New airport announced in northern Zaire province

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Preliminary studies are underway for the construction of a new airport in Mbanza Congo (photo), located in Angola’s northern Zaire province. This information was provided by Nataniel Domingos, the director of infrastructure of Angolan airport management company Enana.

No date for the beginning of construction works was given on the occasion, but it was revealed that the new airport will be located in the city of Nkiende II, 35 kilometres west of the city of Mbanza Congo and will be capable of receiving over 600 passengers at any given time. The apron will be able to receive two Boeing 737 and two other aircraft.

A new airport in this region will be very useful, since the current airport in the centre of the city of Mbanza Congo stopped receiving medium-sized commercial aircraft because of safety issues and is smaller than required by civil aviation rules.

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Angola has a new weekly newspaper

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The newstands in Angola already have for sale the first issue of weekly financial newspaper ‘Mercado’, published by Media Rumo company. The Angolan newspaper has a newsroom composed by 10 journalists led by Aylton Melo. In tabloid format, ‘Mercado’ has 48 pages and will be sold on newsstands and by subscription in all Angola, Portugal and remaining Portuguese-speaking countries.

“The ‘Mercado’ team of reporters wants to focus on news to support the dissemination of Angolan companies, financial markets, and the emerging industry that is a strategy to reduce imports” according to site MacauHub.

“In addition, ‘Mercado’ is intended to change the way readers see Angola in the world: newspaper and opinion articles want, based on world news, to make Angola the focus and to look at the world from an African point of view”.

The weekly will be in tabloid format, with 48 pages and will be sold on newsstands and by subscription in Angola, Portugal and remaining Portuguese-speaking countries.

“This is the first publication of Media Rumo, created by a private group of Angolan investors led by Domingos Vunge, formerly of Score Media and one of the businessmen who founded Angolan newspaper Expansão, with which, however, he no longer has links”, MacauHub adds.

Sustainable community model for water presented in Huambo province

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The Community Management Model for Water, named MoGeCa, was presented in central Huambo province. The goal is to to ensure the sustainability of water systems in rural and peri-urban areas, according to its coordinator, Elsa Ramos.

Mrs. Ramos declared that this model, funded by the European Union, is a serious and powerful tool in order to “overcome the serious problems experienced in the operation and maintenance of water supply systems in the province”.

The coordinator also pointed out that MoGeCa aims to emphasise the need to recover the cost in order to ensure the economic sustainability of water supply systems. This will also be achieved through the creation of social capital and local structures that “will allow the community to take part in the solution of the problem”.

The project will initially cover the provinces of Huambo, Cunene and Luanda, where the MOGECA was presented for the first time in February 2014.

MoGeCA promotes an approach involving local communities in the planning, construction and management of water points, as a basic strategy promoting local development. A Manual on Community Water Management and a set of cards to be used at training have been published and printed. The Manual has become the Angolan National Policy on sustainable water management. An audio recording of the presentation (in English) and a PowerPoint may be found here: http://www.dw.angonet.org/forumitem/1429. (Souce: AllAfrica and DW Website)

Financial Times highlights Angola’s strategy for economic growth

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In what is described has a “rare interview with a member of Angola’s government”, the newspaper ‘Financial Times’ spoke with Angola’s Economy Minister, Abraão Gourgel and highlights that the country is seeking to raise up to $10bn from foreign creditors as it attempts to push ahead with key infrastructure projects and will “continue to prioritise vital infrastructure spending, including building a $6bn refinery”.

“To raise funds”, the article explains, “Mr Gourgel said Angola was seeking to launch its debut Eurobond — which would be the first test of investors’ appetite towards frontier market African debt since crude prices began to slump last year. The Eurobond would raise between $1bn and $1.5bn”.

The newspaper also recalls that the World Bank is preparing a $500m loan for Angola adding that the Minister declared there will be bilateral credit lines  “extended with the likes of Brazil, Spain and China”. Luanda has also approached Goldman Sachs and another London-based investment firm for loans, FT points out.

“In total, the government aims to raise 1,654bn kwanza ($15.2bn) through domestic financing and a further 1,105bn kwanza via external financing. The currency has depreciated sharply this year and is trading at about Kw110 against the dollar.

Angola’s government has set an ambitious growth target for Angola of 6.6 per cent this year, while the International Monetary Fund forecast growth of 4.5 per cent, down from its prediction of 5.9 per cent in August”.

“Mr Gourgel said the crude slump was a wake-up call that would help Angola diversify from oil and develop its non-oil private sector, including agriculture, mining, fishing and manufacturing.

‘Now we have to increase the speed of implementation of the diversification — there is no way back’, the article quotes.  (Source: Financial Times. You may read the all article here).

Angola Business Week starts tomorrow in Luanda

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‘Angola Business Week’ starts tomorrow in Fortaleza de S. Miguel (St.Michael’s Fortress), Luanda. Angolan and foreign businesspeople are due to meet this week, from 23 to 25 April, for a business meeting co-promoted by the Welcome To Angola agency, together with national and international partners, according to the statement issued by the organisation.

This is the first edition of the event, called “International Networking Fair,” involving businesspeople from Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOP) and other trading partners with Angola.

The meeting also known as “Angola Business Week” will focus on the theme of “Diversification of the Economy”, and for three days businesspeople from the PALOP and other countries that trade with Angola “may get to know each other better, establish partnerships and listen to talks by Angolan government officials and representatives of the participating countries.”

Welcome To Angola is a dedicated agency for the promotion of culture, national tourism, leisure and business in all of Angola’s 18 provinces, having won the award for best service to the tourism sector in the 1st and 3rd edition of the International Tourism Exchange of Angola (Bitur). (Source: MacauHub and Welcome To Angola)

KPMG: Banking sector with challenging years ahead in Angola

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The multinational consultancy firm KPMG believes that in Angola’s banking sector “2015 and the subsequent years will be extremely challenging for the market and the Financial Institutions, which increasingly need to demonstrate that their business models are sustainable and resilient”.

This statement is included in an analysis made by Vitor Ribeirinho, a partner and Head of Audit of KPMG Portugal and also Head of Audit and Financial Services of KPMG Angola. According to this analyst: “The increase in the contribution of financial services to the global performance of financial intermediation, the reduction of foreign exchange operations and structural profitability of the banking system have resulted in a growing concern about how effective are pricing models”.

For further information, you may read the all article here, in KPMG’s blog about Africa.

International contractors gathered to build 60.000 houses in Angola

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Contractors from Angola, USA and Italy will gather with Canadians to build 60.000 high quality social houses in Angola. These houses – each one with at least 100m2 -will be built in ten provinces of Angola: Luanda, Bengo, Zaire, Malanje, Cuanza Sul, Lunda Sul, Moxico, Huambo, Huíla and Benguela, during the next 15 years.

The contract, valued in 5 billion dollars, was signed yesterday in Luanda and it’s the largest private contract of this kind ever signed in the country,

Angola’s National Agency for Private Investment (ANIP) is the official entity beyond this contract which is considered to be a major effort towards solving the need for social housing in the country.

14.000 Angolan workers and an additional 6.000 from other countries will be hired, through a recruitment process financed by Canadian investors.

The contract was approved by Presidential decree and the official document underlines its contribution for the wellbeing of the population, the increase of jobs and the boost of entrepreneurship.  The project will have public support, specifically through tax exemptions of several kinds. (Source: Agência Lusa)

Angola’s sovereign fund allocates another $1.4 billion to Africa projects

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Angola’s sovereign wealth fund announced the allocation of $1.4 billion to five new vehicles that will invest in sectors such as mining, timber, agriculture and healthcare within the country and elsewhere in Africa, Reuters reported. Vehicles focused on mining, timber and agriculture will each have $250 million to invest, while a healthcare fund will have $400 million and a fifth Mezzanine Investment fund “is being set up to provide financing to entrepreneurs who do not have access to traditional debt funding, with a further $250 million”.

According to the agency, FSDEA chief José Filomeno dos Santos (photo) declared that the investments aim is to ease Angola’s fiscal dependence on oil export revenues at a time of weak energy markets.

“Given the current difficult fiscal context, these investments are extremely opportune because they can support the economic development required to reduce state reliance on crude oil revenues,” Reuters quoted.

“The new vehicles follow the launch of two similar structures late last year, set up to back infrastructure and hotel projects across sub-Saharan Africa with $1.6 billion of the FSDEA’s money. This means the FSDEA has committed around 60 percent of the $5 billion it was endowed with by the Angolan government”. (Source: Reuters)

Angola wants to become a mining powerhouse

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To make it possible for Angola to become a mining powerhouse in Africa is the will of the Angolan authorities. The goal is to attract more private investment that will contribute to the diversification of the economy, this according to a statement made last Friday in Luanda by the Angolan Minister of Geology and Mining, Francisco Queiroz.

The Minister spoke during a debate on the impact of investment in the mining sector and the diversification of the Angolan Economy, organized by the US-Angola Chamber of Commerce (USACC). During the debate, the Minister demonstrated the example of  Mozambique: “Mozambique is currently on the route of development due to a national geological plan, which although it lacks the size and ambition of our own, has managed to attract very high investments for exploration of aluminium, gas, coal and other mineral resources,” he said, adding that the results achieved by Mozambique “Give us the certainty that in Angola we can make important discoveries of each of the 38 existing minerals in the country”.

The Executive Director of the US-Angola Chamber of Commerce, Pedro Godinho, said in turn that the event entitled “First Friday Club” held in a hotel, aimed to promote projects with the greatest potential to boost the diversification of the Angolan economy. The First Friday Club started in March 2012.

The US-AngolaChamber of Commerce (USACC), which has a 25-year history, is dedicated exclusively to promoting trade and investment by the United States in Angola while also promoting Angolan economic development. (Source: MacauHub/Angop)

EU will give €84 Million to agriculture in Angola

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The European Union will contribute with €84 million euros to the agricultural sector in Angola over the next five years, This support was announced in Luanda by the cooperation official from the EU Delegation in Angola, during the First National Conference on Nutrition, promoted by the Angolan government,

According to Fernando Trabada Crende, quoted on the news, the purpose of this European contribution is to “help combat malnutrition in Angola, the fifth leading cause of infant death in the country”.

Speaking about the topic “Cooperation on food and nutrition security between the government of Angola and the European Union,” Trabada Crende declared that “There is recognition of the Angolan authorities of the strong impact of malnutrition”.

The same official also said that the southern provinces and the central highlands of Angola would be the focus of special attention as would identifying the nutritional status of populations in intervention areas before implementing actions to combat malnutrition.

The National Indicative Programme (PIN), which outlines the strategy and priorities for cooperation between the government of Angola and EU aid, discusses the food and nutrition security as one of the partnership’s priority areas. Angola’s PIN is financed with EU funds and under the 11th European Development Fund, the total EU will be €210 million euros by 2020.