Low oil prices have pushed the Angolan government to move forward with a reform in private investment and public services, but the process seems to be moving slowly, AFKInsider reported. The country has begun with legal and institutional reforms linked to private investment, according to the Angolan Trade Minister, Rosa Pacavira. There are no longer high entry limits of a minimum of $1m for companies interested to invest in the country – a requirement that had previously slowed down investment influx, instead micro, small, and medium companies are encouraged to start developing and funding projects. In addition, the country cut government spending by 50% in 2015 as a result of declining revenues, and it seems to be moving forward on subsidy cuts as well.
Drought has also had devastating effects on the country, which faces devalued currency and limited funds for public spending. During years of high prices, the government earmarked high sums for military spending and large infrastructure projects – a lost opportunity of massive proportions, according to some experts.
Low prices may, alternatively, spur much needed reform of government policies, Angolan civil society believes. “In the past, Angola had sufficient funds to be inefficient, but the country can no longer afford to be inefficient and must find ways of recovering the costs of these services,” expressed a Luanda-based NGO, Development Workshop. “There are demands from the public for basic services. Aspirations are strong, particularly from the youth graduating from the new universities. There are 21 to 25 [Angolan universities] compared to just two at the end of the war,” the NGO stated.