Luanda — The launch of the Angolan satellite, ANGOSAT-2, in October, marked the year 2022 in the telecommunications sector.
The satellite, whose management is already in charge of Angola, after tests in orbit, is made up of two modules, namely the Express 1000 platform and the payload, the latter being the responsibility of Airbus Defense and Space.
With an expected service life of 15 years, ANGOSAT-2 is one of the projects of the National Space Programme Management Office (GGPEN), an agency assigned to the Ministry of Telecommunications, Information Technologies and Social Communication.
Also in the telecommunications sector, the entry into the Angolan market of a new telephony operator, Africell, deserves special mention.
The market thus became more competitive, since, in less than a year, it acquired at least five million customers, almost half of Unitel’s total number of consumers, which has a portfolio of 12 million customers.
New unit at the Luanda Refinery
The entry into operation of the new production unit at the Luanda Refinery, which reduced gasoline imports by 15%, by quadrupling its production to 1.5 million liters per day, is another highlight of the national economic news.
With current production, Angola saves USD300 million, as production now covers 45 percent of domestic gasoline needs.
The New Gasoline Complex at the Luanda Refinery is part of the National Development Plan (PND 2018-2022) for the oil sector and aims, above all, to guarantee self-sufficiency in refined products, with the construction of new refineries and the expansion located in the country’s capital.
Also noteworthy during the year was the start of construction work on the Soyo Refinery, in Zaire province, designed to process 100,000 barrels of oil per day and to be built through a partnership between Sonangol and the Quanten Angola consortium.
Featured mining sector
In the mining subsector, the highlight is the discovery of the largest pink diamond in the world, weighing around 170 carats.
Considered the biggest discovery in the subsector in the last 300 years, the stone was named “Rosa do Lulo” and was sold at auction on the international market for US$71.2 million.
Privatisation of Industry Commerce Bank BCI
In the banking field, emphasize was placed on the privatisation of Banco do Comércio e Indústria (BCI) sold at AKz 16.5 billion, through an auction at Stock Exchange to the Carrinho business group.
Still in the field of privatizations, the Angolan Government, through the Institute for the Management of State Assets and Participations (IGAPE), obtained gains of 961 billion kwanzas.
By October, under the Privatization Program (Propriv), 94 State assets and companies had been privatized, lacking 82, of which 31 are in progress.
Still, the year of 2022 also saw the revocation, by the National Bank of Angola (BNA), of the license of Banco Prestígio, due to lack of maintenance of regulatory own funds, ratios below the legal minimum and ineffectiveness in the implementation of corrective measures determined by the regulator.
The measure culminated in the disappearance of Banco Prestígio from the country’s financial system.
The BNA instruction that sets the rules for the granting of mortgage loans by banks is another relevant fact of the year.
The interest rate established by the Central Bank is 7%, to facilitate access to the process.
With regard to the Angolan Debt and Stock Exchange (BODIVA), it is worth mentioning the record annual amount traded, amounting to 1.1 billion kwanzas, surpassing that of 2021.
Promotion of cereal crops
The agricultural and livestock sector was marked by the launch of the National Plan for the Promotion of Grain Production (Planagrão), approved by the Angolan government in July, with the aim of increasing production capacity for wheat, rice, corn and soy.
Currently, the country produces about 3.14 million tons of grains/year and, from 2027, it expects to produce six million tons of these cereals, in a project to be developed in an area of two million hectares and budgeted at around 1.6 billion kwanzas.
Lobito Corridor and maritime connections
The award of the Lobito Corridor to a private company and the start of the maritime connection Luanda-Cabinda -Luanda, by catamaran, marked the year in the transport sector.
The Trafigura, Vecturis and Mota Engil consortium, which won the concession for the Lobito Corridor, expects to invest around USD 400 million.
The investment aims, among other things, to improve the infrastructure and ensure railway and logistical services.
Oil price on the market
The “surprising” rise in the price of a barrel of oil, which reached values above USD 125, surpassing the reference of the General State Budget (OGE), set at USD 59, and, therefore, allowed the State to collect, in oil revenues, Kz 7.07 billion, more than 69% of the country’s total tax revenue, also marked the year about to end.
Tax revenue, raised through oil, represents two thirds of Kz 10.3 billion (total tax revenue that the country received until September), with Kz 3.3 billion (one third) corresponding to non-oil revenue, according to the General Tax Administration (AGT).
The rise in the price of crude revived the national economy and contributed to the fall in the country’s public debt, which could be between 66 and 60% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the end of this year, as foreseen by the Government, since more than 80% of the debt is in foreign currency and the oil trade has allowed an abundant inflow of foreign exchange.
According to the Ministry of Finance, public debt has been reducing in relation to GDP, since, in 2020, it was at 136 percent and, in 2021, at 80 percent.
Following the increase in the price of oil, resulting from the war between Russia and Ukraine, since February this year, Angola has paid part of its debt to China with oil revenues, reducing from USD 351 million to USD 21.4 billion.
The year just ended has shown encouraging signs of growth in the country’s economy, although it is still suffering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.