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Economy of Angola

The Economy of Angola is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with reported annual average GDP growth of 11.1 percent for the period from 2001 to 2010. It is still recovering from the Angolan Civil War that plagued the country from independence in 1975 until 2002. Despite extensive oil and gas resources, diamonds, hydroelectric potential, and rich agricultural land, Angola remains poor, and a third of the population relies on subsistence agriculture. Since 2002, when the 27-year civil war ended, the nation has worked to repair and improve ravaged infrastructure and weakened political and social institutions. High international oil prices and rising oil production have contributed to the very strong economic growth since 1998, but corruption and public-sector mismanagement remain, particularly in the oil sector, which accounts for over 50 percent of GDP, over 90 percent of export revenue, and over 80 percent of government revenue.

Despite its abundant natural resources, output per capita is among the world's lowest. Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for 85% of the population. Oil production and the supporting activities are vital to the economy, contributing about 45% to GDP and 90% of exports. Growth is almost entirely driven by rising oil production which surpassed 1.4 million barrels per day (220103 m3/d) in late-2005 and which is expected to grow to 2 million barrels per day (320103 m3/d) by 2007. Control of the oil industry is consolidated in Sonangol Group, a conglomerate which is owned by the Angolan government. With revenues booming from oil exports, the government has started to implement ambitious development programs in building roads and other basic infrastructure for the nation.

In the last decade of the colonial period, Angola was a major African food exporter but now imports almost all its food. Because of severe wartime conditions, including extensive planting of landmines throughout the countryside, agricultural activities have been brought to a near standstill. Some efforts to recover have gone forward, however, notably in fisheries. Coffee production, though a fraction of its pre-1975 level, is sufficient for domestic needs and some exports. In sharp contrast to a bleak picture of devastation and bare subsistence is expanding oil production, now almost half of GDP and 90% of exports, at 800 thousand barrels per day (130103 m3/d). Diamonds provided much of the revenue for Jonas Savimbi's UNITA rebellion through illicit trade. Other rich resources await development: gold, forest products, fisheries, iron ore, coffee, and fruits.

Sectors

Petroleum

Angola produces and exports more petroleum than any other nation in sub-Saharan Africa, surpassingNigeria in the 2000s. Oil sales generated USD 1.71 billion in tax revenue in 2004 and now makes up 80% of the government's budget, a 5% increase from 2003, and 45% of GDP.

Diamonds

Angola is the third largest producer of diamonds in Africa and has only explored 40% of the diamond-rich territory within the country.

Iron

Under Portuguese rule, Angola began mining iron in 1957, producing 1.2 million tons in 1967 and 6.2 million tons by 1971.



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