Pan Africanism : Angola's Giant Leap on the World Economic Stage

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by Aqil, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    By John Kaninda
    Johannesburg

    Angola is one of Africa's best-kept secrets, says Paul de Sousa, senior partner of KPMG Angola, in a recently released report. De Sousa says that three years after securing peace, Angola is emerging as an African economic success story, but this appears to be unnoticed in some sectors. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund recently reported that the Angolan economy grew 14% this year, and is projected to grow 25% next year. "This makes Angola one of the fastest-growing economies on the planet," he says.

    While much of this growth is derived from the oil industry, there is no doubt that several sectors of the Angolan economy are also achieving amazing growth, including construction, ports, banking, services, communications, distribution, retail, hospitality, information technology, oil services, agriculture and diamond mining. Angola is also developing its tourism industry.

    In the oil sector, for instance, production volumes of 1.2 million barrels a day will increase to 2 million barrels a day in 2007-08. Angola's continuing success in identifying and producing hydrocarbons was evident at the 18th World Petroleum Congress, held in Johannesburg recently. At the Angola presentation, foreign potential investors and other interested parties flooded into the room, and many were forced to stand.

    In the diamond industry, 15 new exploration concessions were recently announced by Endiama, the national diamond company. A major new diamond-cutting center will be inaugurated this month in Luanda, the capital city. It will be capable of processing diamonds worth $240 million a year.

    The face of Luanda is changing dramatically. The "forest canopy" of construction cranes visible on the skyline continues to grow monthly, says KPMG. Many new buildings are being erected, mainly in the commercial center of Luanda, where oil and financial sector companies are establishing offices. Various new hotels - from two to five stars - are going up, as well as a new international conference center to be completed next year.

    In Luanda Sul, south of Luanda, vast tracts of land that until recently were undeveloped rural countryside have been transformed into property developments, primarily housing projects, shopping centers and light industrial developments. "Luanda Sul must represent one of the fastest urban growth areas in Africa. It is difficult to understand the magnitude of this development without seeing it from an aircraft," says De Sousa.

    The long-awaited rehabilitation of the country's roads and railways has now started in earnest, largely as a result of a $2 billion loan from the Chinese government. Chinese nationals and Chinese businesses are becoming increasingly visible in Angola. Central to these projects is the rehabilitation of the Benguela rail network and its 48 bridges, which were used to transport the Democratic Republic of Congo's mineral exports in the 1970s.

    Angola is attracting increasing foreign investment outside the oil and diamond sectors, says KPMG. The Angolan National Investment Agency said recently that 123 new investment projects, worth $180 million, were approved for the first semester of next year. The majority of the investments originate from Portugal, South Africa and China. Last year, about 200 projects were approved.

    In the past two years the network of commercial banks in Angola has grown significantly, notably with the opening of Novo Banco and Banco International de Credito, and the acquisition of a stake in BCA by South Africa's Absa. "Numerous other international financial institutions are preparing to enter the Angolan market," says Luis Folhadela, senior manager in the corporate finance department of KPMG Angola. Various Angolan companies are preparing themselves to list on international stock exchanges such as Johannesburg, Vancouver and London. Plans to establish a stock exchange in Luanda are at an advanced stage.

    In the social sector, major emphasis has been placed on the reintegration of demobilized soldiers from the Angolan Armed Forces and rebel group Unita. The Angolan Institute for Social Reintegration of Ex-Military Personnel, (Irsem) has already implemented projects which have directly benefited 40,000 former soldiers, and by the end of the year they expect to double the number of beneficiaries. "Contrary to the image that persists internationally, the war in Angola ended three years ago and everyone is too busy sharing in the peace dividend to even think about war," says Luis Fernandes, project director of the KPMG unit working within Irsem as part of the reintegration project.

    The construction of a new international airport for Luanda has already begun and a new ring road around the city is being planned. "Angola is well on its way to transforming itself into one of the most significant economic engines on the African continent," says De Sousa.
     
  2. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Are the people benefitting from this growth?
     
  3. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I would hope so...they say a rising tide lifts all boats. The current situation of the country was discussed earlier this month in Lisbon by the Angolan community at a seminar with the theme "Angola-Peace and the Future Challenges," with the participants having discussed the economic growth that Angola registers, considered as very positive by specialists. Regarding the inequalities and the poverty still affecting the country, some constructive suggestions were presented for its eradication, and they also praised the government's efforts relating to various measures and the approval of short, medium and long-term programs.
     
  4. dustyelbow

    dustyelbow Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    First I hope they effectively dealt with this. Cant believe this was not in this report. This should be a victory to voice to the world.

    http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Angola:_Marburg_virus_still_spreading,_180_dead

    Second I wish to see and hear that the Angolan people are doing well from themselves. Its true every little bit counts. But this article shows me is that certain groups have to do well even though they are successful back home so to speak but want to take more than their fair share and after they are done which is never letting the Angola people get the crumbs of what they accomplish. I dont expect a revolution or suggest one for that matter but just noticing a trend of World Bank, IMF, G8 nations, Portugal, China, UN, Angola government all come first and then perhaps the conditions of the people come last. Reminds me of deceased former President of US Ronald Reagon 'Trickle down' economics. And many of us have witness the results of such policies.
    Angola looks to be an established trading post for greater Chinese interest in Africa. Hope the Angolan people are getting well versed in Chinese because then nationals might like their new place. After all they help build it.
     
  5. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Peace dustyelbow, and thanks for the link re: the Marburg virus in Angola. The Wikinews article is dated April 9, 2005. The following article appeared in the People's Daily Online on July 30th:

    Angola Reconfirms Marburg Virus Control

    Angolan Deputy Minister of Health, Jose Van-Dunem, has confirmed the control of the hemorrhagic fever caused by the Marburg virus, that killed more than 350 people in northern Uje province. Speaking to local media, the government official spoke of the need for more physicians and health infrastructures in Uje province.

    Jose Van-Dunem praised the effort made by the teams involved in the fight against the Marburg virus, including the National Commission of Fight Against Disasters and Emergencies, the international community, among other public and private entities, above all, for holding the disease within Uje limits, avoiding its spread into other provinces.

    According to statistics from the United Nations Children's Education Fund (UNICEF), 700 people lost their parents or relatives, 105 of which being below five years of age.

    The epidemic outbreak is considered as eradicated after 21 weeks without any new case.

    Source: Xinhua

    http://english.people.com.cn/200507/30/eng20050730_199244.html
     
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