Monday, December 07, 2009

60 percent of Angolans in poverty

A speech made yesterday by Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos claimed that 60 percent of the countries population lives in poverty. President dos Santos blames a long civil war and a history of colonialism for the Angola's woes.

From Reuters we read a quote from President dos Santos and some goals he hopes will help the country climb out of poverty.

The government's top priority is to end widespread poverty, he said, blaming part of Angola's condition on its colonial past and a civil war that erupted immediately after independence from Portugal in 1975 and which only ended in 2002.

Since then, the ruling MPLA has been rebuilding Angola on the back of record oil exports and multi-billion dollar loans from China. But Angola still ranks as one of the world's 18 most graft-ridden nations, according to Transparency International.

Poverty has remained roughly the same since the end of the 27-year civil war, when the World Bank said almost two-thirds of Angolans lived on less than $2 a day.

Dos Santos is banking on a $1.4 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund -- designed to bolster Angola's foreign exchange reserves and social spending -- and rising oil prices and exports to improve the lives of ordinary Angolans.

Angola rivals Nigeria as Africa's biggest oil producer. The government is expected to spend almost a third of its $36 billion 2010 budget on health, education and housing. It also plans to build one million new homes for the poor in five years.

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