Angola -- Africa's fifth largest country -- is still facing severe economic problems nearly four years after gaining independence from Portugal.
Angola -- Africa's fifth largest country -- is still facing severe economic problems nearly four years after gaining independence from Portugal. The bloody civil war which tore the country apart in 1975 hit the country's most important sector, agriculture, and for a long time production was below target and the cost of imported food did little to help the country's balance of payments.
SYNOPSIS: Attempts to develop Angola's subsistence agriculture were hindered by the loss of Portuguese machinery and expertise, but East Germany and Cuba have been helping restore the country. East Germany has supplied some three thousand agricultural machines and sent instructors to train Angolans in how to use them. Here fifteen students are receiving their diplomas from East German tutors.
So far five hundred Angolans in eleven provinces have completed training courses as mechanics and tractor drivers. Seventeen of the best students have been invited to attend a more advanced six-month course in East Germany.
Angola is fertile, but the land is mostly farmed on a traditional basis. The authorities are trying to encourage the growth of co-operatives to improve efficiency and East German advice has been used to this end. As mark of thanks for the degree of co-operation between the two countries an Angolan agricultural ministry official was presented with a model tractor to help him remember his country's benefactors.