Angola spends too much foreign currency on imports of food products

23 May 2019

The National Bank of Angola provided US$583 million in the first quarter to import food and US$198.1 million to import goods and services, said director Pedro Castro e Silva on Wednesday in Luanda.

The director said that those amounts spent in just three months made up a significant weight of net international reserves, particularly given the current declining trend, according to the Angop news agency.

Pedro Castro e Silva, speaking at a conference organised by the central bank on “The sustainability of international reserves,” said that the use of foreign currency could be reduced if the country focused on domestic production and diversification of the economy.

The weight of agriculture in Angola’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is 6.2%, which is very low compared to other African countries, such as South Africa with 16%, Nigeria with 21% and Mozambique with 22%.

The director gave Mozambique as an example noting that in 2015 Angola imported food goods worth US$3 billion while Mozambique’s bill was only US$200,000 that year.

Angola’s gross foreign reserves are estimated at US$16 billion, while net reserves are around US$ 10 billion, most of which are denominated in United States Treasury securities and current and deposit accounts. (Macauhub)