This past weekend, Western media outlets – namely BBC – came out with a report of the completion of a residential housing compound in Angola, Africa. China’s CITIC Group is responsible for the development of this project, which involves more than 3.5 billion U.S. dollars of investment. After three years, the project has been completed and is capable of housing up to 500,000 residents. It is believed to be one of the largest new building projects on the entire African continent.
However, the reason this story received so much attention is the fact that the new development has been portrayed as a “Ghost Town,” as almost all 12,355 acres of the property are seemingly vacant. Nearly an entire year since the first round of 2,800 properties hit the market, only 220 have been sold.
Named Nova Cidade de Kilamba, the compound is made up of 750 eight-storey apartment buildings, a dozen schools, and more than 100 retail units. It is located 18 miles outside of Angola’s capital city, Luanda.
The Chinese embassy in Angola came out with a statement attempting to clarify the reality of the situation compared to the reports from Western media. They claim that the construction of the project is not actually complete and that sales are actually quite favorable despite all of the vacancies.
From the statement: “the foreign media’s reports is completely inconsistent with the actual situation”.
Taken from ChinaSmack.com:
“Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa expert Elias Isaac says: “The great majority of the population live in shacks with no water, the government needs to start giving priority to building low-cost housing. Angola doesn’t have a middle class in Angola, just very poor and very rich people.” According to reports, Angola’s President Jose Eduardo dos Santos had promised in the 2008 elections to construct 1 million homes for the ordinary common people, with the Chinese built satellite city being “an important part of the president fulfilling his promise.”
Regardless, the project is being championed by Angola’s government as the “shining jewel” of the country’s post-civil war reconstruction.
For more information on Nova Cidade de Kilamba, please visit the following links: