Since the end of Angola's twenty seven year long civil war in 2002, the country has seen unprecedented economic growth however over 68% of
the 18 million + population
still live on less than $2 a day. This in a country where a
sandwich in a prosperous business area of Luanda can cost £18.00. In the
HDI (Human Development Index) which is measured by the UNESCO Institute
for Statistics (UIS) and the World Bank based upon the life expectancy,
literacy, access to knowledge and living standards of a country, Angola is in 148th place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013.
The boom in this economic growth has largely been fuelled by oil exports
with Angola now Africa's second main oil producer after Nigeria however has
this boom had led to an increasing divide between the haves
and have-nots in Angola.
This has been exacerbated by the relentless march of the Chinese
into the country eager to exploit its natural resources.
As such large
dwelling areas have been cleared for office and business
development forcing already poor Angolans to displace themselves
into either slums or shanties unable to afford the housing
prices at places such as Nova Cidade de Kilamba (Kilamba New
City) built by the China International Trust and Investment
Corporation to rehouse those moved from their homes in the
building program in Luanda. At the lowest price of £54,000 most of these
new homes understandably remain empty.
It is estimated
that the gap between the richest 10% of Angolans differs by 130
times that of poor Angolans ($25,000 and $190 respectively.) As
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon commented "Angola has great
wealth, but it also has large gaps between rich and poor,"
adding "the government should do more to strengthen the social
fabric by promoting social equity and ensuring a better
distribution of income. This is a matter of stability,
prosperity and justice."
There have been
reports that much of this wealth created by the oil industry has
gone missing and there have been calls for Angola's government
to account for $32 billion that appears to have disappeared from
its coffers in recent years, money that appears to have found
its way into the bank accounts of the already rich, not spent on
meeting the needs of those living in poverty in Angola.
government has dismissed these allegations citing poor record
keeping and accounting, however,
Transparency International, the anti-corruption campaigning
body, ranked Angola in the top 20 most corrupt countries in the
world in recent years.
Poverty is more severe, as expected, in rural areas of the
country where few houses have running water or sanitation with
most fetching water from unsafe sources. Housing is very basic
and access to health services is poor with the highest infant
mortality rate in the world. 45% of children in Angola
suffer from malnutrition and life expectancy is just 38yrs with
subsistence farming being the main livelihood for the majority
of Angolan citizens.
The video (top, right) shows the disparities
between the rich and poor in Angola. The table below shows the
poverty situation in Angola compared with two other countries
for illustrative purposes.
Angola’s MPI for 2011 relative to selected countries
vulnerable to poverty
income poverty line
MPI = Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), which identifies multiple
deprivations in the same households in education, health and standard of living.