Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Angola in New York Times!

Interesting article in today's New York Times about Angola's oil riches. It does a good job of showing just how much money Angola has the potential to earn and how the government feels no need to disclose what it does with it.
“Angola has no interest in transparency and there is no source of external leverage on the government right now,” said Monica Enfield, an analyst at PFC Energy, a consulting firm in Washington. “With all their oil revenue, they don’t need the I.M.F. or the World Bank. They can play the Chinese off the Americans.”

True to form, the Angolan government cancelled all talks with the IMF, claiming that they didn't need the IMF for economic stability.

Overall I thought the article did an okay job of touching on the major parts of the oil debate in Angola. Perhaps it is just my bias, but I thought they should have touched more on the development situation in the country. (Here is a UNDP fact sheet on Angola's poverty indicators. Table 2 is especially indicative.) When you look around a "rich" city like Lobito (where many of the oil companies have operations out of the port), you would never know that this country is earning billions of dollars in oil revenue. It's honestly quite depressing to see the poverty here, knowing that the government is earning so much money. We'll see how these Chinese infrastructure projects (building roads, railways) work out. Angola would be wise to invest in its people in order to avoid a situation like Nigeria.

(UPDATED to include permalink.)


Anonymous said...

For all NYT articles, there is a link on the right called "Share". Click on that and there is a sub-item called "Permalink". Click on that and you get a link that doesn't expire.

Leslie said...

Ah! Thanks for the tip! I had no idea.