Angolan finance minister sacked after two-year slump

8 Sep 16

Angolan finance minister Armando Manuel has been sacked from his post after presiding over a two-year economic slump triggered by the collapse in oil prices.

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A truck from Angola's main oil company Sonangol.

A truck from Angola's main oil company Sonangol. The crash in commodity prices has pushed the oil-reliant nation to halve its growth figures and adjust its 2016 budget.

 

The president of Africa’s biggest oil producer, José Eduardo dos Santos, announced on Monday that Manuel would be fired as part of a cabinet reshuffle. The country’s agriculture minister and chief of staff in the presidency have also been dropped.

According to a statement, Manuel will be replaced by Augusto Archer de Sousa Hose, who is more widely known as Archer Mangueira, the head of the country’s capital markets commission.

Mangueira will take over a once-booming economy now battling to recover from the commodity price crash, which saw Angola’s currency, the kwanza, slide to all-time lows against the dollar at the start of this year after a central bank devaluation.

The downturn also prompted heavy government borrowing, a now-abandoned request for financial support from the International Monetary Fund, and a forced review of the 2016 budget to bring it in line with oil prices.

Angolan newspapers have reported that Manuel’s removal is directly linked to his support for talks to secure an emergency loan from the IMF, which began in April but were terminated in June because Angola stated it had reached “fiscal equilibrium”.

Angola previously had little use for the fund as a lender of last resort, with an economy that recorded growth rates of over 20% before 2007.

But following the financial crash and the global commodity price slump of the last two years, Angola’s growth is now expected to register at a more modest 3.5% for 2015. The IMF predicts this will remain flat next year. 

  • Emma Rumney

    Emma is a reporter at Cooking Recipes International. She also writes for in the UK.

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