IMF approves $3.7bn credit for Angola

Sunday December 9 2018

Angolan President Joao Lourenco

Angolan President Joao Lourenco. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ARNALDO VIEIRA
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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved $3.7 billion credit to Angola, the agency said.

IMF, in a statement, said the three-year credit, under the Extended Fund Facility, was aimed at supporting Angola’s economic reform programme.

“The Executive Board’s Decision allows for an amount of about $990.7 million to be immediately made available to Angola,” reads the IMF statement.

“The remaining amount will be phased in over the duration of the programme, subject to semi-annual reviews.”

Fiscal sustainability

Angolan authorities were implementing a macroeconomic stabilisation programme, focussing on strengthening fiscal sustainability, reducing inflation, promoting a more flexible exchange rate regime and improving financial sector stability.

“Structural reforms under the programme will aim to diversify the economy to reduce fiscal risks and foster private sector development,” the IMF statement explained.

Projects envisaged include the restructuring of state enterprises, improving the business climate, strengthening economic governance and the fight against corruption.

Angolan President João Lourenço has since his ascendance to power in August last year, embarked on diversifying the oil-dependent economy and the fight against corruption.

The plunge

The second-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, was still recovering from the plunge in fuel prices in 2014 and the government sees diversification as the best way out.

Oil production continues to account for approximately 50 per cent of Angola’s GDP, 80 per cent of government revenue and 95 per cent of its exports.

According to the international lender, the supported programme would help Angola restore external and fiscal sustainability and lay the foundations for sustainable, private-sector-led economic diversification.

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