January 26, 2006

Restoring of destroyed infrastructures estimated at US$ 35 billion

Planning minister Ana Dias Lourenšo has made public that the cost of restoring the country's infrastructures destroyed by the war that ended in 2002, was currently estimated at US$ 35 billion. Addressing the first annual session of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) managing board, on Angola's reconstruction and economic development in the post-war period, the minister explained that the figure was established through prospective studies carried out, according to which the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to reach US$ 36 billion by 2010. This, she added, required great and effective financial, political and economic mobilisation capacity and engagement in the reconstruction effort.
According to the Planning minister some estimates indicated that the effort of restoring of physic infrastructures neared US$ 20 million until 1990, should the war stop by then, whereas the World Bank estimated about US$ 30 billion for the period between 1992 and 2002. She stated that although the country was going through the post-war period, the fruits of peace were still to be determined. To her, there are dividends that could not be counted, like tranquillity of spirit, regaining of hope, reunification of families, the possibility of dreaming about the future and national reconciliation.
In order to handle the situation created by the war, Ana Dias Lourenšo said that the Government had set as priorities, within the framework of the fight against poverty, the support to the return and settlement of the internal displaced persons, refugees and demobilised soldiers into their zones of origin, through a sustainable integration in the country's economic and social life and guaranteeing them the minimum physical security, through demining, disarming and the guarantee of the law and order throughout the national territory. The control of the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus and mitigation of its impact on people suffering from the disease, along with their families, improving the populations' health, through the increment of the access to a quality health, including the reconstruction, rehabilitation, expansion of basic infrastructures for the economic, social and development, are other goals set by the Government as its priorities. The set of priorities include the valorisation of the national human capital, promotion of the access to job, boosting of the job market, guaranteeing the protection to the workers' rights, creation of an environment of macro-economic stability that curbs imbalances on the markets and stimulates the economic growth and secure the sustainable reduction of poverty.
Ana Dias Lourenšo pointed out the positive results on the social plan, namely in education, stating that from first grade to higher education, there were 4.9 million students (about 30 percent of the total population), of which 4.7 in the basic teaching system and 131.239 in the medium system. In addition to the results obtained in the education sector, she stressed, the post-conflict period had witnessed the productive and social reintegration of 4.1 million displaced, 250.000 refugees from neighbouring countries, 85.000 ex-soldiers from the former rebel UNITA and 360.000 dependants of theirs. (Angola Press Agency, Luanda)

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