The nation Angola is the seventh largest country in Africa with a massive wealth of natural resources with huge potential for growth and expansion. It has a land mass capacity of about 481,400 square miles in the Southern region of the continent and a population of about 18,056,072 estimated as of 2012.
The country’s mineral resources such as diamond, petroleum, iron ore, copper, land, etc., have made it an investor-friendly country thereby giving it an edge over other African countries, especially in South Africa.
Although the Angolan economy suffers from an uneven growth pattern with much of its mineral and economic wealth placed in the hands of few people, Natural resources in Angola have made the country one of the fastest growing economies in Africa.
The country’s major mineral resource, diamond has generated up to $1.2 billion for the country’s economic sector over the years through its industry. This has strengthened the country’s economy largely, paving way for the progress of several mining developments in Angola.
Top 9 Natural Resources in Angola
Having read briefly about the country Angola and its economy, it becomes pertinent we look vividly into those natural resources that have brought the Angolan economy into the limelight in Africa.
Without many words, here are 9 natural resources you can find in Angola:
Petroleum is one of the major mineral resources that have brought the Angolan economy to the limelight in Africa. Petroleum has brought forth the African nation Angola as the second largest producer of oil in Southern Africa and a strong member of OPEC with an output of about 1.37 million barrels of oil per day and an estimated 17904.5 million cubic feet of natural gas production.
Furthermore, the country has an estimated 9 billion barrels of proven oil resources and 11 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves as a result of their mineral resource petroleum. This indeed holds a huge potential for massive economic development and significant Business opportunity for the industrial sector and the Angolan nation in general.
The oil industry in Angola is largely dominated by the upstream sector, involved in the exploration and production of offshore crude oil and natural gas. Through petroleum resources, the mining industry has been able to produce crude oil containing a low volume of sulfur, suited for processing light refined petroleum products.
Although the country is so blessed with petroleum, the country has not declined from importing 80% of petroleum products such as gasoline, aviation fuel, diesel, lubricants, etc., from other countries as a result of bad political Leadership and mismanagement.
Angola is the third largest producer of diamonds in Africa. As the 7th largest African country Angola boasts of having a wealth of natural mineral resources, especially diamonds.
The national mining company in Angola (Empressa National de Diamantes) founded in 1981 started production and exportation of more than (2000 kg) of diamonds immediately after its establishment with hopes that the diamond mining industry would thrive without fluctuation.
As a result of this, the production of diamonds rose to 30% in 2006, before the smuggling of diamonds which became a major challenge to the Angolan government and also led to the loss of $375million annually.
The first diamond mining industry started in the year 1912 when gems were discovered in a stream in the Lunda region of North Eastern Uganda. It was granted the concession for diamond mining and prospecting until the government took over in 1977.
Diamond is a very vital mineral resource in Angola which traced its roots to the colonial period in 1912. Deposits of diamonds were first found in the country’s northwestern edge near a region called Lunda.
The colonial rulers controlled the diamond mining in Angola through an independent company known as Diamang. This control and dominance continued until after independence which gave the Angolan government the right to stipulate a law to ensure that only it had the right to exploit the country’s mineral resource.
The civil war that took place then, truncated the mining of diamonds in the country, as a result of this, the government put in place diverse measures to enhance the diamond mining industry. One of the measures put in place was the establishment of an anti-smuggling campaign which led to the successful apprehension of more than 250,000 smugglers over there years from 2003 to 2006.
3. Iron ore
This indeed is another fantastic natural resource that has shaken Angolan’s economy positively over the years. Angola has been a major exporter of iron ore since 1957 till the last decade.
Iron ore was First mined at the Cassinga mine in Huila province, but reserves at the mine have been massively depleted and the main rail line connecting the mine to Namibia port was destroyed during the civil war.
The first mining industry to mine iron ore mineral resources produced more than 30 million tonnes of iron ore between 1957 and 1975, with approximately 6.1 million tonnes produced in 1974 alone.
These natural resources have transcended the Angolan economy making it a very buoyant country in the agricultural sector. Since the colonial era, Angola has been one of the highest producers of coffee.
During colonial rule, coffee was mainly grown on the northwestern edge of the country. The colonial era nearly scrapped the nation’s coffee industry after farmers who were mostly Portuguese fled to Brazil as a result of the civil war.
It’s on record that the Angolan government instituted reforms in the coffee industry in a bid to return to a high production level of coffee. As a result of this, the government spent $230 in a bid to develop the transport sector, especially the roads to enhance coffee exportation
This is another natural resource that has brought this nation to the limelight in the agricultural sector and has accumulated 4% of the nation’s total land mass. Angolan farmlands have continually increased since 2004 and its Soils have remained one of the most fertile in Africa.
In the past, Angola was considered agriculturally self-sufficient with wheat being an exception. After the civil war, agricultural output was reduced to the barest minimum. Most of the crops grown in Angola such as bananas, coffee cassava, etc., are largely sold and consumed by two-thirds of the Angolan people.
The Angolan forest covers a total of 18.4% of the nation’s total area and as a result, forms one of the country’s most critical natural resources. The Maombe forest located in Cabinda which is known as a significant forest in Angola produces and exports trees such as Cypress, pines, eucalyptus, etc., to other countries of the world.
The copper mineral resource is a very pivotal natural resource in Angola which has generated huge financial income for the Angolan government. The mining industry produces more than 50 million tonnes of copper yearly.
Of recent, the government of Angola initiated two copper projects known as Zenza and Benguila which are located to the North and South of Chachoeiras Angola.
The mining industry Manga which lies along the North Eastern border of Angola has produced tonnes of copper estimated to be about 1.4 million over the years.
The Angolan livestock is one of the largest in Sub-sahara Africa. The Angola livestock sector produced approximately 36,500 tonnes of slaughtered livestock including cattle, pigs, goats, etc., in the year 1973.
Like coffee, diamonds, and other natural resources, Angolan livestock also suffered a huge decline as a result of the gruesome civil war that took place in the Angolan nation. As of 1980, it was on record that Angolan livestock production reduced to 5,000 tonnes.
This is one of the important Angolan’s top natural resources. The importance of this natural resource to the Angolan economy dates back to the era of colonialism. During the early 1970s, it was on record that there were approximately 700 fishing vessels within Angolan waters; and more than 250,000 tonnes of fish were caught annually.
Just Like other industries in the country, the government has invested much money in ensuring that the fishing industry is revitalized since the end of the civil war. As part of its revitalization program, the Angolan government allows foreign nations such as Japan, Italy, and Spain to fish within its territorial waters.
List of all Natural Resources in Angola
Here are the lists of all natural resources you can find in Angola:
- Arable land
With what has been said in the article, it’s obvious that Angola has continued to enjoy the sustenance of her economy as a result of the buoyant nature of her natural resources such as diamonds, arable land, Iron ore, copper, coffee, etc. These resources, and their mining industry, though crippled during the gruesome civil war that took place in the country years back, have nonetheless, continued to garner support and resuscitation from the Angolan government.
9 Natural Resources in Angola – FAQs
What are the Main Natural Resources in Angola?
The main natural resources in Angola are diamonds, petroleum, coffee, livestock, arable lands, and fish.
What is the most valuable resource in Angola?
The most valuable resource in Angola remains the diamond.
Is Angola rich in gold?
Angolan industry mines gold just like other mineral resources but it is not rich in gold in comparison with diamonds and petroleum.
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