Since the end of the war in 2002 and the arrival of peace, Angola has advanced at great speed in all sectors, and the situation at political and economic levels has improved considerably. The country is in full reconstruction mode after the destruction of much economic and social infrastructure in the long conflict. Considering this, social indicators have improved and should show positive results in the coming years and allow for a real reduction of poverty throughout the country.

The country is going through a period of political stabilisation. The process of demobilisation and reintegration should finish in 2007 with the reintegration of former UNITA fighters and their dependents. Progress in the democratic process can be noted. The electoral package was adopted in August 2005. The electoral register started up in November 2006 and should have reached a total of 7.5 million registered voters by the end of 2007. A political commitment was adopted towards the end of 2006 to hold parliamentary elections during the first half of 2008, and presidential elections during the first half of 2009.

Progress in the economic sector is impressive, with the highest rate of GDP growth in Africa in 2006 (around 20%), and a firm grip on inflation (down to approximately 12.2% in 2006). Oil income represents a driving force of the economy, also making it possible to increase public spending, which in turn contributes to the accelerating pace of reconstruction. Oil revenues also have a positive effect on the development of the non-oil sectors. The external public debt has been reduced considerably and monetary reserves are high. The government is however conscious of the need to promote the diversification of the economy, especially in the agricultural sector, where Angola shows great potential, and in sectors capable of generating employment. In the social sector much progress needs to be made given the size of vulnerable groups (displaced people and refugees in the process of social reintegration, sections of the population living in precarious conditions, and the young).

Social indicators are weak; especially in the health sector (mortality rate for children under 5 years of age is 25%, maternal mortality is 14 per 1000). The epidemiological situation is alarming, especially the cholera epidemic. In this context, access to drinking water becomes an indisputable priority. In the education sector, despite the efforts by the authorities to build school infrastructure and train and contract teachers, quality continues to be a challenge.

The problem of capacity building and human resources is the main constraint on the sustainable development of the country and directly affects the public sector. The State has difficulties with planning and managing public affairs because of a shortage of sufficiently qualified staff. This analysis is shared by national authorities and international partners in development alike. In 2004, the Government adopted a strategy of “Combate a Pobreza” which identifies the priority sectors for development as being, reconstruction and rehabilitation of social infrastructure, improvement of the social situation and health and education, and the development of capacity building for the improvement of public-service delivery. The total amount of the National Indicative Programme for Angola 2008-2013 is EUR 214 million (A Envelope) and EUR 13,9 million (B envelope). The proposed response strategy takes the needs and priorities established by the country into account.

The focal areas are: 1. governance and support to economic and institutional reform (20% of the financial package); 2. human and social development (32% of the financial package); 3. rural development, agriculture and food security (32% of the financial package). The non-focal sectors will account for 16% of the financial package, which will provide support for regional integration, the private sector, non-state actors and biodiversity. The main objective is to contribute to the sustainable development of the country, through institutional support and capacity building, supporting the government’s strategy to combat poverty and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The preferred approach will be projects and programmes, bearing in mind that this approach can be reviewed at mid-term. This strategy has been drawn up in association with the Member States of the European Union, and non-state actors have been consulted in order to ensure consistency. It will be implemented in coordination and in complementarity with all actors involved, especially the Member States (EU Road Map).

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