to create spaces for our children to be able to play sport because if we don’t give them this diversion, they will get involved in drink and drugs and crime. “My aim is to set up a football academy in Luanda to pass on my experiences and give kids an opportunity.” Akwá is keen to help Angolan footballers of the future, but what about the team due to take part in the upcoming 2010 CAN?

Will to win “There’s still a lot of work to do before the competition,” he said, “but we have to have faith in our players, and our coach Manuel José is working hard to make the team stronger. In recent games he has been trying out new things: bringing in new players or bringing back players who used to play in the team, and things are starting to change for the better. “There’s a lot less to criticise about the team than there was. There are still failings of course; it’s not 100 per cent perfect, but there’s been a big improvement on the last six months. What’s important is that they are showing that they want a good CAN and they want to win, and now the people of Angola must get behind them and support them all the way.” With the national basketball team having just scooped victory in the 2009 Afrobasket in Libya, there are high hopes that the national football team will do as well. But Akwá urged people not to put too much pressure on the players. “I was a player and I know how hard it is to win games. It will not be easy – we’re talking about the best teams in Africa,” he said. “We have to be positive and give our moral, logistical and financial support to our players and help them feel good. Then they will win matches. But it’s important that people realise it is a tough competition and it won’t be easy.” � DECEMBER 2009 15



CAN! Ben Lyttleton reports on how striker Manucho hopes to take Angola all the way, and gives a rundown of the tournament’s main contenders


wo years ago, the Angolan striker Manucho was playing for Luanda’s Petro Atlético when he headed off for a three-week trial at Manchester United, the biggest club in England’s Premier League. Within a month, United had signed him and at only 24 he went on to star in Angola’s impressive performance at the 2008 CAN in Ghana. Manucho, full name Mateus Alberto Contreiras Gonçalves, was one of the finds of the tournament. He scored three goals in Angola’s first two games, and his 25-yard effort in a 2-1 defeat to eventual winners Egypt was declared the goal of the competition. It was enough to earn him a place in the Team of the Tournament.

Confidence Now, Manucho is the leading light of the Angola team for the 2010 CAN, and with new coach Manuel José at the helm, the team’s confidence is at an all-time high. “We can’t wait for the games to begin and for us to show what we can really do,” said Manucho. 16 SONANGOL UNIVERSO

The striker has had a busy few years: after struggling to win a place at Manchester United, he had successful loan spells at Panathinaikos in Greece, scoring four goals in seven appearances, and Hull City, for whom his late winner against Fulham was decisive in their fight against relegation from the Premier League. This summer, Manucho joined La Liga side Real Valladolid and promptly promised to score 30 goals in his first season, confidence that was rewarded with a goal on his home debut against Valencia. Manucho’s speed, strength and eye for a goal have led to comparisons with a young Samuel Eto’o, another player for whom self-belief has never been a problem. As Manuel José put it: “I always say that good players have no age; it’s all about their character.” The presence up front of the experienced Flávio, who is Angola’s all-time leading scorer, helps keep the ebullient Manucho in check. If Manucho has the belief that Angola can succeed, the strategy comes from José, who can claim to be the most successful

Portuguese coach in football (not bad in a field that includes a certain José Mourinho). Manuel José guided Egyptian side Al-Ahly to five league titles and four African Champions League titles before taking charge of Angola in June, and he has targeted more success in his new role. “The federation has not set me specific targets, but I know the goal is to win the Africa Nations Cup,” he said.

Influence “In recent years, this team has qualified for the CAN twice and also played in the last World Cup, always with the same group of 16-17 players,” José added. José has not made sweeping changes to the squad, but his influence has been quickly felt as he switched the formation to a 3-5-2 system with the full-backs Marco Airosa and Gilberto given full licence to attack the flanks. Gilberto played under José at Al-Ahly as a left-winger, and has lost little of his offensive flair with the switch to wing-back. In midfield, Mateus and Chara flank 

Finbarr O'Reilly / Reuters

Getting shirty: Manucho celebrates a goal in the 2008 CAN

DECEMBER 2009 17


“ ”

I know the goal is to win the Africa Nations Cup main man (and the continent’s best player), but the threat this year will mainly come from West Africa. Cameroon look revitalised under new coach Paul Le Guen, and Achille Emana is living up to his promise as Samuel Eto’o’s ideal strike partner. Ivory Coast, semi-finalists for the last two editions, have an Anglo-Spanish spine which includes the Touré brothers, and Didier Zokora and Drogba; and Ghana, with midfield pair Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari, are as imperious as ever. The 1990 champions Algeria are back in the competition for the first time since 2004 while Tunisia, 2004 winners, looked impressive in topping Nigeria in their qualifying group. The other teams that have qualified when this magazine went to press were Gabon, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Benin and Mali. Manuel José has promised that Angola will be tough to beat, and with him in charge, the hosts could yet cause a shock on their own turf. 

CAN timetable

Past winners

The 16 teams are divided into four groups




Ivory Coast



Quarter finals: January 24-25


South Africa

Semifinals: January 28













Kick-off: January 10 Group stages: January 10-21

Third place play-off: January 30 Final: January 31


Christian Liewig/Corbis

David, a box-to-box midfielder who topscored in Angola’s first division last season. Angola’s biggest strength, though, lies in attack where Manucho partners Flávio, another star of the successful Al-Ahly sides, while on the sidelines is Pedro Mantorras, who burst onto the scene at Benfica in 2001 and turned down lucrative offers from Barcelona and Inter Milan before a terrible injury kept him out for nearly three years. His appearances have been limited ever since – he was only fit enough to make two brief substitute appearances at the 2006 World Cup – but there is no doubting his ability. “He could have been better than Didier Drogba,” said José. The coach picked Mantorras for the friendly drawn matches against Senegal (1-1) and Cape Verde (1-1). He did not play, but do not rule out another magic Mantorras moment in January. José will know all about the favourites and reigning champions Egypt, who still have Hassan Shehata as coach and playmaker Mohamed Aboutrika as their

Neil Marchand/Liewig Media Sports/Corbis

Manuel José, Angola coach

Magic dozen: Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast scores the winning penalty in a marathon 12-11 victory against Cameroon in the 2008 CAN

Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o

Ben Radford/Corbis

Michael Essien of Ghana jumps above Nigerian opposition

DECEMBER 2009 19



f football is about heroes, surprises and drama, creating myths and triumph overcoming adversity, then nothing encapsulates the sport better than the Africa Cup of Nations, or CAN. Since its inception in 1957, the world’s second-oldest continental competition (which predates its European equivalent by three years) can rightly claim to have formed legends. Because the competition takes place six months before the World Cup, it is also the ideal time to check out Africa’s leading lights before South Africa 2010: after all, previous World Cup stars such as Abédi Pelé, the Ghanaian forward, Roger Milla, Cameroon’s dancing goal scorer, and Rashid Yekini of Nigeria had already marked the CAN before putting on a show for the world. And don’t rule out seeing a World Cup contender as Angola hosts the CAN for the first time. The quality of the players is certainly there now, even if that has not always been the case.

Army colonel Back in 1957, Egypt only had to win two matches – against fellow African Confederation founding members Sudan and Ethiopia – to lift the inaugural trophy. Two years later, they repeated the feat with the same field, this time beating Sudan 2-1 in the final. Their hero was Mahmoud El-Gohary, who top-scored with three goals 20 SONANGOL UNIVERSO

in their two matches. After becoming an army colonel when he stopped playing, he returned to management and took over as Egypt coach shortly before the the 1998 CAN in Burkina Faso. To the delight of the Egyptian fans, the team won the tournament, beating South Africa 2-0 in the final. El-Gohary remains the only man to have won the Nations Cup as both player and coach. That impressive achievement stands comparison with that of C.K. Gyamfi, who was surprisingly selected by Ghana’s then-president Kwame Nkrumah as their national team coach. Nkrumah, a pan-Africanist leader whose country had become the first African nation to achieve independence from its colonialist ruler in 1957, felt it was sending the wrong message to have a foreign coach and so selected the country’s only overseas professional, Gyamfi, who played in Germany. Under Gyamfi, Ghana won the titles in 1963 and 1965, and the coach even returned to the helm for a final spell in 1982. Ghana duly won in Libya (where a certain Abédi Pelé emerged as a major star of the future), and Gyamfi left his post with a CAN record of having coached three and won three. Perhaps even more significantly, Ghana, who reached the 2006 World Cup second round on their debut, have never won the title since. 

Getty Images

Since it began in 1957, the CAN has been full of drama and surprises, says Ben Lyttleton

Trophy child: the Cup is carried on to the pitch at the final of the 2008 CAN in Ghana

DECEMBER 2009 21

Neil Marchand/Liewig Media Sports/Corbis


Ben Radford/Corbis

Although these coaches have marked the Cup of Nations, the tournament and its ongoing success is down to its players: the ones who have achieved greatness on the back of their performances, and those for whom merely competing is an accomplishment in itself.

Plane crash From the latter camp comes the story of Zambia and their amazing efforts in the 1994 CAN. Just one year earlier, in April 1993, the entire squad, apart from team captain Kalusha Bwalya, who was based in Holland and had made his own travel arrangements, died when their military plane crashed en route to Senegal. It was truly remarkable, then, that a newly-assembled side, still led by the grieving Bwalya, reached the final of the 1994 edition, remaining unbeaten all the way. Although they took an early lead in the final against Nigeria, they were defeated 2-1 – but could never be called losers after that. Two years later came another notable success: South Africa, absent from international football for nearly three decades due to FIFA’s apartheid suspension from 1964 to 22 SONANGOL UNIVERSO

1992, managed to win the first ever Cup of Nations they contested. To add to the lustre, it was at home, in 1996, and Nelson Mandela was present at the 2-0 final win over Tunisia (of course, he was wearing a Bafana Bafana jersey). The beauty of the CAN is that just taking part is sometimes enough: witness the minor miracle achieved by Rwanda, who qualified for the 2004 tournament just ten years after genocide had wiped out a sizeable majority of their population. And the team, made up of a mixture of Hutus and Tutsis, performed admirably, winning one, drawing one and losing one in their three group matches in their only appearance in the competition. One thing is for sure: in Angola next month, a new player will come along and stun everyone, just as Angola’s Manucho did two years ago (just weeks after signing a deal with Manchester United). The history of players that have starred in the Cup of Nations is long and rich, with Africa’s finest all there: Laurent Pokou of Ivory Coast was the first to make himself noticed, scoring six goals in 1968 and eight in 1970, including five in a 6-1 win against Ethiopia. Despite the goals, his side only

finished fourth in the end, losing the semifinal to eventual winners Ghana. At the time, Pokou was playing for Ivorian side ASEC Abidjan, but his scoring record helped him move to France, where he played for Stade Français, Rennes (twice) and Nancy. Zaire’s Mulumba Ndaye eclipsed Pokou’s individual tournament total by scoring a record nine goals in the 1974 edition. However, that tally was helped by Zaire reaching the final against Zambia. After drawing 2-2 and playing a replay for the only time in CAN history, Zaire won that 2-0 with Ndaye scoring all four goals. He went into the World Cup later that year as the talisman of the first black African nation to compete, but left somewhat tarnished after he was sent off during a humiliating 9-0 loss to Yugoslavia. In the 1980s, the Cup of Nations underwent a huge change, as up until 1982 only Africa-based players could play in the competition. When the ban on all those playing overseas was lifted, it effectively marked the real beginning of an exodus to Europe, which only reached serious levels in the 1990s. There are still many African football connoisseurs who insist that Africa’s best football period was in the 1970s



and 1980s, when the leagues retained their best players and crowds flocked to stadiums to watch them. It is only more recently that African players have become vital to Europe’s top clubs, and even then the debt they owe their predecessors is clear. The biggest influence on the career of Samuel Eto’o, who has won two Champions League finals with Barcelona, scoring in both of them, was Roger Milla, top scorer in the 1986 and 1988 Nations Cups.

Incredible body “Roger wasn’t a very fast player but the things he could do with his body were incredible,” Eto’o marvels. “He had a whole range of feints up his sleeve. From his upper body he would sometimes just move his backside, or his legs would just go one way, but he could put defenders in a whirl without even touching the ball.” In 2008, Eto’o surpassed Pokou’s goals record and now has 16 after top-scoring in the last two editions. He has also lifted the trophy twice, in 2000 and 2002, although it could have been three were it not for an astonishing quarter-final match against Ivory Coast in Egypt in 2006.

With the game goalless after 90 minutes, and 1-1 after extra time, a penalty shoot-out ensued. For the first time in international football history, every player from both sides netted their penalty in the shoot-out to leave the scores tied at 11-11 after 22 kicks. Then up stepped Eto’o, who had taken Cameroon’s first penalty in the shoot-out, and he missed. Didier Drogba then scored to hand the Ivorians an incredible 12-11 victory. Eto’o’s motivation this time around is to join Egyptian duo Ahmed Hassan and Hossam Hassan as the only players to have won the title three times. Ahmed scored in the 1998 final and was also part of the 2006 and 2008 winning sides, while Hossam’s achievement was even more remarkable: he picked up his first title in 1986, also played in 1998 and, aged 40, played in 2006 as well. With Egypt the reigning champions,

Cameroon looking revitalised under new coach Paul Le Guen, and Ghana the first African side to qualify for the World Cup, the big nations will approach Angola 2010 with confidence. But upsets can happen, as Sudan’s win in 1970 and Congo’s in 1972 prove. With African players now at the forefront of their club sides in Europe, the quality of the Nations Cup is stronger than ever before, and that’s great news before the continent hosts its first World Cup later in the year. “African players are dominating Europe’s league competitions at the moment and that’s no accident because they are all key players in their teams,” says Eto’o. “We need to make sure that an African nation wins the World Cup or at the very least makes it to the semi-final. This could be the year for Africa.” All eyes will be on Angola when the big kick-off finally gets under way. 

Top left to right: Ydnekatchew Tessema (left) in 1972 taking over as president of the African Football Confederation, a post he held until 1987; Geremi of Cameroon in 2008; Ghana’s Abédi Pelé; the victorious 1974 Zaire team; Abédi Pelé again; Roger Milla of Cameroon Bottom left to right: Morocco win in 1976; Cameroon triumphant in 1988 (top); Ethiopia victorious in 1962; Obafemi Martins of Nigeria; Mahmoud El-Gohary, the only person to have won the CAN as coach and player; Ivory Coast 1984 (top); officials in Abidjan for the 1976 CAN; the Ethiopian team in 1963 DECEMBER 2009 23

LUANDA Population: 7 million

The Marginal


Luanda Sul, where some offices and businesses are also relocating. Although more hotels have been built for CAN, rooms are always at a premium and visitors can expect to pay $250 or more per night. Restaurants can also be expensive, but there is a wide choice, from the popular beachside haunts on Ilha such as Caribe and Miami Beach, which often has live music, to the Portuguese-style Veneza, the eclectic Bahia with its open-top bar, and some good Lebanese and Chinese offerings. The imposing Fortaleza de São Miguel, which houses the Armed Forces Museum, is currently under restoration, but other places of interest include the Natural History Museum and the Slavery Museum. 



uanda, Angola’s capital, began as a small fishing community in the 16th century. Passing hands from the Portuguese to the Dutch and back to the Portuguese, it grew to become one of Africa’s most important cities with its ocean-side location making it an important port, initially for slaves bound for Brazil but later for coffee, cotton, palm oil and other products. Today, the city is a vibrant mix of old colonial buildings, some lovingly restored, and modern steel and glass skyscrapers, evidence of Angola’s growing prosperity. Although extremely crowded, the city retains a certain charm with its palm-lined bayside Marginal, soon to undergo a $127 million makeover, and its lively bar and restaurant scene on the Ilha do Cabo. A drive south takes you to the Kissama National Park and popular surfing beaches and fishing resorts. Overcrowding is a problem in Luanda, but the government is investing in new houses, power lines and water supplies. A suburb of apartments is being built in


Luanda’s stadium is the flagship facility of the four stadiums, with a capacity of 50,000. It has a curved roof – representing the horns of Angola’s national symbol, the palanca negra – and is situated in Camama, 17km from the city centre and 10km from Luanda Sul on a new dual carriageway. The opening and closing ceremonies of the CAN will be hosted here, as will the opening game and the championship final. Angola’s most successful clubs – Primeiro de Agosto and Petro Atlético – play in the capital.

Court and Administration of Benguela

Farta. The city is relaxed and low-rise, with plenty of cafés and tree-lined streets. There is a good selection of hotels in Benguela, from the comfortable but budget Nancy’s to the more expensive Hotel Luso. Car hire is straightforward and good value, but many people prefer to navigate the compact city on foot, stopping to admire the colourful 1960s Portuguese bungalows. As well as the modern buildings, look out for the simple yet attractive Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Pópulo and its special fishermen’s warning lamp, which glows red after dark. The latest attraction to the area is the new white suspension bridge which crosses the Catumbela River. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from, all serving good seafood as well as traditional Angolan fare. 

Benguela’s stadium is the secondlargest with a capacity of 35,000 and will host a semi-final. Situated alongside the Benguela-Lobito Expressway halfway between the two cities, it is about a 15-minute drive from central Benguela. The second city is also home to Angola’s most famous player, Akwá, and has a number of football clubs, including Nacional de Benguela and Primeiro de Maio.


Population: 200,000

Kamene M Traça


enguela is Angola’s self-proclaimed second city. Founded by the Portuguese in 1617, it was once a major slave port linking Africa to Brazil. In the 20th century it became the terminus for the Benguela Railway, which in its heyday stretched 1,370 km (850 miles) from the nearby port town of Lobito to Luau on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Perched on the coast, about a five-hour drive south of Luanda, Benguela is a popular weekend getaway from the capital. There are two airports with regular links to Luanda and other regional cities. Catumbela Airport is being upgraded and its runway enlarged to accommodate international flights for the CAN. The central Praia Morena is a busy meeting point, but for sun worshippers the favourite destination is the stunning Baía Azul beach, 20km south on the road to Baía



DECEMBER 2009 25

LUBANGO Population: 100,000

Cristo Rei


Janeiro); the Tundavala Gorge, a dramatic volcanic fissure where you can climb to 2,600km for stellar views and waterfalls; and the Serra da Leba, a narrow road that zigzags through the hills. There are countless other monuments and natural beauty sports within a short drive of the city of Lubango. The best place to eat, drink and watch the world go by is the fashionable Huíla Café, which serves enormous cake portions and great pizzas. The quaint hillside white-and-blue Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte is a copy of a church in Funchal, Madeira, and was built by the early Madeiran settlers. Once a popular tourist destination for the Portuguese, Lubango has the Nossa Senhora do Monte Tourist Complex (named after the church), which includes a manicured park, a boating lake, tennis and basketball courts, a casino and accommodation lodges. Every year Lubango hosts a 72-lap car and bike race around a city centre circuit over a total of 200kms. 



ubango, and the surrounding Huíla province, is known for its strawberries, Tundavala Gorge, motor racing and its locally-brewed N’Gola beer. The city was originally established in 1885 as a settlement for people from the Madeira Islands and was known pre-independence as Sá da Bandeira. Its position 1,761m above sea level gives it a cooler and more pleasant climate, allowing people more time to enjoy the quirky Portuguese architecture and the stunning purple flowers of the jacaranda trees which line the wide streets. SABMiller, which runs the Coca Cola and the N’Gola beer factories in Lubango, is a major employer and the province of Huíla is a major agricultural producer. The airport has international flights to Windhoek and daily services to Luanda. A good road links Lubango to Namibe province in the south and onwards to the Namibian border, and it is easy to hire a car to make the trip to the coast or to drive inland. Famous sights include the Cristo Rei statue (a copy of the Corcovado in Rio de

Kamene M Traça

Lubango’s stadium is located in the Tchioco neighbourhood about 5km from the city centre. A new road is being built directly to the stadium and the Benguela Railway runs past the site. The 20,000-capacity stadium is being built by Chinese construction firm Sino Hydro. Lubango’s airport is being renovated for CAN, and it is hoped the city’s range of facilities and its proximity to South Africa will attract 2010 World Cup teams looking for alternative training locations.


abinda is located to the north of Angola, physically separated from the rest of the country by a strip of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The province measures 7,283 square metres and also shares a border with the Republic of Congo. Known mostly for its offshore oil rigs and large base owned by the Cabinda Gulf Oil Company (CABGOC) – Chevron’s Angola subsidiary – Cabinda is rich in culture and traditions. The main ethnic group is the Bakongo and many people speak Ibinda, also known as Fiote. French is also widely spoken due to the proximity to Congo. Zinongos (riddles), fables and traditional dances like Mayeye, Mutafala and Baina are an integral part of the culture, as are masks and wooden sculptures. West Africa’s Maiombe Forest, where some of the trees are more than 50m high, stretches into Cabinda’s Buco Zau and Be-

lize municipalities and is home to many trees of high commercial value for their timber, including White Tola, Limba, Mafumeira, Tshikuali and Kambala. Traditional Cabinda dishes are muambas or stews, made from a variety of ingredients including peanuts, dried fish and macoba beans. The main hotels in Cabinda City are Pôr do Sol, Maiombe and Simulambuco. Rooms are also available for the CAN in the sports village near the stadium. A floating hotel with room for 120 people has been put on standby in case more accommodation is needed. There are regular flights to Cabinda from Luanda. 



Cabinda was chosen as a CAN host city to help stimulate development in the province. The Chiazi International Stadium will hold 20,000 people and is 15km north of Cabinda city. COCAN executive director António Mangueira – known as Mangas – is Cabinda’s most famous footballing son, having played for FC Porto and other Portuguese club sides.


Cocongo beach

Fouad G. Hajj

Population: 300,000

DECEMBER 2009 27


Peter Gudynas/Zap Art 2008


Underwater superhighways Internet users in Angola are currently connected to Europe through just one subsea cable. Nina Hobson reports on the construction of three new cables that will improve the bandwidth available to the country by a factor of more than a hundred âž” DECEMBER 2009 29



s anyone who has visited sub-Saharan Africa knows, the continent suffers from a lack of internet bandwidth, which means that connections to the rest of the world are often precarious or slow. This is set to change over the next two years as three high-grade fibre-optic underwater cables are laid from Europe to South Africa. The improvements will be of great benefit to Angola, where there is increasing demand for high-quality internet services as the economy grows and diversifies. Today, when an Angolan logs on to the World Wide Web, the data will probably travel along the only cable that currently connects the country to the world computer network. This cable is called SAT3 and is the upgraded version of SAT-1, a cable that was originally laid in the 1960s. In the 1990s this became SAT-2, and finally, when a fibre-optic cable was installed in 2001, it became SAT-3. It links Portugal and Spain to South Africa, and a line heads off the main cable when it passes Angolan territory, meeting the mainland at Cacuaco near Luanda. The current capacity of SAT-3 is 120 gigabytes per second (gb/s), although there

The real significance of all these undersea cables is that they will, in turn, lead to further infrastructure expansion to bring this bandwidth to end users, especially the business world are plans to increase it to 340 gb/s. Even though this will be a welcome improvement, it is only a small increase relative to the speeds promised by the three new cables, which will be measured in terabytes per second (tb/s) - a terabyte is a thousand gigabytes.

Bank backing The first of the new cables, scheduled to arrive next year, is MainOne run by US company Main Street Technologies. Its preliminary section will stretch 6,900km from Portugal to Ghana, while the second phase is expected to run 6,000km past Angola to South Africa. In June this year, the African Development Bank confirmed $66 million of financing for the first phase of the

Adones cable project Cabinda Soyo

In service


Online end of 2009 Online February 2010

Luanda Dondo


Porto Amboim


NB Illustrations/David Atkinson






project. Tyco Telecommunications will supply the cable, which will offer a minimum capacity of 1.92 tb/s. The project is scheduled to be completed and operational by June 2010, although some independent reports have suggested that further financing will have to be secured before the second phase is initiated. The cable with the largest capacity, 3.84 tb/s, is the West Africa Cable System (Wacs) which goes from the UK to South Africa. The companies involved in this project include Angola Telecom, Broadband Infraco, Cable & Wireless, MTN, Telecom Namibia, Tata Communications (Neotel), Portugal Telecom, Sotelco, Togo Telecom, Telkom South Africa and the Vodacom group, and costs are expected to

London, England


Chipiona, Spain Casablanca, Morocco



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online now, partners include France Telecom, AT&T, 120 gigabytes/sec online 2010, partners include African Development Bank, 1.92 terabytes/sec online 2011, partners include France Telecom, Sonatel, 1.92 terabytes/sec online 2011, partners include Cable & Wireless 3.84 terabytes/sec

NB Illustrations/David Atkinson






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The Wacs project has been running to schedule. Pieter Uys, Vodacom chief executive and Wacs steering committee chairman, added: “Wacs will have ample capacity to serve the region’s international connectivity needs for many years to come.” The final cable, Africa Coast to Europe (ACE), was initially planned to stretch from France to Gabon, but following the enormous growth in demand for telecommunications in the region it will now be extended to South Africa. The lead sponsor is France Telecom, which is joined by 16 other telecommunications companies from different landingpoint countries including Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Mauritania, Cape Verde, Senegal, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Benin, São Tomé and Príncipe, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Angola. The ACE cable system, which will be more than 14,000km long, will be switched on in 2011 and will have a minimum capacity of 1.92 tb/s. Alongside Wacs, MainOne and ACE, Angola Telecom is also installing Angola’s first major domestic undersea cable along the coast between Cabinda and Namibe. The Adones project connects to the SAT-3 intercontinental cable and will allow the majority of Angola’s population much-improved access to telecommunications. It stretches 1,500km from Cabinda in the north, past the provinces of Zaire, Luanda, Kwanza Sul and Benguela, to Namibe in the south. It will also extend


Sesimbra, Portugal


be around $600 million. A consortium of Angolan companies has raised $90 million. Angola Telecom holds a majority 51 per cent stake in the Angolan consortium, with the remainder shared between Mundo Startel, Unitel, Mercury and Movicel. António Nunes, the Angolan representative at the Wacs management committee, said: “The major challenge was to form a consortium of so many companies working together.”







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inland to reach important cities such as Malanje and Huambo. The Adones is now in its conclusive phase and is awaiting the signing of agreements for commercial use.





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Cacuaco, Angola Luanda, Angola

Racing ahead Actual improvements in capacity will only come about with more connections to population centres. “We are building the highways. Then you have to build roads and secondary roads, and that usually takes more time,” said Étienne Lafougère of Alcatel-Lucent, which is laying the cable for Wacs. Because of the Africa Cup of Nations football tournament in January, the Angolan government is racing to ensure the cables are installed as fast as possible, with the necessary support across the provinces.

Walvis Bay, Namibia

A Public Investment Programme has been set up for the development of infrastructure to support the installation of the cables, and the law of universal access implemented by the Ministry of Communications seeks to provide communication facilities for everyone. It is hoped that improvements in capacity and the extension of internet networks inland through the Adones will make reliable telecommunications services available to about 70 per cent of Angolans.  DECEMBER 2009 31




Richard Estas

After a dramatic helicopter rescue mission, scientists succeeded in locating the incredibly rare giant sable antelope. Universo reports on exciting news in the battle to save the national animal of Angola from extinction âž”


Up, up and away: a female palanca negra is hoisted by helicopter on its journey to a park breeding centre

DECEMBER 2009 33

Pedro Vaz Pinto

A handler supports the horns of a blindfolded adult female giant sable as it is winched into the air by helicopter



Pedro Vaz Pinto

Pedro Vaz Pinto holds the horns of a pure giant sable bull which is still under sedation


he hunt began at first light with the helicopter flying just above the treetops of Cangandala National Park, looking for signs of life. Angolan environmentalist Pedro Vaz Pinto and South African veterinary expert Peter Morkel scanned the parkland below, searching for the elusive giant sable antelope or palanca negra gigante as they are known in Portuguese. With dung samples and six years of photographic evidence from stealth cameras, Vaz Pinto knew the palancas – which have majestic curved horns up to 1.65m long – were there. It was just a case of finding them in the flesh. Unique to Angola, the palancas, already small in numbers, were hunted for food during Angola’s civil war and are believed to have dwindled to around 100 with their future under serious threat. Before long the team spotted an antelope, and Botswanan pilot Terence O’Hara took the chopper down into the

trees as close to the animal as he could. From there, Morkel was able to fire a sedation dart, bringing down the antelope. Within minutes it was under the full effects of the drug and ready to be fitted with a global positioning system (GPS) tracker collar.

Exciting “It was a really exciting chase each time,” explained Vaz Pinto who works at the Catholic University of Angola. “We got really close to the ground in the helicopter, and we were just a few metres from the animals.” The first animal the team darted was a hybrid, a cross between a palanca and a roan antelope. “We collared her and used her as a ‘Judas’ with the tracking system to find the others,” said Vaz Pinto. “She led us right to the other palancas.” Within days, Vaz Pinto and his team, which included local shepherds and volunteers, had rounded up nine pure female

palancas from Cangandala National Park. Sedated, blindfolded, their ears covered and legs tied, the animals, which can weigh up to 250kg, were airlifted across the park by helicopters, including a Russian M18 lent to the team by the Angolan Air Force. They were taken to a special 2km-by2km fenced-off breeding area on one side of the park. All that was needed now was a male. “We didn’t find any bulls in the park,” said Vaz Pinto. “And while the females we did find were pretty fat and well fed, this meant they had not been under any feeding stress because they had not bred for a number of years. In fact, we think they had not been breeding for around eight years, which means they have not reproduced since the end of the war.” From Cangandala, the next stop was across Malanje to Loando Reserve, the second known habitat of the palanca. Vaz Pinto had no recent photographic evidence, just one positive DNA test on  DECEMBER 2009 35


as Richard Est

dung the team had collected on an earlier trip. But the team was right to follow its hunch and within days found enough animals to suggest the presence of at least one healthy herd of giant sable. From these they chose one to take to the breeding area in Cangandala.

Prime bull

as Richard Est

Pedro Va z Pinto


“In Luando we found 15 bulls and darted eight,” said Vaz Pinto. “We captured one to take to join the Richard Est as females – if we had put two in there, they would have killed each other. The bull we chose was 11 years old and we picked him because we hoped he would be experienced but still in his breeding prime. We will have to see what happens.” This expedition comes a century after the first discovery of the animals by Belgian railroad engineer Frank Varian, who was working in Angola in 1909. Still high on the results, Vaz Pinto told Universo: “It was an outstanding success. It exceeded all our expectations and we think the chances of the animals breeding are very good. The timing could not have been better because now is the traditional mating season for the giant sable. We hope that by May or June next year we will have at least seven calves. “Getting close to that first bull was incredible. But for me, the most emotional part was when we put the bull into the breeding area with the females, and stood back to watch how they interacted. The females seemed quite receptive to the male; they immediately surrounded him and followed him everywhere. I think he will find it hard to have his own space over the next few weeks. It couldn’t be more promising. “They matched all my

expectations. They really are outstandingly beautiful animals and their horns are magnificent,” he said. It has been a long journey for Vaz Pinto who has dedicated six years of his life to tracking the palanca. How does he feel now following this successful expedition and did he ever think of throwing in the towel? “I feel fantastic,” he said, “I don’t see it as an ending point; I see it as another step, an increase of our responsibilities. Let’s continue, let’s go to the next level. I never reached the point where I could not carry on. But it has been frustrating at times, especially for the past two or three years when every time we defined what the picture was it turned out to be worse than we expected.

Miracle “But we have definitely been rewarded for our perseverance. In Cangandala, the palanca was not critically endangered – it was virtually extinct. We were reduced to a handful of females that were not breeding because there were no males. “It’s almost a miracle achievement in Cangandala because it is as if we have brought them back from the dead.” Vaz Pinto’s work began in 2003, one year after peace came to Angola, and the main sponsor has been Block 15 which includes Esso, Sonangol and other partners. The Angolan Ministry of Environment has also been a partner on the project and Vaz Pinto hopes these latest successes will bring more support. “We think now the responsibility from government is higher because there is only so much we can do as a university,” he said. “There are problems with poachers and the government must step in to make sure the law is deployed in terms of securing the areas where the palancas are.” This expedition not only coincides with the 100th anniversary of the first discovery of the palancas, it has also come a few months ahead of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, which this year is hosted in Angola where the national football team is known as the Palancas Negras. “It is quite a coincidence,” said Vaz Pinto. “Let’s hope it’s a good luck charm and that the soccer team does as well.” 


Expert: ‘Amazing’


Pedro Vaz Pinto

An adult hybrid female sable after being fitted with a GPS collar

e may be 82 years old, but that did not stop Richard Estes from flying from his home in America to travel deep into the Angolan bush to take part in this latest expedition. And Estes, acknowledged as the world’s leading authority on the palanca negra, was duly rewarded for his efforts. “I did not think we would find a single bull, so to find as many as we did was amazing,” he said, speaking from his home in New Hampshire. “This is an absolutely seminal step for the project.” Estes, an associate of the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology and former chairman of the World Conservation Union’s Antelope Specialists’ Group, began his research into the giant sable in the 1960s. After studying wildebeests in the Serengeti as part of his doctorate research, Estes and his wife Runi travelled through Zambia, Rhodesia, South Africa, Botswana and Victoria Falls and arrived in Angola in late 1968, where they spent a year in a wattle house in the Loando Reserve observing the rare antelope. Estes returned to Angola in 1982, postindependence and as the civil war raged. He spent a week in Cangandala National Park and captured what were to be the last photographs of any palancas for three decades, until Vaz Pinto caught images of them on secret cameras planted in the bush. In 2000, Estes went back to Angola. Then, two years later, he returned to take part in the famous post-war Noah’s Ark mission when large numbers of wild animals were transported back to Angola in a bid to restock the parks. Estes added: “Angola could become a safari tourism destination one day, but it depends on the environment of the country. The government has an ethical and moral responsibility – as do all Angolans – to protect and preserve their national ecosystems.”

DECEMBER 2009 37

il prices have continued to rise and so has Angola’s production, which hit 1.79 million barrels per day (bpd) in October, overtaking Nigeria and establishing the country once again as Africa’s biggest oil producer. Angola was due to export an average of 1.81 million bpd of crude oil in November, down from October but still above its output target set by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) which is cited officially as 1.52 million bpd. Angolan Oil Minister José Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos has admitted the country is exceeding its Opec targets and has suggested that Angola should get special measures like Iraq to compensate for its troubled past and construction needs, which it is funding through oil revenues. The next Opec meeting will take place in Angola on December 21. The two-day meeting will be held at the Talatona Convention Centre in the capital Luanda. It is traditional for the home country of the organisation’s president, in this case José Botelho de Vasconcelos, to host the final meeting of each year. On January 1, 2010, Germanico Pinto, Ecuador’s Minister of Mines and Oil, will officially take over the presidency.



Sonangol news briefing O

Tall tower An oil-production facility offshore Angola, featuring one of the tallest man-made structures in the world, has started producing oil. Located 80km from the Angolan coast in Block 14, in approximately 366m of water, Chevron’s Tombua-Landana project comprises a 1,554ft (474m) compliant piled tower. The $3.8 billion development, which is designed to allow zero discharge of produced water and zero routine gas flaring, is expected to achieve peak production of 100,000 bpd of crude oil in 2011.

Ali Moshiri, president of Chevron Africa and Latin America Exploration and Production, said: “TombuaLandana highlights our strong commitment to Angola where we are progressing more than a dozen large capital projects.” Chevron, through CABGOC, has a 31 per cent interest and is the operator of the Block 14 contractor group which includes Sonangol P&P (20%), Eni Angola Exploration B.V. (20%), Total E&P Angola (20%) and Galp Energia (9%).

Private oil companies are to be allowed to enter Angola’s lucrative refining business, following a government decision in late September. It is hoped the liberalisation of Angola’s oil refining, storage, transportation and distribution businesses, all currently operated by Sonangol, will speed up the supply of products to the market. With only one refinery, the oil-producing nation’s 39,000-bpd facility near Luanda supplies just 10 per cent of petroleum needs. The rest is imported and delays due to congestion at the port often lead to shortages at petrol stations. Sonangol is building an $8 billion refinery in the southern port of Lobito which is due to open in 2011.

Power deal Sonangol has signed a five-year partnership deal with Portugal’s main utility company, Energias de Portugal (EDP), to study and implement electricity-generation projects in Angola. Banco Privado Atlântico (BPA) and Portugal’s Finicapital are also part of the deal to create a holding company to handle possible projects in the field of conventional and renewable-power generation. The implementation of the projects, to be chosen by the partners, depends on technical and economic-feasibility studies. EDP, Sonangol and BPA will each have a 30 per cent stake in the holding company, while Finicapital will hold 10 per cent.

Open door

EDP - Energias de Portugal


Good deed BP has reiterated its commitment to Angolan youth at the inauguration of a newly-refurbished Scout hut in Luanda. José Patrício, head of BP Angola, told state media that education was high on his company’s priority list and he was happy that it could help support the Scouting movement in the country.

New garden Sonangol and Total subsidiary Tepa announced in October the first oil discovery in Block 17/06. The deep offshore Gardenia-1 well was drilled up to a depth of 977 metres. “This first discovery of Gardenia-1 confirms the potential of the north-western part of Block 17/06,” a Total spokesman said. “A campaign of further drilling on the block will start on the fourth quarter 2009.”

Total change Phillipe Chalon has taken over from Olivier de Langavant as Total EP director general. Chalon comes to Angola from the Total headquarters in Paris where he was director of finance, economics and information technology. Chalon, who began his career as a geophysicist, told Universo: “I am very much looking forward to working in Angola. It is a very interesting country and there are many challenges, particularly in terms of technology and human resources. We want as much as possible to have Angolans working at all levels in

the company.” Total has been present in Angola since 1953 and has operating stakes in oil blocks 0, 14, 17 and 32, as well as a share in the Angola LNG project in Soyo, which is due to start producing in January 2012. Its operational investments in Angola in 2009 were $4 billion. As well as oil exploration and production, Total also funds a number of socioeconomic programmes in health, education and economic development and has opened a specialist petroleum school in Luanda.

DECEMBER 2009 39



GAS Angola’s massive liquefied natural gas plant is on schedule to open for business in 2012 ➔


DECEMBER 2009 41

Pictures: Angola LNG



onstruction is advancing fast at the Angola Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) site near Soyo and the plant is on track to start shipping gas in the first quarter 2012, says Oil Minister José Botelho de Vasconcelos. The facility, currently Angola’s largest construction project, will produce around 5.2 billion tonnes (6.8 billion cubic metres) a year of LNG and related products for export to the United States. Construction of the plant in Zaire province in northern Angola started in 2008, and earlier this year work began to build the pipelines from Blocks 0/14, 15, 17 and 18 to the onshore facility. Antonio Órfão, Chairman of Sonangol’s gas subsidiary Sonagás and Angola LNG, told Universo: “Our project, the largest project of any kind ever constructed onshore in Angola, is going well and we are still on course to have the first LNG production in the first quarter of 2012. “Angola is already known for its oil, but this LNG project really puts the country on the map in terms of natural gas. This is the country’s first large natural gas project and we hope to have many others.” Daniel Rocha, Angola LNG Operating Company manager, said: “Things are going very well. Engineering is 95 per cent complete. In fact, the project is slightly ahead of schedule, which is quite unusual these days, so we are very excited.

“There has been a tremendous collaboration from our shareholders, from the government of Angola, from Sonangol and from the local government in Zaire province.”

Vision Rocha said there were close to 4,500 people working on site, with nearly 2,000 Angolans from the local Soyo area, which was making an important contribution to the local economy. “Private companies are beginning to open up in Zaire province now,” he said. “Our vision is that the LNG plant will serve as a catalyst so that more services will be available to the population and this is already happening. We are seeing not just direct jobs but also indirect jobs from support functions.” Órfão added: “The vision from the partners is that people who will work on the plant will be living in Soyo with their families. We already have many workers living in Soyo – so this process is also starting.” As well as creating jobs, housing and associated investment in Zaire province, Angola LNG has a budget of $65 million to spend on social projects, in areas such as health, education, electricity and others. At the start of the dredging in 2006, the team made a record of all the fishermen and fish traders in the area who might be affected. This information was used to help Pressing ahead: the LNG plant takes shape


the fishing community get government identification cards so that they could open bank accounts and receive compensation from the LNG project. The process was lengthy in a community where few can read and write and photographs are still a novelty, but the team’s perseverance paid off. The LNG plant will increase commercial marine traffic, so the fishermen, who use tiny wooden boats, are starting to work further out to sea. To help them to do this safely and efficiently, they have been supplied with nets, lines, floats, life jackets, navigation lights and radar reflectors. Rocha added: “Health is another key area but we’re not doing this alone. All this is being done in partnership locally – we are just the enablers. Key themes are raising HIV awareness and we have established a blood bank which is very important in preventing people being infected by contaminated blood.”

Wildlife As well as protecting the local people, Angola LNG is doing its best to protect the local environment. “One of the beaches is a hatching area for turtles,” explained Rocha. “We secured the beach so there is no intrusion and we brought in some marine biologists to help relocate those turtles into safe grounds. “We have two dedicated staff biologists because Soyo is a very rich area as far as wildlife goes. Whenever we come across snakes, reptiles or other creatures, we take good care to capture them and release them into adjoining areas. “Our project went through an environmental and social-impact assessment. It was a very transparent and public process; there was a public hearing with government agencies and local NGOs. “We are operating in the public eye under tremendous scrutiny; the one thing we take very seriously is the environment and the communities where we are operating.” Angola LNG is made up of Sonagás (22.8%), Chevron (36.4%), and Total, ENI and BP (all 13.6%). 


Map showing the proposed pipelines from Blocks 0/14, 15, 17 and 18 to the onshore refinery

What is LNG? When hydrocarbons are under pressure, as they are when inside an oil reservoir, they are in liquid form. When this liquid is brought to the surface, there is a change in pressure which sees the lighter hydrocarbons like methane, ethane, propane and butane return to their natural gas state. On an oil rig this gas is either burnt off or “flared”, used to power gas turbines or re-injected into the reservoir to maintain pressure in the

oil extraction process. The idea behind Angola’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) project is to pipe this gas from oil rigs to an onshore plant which will cool the gas to liquefy it and make it an exportable energy product. Cooling natural gas to about -160°C at normal pressure results in the condensation of the gas into liquid form, known as LNG. Liquefaction removes oxygen,

carbon dioxide, sulphur and water from the natural gas, resulting in LNG that is almost pure methane so that it can be transported easily and economically by ship and by truck. LNG takes up about 1/600 the volume of gaseous natural gas. While in the past it was relatively expensive to produce, advances in technology are reducing the costs associated with the liquefaction and re-gasification of LNG.

DECEMBER 2009 43




Animal welfare a priority for Angola LNG Warren Klein: jungle man

Warren Klein is Angola LNG’s very own ‘snake advisor’. As the external wildlife specialist for the project’s biodiversity programme, Klein headed into the plant’s 100-hectare site on Kwanda Island at the mouth of the Congo River looking for snakes, lizards and other small mammals. Once collected and identified, the creatures were relocated to similar habitats close by. Beehives were also included in the programme and records were made of all the finds, which included the African python (Python sebae) which is protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. The majority of the animals relocated were reptiles, such as the West African mud turtle, the forest cobra, the red-lipped herald snake and the African beauty snake. The mammals included Vervet monkeys, cane rats, genets and a variety of smaller rodents. Also discovered during the site clearance were a number of Olive Ridley sea turtles which came ashore to lay eggs above the high-tide line on the Congo River. LNG has teamed up with turtle experts from the Wildlife Conservation Society to study the turtle population in the area and work out how to protect them. Maps of nesting habits have been drawn up and all sea turtles found in the area are noted and tagged to help the researchers study their migratory paths. The sea turtle researchers and their assistants are called tartarugueiros and they patrol the beaches at night during the September to March breeding season. During this time, the females come to the beach every 15 days to each lay about 130 eggs. These take 60 days to hatch. Turtles need at least 20 years to reach maturity, but only one out of every 1,000 survives to adulthood so protecting their breeding habitats is essential to the species’ survival. Education programmes have also been set up to deter local people from taking the eggs. Readers can monitor the progress of the sea turtles in Soyo at 

DECEMBER 2009 45




Biocom, a company partly owned by Sonangol, has already planted its first fields of sugar cane to make ethanol. We speak to Biocom president Rui Gourgel about the importance of green fuels âž”

DECEMBER 2009 47

Kamene M Traรงa

Citizen cane: Biocom president Rui Gourgel



Biocom is a partnership between Sonangol (20%), Damer (40%) and Odebrecht (40%). Our operations are based in Cacuso in Malanje province, about 70km from Malanje city. There we will be planting 20,000 hectares of sugar cane and building a factory to process sugar, ethanol and electricity. The value of the business is $220 million.

How much sugar, ethanol and electricity will you make? We hope to make around 280,000 tonnes of sugar a year. This will be the first sugar to be produced inside Angola since before the war. Currently, 100 per cent of all sugar is imported so this will be an important step. We are looking first to supply the Angolan market but after that we may consider exporting. We will also use the cane to produce 30,000 cubic metres of ethanol a year which will be aimed at the industrial market within Angola. Studies are under way to find out more about potential buyers and the characteristics of the ethanol people want. We are also identifying some potential external clients to whom we could export in the future. The leftover cane which does not make sugar or ethanol will be used to produce electricity – around 217,000 megawatts a year. This is a considerable amount of electricity, about the same as one turbine at Capanda Dam produces, and it will help supply energy to the area around our plant.

Have you started operations? We have already planted 150 hectares of sugar cane at a nursery site at Kalakala in Catete and we are now transferring that to the main site at Cacuso. The aim is to have the first sugar cane harvest in June 2010 and to start producing ethanol soon after that. The equipment for the processing factory is currently being made and will soon be on its way to Angola.

How many jobs will Biocom generate? At the moment, we have a staff of 35, of whom 30 are Angolans and five are expatriate workers. A further 42 farm workers are

on contract. The aim is to create 500 jobs, of which 350 will be filled by Angolans and 150 by expatriates. By the third year of the project, we hope to have replaced the majority of the expatriates with Angolans.

What will the project bring, apart from sugar, ethanol and electrical power? This is a very important project for our country because we are relaunching agricultural production, and developing from pure agriculture to agro industry. We are also decentralising industry away from the capital Luanda into the interior which is creating new areas of knowledge, jobs and wealth. Since we are investing in nonoil and non-diamond sectors, we are taking a very important step in the diversification of our economy. Our project will bring direct benefits to Cacuso in terms of development.

You are planning to produce sugar, ethanol and electricity – what about biofuels? Is this something for the future? I believe so, yes. At the moment Angola does not have legislation to produce biofuels, but if this legislation were passed then we are prepared to make tests for this. We have the basic equipment, so we would only need to make some changes if the country opened up to biofuel production. In the immediate future there is no perspective to stop producing oil, but the country also needs to prepare itself to use technologies and sooner or later oil will be replaced by clean fuels. By being part of Biocom, Sonangol is starting to prepare for the future.

Is Biocom the beginning of a new wave of projects in Angola? Angola has enormous potential for agro industry, and we hope we can expand our model into other provinces. We hope this is only the beginning. We have heard people talking about similar initiatives in other areas of the country. I believe that after this project, these initiatives will advance for the good of Angola. We need to stop having to import products which we can produce perfectly well ourselves.

There is sometimes environmental opposition to projects like yours – what is your view on that? One of the big problems with using sugar cane is the large amounts of land needed. The government told us exactly where we could site this plantation. Like all companies taking on this type of business, we have to take into account and respect all the rules and systems established for the preservation of the environment and biodiversity. Without this respect, projects do not happen. There were very few people living in the area of the plantation, but there were a lot of trees which we had to take down. After an environmental-impact study, we have taken certain measures in a bid to mitigate the effects that clearing this land could have on the environment. We will be replanting trees in the areas around the project and making sure that the area’s biodiversity is maintained. We will also be taking care with the types of products we use. There will be a series of measures taken which will guarantee that the effect on the environment will be the minimum possible. 

Sweet process

What is Biocom?

Sugar cane can be made into at least three products: when raw sugar cane juice is evaporated, this makes the sugar we use in cooking. The residue produces ethanol, which can be used in the fabrication of medicines, cosmetics, explosives, detergents, inks, solvents and food products. The leftover cane is crushed to make bagasse, which is used as fuel in the generation of electricity.

DECEMBER 2009 49




1500 1000 500




Bengo Kwanza Norte


Lunda Norte

Malanje Malanje

za an

Kw The

Lunda Sul

Kwanza Sul Sumbe

Nhenjo Mountain

Morro do Moco

Huambo Huambo






Serra do Chilengue

Tundavala Leba


Lubango Serra da Chela

Namibe NB Illustrations/David Atkinson


Kuando Kubango




THE BIG PICTURE: Words by Igor Cusack

Kamene M Traça




ngola is not usually thought of as a mountainous land, yet more than half the country is on a vast plateau between 1,000 and 2,000 metres in altitude. South of the Kwanza River the hills rise sharply from the coastal lowlands and form a high escarpment facing the west, extending from a point east of Luanda and running south through to Namibia. This wide steep slope reaches 2,400m at its highest point, southeast of the town of Sumbe, and is steepest in the far south in the Serra da Chela mountain range. The most mountainous parts of Angola are mainly situated in the zone 100 km to 200km from the Atlantic coast. Many of the country’s biggest cities are well over a thousand metres above sea level: Huambo (1,710m), Kuito (1,687m), Lubango (1,736m), Luena (1,329) and Malanje (1,178m). The highest point in Angola is the Morro do Moco which reaches a height of 2,620m and is located to the northwest of Huambo. Any tourists hoping to see the beauty of Angola’s highland areas should head to Lubango, which is surrounded by mountains up to 2,200m high, one of which is topped by a statue of Christ with

a marvellous view of the city below. Two of the most famous natural landmarks in Angola are close to Lubango. At Tundavala (2,252m) on the main escarpment there is a massive gorge with a breathtaking view down to the desert and coastal plain well over 1,000m below. The other marvel of the area is man-made, the amazing road built over the high face of the Serra da Bandeira at Leba. During colonial rule in the 1960s, various routes were planned to link Namibe and Lubango. The engineer in charge, Rego Cabral, chose the shortest route, some 175km, as opposed to a much gentler but longer 264km option which would have approached Huambo from the south. Constructing the road involved a massive climb up the escarpment of the Serra da Bandeira. The work involved building sections which included numerous hairpin bends using methods which had been employed in the Swiss Alps. Now that peace has come to Angola, birdwatchers are able to tour the highland areas for interesting sightings. Ornithologist Nik Borrow has noted that “a wealth of mouth-watering specialities is now within reach”.

One of these is the mountain-dwelling Angola Cave-Chat, a rare species only found in Angola. The bird has an extremely localised distribution along the escarpment of western Angola, where it is confined to four areas including Nhenjo Mountain (2,135m) in Kwanza Sul. To see the bird here it is necessary to walk up through the dry habitat of the Kumbira Forest, climbing the mixed sandy and rocky face of the escarpment to an altitude of 1,250m above sea level. Tundavala gorge

DECEMBER 2009 51


INSIDE: Animal Rescue Saving the palanca negra The Wire Subsea cables for Africa Extra with this issue: Opec conference welcome supplement T...

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