The Cash-Strapped Kleptocracy Seeks an IMF Bailout

Angolan Finance Ministry officials seem to have learned nothing from the past.  With low oil prices dragging the economy into crisis, the Ministry has had to turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout.  But Angolan officials are so desperate to conceal the extent of their troubles, that their official statement pretends this is a ‘normal’ IMF intervention, not at all like the rescue that Portugal needed just a few years ago. In fact, it’s exactly the same type of financial aid programme that Portugal got in 2011, just as the IMF reported at the time. Portugal was given a three-year aid plan.  Angola too is now negotiating a three-year aid plan. According to Min Zhu, the IMF Deputy Managing Director: “We have received a formal request from the Angolan authorities to initiate discussions on an economic program that could be supported by financial assistance from the IMF.”  […]

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Low Oil Prices Undo Angola

The crash in the price of oil has hit Angola hard.  Hospitals across the country are low on resources, including medicines.  There are food shortages in the North, drought in the South.  From Cabinda to Namibe, empty shelves in the stores attest to the government’s lack of response. If people are facing such serious difficulties in their day-to-day lives (in the so-called ‘micro’ economy) matters are no better on the macroeconomic scale where double-digit inflation is taking its toll. According to the National Institute of Statistics, inflation in the capital Luanda was running at 1.4% between September and October 2015.  Additionally, in the first months of 2016, the Kwanza has been devalued by 26%. The reason for all this is the low price of oil.  According to the United Nations Development Program, Angola has the least diversified economy in the world after Iraq.  Any fall in the price of a barrel […]

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Dos Santos’ Son Shapes His Own Government

Speculation has been growing during the last few months on how José Filomeno dos Santos “Zenú”, one of the sons of Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos “Zedú”, is being positioned as his successor to the presidency. What is not common knowledge is how Zenú has already been participating in the current management of government affairs. A recent example was the appointment, on May 6, of Armando Manuel, then economic advisor to President Zedú and chairman of the Angola Sovereign Wealth Fund, to the post of Finance minister. Initially, Zenú suggested to his father that Armando Manuel be considered for the position of chairman of the board of directors of Sonangol, the national oil company. Sources at the presidency told Maka Angola that José Eduardo dos Santos declined the request. He pointed out to his son the lack of technical capacity and political ability of Armando Manuel to manage the […]

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