Angola: Infrastructure, social projects, peace consolidation

Government Disburses 80 Million Dollars For Infrastructures
Luanda, 01/22 - The Standing Commission of Angola's Council of Ministers was Wednesday informed that the Government has so far disbursed USD 80 million for the recovery of roads, bridges, airports runways and to stop ravines.

This amount was used in the acquisition of equipments for the setting up of brigades for the execution of public works at provincial and municipal levels, as well as in the rehabilitation of railways.

Presided over by President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, the gathering analyzed a set of regulating measures for the management of fiscal, monetary and cambial policies adopted by Angola's Central Bank, under the Government's current program.

The Standing Commission also analyzed a memorandum for the re-launch of production and exploration of minerals, such as iron and manganese in the country.

The mentioned memorandum proposes the creation of a nationwide strategy for the re-launch of this sub-sector, in order to contribute for the creation of jobs and augment fiscal incomes, which goes through a rise on private investments and turn "Ferrangol" (an iron company) into a public firm.

It also got acquainted with the protocol of understanding between Gamek, the consortium, and "Furnas Centrais Electricas (SA)", for the generation of electricity. Both firms are involved in the "Kapanda" project.

This protocol makes the calendar and establishes the measures aiming at the fulfillment of the general chronogram of this undertaking, which indicates the last semester of 2003 as the deadline for the start of commercial generation of electric energy by the two firms generators of energy from Kapanda.

To this end, the Ministries of Finance plus Waters and Energy have been assigned to present to the Council of Ministers the number of actions the Government must carry out to integrally meet its obligations.

The members of the Council of Ministers were also informed on the memorandum meant to support the displaced people and on the situation of street kids, elaborated by the Ministry of Social Reinsertion (MINARS).

At least 1,200,000 people have already returned to their areas of origin, by their own means and voluntarily, informed the organ.

According to the memorandum meant to support the displaced people, the Government has already spent about 120 million dollars on logistical assistance for former UNITA soldiers and their relatives

During today's session, the Welfare Ministry informed that it has been implementing the program for localization and reunification of families, jointly with several agencies. (Source: ANGOP)

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EU to Grant 146 Million Euros for Social Projects

Luanda, 01/22 - The European Union (EU) will grant 146 million Euros for the implementation of social projects in Angola, from 2003 to 2007, says a note from the EU office here.

The fund is grounded on a signature of a document of strategies and programs, consubstantiated in emergency aid, recovery of infrastructures and economic development, called the "ninth European Fund for Development".

A note from the EU office in Angola says the EU Commissary, Paul Nielson, will visit Angola as from January 25, 2003, where he will announce the concession of eight million Euros to increase humanitarian aid operations during the year 2003.

His agenda comprises meetings with the Angolan Head of State, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, and Government officials, with whom he will discuss matters on the development of the peace process, humanitarian aid and regional issues.

During his four-day stay, he will visit projects financed by the EU, located in Huambo and Huila provinces, in order to learn more about humanitarian reality and economic growth in those regions.

Since Angola signed the Third Lome convention on EU/Angola cooperation, in 1995, financings went up to about 830 million Euros, of which 135 millions were used on humanitarian aid.

After the signature of the Peace Accord between the Government and Unita, in April 2002, the commission launched a plan of action worth 125 million Euros, aimed at reducing shortages in this phase, and 30 million for emergency aid, which includes medical assistance plus distribution of agricultural seeds.

Paul Nielson will also visit Zambia on January 23, 24, where he will meet with the local President, Levy Mawanawasa, and the Ministers of Finance and Agriculture, with whom he will discuss matters related to the funding of projects. (Source: ANGOP)

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Moxico: Local Government Allocates USD 20 Million to Social Projects

Lwena, 01/22 - The Government of eastern Moxico province has allocated USD 20 million to the execution of social projects in the fields of education, health, water and energy and public works, the Deputy Governor for Economic and Productive Affairs said on Wednesday.

According to Francisco Cambango, the health and public works sectors got five million dollars each, whereas education and water and energy were granted 4.6 million and four million, respectively.

From this amount, 1.4 million will be used on other specifications, such as operation costs and projects, he explained.

Due to the number of actions expected to be held in the province, the local Government has requested 10 million dollars to re-launch cattle-breeding activity. (Source: ANGOP)

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UN Reiterates Assistance Toward Peace Consolidation

Luanda, 01/22 - The United Nations Tuesday reiterated its availability to pursue providing assistance to the Angolan Government on tasks leading to peace consolidation, enhancement of democracy and promotion of national reconciliation.

This was said in Luanda by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Angola, Ibrahim Gambari, during a meeting with Prime Minister, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos "Nandó", which addressed the future UN role in the country.

According to Gambari, the UN support will also intervene in the resolution of "critical issues", such as social reintegration of demobilized soldiers, demining, technical assistance for the next general elections and in the field of human rights.

The Nigerian diplomat serving the UN, considered the meeting with "Nando" as positive, particularly now that the Prime Minister has take up new functions.

The last meeting between the two occurred in late November of last year, when "Nando" was still Home Minister and Head of the Government team at the extinguished Joint Commission.

Ibrahim Gambari, who shall be back in New York early February, expressed conviction that, by then, the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, will already be in better condition to give recommendations to the UNSC on the next steps for edification of a new partnership with the Government and people of Angola.

The current mandate of the UN Mission in Angola (UNMA), as he said, expires on February 15 and will not be extended again, since the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol has been concluded. (Source: ANGOP)