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Angola - Military Spending

2004 .. .. 681.9
2005 .. .. 1192.8
2006 .. .. 1583.3
2007 .. .. 1562.9
2008 84.2101.22373.9
2009 75.5104.52633.8
2010 82.5109.53224.0
2011 104.1116.33423.8
Angola increased its spending by 36% in 2013, to overtake South Africa as the largest military spender in sub-Saharan Africa, and the second highest on the continent. High oil revenues appear to be a factor driving Angolas military spending increases. President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos is often criticised for continuing major military spending, the highest in Africa, at a time of peace and when government revenues have dropped. His opponents say the military is used to extend his rule.

Angola's military and defense expenditure will increase from the current $6.5 billion to $13 billion by 2019 due to increased demand for border security equipment, fighter jets, multi-role aircraft, helicopters, navy vessels and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In a November 2014 report entitled Future of the Angolan Defence Industry - Market Attractiveness, Competitive Landscape and Forecasts to 2019, US-based defence market analysts Market Research said Angolan defense spending will be driven by the need to modernise and improve the operational capabilities of all three wings of the Armed Forces of Angola (FAA) and a desire to increase the number of serving troops while embarking on new veterans care projects. In order to win a civil war it is necessary to raise military spending drastically, as the government of Angola did. This was an investment in peace. Since independence, military expenditure was high, often over 40% of the budget, and took precedence over social and development spending. At the end of a civil war, it is frequently assumed that there is a pay-off that arises from the reallocation of military spending, the so-called peace dividend, allowing for increased economic growth and greater attention to social questions. However, this outcome is by no means guaranteed.

In post-conflict settings, however, high military spending significantly and substantially increases the risk of further conflict. Just as high social spending signals inclusion and so reassures people, high military spending unavoidably signals repression. This intimidates some people and arouses others. Hence, aome argue the safest option is to cut military spending decisively, and transfer the budget to social spending.

Perpetual war magnified and multiplied the social and economic impact of defense spending. Military expenditures and arms imports were the most obvious indicators of the intensified war effort. Luanda's defense spending nearly quadrupled from US$343 million in 1978 to US$1.3 billion in 1986 (in constant 1980 dollars), the bulk of that increase coming after 1983. In 1986 defense accounted for 40.4 percent of government expenditures. Military expenditure as a percentage of the gross national product (GNP), estimated at 12 percent to 14 percent from 1980 to 1982, rose steadily to 28.5 percent by 1985.

Arms imports also increased dramatically. Measured in constant 1984 dollars, the value of arms imports nearly doubled after 1980. During the late 1970s, arms deliveries remained relatively constant at a bit more than US$500 million per year, but after 1980 they surged to an annual average of more than US$1 billion. Since the 1970s, Angola's arms imports had ranged between 45 percent and 88 percent of total imports. In mid-1988 Angolan government officials estimated the country's external debt at US$4 billion, most of which was owed to the Soviet Union for military purchases, and they were considering the possibility of imposing a compulsory public loan to cover revenue requirements.

Angola's heavy defense burden was evident by comparative standards as well. According to 1985 statistics published by ACDA, Angola ranked sixty-third of 144 countries in both military expenditure and size of its armed forces. These absolute measures of military effort were consistent with Angola's ranking of between sixty-eight and seventy-three in GNP, central government expenditures, and population. However, the militarizing effects were seen more clearly and dramatically in relative measures of defense effort: Angola ranked seventeenth in level of arms imports and sixth in arms imports as a percentage of total imports, twentysixth in military expenditure as a percentage of GNP, thirty-second in military expenditure as a percentage of the government's budget, fiftieth in military expenditure per capita, and fifty-seventh in military expenditure relative to the size of the armed forces. The continued growth of the armed forces, military expenditures, and arms imports into the late 1980s further increased the burden of defense and ensured that few resources would be left for social and economic development.

Not only did the armed forces command and consume an enormous share of national wealth and revenue, their increased political power was institutionalized at every level of government. The defense and security forces were heavily represented in the highest organs of the party and government; indeed, the exigencies of war virtually transformed the integrated party-government system into a military machine dedicated to prosecuting war at an increasingly higher price. The reorganization of the territorial administration into military regions and provincial defense councils carried the process even further. It remained to be seen whether the December 1988 regional accords--which excluded UNITA--would result in a reversal of the process.

What little was left of Angolas economy after almost sixteen years of civil war was destroyed between 1992 and the end of 1994. The GDP declined by seventy per cent over three years total external debt, as a percentage of GDP, almost quadrupled, as did military spending, while social expenditure was halved.

Currently, Angola has the highest military spending in Sub-Saharan Africa, and it ranks third in the continent, behind Egypt and Algeria. In the five year period 2008-2013, Angola allocated up to US $40 billion in defence and security appropriations, half of which was directed to the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA). Funding for the Angolan Armed Forces (AAF) averaged around US$1B annually around the year 2000. However, with increased oil production and oil revenues (50% of GDP and 90% of exports) over the past several years, the AAF may have an opportunity to fund some of its most pressing hardware requirements. A window of opportunity may exist to return some units to operational service and possibly lay the groundwork for replacement units in the next decade.

By 2009 the recent economic events had a negative impact on budgets. Even the defense sector had suffered, and this had led MOD to reconsider its internal and external engagements. Budget imperatives had led MOD to "freeze" a number of activities, to include visits and exchanges for some time.

Military spending rose by 5.2 per cent in Africa in 2010, defying a global recession that halved the continents growth. SIPRI reported that Angola, recovering from three decades of civil war, set the pace with a 19 per cent increase in real terms, or Sh51 billion ($600 million) in 2009 prices. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute provides data for Angola from 1991 to 2012. Over the decade 20002009 military spending rose in real terms by 127% in Morocco, 105% in Algeria, 101% in Nigeria, 53 % in South Africa and 40% in Angola. The average value for Angola during the period from 2010 to 2012 was 3873.33 million U.S. dollars with a minumum of 3647 million US dollars in 2010 and a maximum of 4146 million US dollars in 2012.

Angolas 2013 budget was hailed by the government as its greatest ever, owing to how much is being spent on social sectors and in the fight against poverty. The State Budget Bill, approved by the National Assembly on 15 January 2013, was expected to become law on 14 February 2013. The Presidency alone has a budget of US $1.8 billion, which is more than the funds for the Ministry of Health (US $1.5 billion). Of this sum, Jos Eduardo dos Santos would personally spend US $1.4 billion on military defense, which accounts for 81 percent of the presidential palace expenditures. The Ministry of Defense has the largest budget of all, at US $ 5.7 billion, while the Interior Ministry has a total planned spending of US $4.7 billion.

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Page last modified: 27-05-2015 19:35:03 ZULU