Oil rich, dirt poor

Angola’s poor await the trickle down from the country's vast oil revenues

Angola continues to have one of the fastest growing economies on the planet.

After four decades of conflict, Angola was a basket case. 1.5m were killed and more than 4m forced to flee their homes. A whole generation missed their education. Infrastructure, political institutions and social services had to be rebuilt, often from scratch.

The pace of development since peace returned has been staggering. Roads, ports, railways, hotels, shopping centres, hospitals, universities—even whole new towns—are rising up out of the bush. The capital, Luanda, has changed out of all recognition.
None of this would be possible without Angola’s vast oil reserves, estimated at 13 billion barrels. Today, the country pumps 1.9m barrels a day, making Angola sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest producer after Nigeria – it is poised to be number one. Oil accounts for more than half of the country’s GDP, 80% of the government’s revenues and 90% of export earnings. Angola has overtaken Saudi Arabia and Iran to become China’s biggest supplier of oil.

All this though has yet to improve ordinary Angolan lives very much.

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