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Other Articles from The Villager

Angola still owes US$346.3m

Tue, 13 December 2016 14:12
by Rodney Pienaar and Kelvin Chiringa
Nothern Villager

The central bank of Angola still owes the Bank of Namibia an amount of US$426.3m after a currency conversion agreement  that was implemented in June last year during Angola’s tougher times. 

Currently Angola is still due to settle an amount of US$346.3m.

Information coming from the Namibian central bank has it that Dos Santos’ government has managed to honor its repayment plan but has so far only managed to pay back US$100 million.

However, the central bank governor Ipumbu Shiimi expressed his confidence in the Angolans’ effort to pay back the money owed to Namibia as he noted that so far the Angolan counterpart has shown commitment in adhering to the repayment plan.

“There have been repayments according to the repayment plan as we shared with you before, there is a repayment plan and Angolan counterparts have continued to comply with the repayment schedule,” Shiimi said.

Speaking to The Villager recently, Shiimi has hinted that government was due to receive an undisclosed amount of money in the next coming weeks.

He further noted that at present, the state was no longer worried by any chances of failing to recover the money owing to the commitment demonstrated by the northern neighbors so far. 

“At the moment we are not really worried about non-repayment because so far what we have seen is that there is that strong commitment that they will honor their obligations,” he added.

The Villager understands that the deal which was signed with Angola’s Banco Nacional De Angola was put to a stop on December the 2nd last year citing irregularities at Oshikango border post but repayments continued this year.

The first installment payment worth US$20 million was made last year while the second one was made in January of 2016 amidst fears that the Angolans would fail to honor their debt due to economic woes that took a grip at its economy. 

Shiimi revealed to The Villager that, at present, Angola still had a long way to go in paying its debt in full.

This comes in the wake of Angola’s oil dependent economy going through a downward spiral owing to weak oil prices in the backdrop of over production and falling global demand.

Angola’s gross domestic product grew by just 4.5 percent in 2014 and slowed further to a mere 3.8percent in 2015.

Although a positive growth forecast was announced this year, analysts have indicated that a potential economic slowdown in China, which is one of Angola’s top customers could offset this.

In that regard the Angolans are hard pressed to attend to the demands for repayment from the Namibian government.

Public finance and microeconomics expert from the University of Namibia, Dr. Jacob Nyambe, said that the recent cut on oil production by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members would see oil rich countries like Angola benefiting in the short term. 

The currency conversion deal which saw the Angolans falling in debt went soar only five months after signatures were appended over it by the two neighbors.

 Local entrepreneurs lambasted it for causing severe cash shortages in the local economy.

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In the meantime, Angola has been on the radar for its rampant corruption and scandals involving its head of state, whose daughter, ironically the richest woman on the continent Isabella dos Santos, owns a large share of the country’s businesses.