Jose Eduardo dos Santos’s 38-year reign as Angola President has finally come to an end on Tuesday when he hand-picked successor, Joao Lourenco, was inaugurated as president at a ceremony in Luanda.
Lourenco was sworn in and vowed to devote himself “on my honour to devote myself” to the role of president, as he took power after the ruling MPLA party won last month’s election.
Dos Santos, present at the ceremony resigned due to poor health, saying he would not be a candidate in the election.
The People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola has governed since Angola’s hard-fought independence from Portugal in 1975, with Dos Santos taking power in 1979.
The party won 61 percent of the vote in August and, Lourenco, 63, until recently defence minister, has vowed to attract more foreign investment and said he wants to be recognised as a leader who brought an “economic miracle” to the southern African country.
Dos Santos was Africa’s second-longest-serving leader — one month shy of Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema.