Angola Reduces Illegal Capital Outflows, Finance Ministry Says

Angola, the second-biggest oil producer in Africa, has almost eliminated illegal money transfers exiting the country after enforcing new laws over six years, a finance ministry official said.

Illicit capital flight declined to $17.5 million in 2011 from $1.64 billion in 2007, Joao Quipipa, international relations director at the Finance Ministry, said yesterday at a presentation in Luanda, the capital.

“There are still those who are involved in capital flight,” Quipipa said. “We need tougher border control mechanisms.”

Rising investment to help Angola rebuild from a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002, along with increasing crude output, provided conditions for fraud and the flouting of currency controls, according to Quipipa and Manuel Jose Alves de Rocha, an economist at the Catholic University of Luanda.

The southwest African nation’s $114 billion economy will probably expand 7.1 percent in 2013, according to the government.

Angola has signed the Vienna and Palermo conventions on money laundering, Quipipa said. The country is trying to boost revenue to help improve living standards for the 54 percent of the population living on $1.25 a day, according to the United Nations in 2011. Angola’s gross domestic product per capita more than doubled to $1,776 in 2012 from $736 a decade earlier, Quipipa said.

Development Program

“The 2013-2017 national development program focuses on resolving social problems affecting the most impoverished communities,” Quipipa said. Angola targets reducing the number of people surviving on less than $50 a month to 18.3 percent of the population from 36.6 percent, he said.

Africa lost $854 billion of income from 1970 because of illegal transfers, or almost $20 billion a year, Rocha said. Oil-producing countries are the worst hit by capital flight as political elites benefit and the poor suffer, he said.

Oil producers such as Total SA, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and BP Plc helped Angola pump 1.87 million barrels of crude a day in May, equal to Nigeria, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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