Angola: World Bank warns Angola of need to diversify economy

19 August 2008

Luanda, Angola, 19 Aug – The World Bank has warned the Angolan government of the need to diversify the country’s economy, a condition required to maintain good levels of growth and reduce poverty, economist Ricardo Gazel, at the Angolan delegation of World Bank said Monday in Luanda.

Speaking to Portuguese news agency Lusa, Gazel said that a limit was being reached in the oil sector and that growth over the next few years would depend greatly on diversification within the economy.

This year Angola is expected to post economic growth of 20 percent, a similar level to 2007, but having practically reached the top end of the 2 million-barrel-per-day quota set by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), growth in 2009 is expected to fall to around 11 percent, according to the World Bank.

Spain’s Alberto Chueca, World Bank representative in Angola, said he saw “positive consequences” to this slowdown as it could drive, “more labour intensive sectors that will create more employment, improve income distribution and allow oil benefits to be distributed throughout the country.”

“We have to take some of the drama out of the issue of economic growth,” Chueca said, adding that “no economy can continue to double its GDP every three years.” (macauhub)