Angola: AfDB approves $165m for economic diversification

Peace Kanu, Abuja

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The African Development Bank Group, AfDB has approved a $165 million loan to finance part of Angola’s three-year economic diversification support program intended to restore the country’s macroeconomic stability.

The AfDB Director at the Governance and Public Financial Management Department, Abdoulaye Coulibaly said the loan would contribute significantly to the government’s stabilization plan and provide a conducive private sector environment.

“For the past two years we have felt that the authorities are quite committed to make changes. Many concrete measures have been taken… We expect that the program will ultimately impact positively on macroeconomic stability, economic diversification and poverty reduction,”

“The country was on track to meet its benchmarks for 2019. The reforms are expected also to improve state-owned enterprises (SOEs) transparency and increase the availability of SOE financial and performance data which will in turn improve corporate governance and enhance the performance of SOEs, reducing the need for subsidies,” he added.

The Angolan government is implementing reforms to diversify its oil-dependent economy and has adopted measures to improve human and social development.

The program aims to prioritize and promote the production and export of non-oil products and to start to substitute imports through diversification.

It forms part of the country’s 2018-2022 national development plan.

There are three main components in the plan; advancing fiscal consolidation through improved public financial management and tax reforms; accelerated implementation of the diversification program; and improving governance in natural resource management and state-owned enterprise reform.

In approving the loan, the AfDB called for the monitoring of Angola’s high public debt levels, estimated at about 90% of GDP, and projected to ease to around 60% by the end of the program period.

The AfDB board members praised renewed efforts by the Angolan government to curb public sector corruption and step up good governance which had deteriorated.

Peace PIAK