rely on road transportation to move goods and people from one location to the other. Unfortunately the roads are limited in capacity, are poorly maintained, or in Angola's case been decimated by the war.
In 1994, Angola's usable road network totalled some 75,000 km (45,000 miles), but by the end of the civil war in 2002 little of the paved network remained outside the main cities. The war meant that much freight was transported by air, as road haulage was risky and limited, isolating most settlements in the interior. Since 2002 efforts to clear an estimated 7m landmines and rebuild roads and bridges have reopened most of the main arteries.
The role played by infrastructures in the economy of a rebuilding nation like Angola cannot be overemphasized especially its effect on sustainable development, foreign direct investment flow, GDP growth, inflation reduction, job creation, trade, agriculture, delivery of goods and services, lowering cost of business, improving health and standard of living and poverty reduction. Therefore, efficient and effective provision of infrastructure in a nation underlines all attempts to reduce poverty.
An initial US$2bn phase of works will build 5,300 km of roads by the end of 2008, rising to 14,000 km, and with 120 new bridges, by the end of 2011.
China itself has granted Angola a US$211 million loan to finance the first stage of a project to rebuild roads destroyed in the civil war; starting with a 300km stretch between the capital Luanda and the northern agricultural and mining province of Uige. The project will be carried out by the private Chinese company Roads and Bridges Corporation (CRBC) over the next two years. (Info adapted from Economist Intelligence Unit: Angola)