Tuesday, January 31, 2012

'Banking' on Angola's Future

Angola's soaring economy has excited the interest of foreign investors since peace returned to the country some ten years ago. Nowhere is this more in evidence than in the booming banking sector.

Luanda, the capital, is now the third-largest financial centre in Sub-Saharan Africa, after Johannesburg and Lagos.  Hosting 20 commercial banks, compared to just six in 1999, Luanda currently has a further ten more banks awaiting operating licenses.  The total banking sector in Angola to date has over 700 branches, 11,000 employees and net assets $4.3 billion; remarkable growth considering the total rebuilding of the sector and country after the cessation of the war.

South Africa’s Standard Bank recently opened a branch in Luanda, becoming the first non-Portuguese foreign bank to offer full banking services in Angola. Meanwhile, the first private equity fund exclusively for Angolan investment has been launched and brokers are now moving in ahead of the opening of Luanda’s stock exchange – Bolsa de Valores e Derivativos de Angola (BVDA). 

The idea for the private equity fund came from the state-owned Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund). Promoting the fund in partnership with Norfund is Angola’s largest commercial bank, Banco Africano de Investimentos (BAI). The two have made a joint commitment of $15 million after the initial round of a financing agreement valued at $28 million. 

Bringing new direct foreign investment into the economy is also firmly on the agenda of Angolan banks. BAI has overseas branches in Cape Verde and Portugal and recently opened a representative office in Johannesburg, the first Angolan bank to do so.

Building on its South African ambitions, BAI announced in December that it would be managing a $255 million credit line from the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the African Development Bank.

The credit line, signed during Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos’s visit to South Africa, was the first of its kind between the two countries and will finance infrastructure and development projects. It mirrors a model used by Angola and the China Development Bank.

Another bank also spreading its wings is BPA. Despite opening only in 2006, BPA already has a branch in Portugal, dealings in Brazil and China, and plans to launch operations in the United States by 2013. (Sonangol Universo Magazine)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Some Good Trade!

Luanda — Angola is currently considered as the second largest trading partner of the United States of America (USA) in the sub-Saharan Africa and ranks as the US' 30th largest global supplier of imported goods in 2010 .  The largest US trading partner in the sub-saharan region is South Africa.

The information was released on Friday in the capital Luanda by the US deputy assistant Secretary of State for Southern Africa, Reuben Brigety at the end of a meeting with the State secretary of Foreign Affairs, Manuel Augusto.

US goods imports from Angola totaled $11.9 billion in 2010, a 27.9% increase from 2009.  The main import items from Angola to the USA is crude oil and diamonds.   Of the total crude oil that the US imports, 7% comes from Angola in these trade arrangements.

About the bilateral relations between the US and Angola, Reuben Brigety considered the relationship as very strong noting that Angola is one of the top strategic partners of the US in Africa after South Africa and Nigeria.  (Angop, US Dept of Trade)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Angola's Neighborly Game Reserve

Angola has joined forces with Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe to create the world’s largest nature reserve area, measuring a massive 287,000 sq km.

The Okavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area or KAZA TFCA, is made up of 36 national parks across the five countries, creating a reserve 15 times the size of Tanzania’s Serengeti. The idea is not only to protect the wildlife within the conservation area but also to boost tourism between the neighbouring countries. 
The KAZA TFCA is expected to span an area of approximately 287 132 km², almost the size of Italy (300 979 km²) and include no fewer than thirty six (36) formally proclaimed national parks, game reserves, forest reserves, game/wildlife management areas as well as intervening conservation and tourism concessions set aside for consumptive and non-consumptive uses of natural resources.


The biological resources of the KAZA TFCA will incorporate the largest contiguous elephant population on the African continent. The area is also endowed with an abundance and diversity of wildlife species that are of considerable economic and ecological value. The plant life is equally phenomenal with at least 3,000 species, some 100 of which are endemic to the sub-region, as well as more than 600 species of birds that are characteristic of the southern African savannahs, woodlands and wetlands. The KAZA TFCA also includes some of the world’s renowned natural features and tourist attractions, such as the Victoria Falls (one of the seven natural wonders of the earth and a World Heritage Site) and the Okavango Delta (the largest Ramsar Site in the world).

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ovimbundu Wisdom! No. 7

Here are some more Ovimbundu wisdom proverbs.  Enjoy!

Proverb 1: Mwela ke bamukwata na maboko ne.

Translation: Wind is never caught by hand.

Explanation:  You can never recall your words once they are out!


Proverb 2: Kuja kwa lubilo kulengela kwishipawila.

Translation:  To eat with speed causes one to spit out continuously.

Explanation:  It is not good to criticize a person until you know all the facts!