Angola: Crisis and Repression or Resilience and Growth?

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Date: Thursday, 28 January 2016

Time: 08:00 - 10:00

The recent oil price shock has hit Angola particularly hard. The country’s currency has lost almost a third of its value in the past year on official exchanges and even more on parallel markets. Restrictions on foreign currency have been put in place while deep cuts were made to the 2015 budget – particularly in new public investment. At the same time, the government has been embarrassed by high profile attention on recent crackdowns against dissent and what may be growing social unrest.

While the country’s economic situation is indeed severe, many analysts have also found signs that Angola is weathering this storm better than expected. This may be an indication of a strengthened non-oil economy and more economic diversification than was previously recognised. Signs of greater resilience in Angola’s economy and in Africa’s response to the end of the commodities boom more generally suggest a need to probe more deeply into local content policies and other state-led development.

This Breakfast Briefing will analyse:

  • The impact of lower oil prices on the economy
  • The level of resilience and strength of the non-oil economy
  • Local content policies and state-led development
  • The role of local elite and climate for foreign investment
  • Rising political tensions and social unrest

Speaker

Jesse Salah Ovadia is a Lecturer in International Political Economy at Newcastle University and Director of the MA in Globalization, Poverty and Development. Focusing on the political economy of oil and development in Angola, Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea of Africa, he writes about local content policies and their role in linking oil extraction to industrial development and economic growth in the non-oil economy. Ovadia has also acted as a consultant for the DFID project Facility for Oil Sector Transparency and Reform in Nigeria (FOSTER) and for private companies in Angola promoting local content. His new book, The Petro-Developmental State in Africa: Making Oil Work in Angola, Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea, will be available in December 2015 from Hurst Publishers and a forthcoming edited book, Energy, Capitalism and World Order: Toward a New Agenda in International Political Economy, will be available in January 2016 from Palgrave Macmillan.