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High-Fliers in Luanda
When the civil war ended in 2002, Luanda, a city of almost 6 million, sported buildings pockmarked by shell fire and had only two or three serviceable hotels, on a sewage-filled bay.
Today it boasts a skyline rivaling that of Africa’s biggest business centers and a string of expensive restaurants and hotels along a palm-fringed spit extending into the Atlantic.
The country’s economy is sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest, expanded by 6.8 percent in 2012 to $114 billion, according to the World Bank.
Read about Angola’s new breed of entrepreneurs and the obstacles they face at Bloomberg.com
Bloomberg photographer Simon Dawson spent a week shadowing young entrepreneur Alex Thomson-Payan, 29, who runs Thomson Group International. The company now earns monthly revenue of more than $2 million from selling mobile phones and supplying oil explorers with services.
Entrepreneurs likeThomson-Payan are becoming more common in Angola, which is attracting investment from Diageo Plc, General Electric Co., Spar Group Ltd. and China’s TBEA Co. Ltd.
Thomson-Payan said in an interview at his office in Luanda, the capital:
“The perception of risk is a result of Angola’s headline news reputation, as opposed to the actuality one finds on the ground.”
This rollerblader on the Luanda waterfront clearly relishes risk of a different kind. He insisted on making his highest jump for the perfect photo. Twice he crashed and burned before nailing it on his third attempt. Smiles all round.
Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
© 2014 Bloomberg Finance LP
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