The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved the Bank’s Angola Country Strategy Paper (CSP) to guide its interventions in the country in the next five years, focusing on Inclusive growth through agricultural transformation and supporting sustainable infrastructure development.
The 2017-2021 strategy aims to tackle the challenges facing the country by accelerating economic diversification and enhancing structural transformation to achieve broad-based economic growth and poverty reduction.
Angola is grappling with many challenges notably, the deteriorating macroeconomic environment due to protracted lower oil prices, inadequate infrastructure, weak institutional capacity and governance, social and environmental fragility and weak business environment.
The strategy’s first pillar involves interventions in agro poles and agro industries aligned to the Bank’s High 5s priorities to Feed Africa and Industrialize Africa that would help transform the economy. Pillar II will focus on power transmission lines, renewable energy projects, transport infrastructure all of which will contribute to the achievement of the light-up and power Africa, Industrialize Africa and Integrate Africa priorities.
It is aligned to Angola’s Long-Term Vision “Angola 2025” which seeks to accelerate economic diversification and structural transformation towards inclusive growth as well as with the Bank’s High Fives priorities and its Long Term Strategy 2013-2022.
The strategy also places greater emphasis on gender mainstreaming through women’s empowerment in agricultural cooperatives; climate change and green growth agenda through investments in renewable energy projects; and co-financing mechanisms with key development partners to leverage resources.
CSP 2017-2021 follows the completion of CSP 2011-2015, in which the Bank has positioned itself as a partner of choice of the Government of Angola, notwithstanding the challenging operational environment. The opening of the Country Office in 2011, and the increased policy dialogue thereafter, enabled the Bank in Angola to increase the portfolio from 5 projects in 2011 (amounting to US$ 74 million) to 14 projects by 2016 (amounting to US$ 1.7 billion).
The CSP makes the case for continued investments in large projects that are aligned with the country’s economic transformation agenda in order to reduce the transaction costs, ensure sustainability and greater impact.
It argues that successful implementation of the strategy will be critical to addressing the prevailing institutional challenges, notably, limited financial headroom to support the country’s development agenda, political and macroeconomic management, and weak institutional capacity for project implementation and fiduciary risks.
In approving the document, Board members underscored the need for the Bank to push for greater transparency in the country’s economic and financial governance, enhance greater support to private sector development to accelerate the economic diversification agenda, strengthen institutional capacity for skills development through technical assistance, and improve portfolio implementation performance. The government would do well to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), to help improve the management of its oil and mineral resources, Board members said.