Angola Seeks Investors for $23 Billion of Water, Power Projects

Angola plans to involve private industry in plans to spend $23.3 billion on water and electricity projects over the next two years as Africa’s second-largest crude producer deals with plunging oil prices.

The southwest African country is targeting the development of 65 energy and water projects by 2017, Maria Luisa Abrantes, chief executive officer of the state-run National Private Investment Agency, told an urban infrastructure conference in the capital, Luanda, on Wednesday. It will be more than the average $4.7 billion a year that Angola spent from 2003 to 2014 constructing infrastructure that includes six dams, 11 airports and many roads and bridges, she said.

“Our financial resources are scarce in a way that we need more private investors to come and invest in these areas,” Abrantes told delegates. “We have to be more innovative in obtaining other sources of financing.”

Angola is attempting to raise about $10 billion in foreign and domestic debt to finance infrastructure expansion plans as it contends with oil prices that have declined by about 40 percent since June. Sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest economy depends almost entirely on oil exports as it continues to rebuild from a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002.

The parliament in February cut the 2015 budget by a quarter, while increasing the forecast for the fiscal deficit to about 7 percent of gross domestic product.

President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has said that while some infrastructure projects will be delayed, a new international airport in Luanda due to be completed next year and hydro-electric dams along the Namibian border are going ahead.

“A lot has been done already but we need to build more roads, cities, energy and water networks,” Abrantes said. “We have to improve our standards of living by reducing the poverty rate.”

About two-thirds of Angola’s population of 24 million lives on less than $2 a day, according to the World Bank.

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