Just a handful of currencies made headway against the mighty dollar in 2021. Angola’s kwanza is one of them.
The currency of Africa’s third-biggest oil producer has strengthened 15% this year, buoyed by surging crude prices, a credit-rating upgrade, and a hawkish central bank. That puts it on track for its best annual performance since 1999, when the current version of the kwanza was introduced.
Angola’s economy, which depends on oil for 90% of export revenue, is forecast to expand about 0.2% this year and 2.4% in 2022, helped by higher crude prices, according to the Finance Ministry. The nation earned praise from the International Monetary Fund — which approved a $772 million disbursement in June — for reforms aimed at diversifying the economy.
In September, Moody’s Investors Service raised the country’s credit rating for the first time, citing improved governance and debt metrics. Angola’s Eurobonds have returned 12% this year, second only to Zambia among African sovereigns.