Angola makes progress in talks with IMF-report

Angola and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have made progress on some issues, Angola’s finance minister was quoted as saying, raising the prospects for a deal between the two parties.
Tired of being criticised by the IMF for lack of transparency and the way it managed its oil wealth, Angola broke off talks with the US-based agency in 2007 when its economy was growing in double digits.
A report by Human Rights Watch in 2004 said $4 billion (R31 billion) in Angola’s oil revenues had vanished between 1997 and 2002.
But some analysts say the government has recently taken steps to increase transparency by making information on the country’s 2009 budget and on oil revenues available on some government websites.
“Why do people insist there are disagreements? There are no disagreements (between the IMF and Angola),” Finance Minister Eduardo Severim de Morais was quoted by the state-owned daily Jornal de Angola as saying.
“What we lack is a programme with the fund as not all countries have a programme with the IMF.”
The minister did not elaborate.
IMF officials are meeting members of the Angolan government for a second day on today to work on a possible deal that could involve loans, according to Jornal de Angola.
The global recession and a sharp drop in oil exports and prices has weighed on Angola’s economy, which depends on oil for nearly 90 % of its income. Angola rivals Nigeria as Africa’s biggest oil producer.
Although oil prices have recently recovered, they are still trading at around half of last year’s high of over $147 (R1141) per barrel.

Pic: IMF logo