Full name: The Republic of Angola
Population: 24.3 million (national census 2014)
Area: 1.25m sq km (481,354 sq miles)
Major languages: Portuguese (official), Umbundu, Kimbundu, Kikongo
Major religion: Christianity
Life expectancy: 50 years (men), 53 years (women) (UN)
Internet domain: .ao
International dialling code: +244
Main exports: Oil, diamonds, minerals, coffee, fish, timber
Jose Eduardo dos Santos, of the ruling MPLA, has been in power since 1979, and is Africa’s second-longest serving head of state after Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang. He keeps tight control over all aspects of Angola’s political life.
Many Angolans credit the president for leading the country to recovery after the end of its 27-year civil war in 2002, and for turning the country’s formerly socialist economy into one of the world’s fastest-growing – mainly on the back of Angola’s prodigious oil wealth.
Some, however, accuse him of authoritarianism, staying in office for too long and failing to distribute the proceeds from the oil boom more widely.
In 2008, his party won the country’s first parliamentary elections for 16 years in 2008. A new constitution approved in 2010 substituted direct election of the president with a system under which the top candidate of the largest party in parliament becomes president.
It also strengthened the presidency’s powers, prompting the Unita opposition to accuse the government of “destroying democracy”.
After years of civil war that destroyed the country’s communication and hospitality infrastructures, Angola has been living an economic growth period with the national government highly investing in the country’s reconstruction. Luanda is nowadays a business hub, attracting several international companies in various areas from finance, to engineering and tourism.
Although business being the main purpose of tourism in the country, leisure has also been rising as new touristic routes are created and market players become increasingly competitive.
Fuelled by the low offer of high quality hotels and the expansion of tourism demand, the number of travel accommodation outlets in the country has been seeing a high increase over the last few years. Despite a high percentage of the offer being concentrated in the nation’s capital, investments have been made to fuel the development of in other areas, such as Namibe or Huila. In fact, the demining process in the country has allowed the increase of tourist exploitation in areas of the country in which the tourist offer would have been impossible a few years back.
Population: 20.8 million
GDP (PPP): $130.1 billion
3.8% 5-year compound annual growth
$6,247 per capita
Inflation (CPI): 8.8%
FDI Inflow: $-4284.8 million
–Angola’s GDP grew 5.1% in 2013, below the target figure, but a new burst is expected from 2014.
–Despite good economic indicators, policies are needed to lift Angolans out of poverty.
Angola is Africa’s second-largest oil producer, with much of its proven reserves concentrated in Cabinda province, a region plagued by a separatist conflict. Nevertheless, oil production has nearly doubled from 800,000 barrels a day in 2001 to over 1.4 million barrels a day in 2014. In 2014, a French oil company invested $16 billion in an offshore project. Angola also has natural gas, diamonds, hydroelectric potential, and rich agricultural land. Nonetheless, most Angolans remain poor and dependent on subsistence farming.
Rule of Law
Money-laundering legislation was passed in 2014, but government corruption and patronage remain endemic, especially in the extractive sectors. Bribery often underpins business activity. Although courts occasionally rule against the government, the judiciary is subject to extensive political influence, particularly from the executive. Property registration fees can be prohibitively expensive. Overall, protection of property rights is weak.
Angola has a 7.4 percent average tariff rate. The government procurement process favors domestic companies. Most land is owned by the state, and investment in several sectors is restricted. The underdeveloped financial system has only a limited role in the economy, hampering private entrepreneurial growth. The banking sector, dominated by commercial banks, continues to evolve. There is no stock exchange.
The country has to get a foot hold in the global oil industry’s value chain and broaden its participation into sectors such as liquified natural gas, methanol and other high potential sectors. But poor roads, ports, airports and railway connections hinder efforts to reach foreign markets, and there is a poor power supply. Difficulties accessing finance and administrative barriers to free movement of goods and labour are also obstacles. The government has used the Petroleum Activity Law and local content decrees to advance national interests in the oil sector. This legal framework also serves to promote the creation of local skills through the “Angolanization” of human resources and boost the participation of local companies by giving preferential treatment to national firms in the supply of goods and services.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Angola’s GDP grew by over 20% in 2007 making it Africa’s fastest growing economy and the fourth fastest in the world.
Angola is experiencing an unprecedented economic boom. In May 2008, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting countries (OPEC) confirmed Angola’s oil production at 1.9 million barrels per day. The growth in this industry has had substantial spillover effects, spurring investment in the financial services, construction, and agriculture sectors.
New businesses are registering everyday, fostered by an environment of peace and stability in the country and a new private investment law, that has expanded incentives for investors. Although a majority of U.S. companies remain focused on the oil and gas sector, non-oil sectors have also seen an increased presence of U.S. companies.
Why Invest In Angola?
Since signing the latest peace agreement in early 2002, Angola has experienced 6 years of sustained stability and growth that has been critical to its development and growth. In the past three years, the country has embarked on an ambitions reconstruction program. Luanda, the capital of Angola, has characteristics of a city with a great development potential. The Government of Angola (GoA) views civil construction as the country’s top priority within this new socio-economic context. The Kwanza, Angolan’s currency, has recently been gaining strength increasing an appetite for goods and services within the country. Political and economic stability has opened new and excellent opportunities for investment. In brief, all social, economic and political aspects are favorable to progress.
Angola is one of the fasted growing economies in the world. It has estimated reserves of 10 billion barrels of oil, and is the fourth largest producer of diamonds in the world; has million hectares of arable land; many valuable minerals and one of Africa’s largest water reserves. This country was once the world’s fourth largest coffee producer, a major iron ore producer and an exporter off high-quality marble , food and sisal. Now, following the advent of peace, the GoA plans to restore Angola to its former position in the global economy. Inflation has been extremely stable in recent years, and continues it’s downward trend while the exchange rate has stabilized.
Area to invest & Benefits
With record oil prices and production, the GoA has rightfully seized this opportunity to diversify the country’s economy and promote private investment. the GoA has attempted to accomplish this challenge through policy reforms, particularly, the establishment of development zones. There are early indications that these reforms have had some success in improving the business climate and increasing investor confidence in the country. To this point, Angola has received lines of credit from China, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Spain, France and the E.U. GoA is offering incentive packages based on development zones.
GoA has identifies these development zones as eligible for financial incentives:
* Zone A- Province of Luanda, the capital-municipalities of the Provinces of Benguela, Huila, Cabinda and the Municipality of Lobito
* Zone B- Remaining municipalities of the provinces of Benguela, Cabinda and Huila and the Provinces of Kwanza norte, Bengo, Uige, Kwanza Sul, Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul
* Zone C- Provinces of Huambo, Bie, Moxico, Cuando Cubango, Cunene, Namibe, Malanje and Zaire
Development zones offer opportunities for wide range investments. Targeted industry sectors are selected based on the abundant natural and human resources available in each zone. Government incentives vary in accordance with the province in which the investment is made.