The World Bank has warned that Angola risked the “resource curse” if it did not manage oil revenues better to promote development.
“The oil curse is a possibility here – but it has the opportunity to change the curse into a blessing if it puts good policies in place and improves transparency,” World Bank economist, Francisco Carneiro has said.
Angola is suddenly rich with petro-dollars. It currently has one of the fastest growing economies in the world – projected to grow 31,4 percent in 2007, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Oil production, buoyed by the end of a 27-year civil war in 2002 and heavy foreign investment from ExxonMobil and Chevron, has risen more than 10% to 1.4-million barrels since last year. Next year, production is expected to hit 2-million barrels.
However, it may not be long before Angolan oil production starts to decline. It is set to peak in 2011 at 2.6-million barrels a day, and begin to decline from 2012. “According to our estimates, in the absence of new discoveries, production is expected to start declining from 2012 onwards,” Carneiro said.
So soon the oil will be gone, and what will have been achieved?