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Africa Oil & Gas: IMF’s Lagarde Urges Angola to Lower Dependence on Oil

(Bloomberg) — Angola, Africa’s second-biggest oil producer, should lower the economy’s dependence on oil and its vulnerability to the commodity’s price fluctuations so that enough resources can be made available to improve living standards in the nation, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said.

“Economic diversification in sectors other than oil is central to the success of the government’s development strategy,” Lagarde said Wednesday in an emailed statement.

Last month, lawmakers in the southwest African nation asked the government to revise the country’s 2019 budget as the price of oil, the country’s biggest source of revenue, fell below the assumed price.

Oil resources allowed Angola to rebuild critical infrastructure since the end of a civil war 16 years ago, and the country has made progress in reducing poverty, Lagarde said. Key reforms in economic diversification will include improving the business climate, fostering competition in domestic markets, curbing monopolies and leveling the playing field for foreign direct investment, she said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Kingdon at ckingdon@bloomberg.net Ana Monteiro, John Viljoen.

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