The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed Monday the fourth review of Angola’s economic programme supported by an extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF), the international lender said in a statement.
According to the IMF, the Board’s decision allows for an immediate disbursement of SDR 338.5 million (about $487.5 million), bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to SDR 2,143.2 m (about $3 billion).
Angola’s three-year extended arrangement was approved by the Executive Board on December 7, 2018, in the amount of SDR 2.673 billion (about $3.7 billion at the time of approval). It aims to restore external and fiscal sustainability, improve governance, and diversify the economy to promote sustainable, private sector-led economic growth.
At the time of the third review, the Executive Board also approved the authorities’ request for an augmentation of access of SDR 540 million (about $765 million at the time of approval) to support the authorities’ efforts to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 and sustain structural reform implementation.
Angola recorded its first two cases of the coronavirus on March 21, when two people who had returned from Portugal tested positive for the virus.
As at January 11, Angola had recorded 18, 254 coronavirus cases with 3,009 cases still active. It had also recorded 420 deaths and 14,825 recoveries.
Despite the challenges from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Angolan authorities have demonstrated a strong commitment to sound policies under the IMF-supported arrangement, the statement quoted Ms. Antoinette Sayeh, deputy managing director and acting chairperson as saying.
The authorities’ robust policy response has enabled Angola to weather large external shocks, most notably lower oil revenues, and mitigate their macroeconomic impact while protecting the most vulnerable.
“The authorities also need to maintain momentum in other structural reforms that support stronger diversified growth, enhance governance, and combat corruption,” Ms Sayeh added.
Earlier this month, Angola got $61.3 million loan from the Europe Bank to fight Covid-19 and a donation of $ 6.1 million for technical support after the institution donated biosecurity equipment and Covid-19 tests to the southern African country.
The European Union has also donated to Angola $16.37 million (€20 million) for supporting efforts to deal with the socio-economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Covid-19 has hurt Angola’s oil dependent economy and the government now sees diversification as the way out.
Oil production continues to account for approximately 50 percent of Angola’s GDP, 80 percent of government revenue and 95 percent of its exports.
Agriculture’s contribution to the GDP – including forestry and fisheries – stands at about 8 percent in Angola.
The non-oil sector in Angola is mainly dominated by agriculture, banking, communications, fisheries, state-owned retail stores and diamond production.
Last July, the African Development Bank (AfDB) committed $1.04 million towards two Covid-19 research projects in Angola, the institution confirmed.