Angolan government and World Bank (WB) have signed in Luanda an agreement to financing Economic Diversification Project and Job Creation estimated at $400 million.
The agreement was signed by Angolan Minister of Finance Vera Daves de Sousa and the WB regional director for Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and São Tomé.
The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Economy and Planning Mário Caetano João, Minister of Transport Ricardo D’Abreu and the WB vice-president for Africa, Victoria Kwakwa.
According to the vice president for Eastern and Southern Africa of WB for Africa, Victoria Kwakwa, the project is expected to benefit 12,000 companies to improve the business environment.
“The project will allow private investment of $400 million in non-oil sectors to generate direct and indirect jobs. This is a result of strong partnership between the government of Angola and the World Bank,” she said.
Victoria Kwakwa explains that to enable economic diversification, led by the private sector, the project will support the government’s efforts to improve the regulatory and institutional environment for commerce, business entry and operations and financial services.
According to her, the objective is to attract public and private investments in productive infrastructures in the Lobito corridor, through public-private partnerships and investments of $100 million in last mile infrastructure.
The World Bank vice-president for Africa recognised that Angola has a huge potential to become an agro-industrial power and to develop other sectors such as technological services, which can create jobs in urban centres.
In her speech, the WB official quoted data from the Survey of Companies (REMPE – Census of Companies and Establishments), showing that more than 80% of the companies in Angola are micro-companies, with less than five workers, 60% are in commerce, half of which are in Luanda.
She added that the changing of this scenario “will not happen unless with a strong private sector”.
The Minister of Finance, Vera Daves, pointed out that the government and the WB share the same vision on the main challenges that must be addressed urgently, for a more egalitarian and sustainable development of the country.
She explained that the option of betting on the private sector results from a vision of the Angolan government on the role that it should play, with a view to promoting economic growth and improving social indicators.
The project will also support business capacity building and technology adoption, as well as facilitate commercial loan to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through credit guarantees.