Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.
LUANDA - Angola may have registered record economic growth in recent years as one of Africa's biggest oil producers, but its future rests on agriculture, not oil, the outgoing head of the World Bank in Angola said.
Alberto Chueca praised Angola's government for its economic management, which enabled the resource-rich nation to emerge from three decades of civil war in 2002 as one of the world's fastest growing economies.
"I don't know any other case in the world that had such high levels of economic growth," Chueca said yesterday.
"The economy has been growing in double digits for the past seven years."
However, falling oil prices have not helped a nation that is dependent on oil for 90 percent of its income. The government recently slashed its economic growth forecast for 2009 to three percent, down from an initial estimate of 11,8 percent.
"We think the future of Angola is not in oil. The future of Angola is in the countryside, in agriculture," Chueca said.
Farmers use less than 10 percent of 35 million hectares of arable land in Angola, which makes the country one of the most promising agricultural nations.
The spreading global recession has also increased calls from President Jose Eduardo dos Santos for the government and the private sector to do more to diversify the economy away from the oil sector.
Angola was the world's fourth biggest coffee producers and a top exporter of sugar cane, bananas, sisal and cotton before the civil war that broke out after independence in 1975.
"An economy based on oil is not sustainable. Angola has to diversify its economy into more labour intensive sectors as there are still a lot of unemployed Angolans," Chueca said.
The World Bank has said in the past that it would grant Angola a R10billion four-year credit to create jobs and diversify the economy. - Reuters