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2015-09-09 10:43:17







  Still much too oily


  Angola badly needs to diversify its one-dimensional economy


  FROM the top of the Fortaleza de Sao Miguel, a 16th-century Portuguese citadel that once dominated the Angolan capital, you see an army of craneserecting high-rise offices, fancy hotels and blocks of smart flats. Luanda's traffic zooms belowon an eight-lane highway, as pedestrians amble among palm trees or play basketball on theMarginal, a renovated, spotless promenade. “You almost forget you are in sub-Saharan Africa,”says a foreign businessman well acquainted with the region.

  在Fortaleza de Sao Miguel这座曾统治安哥拉首都的城堡上面,你可以看到一队起重机大军正在建造高大的办公厅、奢华的酒店和一幢幢精致的公寓。首都罗安达的交通在一条八车道的高速公路上尤为繁忙,行人们在Marginal这条新修筑的几乎完美地大街上的棕榈树下信步、打篮球。“差点忘了自己是在撒哈拉以南的非洲。”一位对该地区十分熟悉的外国商人如是说。

  Such a view would have been unimaginable only 12 years ago when Angola's devastating 27-year civil war had just ended, leaving it a basket case. The economy and infrastructure were intatters. Health and education systems barely existed.


  Since then the former Portuguese colony has grown rapidly thanks to oil. Crude productionincreased from 800,000 barrels a day (b/d) in 2003 to almost 2m b/d in 2008. The economyexpanded by more than 10% a year, making it seem one of the most buoyant in the world.Today Angola's GDP is the fifth-biggest in Africa.


  The pace of economic activity is frenetic. In downtown Luanda developers plan to put up stillmore skyscrapers and in July the first grand shopping mall is set to open its doors and temptshoppers with Armani, Hugo Boss and Prada. In the rest of the country, the government isspending billions of dollars on roads, railways, airports and energy projects.


  Yet the days of sky-high growth are coming to an end. During and after a downturn in 2009and 2010, caused by a crash in oil prices, Angolan policymakers were confident that theeconomy would quickly regain its swagger. But with oil output more or less stagnant since2009, when it dropped to 1.8m b/d, the government has been forced to lower its expectations.Jose Eduardo dos Santos, the president since 1979, said in October that growth in 2013 wouldbe 5.1%, well below the target of 7.1%. In fact it will end up at 4.1%, reckons the IMF.

  不过,经济高增长的好日子即将到头。由于受到了2009、2010年油价大跌的影响,安哥拉进入了经济低迷期,而这个国家的决策者们自信本国的经济将很快重回正轨。然而2009年原油产量输出并不景气,所以当产量跌至每天一百八十万桶时,政府不得不降低它的预期。Jose Eduardo dos Santos这位自1979年连任至今的国家总统,在十月声明说2013年的增幅为百分之五点一,明显低于目标的百分之七点一。实际上据国际货币基金组织测算增幅仅仅为百分之四点一。

  Nor is it expected to speed up again in the next few years. Most foreign analysts reckon thatpredictions by Sonangol, the state oil company, that production will return to 2m b/d next yearare unrealistic. Many think 5% GDP growth will be Angola's lot for the time being.


  This could herald big changes for the country. Crucially, it will press the ruling Popular Movementfor the Liberation of Angola (known by its Portuguese acronym, MPLA) to do more to diversifythe economy. Oil accounts for 97% of exports and almost 80% of state revenues. Last year thegovernment posted its first budget deficit since 2009.


  All the same, parts of the non-oil sector are thriving. The banking, telecoms, construction,drinks and retail industries are doing well, fuelled by the rise of a new (though still small) middleclass. Manufacturing is picking up, from a very low base. The effects are beginning to be felt onthe ground. Luanda, which ranks alongside Tokyo and London as one of the world's mostexpensive cities for expatriates, is becoming slightly cheaper. “I bought sliced mangoes in asupermarket for the equivalent of $1.50 the other day,” says a foreign banker. “Not long ago,they would have cost me $5.”


  Greasy palms


  Yet Angola remains a difficult place for investors and entrepreneurs. In the World Bank's latest“ease of doing business” survey, the country ranks 179th out of 189. Enforcing a contractthrough Angola's inefficient and sometimes corrupt courts can take years. Getting a visa is ahassle. A dire shortage of electricity means local firms struggle to compete with importedgoods.


  Moreover, a rentier culture forces many businesses to “partner” with members of the politicaland military elite. That the president's daughter, Isabel dos Santos, is Africa's first femalebillionaire is seen by human-rights groups as an indictment of the system.

  此外,特有的食利者文化迫使许多商务活动者与许多政治、军方精英达成所谓的“合作关系”。比如总统的女儿Isabel dos Santos是非洲第一位女性百万富翁,而人权组织因此对该国体制发起控诉。

  Oil provides few jobs for locals and Angola is horribly unequal. The quality of life of people inrural areas and slums, such as Luanda's Chicala, has barely improved since 2002. MostAngolans lack running water or electricity.

  石油产业几乎并没有为当地居民提供任何工作机会并且安哥拉内部存在着严重的不平等。人民的生活水平自2002以来鲜有提升,尤其是像Luanda's Chicala这样的郊区和贫民窟。大多数安哥拉人缺乏新鲜水源和电力。

  Many within the MPLA privately admit to its failure to develop the non-oil economy. Since 2012the government has talked more about improving social conditions, health care and education.


  Yet there is little sign of large-scale political or social unrest. Protests in Luanda, including onein November when the police detained 300 people and shot dead an opposition activist, aresporadic. The MPLA controls almost all of the media, while the two main opposition partieslack mass appeal. A smooth transition is generally expected when or if the 71-year-oldpresident steps down as he has hinted, probably between now and 2017, when the nextnational elections are to be held.


  There was talk of his son, Jose Filomeno de Sousa dos Santos, who is chairman of Angola'ssovereign-wealth fund, being lined up as a successor. But it has died down. Instead, thepresident is thought to favour his business-minded vice-president, Manuel Vicente, who ranSonangol from 1999-2012. He cannot be guaranteed to tilt the country away from oil.

  有传言说总统的任职安哥拉主权财富基金会主席的儿子Jose Filomeno de Sousa dos Santos被列为胜选者。但这种传言已经消失。相反地,总统被认为非常中意他非常有商业头脑的副总统Manuel Vicente,此人在1999年至2012年掌管Sonangol公司。他不可能保证让这个国家不向石油倾斜。

  But a new generation of Angolans is coming of age; about 60% of the country's 21m peopleare under 25. Unlike their parents, they will not be satisfied solely with the MPLA's achievementin making peace earlier this century. What they need is jobs. And oil alone will not provide them.


  1.need to 需要

  例句:You'll need to get on the right side of Carmela.


  2.thanks to 由于;多亏;幸亏

  例句:The delegation was carrying a message ofthanks to President Mubarak.


  3.plan to 打算;计划

  例句:Both chambers plan to vote on that policy before January 15th.


  4.drop to 下降,跌到

  例句:Her voice will drop to a dismissive whisper.







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