Angola’s economy grows, but what about the poor? | Southern Africa

Although Angola’s economy grew by 5.1 percent in 2013, making the Southern African country one of the world’s fastest growing economies, ordinary Angolans have seen little change in their standard of living.

As major public infrastructure investments in energy and transport kick in, Angloa’s growth is projected to reach 7.9% in 2014 and 8.8% in 2015. Yet, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reports that around 36% of Angolans live below the poverty line and one in every four people is unemployed.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Angola is a “post conflict country that produces a lot of oil and faces the challenges of both.”

Despite being the fifth largest economy in Africa, ordinary Angolans have seen little change in their standard of living. Only 37.8% of country’s 21 million people have access to electricity. While about half of the population has access to safe drinking water, this number falls to 34% in rural areas, says the World Bank. There are few jobs for the unemployed, mostly under 25 years, who make up 60% of the population.

What should Angola do to change the current situation? Analysts say the solution is for Angola to diversify its economy, save and invest for the future — especially in skills and infrastructure development — and improve governance.

 

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