Angola still faces challenges
During the 30 years of independence a lot has been achieved in different spheres of social, economic and political activities but the future still holds challenges for the reconstruction and development of the oil/diamond rich Southern African country. The extended war, spanning back almost 30 years since the fight for independence was achieved, is one of the main factors attributed to the prevailing poverty despite the country’s natural resources. According to a recent study conducted by the ministry of Planning more than 30 per cent of the population above 15 years is illiterate of which the majority are women- accounting for 50 per cent of Angolan women. On a positive note there has been recorded progress in reversing the situation. In the capital Luanda alone, more than one million children will be enrolled in schools this year. Across the Country the government is developing a full-fledged programme for the rehabilitation and building of schools. At the same time an expansion program is being carried out for higher education either by expanding programmes at Agostinho Neto University or encouraging the establishment of private Universities. According to the study by the Ministry of Planning access to potable water is still a problem. Estimations are that 62 percent of the population has no direct access to safe drinking water. Around 42 per cent of the population has to walk for about 30 minutes to reach water sources while only 15 per cent has direct access to the public water supplying system. The situation is aggravated by the fact that 41 per cent of the population does not have sanitation systems although positive changes are being recorded in the capital Luanda. However, access to energy and telecommunication utilities has improved during the thirty years of independence although much needs to be done. In the continued improvement of dwelling infrastructures the government of Angola has embarked on a housing construction scheme. The Ministry of Public Administration, Job and Social Security recently launched a job creation exercise through skills training. There has also been efforts in the creation of informal markets as a way of providing employment. The country has also resettled millions of Angolans who have returned to their areas of origin mainly from neighbouring Countries such as Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Namibia.