Lisbon/Lagos — Desperate for hard currency, Angolans are coming up with new ways to convert their kwanzas into dollars and euros. Filipe Afonso got tired of waiting in line at a bank to exchange his kwanzas for dollars. So he bought two second-hand BMW motorcycles, shipped them to Portugal and sold them for euros to pay for his family’s expenses back home. "You do what you need to do to get hard currency," said Afonso, who runs a truck dealership on the outskirts of Luanda, the capital of the former Portuguese colony. Others travel hundreds of kilometres to sell diapers, flat-screen TVs or beer in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where foreign currency is more readily available. Real estate and art are used to hedge against what many expect to be a precipitous decline in the kwanza. Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil producer and an oil cartel Opec member, was one of the world’s fastest-growing economies for about a decade after a civil war ended in 2002. Flush ...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.