Jason Barton

Professional Information and Energy News

Archive for the ‘development’ tag

Rising Angola

without comments

Energy is at the heart of Angola’s situation. Oil is providing a huge boon to their economy, and now the fruits of this growth are being enjoyed by a wider proportion of the population.The investments China is making in Angola are also interesting to note as China sets the stage so that it may become the world’s next superpower.

Oil, glorious oil

The country’s breakneck growth is slowly benefiting the masses

Jan 28th 2010 | LUANDA | From The Economist print edition


TWO years ago, oil-rich Angola was reckoned to have one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. In both 2006 and 2007 real GDP had surged by around 20%, and double-digit growth rates were widely predicted for at least the next five years. Then oil prices crashed with the global recession. Last year the economy is estimated to have grown, at best, by 1.5%. But it is bouncing back. Some say Angola will be among the world’s top five performers again this year, with growth exceeding 8%.

After four decades of strife, Angola was a basket case. A 14-year war of independence against its former Portuguese masters until 1975 had been followed by nearly three decades of fighting between the communist Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and Jonas Savimbi’s pro-Western National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) that ended in 2002. Out of a population of 7m in 1980, some 1.5m were killed and more than 4m forced to flee their homes. A whole generation had missed their education. Infrastructure, political institutions and social services had to be rebuilt, often from scratch.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

February 1st, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Fruitful Decade for Many in the World

without comments

There are countless convincing arguments on the many sides of the trade liberalization debate that’s continued in Mr. Cowen’s article. I’ll avoid that debate in this post and focus on Brazil’s remarkable ascendancy over the past decade and a half. Some may argue this is the result of Brazil opening their markets. Others will point to the numerous, effective social programs instituted under Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Brazil’s president from 1994-2002, and Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, the president since then.  Either way, I consider myself extremely fortunate to have earned a fantastic job and lived in this amazing country for four years. Not only is knowing Brazil and its people a privilege in and of itself, the opportunities to participate in some way in this country’s activities is simply fascinating.

Published: January 2, 2010

IT may not feel that way right now, but the last 10 years may go down in world history as a big success. That idea may be hard to accept in the United States. After all, it was the decade of 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the financial crisis, all dramatic and painful events. But in economic terms, at least, the decade was a remarkably good one for many people around the globe.

Photo by David G. Klein

The raging economic growth rates of China and India are well known, though their rise is part of a broader trend in the economic development of poorer countries. Ideals of prosperity, freedom and the rule of law have probably never been more resonant globally than they’ve been over the last 10 years, even if practice often falls short. And for all of the anticapitalistic rhetoric that has emerged from the financial crisis, national leaders around the world are embracing the commercialization of their economies.

Putting aside the United States, which ranks third, the four most populous countries are China, India, Indonesia and Brazil, accounting for more than 40 percent of the world’s people. And all four have made great strides. Indonesia had solid economic growth during the entire decade, mostly in the 5 to 6 percent annual range. That came after its very turbulent 1990s, marked by a disastrous financial crisis and plummeting standards of living.

Brazil also had a consistently good decade, with growth at times exceeding 5 percent a year. There is lots of talk that the country has finally turned the corner, and, within its borders, there is major worry that its currency is too strong — a problem that many other countries would envy.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

January 2nd, 2010 at 1:48 pm