Angola ranks 161 out of 173 countries in the UNDP Human Development Index for 2002. Over two-thirds of Angola’s population lives in poverty, while almost one in three Angolans is extremely poor. Over the past 35 years, widespread insecurity, macroeconomic mismanagement, the post-independence loss of technical and managerial capacity, and deteriorating human and physical infrastructure have resulted in the collapse of economic activity in all sectors except subsistence agriculture and the enclave oil and diamond sectors.
The key question for the US government at this stage is how to help Angola transition from emergency to stability and from poverty to development. The purpose of this Framework for Rural Economic Growth in Angola is to develop a road map for long run agricultural development that proceeds in sensible and feasible steps. In laying out the steps, the report aims to:
The Framework lays out a vision for agriculturally led economic growth in Angola based on improving the food security, incomes and quality of life for rural Angolans by increasing their agricultural productivity and competitiveness on domestic,
regional and international markets, as well as their capacity to advocate in their own interests as mature members of civil society.
- provide a vision, strategy, and immediate priorities for the agriculture sector to serve as a source of economic growth, poverty reduction and development for the 60 percent of Angolans living in rural areas, and
- Recommend specific programs options for USAID as it works with the Government of the Republic of Angola, donor community, private sector, non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations to transition from relief to development.
The road map is laid out in three phases and includes:
- Phase I: Short-term interventions (October 2003 – September 2005) heavily focused on addressing emergency requirements. To the extent possible, these interventions will be designed to strengthen household food security and incomes through agriculturally focused development activities (e.g. seed multiplication, distribution and banks, tools). Some
activities will necessarily focus on directing bolstering individual and household nutrition.
- Phase II: Medium-term interventions: empowerment of people to be responsible for their own livelihoods while establishing appropriate safety nets. In this stage, interventions will build the human capacity and infrastructure for needed growth as well as the links between farmers associations, research institutes, the private sector, and government. Activities include: multiplying seeds, entrepreneurial skills, farm management, organizing storage and establishing mills, organizing farmers, building feeder roads and continuing food aid funded activities that support the development process while providing a safety net for families and communities that don’t progress towards sustainability or are affected by several possible ‘shocks’, both natural or man made that have historically been reoccurring in Angola and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Phase III: Long-term interventions supporting a commercially led agricultural growth strategy as laid out in the vision.