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The UNHCR – the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, has been operating in Angola since 1976. As a leading UN operational humanitarian agency, it has assisted Angola to meet the challenges of mass displacement, emergency humanitarian situations, the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of refugees, the establishment of a functioning national asylum system, and the need to develop a modern migration management system. Today, UNHCR is also playing its role in the emergency response to the recent mass expulsion of Angolan refugees from the DRC and helping the Government prepare an operational plan to bring home the tens of thousands of Angolan refugees that still remain in the DRC and other neighbouring countries. The presentation will illustrate the above and how UNHCR works with refugees, asylum seekers and other vulnerable displaced people not only in theory but in practice. This presentation takes place on November 26, 2009.
Bohdan Nahajlo has been the UNHCR Representative in Angola since September 2008. Previously he was UNHCR’s Representative in Azerbaijan and Belarus and worked extensively on forced displacement challenges in the countries of the former Soviet Union. British born and educated, before he joined UNHCR in 1994 he was a writer and a journalist. The author of two books and numerous articles and reports, he was a regular contributor to the Spectator, New Statesman and The Times. He began his professional career after postgraduate studies at the London School of Economics as a Researcher on the USSR for Amnesty International.
Now finally, the first public presentation in English showing the exciting results of the three-week Giant Sable Capture Operation recently completed in Cangandala National Park, home of Angola’s famous but critically endangered antelope known locally as the palanca negra, Thursday, October 15.
Our guest presenters are Pedro Vaz Pinto, Environmental Advisor for the Catholic University Centre for Scientific Studies and Research, and Project Assistant, Biologist Sendi Baptista. For the past seven years Pedro Vaz Pinto has been trying to prove that the giant sable, which exists nowhere else in the world except in the province of Malange did indeed survive civil war, and more recently, cross breeding, and poaching.
After seven good years of extremely high levels of economic growth, Angola is now experiencing a very difficult 2009 according to World Bank economist Ricardo Gazel who will be the Angola Field Group’s guest presenter on Thursday, August 27. Angola was hit hard by the financial/economic global crisis and among other negative impacts in 2009, the country faces flat economic growth, fiscal and current account deficits, devaluation of the kwanza, scarcity of foreign currency, and higher unemployment. Has the crisis created any opportunities? What should be expected in the short, medium and long runs? What can be done to reduce the dependency on oil in order to avoid the extreme variations that come with oil prices? Come hear the answers this Thursday, August 27, and learn all about Angola’s Economy: the Recent Past, Present, and Future.
Our guest presenter Dr. Ricardo Gazel is Senior Economist with the World Bank in Angola. A citizen of Brazil, he received his B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Minas Gerais. He worked in the private and public sector in Brazil and spent one year conducting economic research in the Brazilian Amazon. He completed his graduate education at the University of Illinois, where he received an M.A.and Ph.D in Economics. Prior to joining the World Bank, he worked in the U.S.A for the Inter-American Development Bank, Federal Reserve Bank and the University of Nevada. He has published many articles, book chapters, and monographs in the area of regional growth, the impacts of international trade on regional economies, and the economics of gambling.
Download Dr. Gazel’s November 2009 Macro Report here and his Ocotober 2009 Macro Report here. Also available is Dr. Gazel’s first Mid-Year Review of the Angolan Economy – click here for a PDF of the document. If you would like to subscribe to Dr. Gazel’s regular monthly two-page Macro Report on the Economy of Angola, please send an email to him at: email@example.com.
A huge crowd was on hand at the July 9th Angola Field Group presentation by Dr. Louis Jacobs, ‘Uncovering the Hidden Remains of Angola’s Ancient Giants’. Dr. Jacob’s PowerPoint presentation is now available to download on our Geology page, where you can also see more photos of the types of fossils being found along Angola’s Atlantic coast.
Dinosaur hunter Dr. Louis Jacobs calls the fossils of Angola a “museum in the ground”. Dr. Jacobs and his team first came to Angola in 2005 and again in 2007 to hunt for fossils of giant marine lizards first reported in the 1960’s, but they unearthed much more than that. On July 9th, Dr. Jacobs will present a review of their finds from the rock outcrops of the coast of Namibe province all the way up to the coast of Cabinda, conducted in cooperation with Agostinho Neto University and ISPRA University in Lubango. Visit www.paleoangola.org/ for more info.
Louis L. Jacobs is a Professor in Southern Methodist University’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences in Dallas and President of the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man at SMU. He has served as President of the international Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, and in 1999 he was Director ad interim of the Dallas Museum of Natural History.
When war broke out in Angola in 1975, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) arrived on the scene. By the late 1980s, Angola was the Red Cross’s largest operation in Africa, assisting thousands of victims of land mines and also working to re-unite Angolans, especially children, separated by war. Now the ICRC is closing its delegation in Luanda. The Angola Field Group invites you to a presentation,”The End of an Era – The International Red Cross in Angola” on May 28, with Maryse Limoner who was stationed in Angola from 1996-97 and has been the Head of Delegation from 2007-09. Click here to visit the ICRC in Angola’s website with photos and project info.
The number of turtles nesting along the coast of Angola is declining especially the giant leatherback turtle. The Angola Field Group invites you to a presentation about the ‘Conservation Project to Protect Marine Turtles’, on April 30. Headed up by Biologist Michel Morais and a team of biology students from Agostinho Neto University, this project has been researching nesting activities of turtles on a beach south of Luanda since 2002, right after the war. Previous records of turtle research in the country date back to 1980.
Sandstorms in Sudan – rebels in Burundi – 51 degrees temperature in Ethiopia – elephants blocking traffic – all this up close from the seat of a motorcycle… On March 12 the Angola Field Group invites you to a slide/talk show this Thursday, March 12, at 8:00 PM at the Viking Club with lawyer-turned-biker Joachim Von Loeben who spent a year traveling by motorcycle from Libya to Namibia along the east coast of Africa. Now, heading home up the west coast of Africa on the last leg of a two year trip around the world by motorcycle, the German adventurer will show slides of the African journey he has already completed, and give some of his impressions of biking through Angola. Visit Joachim’s Trip Around The World website to read more about his adventures.
As with all Angola Field Group presentations, there is no charge, however as he has done around the world, Joachim hopes his slide show will inspire viewers to donate voluntarily to a local project. He has chosen to support Irma Domingas who is a familiar face at the Angola Field Group since she sells handicrafts (including the very popular crocheted hand bags made with re-cycled metal tabs from drink cans) to raise funds for the orphanage and school she has built on the outskirts of Luanda through Saint Isabel’s Children Charity.
Malaria still claims more lives than any other disease in Angola, and its transmission peaks during the rainy season in the months of February, March, and April. On February 26 the Angola Field Group invites you to a presentation: Malaria in Angola with Dr. Francisco Saute, a medical doctor and specialist in Malaria Epidemiology, and Dr. Jules Mihigo, a medical doctor who has worked in the public health sector in various African countries and has done research on malaria drug effectiveness. In addition to talking about the transmission, prevention and treatment of malaria, the presenters will also give results of a recently conducted survey of malaria transmission in Luanda. Dr. Saute is Senior Malaria Specialist and Program Advisor for the President’s Malaria Initiative with USAID. Dr. Mihigo is with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Luanda as Resident Advisor for the President’s Malaria Initiative.
Both Dr. Saute and Dr. Mihigo kindly offered to share the material they presented at the presentation.
- Download a PDF of the ‘Health facility-based evaluation of malaria in Luanda, Angola March 17-31, 2008’ poster and a PDF version of Dr. Saute’s ‘Malaria Situation in Angola’ powerpoint presentation.
- Download a PDF of the five page report published in March 2009 in The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene journal, titled: “How Much Malaria Occurs in Urban Luanda, Angola? A Health Facility-Based Assessment”.
On Jan 22, learn how and where diamonds are being mined in Angola. What’s the difference between alluvial diamonds, kimberlites and diamond pipes? What role did diamond mining activity play during Angola’s long civil war? Can Angola’s diamond industry survive today’s plunging diamond prices!? What about blood diamonds? Everything you wanted to know about diamond production and more.
Our guest presenter is diamond mining expert Andrew Machin, Technical Manager for ITM Mining Ltd. which has mining projects in Luanda Norte. Andrew, a mining engineer, has worked in the mining industry in Angola for over 25 years and believes that Angola is potentially the richest diamond country in the world. His company is one of the largest diamond mining companies in Angola and is involved in projects that have produced approximately 8.8 million carats from 1993 to 2007.
Christmas Carol night
Get into the spirit of Christmas Thursday, December 18 at 7:30 PM at the Viking Club, with ‘A voz dos Anjos’, (The Voice of Angels). Singing a capella and accompanied only by the African drum, this 20 voice choir will stir your spirit with its joyful sound. Directed by Mestre Jose Mendes, the choir will render a blend of traditional Christmas carols in Portuguese, French and indigenous Angolan songs. Their CD Situaluaka (Quando La Chegarmos) will be for sale. Also, last chance for some Christmas shopping: the latest Angola photo book in English/Portuguese * Huambo Dolls * hand embroidered linen gift items * place mats and napkins in African fabric * grown-in-Angola soya products, all for sale on Thursday at the Viking Club. Come celebrate!
The Angola Field Group invites you to view a newly released film about HIV/Aids and discrimination in Angola, A Strong Heart, at the Viking Club at 8:00 pm on Thursday November 20. Stigmatization and discrimination, especially against women, are major obstacles to preventing the spread of HIV in Angola. The film shows Angolans living with HIV telling their own stories of discrimination but also of solidarity. Portuguese language with English subtitles.
Special guest Maria de Ceu who works for Radio Nacional and is featured in the film, will join us for the question & answer period. The NGO Trocaire will introduce the film which is a collaborative* production to be used as an educational tool. If your organization is interested in using the film for teaching purposes, please register your name with Trocaire who will have a sign-up sheet available for interested groups.
*film by Richard Pakleppa with funding from Trocaire, UNICEF, CRS, IBIS, Cordaid, Caritas Spain and Misereor and with participation of the Angolan Instituto de Luta Contra o SIDA.
Don’t miss the Kuduro King’s live performance with the Kuduro King and Jorge Antonio in attendance!
Watch a video on YouTube of the Kuduro King’s live performance at the Viking Club.
On Thursday October 23, filmmaker Jorge Antonio will present his second film from a triptych of documentaries about Angolan music, Kuduro, Fogo No Museke*. Tony Amado, the ’Kuduro King’ who started the made-in-Angola movement will also join us to give a live demonstration of Kuduru moves and sound. Kuduro is all about the latest and only ‘made-in-Luanda’ music that grew out of the musseques*, the crowded neighborhoods that sprung up during the war where cement block houses stand wall to wall, bursting with kids and restless youth – the new generation of Angola. The novo urban beat driving kurduro sounds like rap but is said to be a mixture of kizomba and techno, complete with its own dance movements. Kuduro is controversial and dynamic and has even been dubbed as the up-and -coming, hip new music on the international music scene.
Join us and see for yourself the hot vibes coming out of Luanda. DVD’s just off the press will be available for 1500 kwanzas each. Although the film is in Portuguese (no English subtitles), the energy of kuduro hits you, no need to translate.
Jorge Antonio spends his time between Lisbon and Luanda where he consults for the Angolan Institute of Cinema, Audiovisual and Multimedia. The Angola Field Group has shown Jorge’s documentary Angola, Historias da Musica Popular and we look forward to his third in this series and soon to be released film, “O Lendario “Tio Liceu” e os N’gola Ritmos”. If you can’t make it to the Angola Field Group presentation on October 23rd, you can catch this film at the 6th Annual Lisbon Indie Film Festival 2009 running April 23 to May 03, 2009.
*kuduru literally means hard ass
*fogo literally means fire
*musseque or museke – in some places called shantytowns, favelas, or ghettos but in Angola it’s the musseque
There’s more than just oil in the waters offshore Angola. Along the entire 1650-kilometer coastline, a rich fishery exists. Since ancient times fishing has been important right up to colonial times when Angola was one of the biggest producers and exporters in the region. The fishing industry is still an important sector in Angola, but the stocks are under severe pressure, and the government of Angola is challenged by demand for tough management decisions and improved control of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing activities carried out by an increasing international pirate fleet. Now the importance of the fishing industry is fading in the shadow of the oil. The time has come to recognize that there are several legitimate users of the sea, and to ensure sustainable utilization of the sea and the living marine resources for future generations.
Our guest presenter, Dr. Bjørn Erik Axelsen, discusses some of the challenges facing Angola’s fishing industry and the way forward. Resident Adviser to both the Ministry of Fisheries (since 2006) and Petroleum (since 2007), Dr. Axelsen is a fisheries biologist who has worked in Angola and the region on fisheries research projects and fish stock monitoring, supported by the Norwegian government, since 1998.
We will once again screen a film composed of footage shot in Angola mostly in the early 1970’s, probably for tourism, and edited some time later by somebody taking a nostalgic look at the country he left behind. This is not a documentary but the film gives some idea of what Angola was like during colonial times. The narration is in Portuguese and the sound track features Raúl Endipwo, a member of Duo Ouro Negro, a well-known Angolan band in the 1970s. Introduction and commentary by two Angolan members of our Field Group Team, Denis Sanche and Kelse Alexander.
The Angola Field Group invites you to a presentation on Thursday July 31 on ‘The Okavango River’. Botswana depends on it, Namibia needs it, but 95% of the still pristine waters come from Angola. What is being done to secure the future of the least human impacted basin on the African continent? You are all invited to attend this presentation by Chaminda Rajapakse, who works with the Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM), one of the oldest and most active trans-boundary river basin commissions in Southern Africa.
This is Pedro’s third presentation to the Field Group about his work with the Palanca Negra Gigante. Angola’s national icon, the Palanca Negra Gigante (Giant Sable), is considered to be the most beautiful living antelope in the world. And this species is found nowhere else in the world but in the miombo woodlands of Malanje. For more information, visit our site’s Giant Sable page.
Identified as critically endangered postwar, the Palanca Negra are showing signs of cross breeding. In the next few months an ambitious game-capture and marking operation to immobilize and handle animals will be launched in Cangandala and the giant sables will then be collared so they can be tracked in real time.
Pedro Vaz Pinto, Environmental Advisor for the Catholic University Centre for Scientific Studies and Research, will provide an update on his work with the Palanca Negras.
Demining – the New Accelerated Approach
Estimates predict that it will take 50 years to clear mines and other explosive remnants of war here in Angola using traditional methods. Our presenter, Kjersti Fjellhaug, a demining expert with Norwegian People’s Aid and formerly with the Mine Advisory Group, will talk about the new scientific approach to demining that will allow NPA to get rid of the problem in the five provinces where they are working, in 7 short years. Kjersti has lived in Angola for 5 years and is presently based in Malange where she is piloting the new ‘land release’ concept using survey information.
Mine Advisory Group: http://www.maginternational.org
Norwegian People’s Aid: http://www.npaid.org
Thomas Weber’s Traveling the Angolan Road
This travelogue takes you north to M’banza Congo through the province of Zaire, across into Uige and then further east to the famous sights of Malange province. Complete with maps, historical details and set to the beat of Angolan music, German diplomat and life-long nomad Thomas Weber has compiled a presentation that shows part of the 8000 kilometers he has traveled alone through the country since arriving here in 2005 to work for the German Embassy. This is your chance to get tips for the trips you’re planning in Angola.
Screening of Jorge António’s Angola – A History of Popular Music
Don’t miss this screening of Angola – A History of Popular Music, an award- winning documentary by Jorge Antonio. This 50 minute documentary takes us from the conception of Angolan popular music back in the late 40s with Liceu Vieira Dias and the Ngola Ritmos, right up to the present day with rap artist Dog Murra and Angola’s own unique electronic beat, Kuduro. The voices and sounds of the nation’s most influential musicians play against the backdrop of a country striving for independence. Jorge António is based in Portugal and Angola but works worldwide as a producer and director in cinema, television and advertising and is an advisor for the Angolan Institute of Cinema. You can purchase his feature film “O Miradouro da Lua” as well as his documentary on dance in Angola, “Outras Frases“ at the next AFG event. The film is in Portuguese with English subtitles.
Ragnar Torvik: “Challenges & Opportunities facing Resource Rich Economies”
Prof. Torvik teaches at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He is in Luanda at the invitation of Banco Nacional de Angola to participate in a workshop and will be a guest lecturer at the Faculty of Economics at Agostino Neto University.
Halle Jorn Hanssen: “Africa’s geopolitical trends”
Hanssen discusses: “Is world power shifting from the North to the South in this new era of Globalization?” Hanssen is one of Norway’s foremost experts on Africa and North-South relations and Chairman of the Norwegian Forum for Development and the Environment (an umbrella of about fifty NGOs in Norway). He was the former Secretary General (CEO) of Norwegian People’s Aid an NGO playing an active role in Angola in areas such as demining. He will focus on emerging trends in Africa’s geopolitical situation, and the new role of countries such as China, India, and Brazil on the African continent.
Norwegian People’s Aid: http://www.npaid.org
Screening of An Inconvenient Truth
This film, produced by former American Vice-President Al Gore, shows why global warming is indeed a real and present danger and how each of us can do our part to save the environment. A brief introduction bringing in the Angolan perspective will be presented by local environmentalist Abias Huongo, founder and president of Angola’s biggest environmental organization JEA (Juventude Ecologica d’ Angola). After the film there will be opportunity for discussion facilitated by Ronnie Gallagher who is with BP’s Environment Department. For more info on JEA visit http://orgs.takingitglobal.org/3089
David Robertson’s “Drive Against Malaria”
Meet David Robertson, a British adventurer whose international malaria-awareness-raising crusade through each country in Africa has finally brought him to Angola. David’s “Drive against Malaria” began back in 1998 and since then he’s driven his Land Rover through 30 countries in Africa distributing mosquito nets to orphanages, health centres and rural villages. David will discuss the work he is doing in Angola, what inspires him to continue his challenge and will show a documentary of his journey filmed by Dutch television presenter Julia Samuel who records every mile of his odyssey. Find out more at http://www.driveagainstmalaria.org/
Screening of Together in the Fight Against Poverty
Kilamba Kiaxi is a poor, crowded municipality in Luanda. Cecília, Fátima and Teresa are three women who live there. They have little money but big visions. Each has her own true story to tell of organizing her community and discussing with local government the real needs of residents. The film captures the women’s success stories and shows democracy at work in Kilamba Kiaxi.
The video is being used to raise awareness and trigger discussions in communities and with local government throughout Angola as the country continues along the road to greater democracy, where all voices are listened to, including the poor. It is produced by and encapsulates the work of the Luanda Urban Poverty Program (LUPP), a partnership of four international NGO’s working together with the Government of Angola to reduce poverty by helping communities to organise themselves and work with local government to bring about real changes in their lives. The 25 minute film, with original soundtrack by Angolan musician Dodó Miranda, will be introduced by Kate Ashton, LUPP Programme Manager. Following the viewing there will be a question and answer period led by Allan Cain, Director of Development Workshop, a LUPP partner along with CARE International, Save the Children and One World Action. Visit LUPP’s website at http://luppangola.org/
Dr. Anne Schulp: “The T.Rex of the Seas: New Mosasaurs from Angola”
Giant sea monsters once prowled the waters of Angola !? Now for the first time, results from recent scientific excavations in Angola will be presented to the public. Paleontologist Dr. Anne Schulp works at the Maastricht Natural History Museum in the Netherlands. Dr. Schulp is part of the excavation project in Angola, and will present “straight from the field” the first results of this year’s findings. For more information go to http://www.museulourinha.org
Jez Averty: “Amazing Angola Landscapes”
Discover the Beauty of Angola at this Armchair Journey through Amazing Landscapes, a slide presentation. The latest Lonely Planet African travel guide describes Angola as: “Scarred by years of debilitating warfare, Angola is an isolated and oft-misunderstood traveller’s destination, with few outsiders privy to its jaw-dropping scenery and vast cultural riches.” Now you can see for yourself the haunting beauty and solitude of Angola’s southern coastal province, check out the fishing at the Baie dos Tigres and visit the mouth of the Cunene River where Angola meets Namibia in Iona National Park. Presenter and British geologist Jez Averty has lived and travelled in Angola for 5 years. He will show slides of the Calandula Falls in Malange province, Africa’s second biggest waterfall and give a geological explanation of the mass of rock known as the Pedras Negras, a natural wonder in Malange.
Allan Cain: “Who Owns the Mussesques?”
Allan Cain, director of the international NGO Development Workshop (DW), will give a presentation on land issues and explain the unique opportunity Angola has to develop new approaches to manage post-war urban land. The majority of people who live in the musseques or shantytowns surrounding Luanda and other Angolan cities are poor displaced people who occupied land or bought it via the informal market but do not have a formal title of ownership. The war that accelerated the urbanization of the country is over, but the problems associated with land ownership and occupation rights of the urban poor, are just beginning. Allan Cain, an architect from Canada, brought DW to Angola 25 years ago to do human settlements development. Today the Canadian based NGO has over 200 people working in Luanda and Huambo. The Angola Field Group is pleased to launch the English language version of DW’s new book TERRA, Urban land reform in post-war Angola: research, advocacy & policy development by DW and the Centre for Environment & Human Settlements (UK). Visit DW’s website at http://www.dw.angonet.org/
Screening of A Trip Down Memory Lane
Ana Bela Alves Primo and Francisco Alves Primo will share their perspective on the film in relation to the time it was made. Francisco, a local businessman and retired Angolan army officer, was born in Huila but spent a lot of time in Malange. Ana Bela, translator and Portuguese teacher, came to Angola from Portugal in 1972, taught school in Moxico, fell in love with the country and never left. The film is composed of footage shot in Angola mostly in the early 1970’s, probably for tourism, and spliced together later by somebody taking a nostalgic look back at the country he left behind. A Trip Down Memory Lane isn’t a documentary but gives an idea of what Angola was like during colonial times: Bull fights in Luanda… Excursions by comfortable trains across Angola… Cotton mills and coffee roasteries…Herds of elephant and buffalo in Quicama Park… And no potholes! The narration is in Portuguese and the sound track features Raúl Endipwo, a member of Duo Ouro Negro, a well known Angolan band in the ‘70s.
Music by Dodo Miranda
Angolan musician Dodó Miranda talks about the origins and development of music in Angola and central Africa. The son of a Mennonite preacher, the first tunes he learned were hymns and Negro spirituals but after a foray into popular Northern Hemisphere music, he turned all his attention to discovering and learning African music. Dodó will sing examples of the different musical influences explaining how music evolved here. He’ll even give us a short rendition of ‘Kuduro”, the unique ‘made in Luanda’ music that assaults our ears and rattles the windows on weekends. Dodó is presently developing his own style of fusion music, blending traditional Angolan tunes with blues, jazz, and gospel.
Enjoy an informal evening of listening pleasure at the Viking Club, featuring two local talents, Francisco Alves Primo and Manuel Vitória Pereira. These singing guitar players have an eclectic musical repertoire including some Kimbundu and Umbundu folk tunes, traditional Angolan favorites like ‘Muxima’, classic Angolan pop, Brazilian music, Spanish, and even some American hits from the ‘70s.
Screening: Angola, Saudades from the One Who Loves You
The film takes us into the lives of characters from diverse backgrounds: street boys in Luanda, a single mother who sells fish in Huambo, a school teacher, an old farmer, two fashion models, and a rapper. Their stories are told from the background of a country just coming to terms with the reality of peace after nearly three decades of civil war.
The 65 minute film is a collaboration between well-known Angolan singer Paulo Flores and Namibian director, Richard Pakleppa. Last year the film won two best documentary awards in Africa. Read more at www.afrikafilmfestival.be/2007/en/films/ANGOLA
Michel Morais: “Project Manatee”
Manatees, Angola’s magnificent marine mammals, are they swimming into extinction? The most threatened and the least studied manatees in the world are the species found along the waterways of West Africa. Angola is the southernmost region these mammals, which are related to the elephant, occur and now for the first time they have been extensively researched in the Kwanza River. Michel Morias is a lecturer at the faculty of Biology at the Universidad Agostinho Neto and leader of the BP-sponsored research team that just wrapped up a ten-month manatee study. Michel also heads up a turtle research and protection program that the Field Group visits annually on an overnight field trip.
Pedro Vaz Pinto: “Beyond Poaching, the New Threat to the Giant Sable’s Survival”
Something is wrong in the forest of Cangandala Park, and it’s more than poaching. Recent live footage of Angola’s national icon, the Giant Sable (Palanca Negra Gigante), considered to be the most beautiful living antelope in the world, suggests that cross breeding is taking place. While poaching is a constant threat, a contaminated gene pool can wipe out the population in Cangandala National Park, a species found nowhere else in the world but in the miombo woodlands of Malanje. Pedro Vaz Pinto, Environmental Advisor for the Catholic University Centre for Scientific Studies and Research, will present the latest challenge facing the Giant Sable and show footage taken by cameras mounted in the park. He has good news too! He will update us on the expanded conservation program now being established in this very special park. The Angola Field Group is proud to have participated in the program. Last year we raised approximately $11,000 in our Sponsor a Shepherd campaign. Click here to download a pdf with more information. For information on Pedro’s prestigious 2007 Whitley Award for Nature visit http://www.whitley-award.org/display.php?id=100 and for updates on Pedro’s work check out our Giant Sable page.
Gerhard Zank: “Halo Trust and Eliminating the Debris of War”
An estimated two million guns distributed during Angola’s civil war have yet to be collected from the people. This country is reputed to have more landmines than any country in the world, except for Cambodia and Afghanistan. With elections scheduled for next year, it is a priority to disarm the population, remove caches of ammunition, and open up roads closed because of landmines.
Gerhard Zank is the Program Manager of Halo Trust, the largest demining agency working in Angola. Gerhard, who has worked with mine clearance for over 8 years in Mozambique, Kosovo and Afghanistan, will give a close-up look at the process of demining, talk about the status of minefields in the country and reveal their latest initiative working with the police and armed forces in a disarmament program. For more information visit www.halotrust.org/
Angola Field group members invited to a traditional Carol Concert by the Luanda Chamber Choir in the Bom Jesus Church.
Todd Cleveland: “Angola’s Diamond Mining”
‘The History of Diamond Mining in Angola’ through the Eyes of the Laborers’, presented by Todd Cleveland, doctoral candidate in African history at the University of Minnesota in the USA.
Unni Skogen: “Drawings in the Sand”
‘Drawing in the sand’ is an ancient Chokwe art form, presented by Unni Skogen, a social anthropologist and designer from Norway. For more info go to http://www.movingsands.org/4.html
Dr. Pierre Rollin: “The Marburg Virus”
In October the Marburg virus claimed its first reported victim, in Uige. In March the disease was finally identified as Marburg, relative of the frightful Ebola virus. Today the number of deaths has escalated beyond 280. For an answer to all your Marburg questions, you are invited to take a look behind the scenes with our guest speaker, specialist Dr. Pierre Rollin, who has been on the ground working with the virus in Uige. Dr. Rollin works in the Special Pathogens Branch at the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, USA.
Dr. Mick Comerford: “Peace and Elections in Angola”
It’s been three years since the head of UNITA, Jonas Savimbi was killed and a ceasefire signed. Elections have been scheduled for September 2006. But what needs to be done to get the country ready for elections? And what went wrong with elections in 1992? You are invited to take a look behind the scenes at the peacebuilding process in Angola with Dr. Mick Comerford, author of the recently published book The Peaceful Face of Angola: Biography of a Peace Process (1991-2002).
Dr. Comerford, who holds a PhD in politics and international studies from the University of Leeds in the UK, works in the peacebuilding program at Development Workshop, an international NGO based in Luanda for 25 years. He spent 5 of his 7 years in Angola working as a missionary in Lunda Norte. We’re pleased to help Mr. Rollins launch the book which is available in both English and Portuguese.
Musical Celebration to commemorate Poland ’s Solidarity Movement. This program of piano selections was offered by the Polish Embassy but the Ambassador asked the Angola Field Group to help organize and invite their members.
Ronnie Gallagher and Michelle de Cordova: “Discovering Birds in Angola”
Bishops, Weavers, Sacred Ibis, Pelicans, Mousebirds…Two avid birders will take us through the ABC’s of bird watching right from books and equipment to backyard birding and where to watch birds in and around Luanda. Hear the latest on plans to officially designate Mussulo Bay as an international wetland site because of its bird population. And more exciting news – Angola’s first bird blind soon to be inaugurated just an hour south of Luanda in Saco dos Flamingos! Our guest speakers Ronnie Gallagher and Michelle de Cordova will wow you with their great collection of local bird shots.
Visit our Birds page for photos and birding notes.
Pedro Vaz Pinto: “Saving the Giant Black Sable”
Pedro Vaz Pinto will update us with slides and information he gleaned this month from a ten-day expedition tracking the elusive palanca negra in the forests of Malange province, the only place in the world where these antelope exist. We will also get a behind-the-scenes look at the re-discovery of the Palanca Negra Gigante. In May of this year Pedro announced to the world that the majestic antelope with five-foot-long horns had survived the war. For updates on Pedro’s work check out our Giant Sable page.
Olivier Lambert: “The World Bank”
‘More world less bank’ say the critics of the World Bank, yet the institution has been around for over 60 years. What is it? Who runs it? Who is it answerable to? Olivier Lambert, Senior Country Officer of the World Bank in Angola will unlock the vaults and show us how the bank works. He will also explain what the IMF is and tell us what the World Bank is doing here in Angola. Invest your time, Thursday, November 24, at 8:00 pm at the Viking Club.
Keep on Dancin’
Salsa and Merengue Dance classes taught by Kristina and Marco.
The Angola Birders’ Club (ABC) first meeting
Slide show of local birds. Approximately 20 members have signed up since the ABC was launched. Visit our Birds page for photos and birding notes.
Pedro Vas Pinto: “The Giant Sable Antelope, Symbol of Angola, is it Extinct?” Pedro Pinto recently headed an expedition to Malange in search of the Sable. For updates on Pedro’s work check out our Giant Sable page.
Sigborn Langvik” “Everything You Should Know About Landmines in Angola”
Screening of a documentary about the San people
We will present a 30 minute documentary film released this year about Angola’s original inhabitants, the San, who face racism and discrimination, and are having their land forced away from them. Living dispersed in small groups in the south of the country, the San are the first Angolans, the indigenes, but today they suffer from lack of food, no access to medical facilities, and the children do not attend school because of maltreatment and lack of funds. One southern farmer said of his San neighbors: “They are animals. They are our slaves. They depend on us for their life.” What will become of the San? The documentary will be introduced by Ian Dolan, Director of Trocaire Angola, an Irish NGO and one of the organizations that commissioned a needs assessment of the San communities in this country. For more information visit http://trocaire.org/news/latestnews.php
Dr. Tamar Ron: “Cabinda’s Amazing Rainforest”
Gorillas and chimps are just a small part of the biodiversity of this important forest. Find out about the actions and plans for protecting the forest and its endangered species. Dr. Tamar Ron, a primatologist who has worked in Angola for four years, will be our guest speaker.
Dr. Mick Comerford: “Political Cartoons”
If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine the impact of a political cartoon. Dr. Comerford will show a number of Angolan cartoons that illustrate how the problems and challenges which Angola has faced are perceived and presented within the Angolan media, both private and state. The cartoons offer an interesting insight into how Angola is viewed by its own citizens. Mick has lived in Angola for 6 years and spent time researching Angolan peace narratives.
Jez Averty: “Armchair trip to Namibe”
Drive along the coast down to Iona Park, fish at Baie dos Tigres and the mighty Cunene River. See exotic indigenous groups and more from Angola’s southern most province, all from the comfort of your chair.
Capoeira: Lethal Dancing
A live demonstration of Capoeira by the Abada Capoeristas. This form of martial art was disguised as a dance so slaves from Angola in Brazil could practice deadly fighting techniques without raising their masters’ suspicion.
Live Jazz by the Eric Braccini Jazz Trio, with organ sax and flute.