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Cablegate: Angola - Ustda Meets Ministry of Transportation

VZCZCXRO4167
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHLU #0898/01 2420912
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 300912Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY LUANDA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4273
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LUANDA 000898

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE PASS USTDA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD ECON AO
SUBJECT: ANGOLA - USTDA MEETS MINISTRY OF TRANSPORTATION

REF: LUANDA 862

1. Summary. Druing his recent visit, Pierce Davis, Country
Director for West and Southern Africa for the United States
Trade and Development Agency, met with Joao Kuvingwa,
National Director of Angola's Ministry of Transportation
(MOT). They discussed potential USTDA projects to help
develop Angola's transportation sector. Kuvingwa was
enthusiastic about the proposed definitional mission study
for the transportation sector. Kuvingwa reviewed the status
of MOT's plans for improvements to Angola's seaports,
airports, road transport, and railroads. In response, Davis
described possibilities for corresponding USTDA-funded
transportation studies. End summary.

2. Pierce Davis, Country Director for West and Southern
Africa with the United States Trade and Development Agency,
and Joao Kuvingwa, National Director of Angola's Ministry of
Transportation (MOT), discussed potential USTDA projects to
promote development in Angola's transportation sector. Davis
explained USTDA's role in funding studies of areas that show
promise for development and would also encourage U.S.
investment. Davis explained that USTDA first focuses on
structural plans, and then tries to attract investors. Davis
proposed to Kuvingwa that USTDA conduct a definitional
mission study of Angola's transportation sector, which would
be prepared by a transportation specialist. Kuvingwa
expressed interest in such a study. Davis then suggested
that additional studies could focus on development
possibilities for specific areas of the transportation sector
such as ports, roads and railroads. Davis added that USTDA
already has funding approved for the definitional mission
study and could start work in September.

Transport's Role
----------------

3. Kuvingwa explained that Angola's Ministry of Transport
oversees all transportation services and the national
transportation strategy, while the Ministry of Public Works
(MOP) actually builds the roads and airports. While MOP may
build the roads, he joked, the Ministry of Transport often
knows better where to put the roads.

Airports
--------

4. Kuvingwa said that the GRA plans to rehabilitate all of
Angola's airports and build a new international airport and
terminal for Luanda. The MOT has budgeted for studies of the
small regional airports but does not have the resources for a
study of the international airport, as well. He clearly
hoped USTDA could help in this area.

Land Transport
--------------

5. Government transportation companies provide 90 percent of
intercity transportation and 20 percent of Luanda's bus
companies are government owned, according to Kuvingwa. MOT
hopes to stimulate the underdeveloped private transportation
sector. It is preparing a "white book" setting acceptable
standards for vehicles, engines, trailers, and insurance.
The GRA, said Kuvingwa, would like to have USTDA's support in
setting these standards. Kuvingwa also hopes that USTDA can
help the MOT to study traffic patterns in the cities of
Luanda, Lubango, and the Benguela-Lobito metropolitan area.

Maritime and Ports
------------------

6. All of Angola's ports belong to the government, which
manages port operations by granting concessions for different
aspects of port operations such as handling containers. MOT,
Kuvingwa said, wants to start granting 40-year
build-operate-transfer concessions that will give the
concessionaires the responsibility for implementing changes.
MOT hopes to start this process with the port of Lobito, said
Kuvingwa. When rehabilitation is finished, a rehabilitated
road and railroad system will connect Lobito Port to markets
both inside and outside Angola. This, said Kuvingwa, could
relieve the pressure on the Port of Luanda. MOT also wants
to place a container terminal between Lobito and Benguela.
Kuvingwa also hopes for an environmental study of ways to
control pollution in the bays of Luanda and Lobito, which has
become a growing problem. Although some environmental
studies were prepared in 1997 and 1998, Kuvingwa doubted that
their recommendations would still be valid. Here, he also
hoped for some assistance from USTDA.

7. Once Lobito has been modernized, work on small ports --

LUANDA 00000898 002 OF 002


Cabinda, Namibe and Soyo -- should follow. Congestion in the
Port of Luanda has led the MOT to consider developing new
harbors at Porto Amboin, 200 kilometers south of Luanda and
in Barro do Dande north of Luanda. Kuvingwa acknowledged
that MOT has made not made its own studies of these two new
potential ports. He proposed these as additional projects
which might benefit from USTDA studies.

Namibe Port
-----------

8. Of all Angola's ports, Kuvingwa said Namibe is the one
most in need of rehabilitation. MOT hopes to make Namibe an
international regional port, once new rail lines and improved
roads connect it with Namibia and Botswana, providing a route
to market for future production or iron ore. While
encouraging export of fruits and meat from Huila province,
cane sugar and wood products from Cuando Cubango province.
Despite partial renovation three years ago, the port still
needs substantial work. A study by the Japanese
International Cooperation Agency (JICA) focused only on
equipment maintenance and establishing a rail link to Huila,
said Kuvingwa. MOT has been working with South African
companies to study ways to improve use of the portion already
renovated.

Request for Updated Cabinda Port Study
--------------------------------------

9. Kuvingwa said that since the completion of USTDA's 2005
Cabinda Port Feasibility Study Cabinda's regional context has
changed. Angola, the DRC and Congo-Brazzaville all have
transportation development plans for the mouth of the Congo.
Kuvingwa hopes solid planning can avoid a huge duplication of
effort. (Note: Kuvingwa confirmed news reports that a
Chinese company is planning to build a bridge across the
Congo in this same area to link Cabinda through the DRC with
the rest of Angola. End note.) Kuvingwa also mentioned that
the 2005 study described a port expected to recover its
construction costs in 20-25 years, yet proposed equipment
that would have to be replaced after only 15 years.

Rail Roads
----------

10. Once Angola's railroads have been rebuilt, MOT envisions
extending its northern line via Mbanza Congo in Zaire
Province into the DRC. Then, after continuing the southern
line into Namibia and Botswana, MOT plans to connect all
three national lines with a north-south line to develop
Angola's interior. Kuvingwa said that the General Electric
Corporation and MOT are working on the last details of an
agreement for modernization and rehabilitation of 20
locomotives by GE Brazil. The Chinese firms laying the
rails, Kuvingwa explained are also installing the signaling
systems. Once the lines are rehabilitated, traffic will move
at 80 kilometers per hour, faster than the original 30 kms
per hour. As Angola moves toward an integrated rail network,
Kuvingwa wondered aloud, should Angola create a National RR
Company, or perhaps a single company to maintain and extend
its infrastructure, or a central maintenance shop for the
whole system?

Comment
--------
11. Kuvingwa had more potential projects than he could name
during the time allotted for the meeting with Davis. He was
also eager to share his experiences with prior projects in
order to put his plans for future projects into perspective.
USTDA has an enthusiastic customer for a definitional mission
in Angola's MOT. Beyond that, the MOT is eager to work with
USTDA in preparing additional studies to help develop
specific projects MOT has already targeted for development.
FERNANDEZ

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