Oil and diamonds have long been the dominant force in Angola’s growing economy, shaping perceptions of the African country
While they continue to produce the lion’s share of the nation’s growing wealth, other important and traditional parts of economic life in Angola are beginning to recover following the end of the civil war
Good harvestStimulating the agricultural economy is a key aspect of economic and social recovery in Angola. Crops such as maize provide crucial revenue streams.
Agriculture and the rural economy are important aspects of Angola’s economic and social recovery. But while rich in agriculture and minerals, the country’s rural economy has been slow to recover, with many people in rural areas continuing to live in extreme poverty. Following a long period of migration to the cities, especially to the nation’s crowded capital, Luanda, Angola’s citizens have only recently begun to resettle in towns and villages throughout the country, and to set up small farm holdings. As confidence in the sustainability of peace grows and optimism increases, the prospects for rural redevelopment are looking far better.
Enterprising activitiesAs well as helping Angola develop its oil and gas reserves, BP supports initiatives to create economic diversity, such as the Greater Plutonio microcredit programme.
Aside from the physical and social damage that conflict brought to rural communities, it also left administrative and practical challenges that must be overcome if the economy is to revive. Agricultural production has suffered because the farming families who traditionally earned a living through agriculture or livestock trading have been unable to obtain loans to re-establish their farms. Many in these communities have no papers to prove their identity, making them ineligible for conventional credit. In an economy historically dominated by central planning, the institutions and practices that give ready access to capital have been lacking.
BP has long supported initiatives to stimulate economic diversification and support enterprise in the communities in which it operates. As part of its social investment programme, BP Angola, working in partnership with an Angolan non-governmental organisation (NGO) and the local authorities, has sought to tackle the problem of rural poverty. The Greater Plutonio microcredit programme, funded by BP and its partners in the Greater Plutonio development off the coast of Angola, is helping to restore the rural economy and its structures.
Conceived in 2005 and operating since 2006, the project is a partnership between BP, the bank, BancoSol, and the not-for-profit development organisation, ADRA – Acção para desenvolvimento rural e ambiente (Action for Rural and Environmental Development). The programme is being run in municipalities in Benguela and Huambo, two provinces in central Angola hit particularly hard by years of fighting in the country.