Angola and Mozambique at the top of world growth rankings for last decade

14 November 2011

Washington, United States, 14 Nov – Angola and Mozambique are amongst the biggest growing economies over the last decade but, whilst the Angolan economy has grown because of oil, the Mozambican economy has experienced more diverse growth, according to Foreign Policy magazine.

Cross referencing information from the World Bank and the US State Department, the magazine ranked Angola in fourth place amongst the group of economies that managed to double their size over the last decade.

Led by Equatorial Guinea, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, this group includes economies that are, “highly dependent on the extractive industries,” according to the US magazine.

In Angola’s case, oil production has risen continually since the end of the civil war in 2002 and revenues have also expanded due to record oil prices in the middle of the decade.

This year oil production is expected to total 1.65 million barrels per day and according to the latest projections from the Economist Intelligence Unit production will grow continuously over the next few years, from 1.88 million barrels per day in 2012 to 2.147 million in 2016.

Revenues from oil sales have made it possible for the country to become a huge work site for the reconstruction of roads, railways, houses, ports, airports and even stadiums, such as those for the recent Africa Cup of Nations.

According to Foreign Policy’s analysis, eight of the economies that doubled their size are from sub-Saharan Africa, a region that is, “traditionally disparaged as being economically stagnant.”

The continent’s GDP is now 66 percent higher than it was in 2000 and the population has increased by 28 percent, which means that even taking into account demographic inflation, average income in the region is a third higher than it was ten years ago.

Angola managed to reach two digit economic growth in practically half the decade, with a record in 2007 (22.7 percent according to World Bank figures).

Mozambique only managed to achieve two-digit growth in 2011 (11.9 percent), but has maintained a constant rate of growth of between 6 and 9 percent.

Whilst Angola was under the threat of recession after the economic and financial crisis of 2008, which led to oil prices falling sharply on the international market, Mozambique has shown greater stability.

“There is no single explanation for the economic dynamism of the group of economies that have doubled their size,” said Foreign Policy.

Whilst Angola is one of those that has benefitted from increased production and prices of minerals, China, India, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Armenia, Byelorussia, Uganda, Vietnam and Mozambique have followed a different path.

“None of these economies has considerable dependence on mineral wealth and whilst some have previously been involve in civil wars the conflicts ended at least five years before the millennium,” the magazine said.

In Mozambique’s case, growth has been bolstered by large industrial projects such as the Mozal aluminium foundry on the outskirts of Maputo.

But services, particularly tourism and construction, have also allowed the country to have a diversified growth base.

More recently large mining projects have appeared across the country for coal and gold, the first of which recently started exporting its production – the Moatize mine owned by Brazilian company Vale. (macauhub)