Because the Trans-African Benguela railway has ceased to function, owing to the disruption of services during the recent civil war in Angola, the Angolan terminus of Lobito has now lost its position as Angola's most important port.
SV PULL BACK TO GV Angolan flag flying over trawlers in harbour.
LV Cargo ship 'Almeirim' being unloaded. (2 shots)
CU AND SV Dock official makes notes as cargo lowered to dock. (2 shots)
CU Bag with Luanda, Angola on it.
SV Dock workers stacking sacks.
LV AND CU Fork lift truck moving and stacking sacks. (4 shots)
LV Cypriot ship 'Good Luck' tied up. (2 shots)
LV AND CU Cargo being loaded aboard 'Good Luck' (3 shots)
The country's agriculture was seriously disrupted by the civil war and the Angolan government is having to import urgently needed food for relief distribution in the areas that were worst affected by the fighting. Luanda port is the main port of entry for these imports. Angolan ships leave Luanda loaded with such cargoes as coffee for European ports, and they return with cargoes which include, not only food, but also urgently needed lorries and ambulances.
Initials VS 18.10
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Because the Trans-African Benguela railway has ceased to function, owing to the disruption of services during the recent civil war in Angola, the Angolan terminus of Lobito has now lost its position as Angola's most important port. It is the port at Luanda which is now vital to the new government's struggle to put the country's economy back on a sure foundation.
SYNOPSIS: The harbour and dock facilities at Luanda have recently been improved, and the port can now handle large ocean-going vessels. Priority is being given to imports of food, medicine and other goods essential for the rebuilding of the country after the civil war. The MPLA Government regards the port as a key to the economic reconstruction of Angola.
The port is also earning badly needed foreign currencies with its export of Angolan products. The coffee which is now being exported to Holland and East Germany is being picked by the new cooperatives of plantation workers, with the assistance of volunteers working in their spare-time and at week-ends. The cooperatives were formed after the departure of the former Portuguese owners and the large multi-national companies.
There is extensive political contact between the ruling party, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola - MPLA - and the port workers. The MPLA has already established action groups in the port to help with the political mobilisation of the workers. This has apparently helped with the smooth-running and organisation of the port. Recently a British company congratulated the port workers on unloading two thousand tons of rice from one of their ships within five days. The company said the work rate had exceeded their expectations.