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Angola's New Import Tariffs Putting The Squeeze On The Poorest Residents In One Of The World’S Most Expensive Cities

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/angolas-new-import-tariffs-putting-the-squeeze-on-the-poorest-residents-in-one-of-the-worlds-most-expensive-cities-9278530.html

In Luanda’s Jumbo supermarket, a half-litre tub of imported vanilla ice-cream used to cost $25 (£15), testament to the Angolan capital’s rank as one of the world’s most expensive cities.

With new import tariffs imposed last month, that price has jumped to $31, enough to make even wealthy locals and expatriates pause and putting the treat even further beyond the reach of millions of poor Angolans struggling to feed their families.

Luanda already ranks as the world’s most expensive city for expatriates, with the presence of thousands of foreign workers, many involved in the oil industry, helping to drive up prices.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s second-largest oil producer, still rebuilding after it emerged in 2002 from a 27-year civil war, imports three quarters of the goods it consumes.

The government of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has ruled since 1979, imposed higher import tariffs last month on hundreds of items, from garlic to cars. The stated aim is to try to diversify the heavily oil-dependent economy and nurture farming and industry, sectors which have remained weak.

But this is expected to hike prices for consumers, hitting the less privileged sectors of society especially hard. Mr Dos Santos, one of Africa’s longest-ruling leaders, has been accused by critics of widening a dangerous gap between the rich and the poor that risks causing social unrest.

What a great idea, ensure the vast majority of people can't afford anything. It's a bit like ever increasing house prices.

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