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Angola sees signs of faster inflation after fuel subsidy cuts

When Angolan president João Lourenço returned to power in 2022, the Angola economy was still suffering from the effects of the 30 years’ civil war which ended in 2002

By Black Headline News

Angola is seeing signs of rising price pressures after a government decision to cut gasoline subsidies earlier this month, which almost doubled pump prices in a nation that had one of the world's cheapest fuels. "We are seeing the first signs of this impact," Finance Minister Vera Daves de Sousa said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Paris with Francine Lacqua.

Minister Daves de Sousa, born in Luanda, and has a degree in economics from the Catholic University of Angola (UCAN). She has been Minister of Finance since 2019 and was reappointed following August, 2022 elections. She is the first woman to rise to the post of Minister of Finance in Angola at age 35. Prior to her appointment, she was Secretary of State for Finance and Treasury.

The Republic of Angola is an oil-rich nation in southern Africa, bordered by Namibia and Congo along the Atlantic Ocean. Its shimmering shores rise to a high plateau with both desert and rainforest terrain.

According to Cristina Udelsmann Rodrigues, senior researcher at The Nordic Africa Institute,The Angolan economy has been in bad shape since 2014 when oil prices declined. Oil looms large over the economy, accounting for more than 90% of exports, 56% of government revenues and almost 35% of overall economic output.

Even some of its non-oil sectors such as construction and agriculture move in tandem with the oil sector, according to the International Monetary Fund. This makes the country’s efforts to diversify the economy that much more challenging.

Udelsmann Rodrigues continued: Angolan president João Lourenço, who has been returned to power with a greatly reduced majority, faces the challenging task of turning around the economy and improving the living conditions of the majority, particularly young people.

Angolan youth have borne the brunt of the 30 years’ civil war which ended in 2002. Most of the half a million who died were young fighters. The civil war left those who survived it with no education, no social or economic structures. The oil-based economy has created only residual employment opportunities to the low-skilled young people. Forced migration to urban areas during the war meant breaking social ties.

The prolonged economic recession triggered in 2015-16 by falling oil prices and aggravated by the COVID pandemic and declining oil production, deeply affected the everyday lives of Angolans. With the majority of the population depending on low-profit, unprotected informal activities, the crisis affected a high number of families, who had to cut down on expenses such as education and health.


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