Angola by Rob Staeger

By Rob Staeger

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The Catoca mine in the Lunda Sul province is the world’s fourth-largest kimberlite diamond mine. In 2006 it extracted more than 4 million carats, worth over $400 million, and employed 1,400 Angolans. New mines opened in 2007 should increase Angola’s total diamond production to 10 million carats by 2008. Before the civil war Angola was the world’s fourth-largest diamond supplier. During the conflict, Angola’s diamond territory was mostly under UNITA control, and the rebels used profits from diamond sales to fund their A Postwar Economy insurrection against the MPLA government.

Angola has nearly 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of coastline, and its waters are rich in mackerel, tuna, and sardines. Before the war, the annual catch of the fishing fleet topped 600,000 tons of fish. It dropped to 35,000 tons during the conflict, but began bouncing back in the late 1990s as Angola began rebuilding its fishing feet with foreign aid. Since the end of the war, fishing has been growing even faster. The government worked with the World Bank to establish the Angolan Support Fund for Fisheries Development, which is intended to help the country’s fishermen.

Angola is blessed with valuable natural resources, including diamonds and oil. Increased oil production has helped the country’s economy expand by 12 percent in 2004 and 19 percent in 2005. Despite this, poverty remains a widespread problem, with an estimated 70 percent of the population earning less than one dollar a day. 45 46 Angola Oil Drilling The petroleum sector is the most important part of Angola’s economy, contributing more than half of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The Angolan government relies on profits from petroleum for 75 percent of its funding.

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