- Angola has approved the biofuel law that will also see local communities benefit from improved healthcare, sanitation and service delivery.
The law passed by parliament is also meant to diversify the country’s economy and balance its dependency on oil revenue.
"Biofuels will create jobs and a renewable supply of energy for the future," oil minister Jose Botelho de Vasconcelos is reported to told parliament today.
While the law sets out regulations for the production of biofuels, it also seeks to ensure that local businesses are also given a stake into the new investments coming onshore. This would mean that foreign companies coming into Angola, would have to build local partnerships, as part of empowering the local private sector.
However, despite the passage of the law in parliament, concerns have also been raised on Angola’s capacity to become food secure.
Minister of Agriculture, Afonso Pedro Kanga reportedly assured the legislators that the government will see to it that the development of biofuels does not affect food production.
Mr Kanga further outlined that the most fertile lands of the country will be reserved for food crop production with only "marginal" lands allowed for biofuels production.
Angola could be one of African states that would be swamped by foreign investors seeking new opportunities in the biofuels production, a concern that has been raised globally as a threat to the rising levels of poverty and food insecurity amongst the poorest of the poor.
Angola is Africa’s largest oil producer, having surpassed Nigeria which has slumped ver the years due to violence in the oil-rich Niger Delta.
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