Angola has announced it is to apply to join oil producers' group Opec, a move that, if successful, should boost the African nation's global profile.
Joining Opec will be a boost to Angola and its president
The Angolan oil ministry said the country hoped to become Opec's 12th member by March, adding that it would produce "deep financial advantages".
Angola is sub-Saharan Africa's second biggest oil exporter, behind Nigeria.
Driven by its oil revenues, Angola's economy grew by 18% in 2005, and more of the same is expected this year.
Booming oil exports
The country is now producing 1.4 million barrels of crude oil a day, and this is expected to hit 2 million next year.
"Angola is joining because revenues are rising so spectacularly fast at the moment that it gives it more influence on the world stage," said Nick Shaxson, Angola head at the UK-based Chatham House think-tank.
Joining Opec, which should be a formality, will also be a boost to the prestige of Angola's President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.
Opec's 11 current members are Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela and Iraq.