Luanda will be a megacity by 2030

Luandacity

Luanda will be a mega city in the year 2030, has anticipated by the United Nations. Currently, 28 urban areas have more than 10 million residents. But 13 more will be added to that list in the next 15 years, including Angola’s capital.

Luanda will duplicate the number of its inhabitants and should reach 10,4 million in 2030 according to the UN, putting the capital on top of the list with fastest growth among the mega cities of the world.

This circumstance will put new challenges ahead in terms of the urban development of the city and, for the first time, Angola will have by that time more people living in the cities than in the rural areas.

Luanda, Lagos and Kinshasa are amongst the large cities with fastest growth together with four urban areas in China, two in India and one in the Middle East. Only Tokyo and Osaka, in Japan, are expected to invert the demographic tendency, due to population ageing and the diminishing of the birth rate.

For infographics, click here.

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Two new gold mines will help diversify Angola’s economy

Francisco_Queiroz_Ministro

According to news agency Bloomberg, Angola will see production from two gold mines being developed in the North of the country, starting 2017and helping diversify its economy. Quoting the Minister of Geology and Mines, Francisco Queiroz (photo), Bloomberg  reveals that about $600 million have been invested in exploration for the metal at Mpopo in the southern Huila province.

Following a statement made during an interviewby Minister Queiroz, the article also mentions that “Development is also taking place at Chipindo in the northern exclave of Cabinda and both projects are public-private partnerships”

“Given the uncertainty regarding financial resources, diversifying our economy is a must,” declared the Minister, adding that. “Investing in our mining industry will help us cope with such uncertainties.”(…) “We are starting up a licensing process so that miners can do it legally, according the mining code.”

Exploration for copper at the Mavoio project in the northern Uige province will start soon, and the country wants to make investments in bauxite, used to extract aluminum, in Guinea Bissau and in neighboring Namibia’s iron industry through state-owned Ferrangol EP..

Angolan operator Unitel joins Wikipedia Zero project to provide free information

Wikipedia_Zero

Angolan telecommunications company Unitel has agreed on a partnership with Wikimedia Foundation to be part of Wikipedia Zero project. According to Wikimedia Foundation: “This project aims to gather telecommunications operators to provide “zero-rates” access to Wikimedia sites in their billing system, so their subscribers will not incur data charges while accessing Wikipedia and the sister projects on the mobile web or apps.

As Wikimedia recognizes the user is on that operator’s network and serves a banner on the top of the page indicating free data courtesy of their mobile operator. When the user leaves the Wikimedia sites, they see a warning message and are asked to confirm, so there is no confusion or risk of surprise charges”.

The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual, educational content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge.

Now, all Unitel clients will have free access to this service and with no limits whatsoever, using either 2G or 3G mobile devices. According to Unitel press release, this initiative will allow an easier access to information, promote economic growth and wider knowledge gathering.

Huawei has 42% of Angola’s mobile phone market

Huawei-Ascend-P7-Farben

According to the director of Huawei Angola, James Yang, the Chinese telecommunications group has achieved a 42% share of the mobile phone market in Angola. This information was given to the press during the presentation in Luanda of the new Huawei Ascend P7 smartphone.

After declaring that Huawei is now the world’s third largest mobile phone manufacturer, James Yang revealed that the brand has sold in Angola mobile devices worth a total of $1.2 billion dollars, during the eight years it has been present in the Angolan market.

“Our sales are an evidence of the recognition of our brand, which is increasingly expanding in important regions such as China, Western Europe and Africa,” James Yang declared.

Ascend P7 units will cost 70,000 kwanzas (US$687) in Angola.

Bilateral trade between Angola and China totalled $36 billion

refinaria

Bilateral trade between Angola and China totalled nearly $36 billion last year, according to the Chinese customs services, revealed news agency France Press.

The newswire from AFP, quoted by several international media,also mentions that “Sonangol will benefit from a new $2 billion line of credit from the Chinese Development Bank to finance new projects” as revealed yesterday by a press relase issued by the Angolan oil company.

This investment is focused on the financing of Sonangol’s plans for expansion in oil and gas, and among the first projects is a new refinery in Lobito, southern Angola, due to begin next year.

“During a state visit to Angola by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in May”, as AFP remebers, “the Chinese PM and President Jose Eduardo dos Santos pledged to diversify their cooperation, currently concentrated in the construction sector”.

Angola’s strategy on diamonds receives international recognition

diamonds

Both the delegations from the European Union and the United States in the United Nations declared their support to the Angolan directives regarding the Kimberley Process under Angola’s presidency, scheduled to being next January 1st.

The country will commit itself with the credibility of the system, leading the transformation of “conflict diamonds” to “peace diamonds”, development and prosperity, respecting the principles of sustainability and Human rights.

Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, issued a statement declaring: that the European Union “Welcomes Angola’s vision as Chair for 2015 to further strengthen the Kimberley Process, by ensuring the trade in rough diamonds is used for the benefit of all people. We welcome and support the commitments Angola has made for its chairmanship, including commitments to strengthen  dialogue with civil society and to promote respect for human rights. We look forward to working closely with Angola to bring renewed impetus and strength to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.

This support from the EU and the USA comes at the same time that the reputed Economist Business Unit reported that Angola’s “Value added activities in the diamond sector can have a positive impact on employment and economic diversification,” said the EIU in one of the most recent reports on Angola.

An article published today by MacauHub also says that “The ongoing recovery of the diamond industry in Angola and plans to strengthen its effect on the economy should help offset the decline in oil prices, which are the country’s main source of revenue”.

Figures from Angola’s Finance Ministry published by MacauHub show that “Revenues from diamonds, including taxes and royalties, reached US$6.5 billion between January and September, in line with last year’s total, and with a whole quarter to go before the end of the year”.

This positive recovery of the diamond industry in Angola are linked with the contribution given  by projects such as the ones in Catoca, Cuango and Chitotolo, among others. Angola also recently resumed diamond cutting and polishing at a unit in Luanda and is planning to build a second unit in Lobito, Benguela province.

Angola’s Sovereign Fund invests $500 Million in hotels

fundo

The Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA) released its third quarter investment update for 2014, which covers the period the 1st of July to the 30th of September 2014.” According to the FSDEA’s balance sheet, the net value of the Fund stood at USD $4.95 billion” says Forbes contributor Mfonobong Nsehe.

Forbes says that “The FSDEA has allocated USD $500 million equity capital to a Hotel Fund for Africa, which aims to fulfil the significant undersupply of international standard hotel management capacity in the continent. This vehicle will be in a position to take up debt up to 50 per cent, potentially doubling its total investment capability”.

FSDEA is also “investing USD $1.1 billion in a dedicated Infrastructure Fund that will focus on equity investments in energy, transport and large industrial developments domestically and across the sub-Saharan African regi” the artcile adds.

Mfonobong Nsehe had a conversation today with José Filomeno dos Santos, Chairman of the Board of Directors of FSDEA. wich may be read here. 

World Health Organization donates material to monitor polio virus in Angola

polio

The World Health Organization (WHO) donated to the Ministry of Health laboratory assets and materials for the environmental monitoring of the polio virus. This donation is estimated at $80.000 and the laboratory assets and materials are aimed at strengthening the capacity of the National Institute of Public Health and support environmental monitoring of pathogens, particularly the Wild Polio Virus (VSP), according to news agency Angop.

As reported, the method of collecting environmental samples was introduced in Luanda in July 2014, making Angola in the third country in the WHO African Region to establish environmental polio surveillance together with Nigeria and Kenya.

The environmental polio surveillance provides additional information on the quality of surveillance of Acute flaccid Paralysis (AFP) and it is a very sensitive method to detect the silent transmission of the polio virus, against the risk of any import. In 2012, UNICEF reported that after a concerted effort to stop polio transmission the number of polio cases dropped from 33 in 2010 to five in 2011 and no cases registered in 2012. Laboratory results have confirmed that the last case of wild poliovirus was a 14-month-old child from Uige Province in the country’s Northwest in July 2011.

“In recent years, Angola has made significant progress in the fight against polio by working with partners to improve disease surveillance, strengthen the quality and coverage of mass polio vaccination campaigns, expand and improve routine immunization services as well as expand access at a household level to safe water, sanitation and hygiene” UNICEF responsibles declared.

(Source: Angop and UNICEF)

Angola more competitive with lower corporate tax

pwc

PricewaterhouseCoopers managing director, Pedro Calixto, considers that a drop in the Corporate Tax rate from 35 percent to 30 percent is “a comparative advantage for Angola, a country whose Government has tried to encourage diversification of the Economy”.

The statement was made by Pedro Calixto during a meeting on taxes promoted by the Association of Contractors of the Angolan Oil Industry (AECIPA). According to PwC’s director, “This lower rate will make Angola more competitive, given that decreases in tax load attracts investors”.

According to the press, Pedro Calixto also mentioned that “When taxes are well defined and implemented this boosts other sectors of economic activity in a country like Angola, which wants to assert itself in Africa in particular and in the world in general”.

Noting that legislation on Corporate Tax dated from the 1970s, Calixto said Corporate Tax reform in Angola is clarifying and enhancing Angolan legislation in line with international best practices.

Angola’s stock exchange opens this December

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Trading of securities on the Angolan Stock and Debt Exchange ((Bolsa da Dívida e Valores de Angola/BODIVA) is scheduled to begin this December, according to one of its Board members, Pedro Pitta Groz.

This announcement confirms the statement made last July by António Furtado, Chairman of the Angolan Stock and Debt Exchange. Speaking at a meeting with financial market operators, the Chairman declared that BODIVA would start operating with the trade of treasury bonds.

The first emissions after the opening of BODIVA will help the Angolan government to finance its projects with more attractive interest rates. According to official sources, the operations will be assured by a team composed by 20 technicians and directors, 19 of them with Angolan nationality.

In the near future, Angola’s stock exchange will be a meeting point between investors and companies, as Chairman António Furtado announced. “We have to find a balance between investors and the issuing bodies, as having diverse methods of funding is of crucial importance for the country’s economic growth,” he declared at the time, during the session promoted by the Capital Markets Commission (CMC).