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Promoting Sustained, Inclusive Growth and Reducing Oil Dependency

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Via IMF (Den Internationale Valutafond)

Luanda Bay in the capital of Angola. The country has been badly affected by volatile oil prices (photo: Ademar Rangal)

Luanda Bay in the capital of Angola. The country has been badly affected by volatile oil prices (photo: Ademar Rangal)





Angola: Promoting Sustained, Inclusive Growth and Reducing Oil Dependency







December 19, 2019
















The IMF has approved the second review of its largest program in
sub-Saharan Africa. It has given the green light to continued financial
support to Angola under the Extended Fund Facility. This will mean about $1.5 billion disbursed, of a planned total of $3.7 billion.

In an interview with IMF Country Focus, the IMF’s mission chief for Angola,
Mario de Zamaróczy, explains what the government hopes to achieve with the
program.

What are the major characteristics of the program?

The program aims at stabilizing the Angolan economy, which has been
adversely affected by volatile oil prices and severe macroeconomic
imbalances. It helps prepare the oil-rich, southwest African country for
sustained and inclusive growth. Under the program, Angola has started
reducing its excessive dependency on oil and has begun diversifying its
economy. Steps to achieve this include addressing fiscal imbalances, and in
particular, increasing the revenue from non-oil sources, as well as
liberalizing the exchange rate regime, and managing debt carefully.

The program was approved a year ago. What progress has Angola made
so far?

The program builds closely on the government’s own Development Plan for
2018–22. We are particularly pleased that the government has thrown its full weight behind the program, which involves making savings early on to
reach an overall budget surplus, and so reduce the need for additional
debt. An important milestone was reached earlier this year, with the
introduction of a value-added tax on October 1. Monetary policy has been
tightened to support exchange rate liberalization. A host of legislative
and structural measures have also been implemented to
promote private investment and improve infrastructure.

Fast Facts

  • Real GDP growth (2019 projected): -1.1%
  • Inflation rate (2019 projected): -17.2%
  • Population: 30 million
  • Date of IMF membership: September 19, 1989

The government has been emphasizing the fight against corruption.
Could you elaborate?

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As soon as the government won the elections in September 2017, it
emphasized that fighting corruption would be a cornerstone of its policies.
The government published an Anti-Corruption Plan and strengthened the
various bodies in charge of fighting corruption. This fight has already
produced results, for instance, at the Sovereign Wealth Fund, where the government was able to regain control of a large part of the Fund’s
assets. Also, with IMF technical assistance, a new anti-money laundering
and financing of terrorism law is close to being promulgated. The judicial
system has already convicted several senior officials of embezzlement.

What are the challenges for Angola going forward?

Despite notable progress, there are major challenges ahead. The
stabilization of the economy needs to be pursued relentlessly. The government will need to
find ways to soften the impact of the transition on the most vulnerable.
Other challenges include reducing debt and creating a business-friendly
environment, which encourages private investment, one of the future engines
of growth.





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