Crisis, What Crisis in Angola?

As Angola’s economic crisis deepens, the country’s president has given priority to the construction of a war memorial at an estimated cost of US $72 million, and a further US $73 million going to a phantom category of “non-specific religious affairs and services”.  These projects fall under the Office of Special Works of the Presidency of the Republic. Both expenditures are part of the revised 2015 budget, passed by the National Assembly on March 20, which was slashed by 25 percent (over US $17 billion) – including cuts in the salaries of civil servants. Despite the reduction of the budget due to the fall in oil prices, the president’s  set of priorities are baffling. Oil accounts for approximately 95 percent of Angola’s total exports, and its economy is mono-dependent on this commodity. For instance, the largest state-funded religious project, the construction of the Sanctuary of Muxima for the Catholic Church, […]

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Water for Chevron and a Lesson for the Government

A U.S oil multinational, Chevron, recently kick-started a new venture in Luanda’s most affluent residential area, Talatona:  a water well for the consumption of its employees. The first well for the rich, privileged and expats, in a luxury gated community, is about to pump water to the 100 houses of Condomínio Monte Belo (Beautiful Heights), where most of Chevron’s expat employees live.  Since the August 31 elections, the Angolan capital, Luanda, a sprawling urban chaos with more than five million people, has been plagued by severe water and electricity shortages. Monte Belo is one of the extravagantly expensive gated communities that have mushroomed south of Luanda and it is worth over US $250 million. Chevron commissioned the real estate project to the Brazilian construction multinational Odebrecht, in a joint-venture with a local private company Sakus Empreendimentos e Participações, set up by Sonangol oil executives. Sakus is currently fronted by Mirco […]

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