Angola set to swear in a new president in 38 years

Angola will swear in a new president later today, the first time there has been a change in leader for nearly four decades.

João Lourenço, a former defence minister, will replace Jose Eduardo Dos Santos who stood down in August after 38 years in power.

Reports say that while there is a real desire for change, a radical shift is unlikely as Mr Lourenço has been at the heart of the governing MPLA (Popular Liberation Movement of Angola) party for decades.

Mr Dos Santos will retain control over the party with the right to choose the police chief and head of the army.

Critics say his children – including Africa’s richest woman, Isabel Dos Santos – have been positioned to control the economy.

Despite Angola’s oil wealth, inequality remains striking. The new president – and the old system – will face a desire for real change, our correspondent says.

The MPLA has governed Angola since it gained independence from Portugal in 1975.

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