Best Bitcoin Exchange for Angola
Angola is a state in Southwest Africa. National holiday is November 11, Independence Day (1975). Angola borders Namibia, Zambia, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Atlantic Ocean – the exclave Cabinda belonging to Angola lies in the north between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo on the Atlantic Ocean.
The name Angola derives from the title Ngola of the Kings of Ndongo, a vassal state east of Luanda in the historic Congo Empire. The Luanda region was given this name in the 16th century by the first Portuguese sailors who landed on the coast and erected a Padrão, a stone cross, as a sign of occupation by the Portuguese king. The name was extended to the Benguela region at the end of the 17th century and then, in the 19th century, to the territory (not yet delimited at the time) which Portugal occupied colonially.
With a gross domestic product of 95.8 billion US dollars (2016), Angola is the third largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa and Nigeria. At the same time, a large part of the population lives in poverty. In the same year, per capita gross domestic product amounted to USD 3,502 (USD 6,844 adjusted for purchasing power). Angola was thus in 120th place worldwide (of approx. 200 countries in total).
Angola’s economy suffers from the consequences of decades of civil war. However, thanks to its mineral resources – primarily oil reserves and diamond mining – the country has enjoyed a major economic boom in recent years. Angola’s economic growth is currently the largest in Africa. However, the revenues from the resource deposits do not reach the majority of the population, but corrupt beneficiaries within the political and economic rulers of the country and a slowly forming middle class. Not without reason, therefore, domestic and foreign entrepreneurs praise Angola as a kind of paradise. A large proportion of the population is unemployed and about half live below the poverty line, with drastic differences between urban and rural areas. A survey by the Instituto Nacional de Estatística in 2008 came to the conclusion that in the countryside about 58 % were to be regarded as poor, but in the cities only 19 %, a total of 37 %.
In the cities where more than 50% of Angolans now clump together, the majority of families depend on survival strategies. This is also where social inequality is most evident, especially in Luanda. Angola always ranks among the last in the UN Human Development Index. In 2008, Angola recorded a very high value of 0.62 on the Gini Index, which measures income disparities in a country.The Gini Index, which measures income disparities in a country, measures the number of people living in Angola.
Unemployment stands at 24.2% nationwide, with little difference between men and women. However, there are large differences between the provinces. While unemployment is highest in Lunda Sul (43%), Lunda Norte (39%), Luanda (33%) and Cabinda (31%), it is lowest in Namibe and Huíla (17%), Malanje (16%), Cuanza Sul and Benguela (13%).
The most important trading partners for the export of goods and raw materials are the USA, China, France, Belgium and Spain. The main import partners are Portugal, South Africa, USA, France and Brazil. In 2009, Angola became Portugal’s largest export market outside Europe, and around 24,000 Portuguese have moved to Angola in recent years, seeking employment or setting up businesses there. However, China’s presence in the form of a number of large companies is much more important.
Of fundamental importance for Angola’s population is the shadow economy, which developed during the “socialist” phase and grew exponentially during the liberalization phase and which the government is currently trying to push back. For a long time, Angola was dependent on its oil exports. The decline in the price of oil had a severe impact on the national budget of the southwest African country. For some years now it has been trying to diversify its economy – away from oil alone. This requires the expansion of infrastructure, the modernization of energy supply and better conditions for private investors.
In the Global Competitiveness Index, which measures the competitiveness of a country, Angola ranks 137th out of 140 countries (as of 2018). Outside oil production, the performance of domestic industry is very weak. The state exerts a major influence on economic activity. At the same time, corruption is very pronounced in the state sector. In the index for economic freedom in 2018, the country therefore occupies only place 164 out of 180 countries.
Elizabete Dias Dos Santos invested 25 million US dollars in its fish factory in Solmar. The processing plant opened in autumn 2016. This type of assembly line production is unique in the sector in Angola. 120 people work in the factory. In addition, the suppliers benefit because more than 50,000 people live from traditional fishing in Angola. 40 % of the purchases are made by small-scale fishermen. In order to attract private investors, the Angolan government had improved the conditions for domestic and foreign companies through, among other things, tax concessions, help with financing and simplified procedures for setting up companies.
At Aceria de Angola, north of the capital Luanda, a steelworks with a capacity of 500,000 tons per year went into operation in 2015. 350 million dollars were invested. The plant has more than 500 jobs and offers training to many people. The plant primarily recycles scrap and uses it to produce structural steel for concrete structures. The aim of the Lebanese-Senegalese operator Georges Fayez Choucair is to export. Therefore, the capacity of the plant is twice as high as the Angolan demand.
The plant also electrified the region and opened up the water supply. A special high-voltage line had to be laid here. Unemployment in the region fell from around seventy to around twenty percent. Fayez Choucair is convinced: “You can’t invest in a new country, in a completely new population and arrive and settle down according to the motto ‘I’m rich’ – no! Today you have to win over the population, this is not a project of an individual, but a joint project”.
In 2011, Angola ranked 119th in the world in terms of annual production with 5.512 billion kWh and 114th in terms of installed capacity with 1,657 MW. In 2014, the installed capacity was 1,848 MW, of which 888 MW in thermal power plants and 960 MW in hydroelectric plants.
As only 30 to 40 % of the population is currently connected to the electricity grid (as of 2014), the government is planning considerable investments (23.4 billion US dollars by 2017) in the area of electricity supply. This includes the construction of new power plants, investments in transmission networks and rural electrification. A number of hydropower plants are to be built on Cuanza and Kunene in order to exploit the hydropower potential (estimated at 18,000 MW). Kunene’s hydropower potential has already in the past been a basis for projects and partial investments in extensive and never completely realised plans that were developed within the framework of the former Cunene project between South Africa and Angola or Portugal. The Laúca dam with a planned capacity of 2,070 MW is currently under construction. It is expected to go into operation in July 2017.
At present (April 2015), Angola does not have a national grid, but there are three independent regional grids for the north, centre and south of the country and other isolated island solutions. As a result, the surpluses from the northern grid cannot be fed into the other grids. By far the most important grid is the northern one, which also includes the capital Luanda. After completion of the Laúca dam, the three electricity grids will also be connected to each other.
The electricity supply is unreliable throughout the country and is associated with regular power outages, which must be compensated by the operation of expensive generators. The price per kWh is 3 AOA (approx. 2.5 €-cent), but it is heavily subsidised and does not cover costs.
A structural problem of the Angolan economy is the extreme differences between the different regions, partly due to the prolonged civil war. Around a third of economic activity is concentrated in Luanda and the neighbouring province of Bengo, which is increasingly becoming the capital’s expansion area. On the other hand, various inland regions are at a standstill or are even regressing. The clear economic differences between the regions are at least as serious as the social inequality. In 2007, 75.1% of all business transactions and 64.3% of jobs were concentrated in (public or private) commercial enterprises in Luanda. In 2010, 77% of all enterprises were located in Luanda, Benguela, Cabinda, Kwanza Sul Province and Namibe. GDP per capita in Luanda and the neighbouring province of Bengo had risen to around USD 8,000 in 2007, while in western central Angola it was slightly below USD 2,000 thanks to Benguela and Lobito, while in the rest of the country it was well below USD 1,000. Since the end of the civil war, the tendency towards a concentration of the economy in the coastal strip, especially in the “water head” Luanda/Bengo, has not diminished, but has continued, bringing with it an “emptying” of a large part of the interior. The global growth figures thus conceal the fact that Angola’s economy is suffering from extreme imbalances.
One of the most distinctive features of today’s Angola is the omnipresence of corruption. In Transparency International’s surveys, the country regularly appears among the most corrupt in the world, in Africa in a category with Somalia and Equatorial Guinea. In the first five years of the 21st century, it was estimated that oil revenues worth four billion US dollars, or 10% of the then gross domestic product, seeped away as a result of corruption.
The fight against corruption has been on the government’s agenda for years, but it is very rare to prove that this declaration of intent is being put into practice. A notable exception at the end of 2010 was the dismissal of ten department heads and almost 100 officers of the SME (Serviço de Migrações e Estrangeiros) foreign and border police, which is not only responsible for border control, but also for issuing entry, residence and exit permits.
The new president João Lourenço is apparently taking decisive action against corruption and nepotism. In his first year in office, he replaced several provincial governors, ministers, senior civil servants and managers of state enterprises, such as the head of the state oil company Sonangol, Isabel dos Santos, daughter of the previous president or the chairman of the supervisory board of the state oil fund with a value of 5 billion US dollars, José Filomeno dos Santos, son of the predecessor. José dos Santos was arrested in September 2018 and is suspected of illegally transferring 500 million US dollars from the sovereign wealth fund abroad. He was released from custody in March 2019 and has been waiting at home for his trial ever since.
- Mining: Angola has rich offshore oil deposits and diamond mines in the northeast of the country and other mineral deposits in the country. The mineral resources make Angola one of the richest countries in Africa. Angola sells rough diamonds worth around one billion euros annually. From 2019, the gemstones will also be processed in the country itself in order to increase sales revenue. However, the majority of the Angolan economy lives off oil and its products. In 2016, the country was Africa’s second largest oil producer and exporter after Nigeria with a production volume of 87.9 million tonnes (see oil/tables and charts). According to OPEC, revenues from oil production account for about 95 % of Angola’s exports and 45 % of its gross domestic product. The most important buyer of oil is the People’s Republic of China, which has replaced the United States as its main trading partner. On 1 January 2007, Angola became the 12th member of OPEC, but has only participated in the quota regime since March 2007. In 1975, additional uranium deposits were discovered on the border with Namibia. In April 2019, deposits of around 23 billion tonnes of mineral resources with economically interesting contents of rare earth metals were discovered in the province of Huambo, which are to be mined from 2020.
- Agriculture: About 85 % of the working population is engaged in agriculture. The most important agricultural product for export is coffee, followed by sugar cane. Other important exports are maize and coconut oil. The production of potatoes, rice and cocoa is also worth mentioning. The breeding of cattle and goats is relatively widespread. Agriculture as a whole still suffers severely from the consequences of the civil war. Because of the danger of remaining landmines, many farmers refuse to cultivate their fields. Agricultural production is not sufficient to cover their own needs, and the land is dependent on food imports. Agriculture is experiencing a slight upturn.
- Industry: The country’s industry is barely developed and suffered from the civil war. Angola’s main industry is the processing of agricultural products, mainly cereals, meat, cotton, tobacco and sugar, together with the refining of oil. Other important products are fertilizers, cellulose, adhesives, glass and steel.
Angola’s gross domestic product and foreign trade have grown massively in recent years due to rising revenues from oil exports. The fall in oil prices from 2014 onwards led to a slump.
Since the end of the civil war, private investment by Angolans abroad has increased steadily. This is due to the fact that accumulation in the country is concentrated on a small social group, which is keen to diversify its property for reasons of security and profit maximization. The preferred investment destination is Portugal, where Angolan investors (including the President’s family) are present in banks and energy companies, in telecommunications and in the press, but also buy up wineries and tourist properties, for example.