Angola Minister Wants Cooperation With China To Shift To Agriculture Development

Farmer standing in water and grass
Credit: Yolande Conradie

In an interview entitled “Model of cooperation between the two countries requires innovation”, the Angolan minister of  Economy and Planning, Sérgio Santos advocated for changes in the paradigm of cooperation with China, suggesting a focus on Agriculture. 

The interview was with the magazine, “China Investment”. Minister Sérgio Santos, who wants Chinese investors and entrepreneurs to venture into the Agriculture sector said, “we need to change the focus of our cooperation, giving greater emphasis to the sectors of agricultural production, food processing, and logistical platforms.”

According to Angola Press, the Minister stressed the production of fertilizers and tillage machine as an example of business opportunities for Chinese entrepreneurs, taking into account that they are essential goods for agricultural activity and that Angola does not yet produce locally. Angola, who depends almost 100% on imports, seeks to expand its cooperation with Chinese companies to contribute to the development of its agricultural potential and reduce the import of goods that can be easily produced in the country, the minister announced. 

Angola also plans to invest heavily, in the medium term, in projects that aim to contribute to the increase in the production of cereals, vegetables, fruits and tubers, construction of irrigated perimeters, as well as to encourage animal production, Angola press reported. 

The Minister who praised Chinese companies for being versatile in readjusting their businesses to allow business activities to continue in Angola amid the pandemic said the Angolan government “has been rationalizing the combination of containment and mitigation measures to resume business activity and safeguard jobs”

Angola, China’s Africa Oil Fountain 

Over the last few decades, relations between China and Angola have been typical of China’s loans in exchange for oil as well as involvement in Angolan infrastructure. Angola gained independence from Portugal in 1975 and is rich in oil, diamonds, coffee, timber, and other mineral resources. It is known that “the single most significant commodity for the Sino-Angolan economic relationship’s expansion has been crude oil. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, crude oil still composed over 95 percent of Angola’s exports, and China remained a significant player”

Suffice to mention that China-Angola relations are a typical case study of China’s oil relationships with African nations. 

China-Africa Agriculture Cooperation Key To Africa’s Development

Agriculture development is indeed very critical to Africa’s socio-economic development and job creation. The potential in this sector to turn around Africa’s development fortunes is phenomenal. In its cooperation with China, African countries should therefore explore more innovative and practical ways to help develop this sector. According to the Ghana Investment and Promotion Centre, “agriculture production in Africa now accounts for nearly half of the continent’s economic activity. A new World Bank report, “Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness,” indicates that Africa’s farmers and agribusinesses could create a trillion-dollar food market by 2030 if they can expand their access to more capital, electricity, better technology, and irrigated land to grow high-value nutritious foods.”

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