The Angolan economy generated from 2009 to 2015 just over 1.5 million jobs as revealed by a report presented last Wednesday at the monthly debate of the National Assembly (Parliament), which focused on the theme “Economic Growth Indicators and Distribution of the National Wealth in Angola” presented by the ruling MPLA MP Mateus Isabel Júnior.
The report states that about 1.3 million jobs were generated by the public and private entrepreneurial sector, while 183,855 were created by the Public Administration services.
During the presentation of the report – whose theme was suggested by the largest opposition party, UNITA – it was highlighted that between 2004 and 2008 Angola grew at an average annual rate of 17 per cent, thus becoming one of the fastest growing countries in that period.
According to the document, in 2008 the world economic and financial crisis broke out and had an impact on the Angolan economy, which from 2009 up to 2015 presented an average annual growth rate of 4.2 per cent.
The decrease of the growth rate as from the year 2014 was caused by the sudden steep fall of crude-oil price in the international market – Angola’s main exportable commodity – thus dragging the country into an economic crisis.
The report underlines that despite the reduction of the weight of crude-oil on the structure of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), from 58% in 2008 to 35% in 2015, oil is still Angola’s main exportation product and main source of state revenue.
To the opposition MPs, Angola should have taken better advantage of the “economic boom” recorded in that period, by investing more in agriculture, health and education of quality.
Adalberto da Costa Júnior, parliamentary whip of the opposition UNITA party, said that with the resources collected during the “economic boom” the country had to make substantial reference investments. “I think we could’ve achieved much more than we did”, he stressed.
On his turn, Manuel Fernandes, CASA-CE MP, wih the growth observed between 2004 and 2013, the goverment should have increased the country’s national production of goods and services outside the oil sector, such as in agriculture, industry, fisheries and tourism, with the subsequent creation of jobs and consequently improve the living standard of Angolan families.
Responding to the concerns presented by the referred opposition parties, Sérgio Santos, a ruling MPLA MP, said that the figures presented by a survey conducted by the National Statistics Institute (INE) show that over 16 million Angolans live above the poverty line, which demonstrates the progresses being recorded in the past fourteen years.
He recognised that Angola still has a lot of people living in poverty, but it has also an emerging middle class and a class of rich people that did not exist before, further adding that this means that there was really distribution of the country’s wealth in the last fourteen years.
“It was not as rapid or comprehensive distribution as we intended, it is true”, stressed the MPLA MP.
The session was attended by 160 MPs out of the total 220 seats of the National Assembly.