Historically, Angola has been fought over, divided by civil and ethnic strife, and served as a place where one of the nastiest Cold War proxy fights was conducted, with Cuba and the previous government in South Africa standing in for the Soviet Union and the United States.
Today, unemployment is unmeasurably high, education low, more than 70% of the population lives below any conceivable poverty line, and the government has pledged to hold elections “soon.”
The bright spot in the Angolan situation is that the growth in the Angolan economy is coming from the oil sector. If it is managed well, and the Angolan government doesn’t become as kleptocratic as similar governments in the region, there are plenty of natural resources to fund Angolan growth into the Flat World.
So now, Honeywell has announced an in-country office.
The company has appointed Castodio dos Santos as country business leader and sales manager for its Angolan operations. Santos, an Angolan national, will drive day-to-day operations and grow new and organic business within the country. This appointment bolsters Honeywell’s long term commitment to help drive production within one of world’s most important oil and gas producing countries.
Angola produces 0.8 million barrels of oil per day and 1.2 trillion cubic feet of gas per year, but still has a vast number untapped oil and gas reserves. The country has the potential to increase its oil production capacity to 1.5 million barrels per day and its gas production to 4.0 trillion cubic feet per year by 2010.
“The establishment of a formal presence in Angola is a logical progression in our growth strategy for the Southern African region,” said Jason Whitehead, general manager of Honeywell Process Solutions Southern Africa. “The Angolan oil and gas industry has great potential, and Honeywell’s global capabilities and technological expertise, combined with our unique local knowledge, will be fundamental to the success of our operation.”
A key business objective of Honeywell’s is to enhance its service capabilities by rolling out a localization strategy nationally and utilizing local expertise to deliver consistent, reliable services and support to its customers.
“We can deliver a consistent, reliable and first-class service to the Angolan oil and gas industry over the long term – this new expansion will give us the platform to reinforce our relationship with clients and grow our business in Angola for years to come,” said Whitehead.
And of course, the more local Honeywell’s business becomes, the more Honeywell will be doing to improve the lot of its local work force, and this will trickle up into the Angolan economy faster than any profits from the oil itself will trickle down.
Good job, Honeywell.