afrol News, 24 May - In an outlook for the Angolan economy in the next five years, the oil sector that created booming growth rates during the last decade is expected to take a very minor role. Only Angola's non-oil sector assures growth until 2015.
This historic turn in the Angolan economy is described in the latest 67-page Angola report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), made publically available today. The report reveals that the shift in Angola's economy already happened last year, in 2009.
According to IMF and Angolan government statistics, the boom years of the last decade are over once and for all. Still in 2007, the Angolan economy had grown by an impressive 20.3 percent, with the oil and the non-oil sectors both contributing with over 20 percent growth rates. GDP growth was reduced to a still impressive 13.4 percent level in 2008.
But the turning point came in 2009, driven by the global financial crisis but also by an end to the growth in Angolan oil production. The Angolan economy last year grew by only 0.7 percent, meaning that GDP per capita shrunk from around US$ 5,000 to US$ 4,000 in just one year due to population growth among other factors. Last year, the oil sector had a negative growth of -5.1 percent, while the non-oil sector grew by a positive 8.2 percent.
The Angolan government, supported by IMF analysts, foresees a recovery this year, but the oil boom will not come back. In 2010, GDP growth is forecast at the comfortable level of 6.7 percent. But the oil sector only is expected to grow by 5.0 percent while the non-oil sector will grow by 7.8 percent.
IMF analysts foresee very favourable growth rates for Angola in the years to come. In 2011, GDP growth may hit 8.3 percent. Between 2012 and 2015, GDP growth rates are forecast between 4.4 and 6.3 percent, with growth slowing down towards the end of the period.
Interestingly, it is almost exclusively the non-oil sector driving Angola's economic growth in the years to come. Especially from 2012, Angolan oil revenues will remain more or less stable or even sink. The non-oil sector provides growth rates between 8.4 and 10.1 percent annually in the 2011-15 period.
Growth rates, even without oil as the motor of the Angolan economy, will be good enough to provide development for the country, according to the forecast. Slowly, GDP per capita is forecast to grow from today's US$ 4,000 to US$ 6,900 in 2015, potentially enabling large numbers of Angolans to step out of poverty.
The rapid growth of Angola's non-oil sector is also good news for the long-term sustainability of the country's economy as oil revenues inevitably will be reduced. Angola is still heavily dependent on oil revenues, and in 2010, there would be a 30 percent deficit of an Angolan non-oil GDP. "However, over the medium term, the non-oil primary deficit is projected to converge to its sustainable level mainly due to the projected expansion of the non-oil GDP and the government's non-oil revenues," according to the IMF.
The main non-oil sectors now driving the growth in Angola's economy are related to agriculture, where recent large investments now are starting to pay off. Angola is experiencing a rapid rise in agricultural output, including cereal and cash crops, and is starting to generate revenues from an expanding biofuel production.
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