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The drop in international oil prices is behind the loss of some 60,000 jobs in the nation of Angola. The situation has unfolded over the past 12 months, with most of the losses hitting the civil engineering and oil sectors.
The chair of the Angolan Industrial Association, Jose Severino, contends that the country’s economy would rebound commensurate with oil prices. Despite the optimism, Severino also noted that the International Monetary Fund would provide aid to boost the country’s credit rating and improve financial conditions in Angola.
Angola’s rate of inflation could help it to export oil and other commodities. Be that as it may, Severino said that Angola still needs a supply of foreign currency for the purchase of the material and equipment needed by the industrial sector. Severino wants the government to enact tighter control over foreign currency reserves and to take action to channel more foreign currency into industry.
The nation’s net foreign exchange reserves dropped to $24.408 billion in May from $24.774 billion in April. The drop in oil prices has been a factor in the decrease of dollar inflows to the country, which has led to a shortage of foreign currency.
Last week, Isabel dos Santos, the CEO of Angola’s state-run Sonangol oil company, and the daughter of the president, announced plans to bring the company out of the oil crisis. Dos Santos said that she plans to split the company into three parts to organize operations, logistics and concessions to international oil companies. She has also said that she will consider building a refinery in Angola to cut production costs and reduce the need to import diesel and gasoline.
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Dos Santos hoped that the moves would prevent the need for layoffs. She became the CEO following a decree by her father, prompting allegations of nepotism from some quarters.
Angola produces some 1.6 million barrels per day of oil, now producing more than Nigeria, the number one producer in Africa until disruptions from militant attacks forced output offline. A member of OPEC, Angola is dependent on oil for 95 percent of its export revenues and is facing an urgent cash flow problem that requires external aid. Last month, Moody’s downgraded Angola’s credit rating to B1.
By Lincoln Brown for Oilprice.com
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Lincoln Brown is the former News and Program Director for KVEL radio in Vernal, Utah. He hosted “The Lincoln Brown Show” and was penned a…