Chinese Bags In Lubango, Angola
For years now, China has been the main partner for reconstruction in Angola. Chinese companies build roads, railways, bridges, schools, and hospitals. They are also laying a fiber-optic network and training Angolan telecommunications workers. In order to sustain its booming growth, China looks for new partners providing the raw materials it needs. Chinese and angolan governments signed a cooperation agreement in 2006, providing free rates loans and other funds in exchange of angolan crude oil. Sonagol, Angola's state oil company, agreed on a long term supply of oil to China's Sinopec oil company. Indeed Angola is the first oil producer of sub-saharan Africa. In January 2007 Angola became a member of OPEC. By 2010 production is expected to double the 2006 output level with development of deep-water offshore oil fields
In the first quarter of 2008, Angola became the first supplier of oil to China.
Nevertheless, it seems the majority of the population does not benefit of this flow of cash, Angola remaining one of the poorest countries in the world, and being ranked 146 out of 162 at the Human Development Index, and with half of its population living under the poverty line.
International community (actually western countries), international organizations (like the IMF) and NGOs like Transparency International for example, criticize the financial support of China, which they accuse of being regardless of how the money is used, in one of the most corrupted countries of the world. All the more as the aid from Beijing allowed Angola to turn town a fund’s proposal from the International Monetary Fund, which would have been granted under the condition of effective monitoring of the money’s use.
© Eric Lafforgue