Economic and Political Overview

flag Angola Angola: Economic and Political Overview

In this page: Economic Indicators | Foreign Trade in Figures | Sources of General Economic Information | Political Outline | COVID-19 Country Response

 

Economic Indicators

Among the largest oil producers in Africa, Angola also boasts the third-largest GDP in sub-Saharan Africa (IMF). However, economic growth is susceptible to significant fluctuations, depending on oil production and price levels. After growing 3% in 2022, the IMF estimated a GDP increase of only 1.3% in 2023 amid lower oil production. Moreover, higher inflation dampened consumption and the import of goods, weighing on non-oil economic activity. According to the IMF’s latest estimates, GDP growth is expected to accelerate to 3.3% in 2024 and remain stable in the medium term, thanks to structural reforms supporting the non-oil sector.

The general government deficit was estimated at 1.2% of GDP in 2023, following a surplus one year earlier (+0.2%). The government foresees an improvement in the upcoming years driven by a 50% reduction in gasoil subsidies in 2024 and a further 25% reduction in 2025. In 2023, the IMF projected that Angola's general government debt would rise to 84.9% of GDP, compared to 66.7% in 2022. This increase was influenced by the depreciation of the kwanza and its impact on the government's substantial foreign-currency debt holdings. The debt ratio is expected to decrease to 77.1% and 67.9% of GDP in 2024 and 2025, respectively, reflecting nominal GDP growth and primary budget surpluses. Additionally, the interest/revenue ratio is forecasted to be relatively high at 23.9% in 2024 (Fitch Ratings). The IMF anticipates that inflation will average 22.3% in 2024 and 18.1% in 2025, compared to an estimated 13.1% in 2023. This projection is attributed to the depreciation of the kwanza and the continued implementation of reforms regarding gasoil subsidies.

President Joao Lourenço initiated numerous reforms aimed at reducing the influence of the dos Santos family on the economy, improving the perception of the business climate, and addressing the country's crisis, but the social situation in Angola remains tense. Inequalities and inflation are fueling dissatisfaction among the population. Only a third of the population has access to electricity, and although income per capita has been gradually increasing, especially in metropolitan regions, poverty and unemployment rates remain high. According to the latest figures from the World Bank, the unemployment rate stood at 14.5% at the end of 2022. In 2023, the government approved the creation of the National Employment Fund in Angola (Funea), which already had EUR 44.3 million available for the year, to mitigate unemployment, mainly among youth.

 
Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 122.7893.8092.9396.90100.79
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 3.01.33.33.43.5
GDP per Capita (USD) 3,4382,5502,4532,4832,507
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) 0.3-1.20.30.10.3
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 66.784.977.167.961.0
Inflation Rate (%) n/a13.122.318.110.1
Current Account (billions USD) 11.762.883.472.591.80
Current Account (in % of GDP) 9.63.13.72.71.8

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database , Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Main Sectors of Industry

Despite its potential, the agricultural sector in Angola remains underdeveloped and not very productive, contributing to 13.6% of GDP but employing 56% of the population (World Bank). Only about a third of Angola's arable land is utilized for harvests, and out of those, merely 100,000 out of 5 million arable hectares benefit from machinery and/or animal traction for sowing and harvesting. Angola's agriculture mainly consists of subsistence farming, with key industrial crops being coffee and cotton. The government has heavily invested in coffee, sugarcane, and ethanol productions to diversify agricultural revenues and exports. As outlined in the National Development Plan 2023 - 2027, the Angolan Government has identified two main drivers to unlock the nation's agricultural capacity: the National Grain Plan (PLANAGRÃO) and the National Plan for the Promotion and Development of Livestock (PLANAPECUÁRIA). These initiatives aim to address the increasing need for food imports, specifically cereals for human and animal consumption, as well as poultry.

The industrial sector represents 44.9% of GDP and 6% of employment (World Bank). Angola stands as one of Africa's largest oil producers, a net producer of natural gas, and the third-largest producer of diamonds on the continent, surpassed only by Botswana and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Angolan economy, the third-largest in sub-Saharan Africa, is dominated by the oil and gas industry, which accounts for about 30% of its GDP and is the primary revenue source for the country (with more than 70% of government revenue and 90% of Angola's exports coming from oil activities). In addition to diamonds, the country also produces gold, granite, gypsum, marble, and salt, with numerous undeveloped minerals with potential for extraction, including beryllium, clay, copper, iron-ore, lead, lignite, manganese, mica, nickel, peat, phosphate rock, quartz, silver, tungsten, uranium, vanadium, and zinc. According to the National Oil, Gas, and Biofuels Agency (ANPG), Angola produced 400.72 million barrels in 2023, positioning the country as the third-largest oil producer in Africa. Angola aims to sustain production at 1.18 million bpd throughout 2024.

The services sector (banking, communication, tourism) is also experiencing rapid growth, accounting for 41.6% of GDP and employing 38% of the population. Although tourism is growing, there is a severe shortage of hotels and other types of accommodation. The construction sector is booming, comprising around 9% of GDP, driven by a large reconstruction program launched by the government. Telecommunications has seen significant growth, propelled by increased mobile phone penetration and investments in infrastructure. Banking and finance play a crucial role in supporting Angola's economy, with both domestic and international financial institutions operating within the country.

 
Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 58.7 7.8 33.5
Value Added (in % of GDP) 13.6 44.9 41.6
Value Added (Annual % Change) 3.9 1.8 4.2

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 

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Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Angolan New Kwanza (AON) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 MUR 4.604.817.4510.2814.70

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 
 

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Indicator of Economic Freedom

Definition:

The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

Score:
54,2/100
World Rank:
140
Regional Rank:
30

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation

 

Business environment ranking

Definition:

The business rankings model measures the quality or attractiveness of the business environment in the 82 countries covered by The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Country Forecast reports. It examines ten separate criteria or categories, covering the political environment, the macroeconomic environment, market opportunities, policy towards free enterprise and competition, policy towards foreign investment, foreign trade and exchange controls, taxes, financing, the labour market and infrastructure.

Score:
3.50/10
World Rank:
80/82

Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit - Business Environment Rankings 2020-2024

 

Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.

 

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Foreign Trade in Figures

Angola has significantly liberalized its trade scheme in recent years, with trade now representing around 68% of the country's GDP (World Bank, latest available data). The country is a member of SADC (Southern African Development Community) and ECCAS (Economic Community of Central African States) and has signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. Oil exports account for more than 95% of total exports. Additionally, Angola is a major exporter of diamonds and liquefied natural gas to the American, European, and Japanese markets. Other exports include coffee, sisal, and fish. The growth of non-oil exports has been supported by the Institutional Capacity Building Project for Private Sector Development sponsored by the African Development Bank.

Angola's main trade partners are China (42.7%), India (10.0%), France (7.1%), the Netherlands (6.7%), and Spain (4.3%), while imports primarily come from China (16.0%), Portugal (10.7%), South Korea (9.2%), the Netherlands (6.8%), and India (6.1% - data from Comtrade for 2022).

Thanks to its comfortable oil revenues, Angola historically records a large but volatile trade surplus that is expected to continue in the coming years. In 2022, merchandise exports increased to USD 51.2 billion (+48.7% y-o-y) thanks to high hydrocarbon prices, while imports increased to USD 17.8 billion (+56.4% y-o-y). Services exports were almost non-existent (USD 82 million in 2022), while imports rose to USD 11.3 billion (+60.2% y-o-y – data from WTO). In the same year, the trade surplus amounted to 18.7% of the country’s GDP (World Bank).

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 13,9629,33811,37917,80316,108
Exports of Goods (million USD) 35,43222,13534,47251,27538,351
Imports of Services (million USD) 8,1725,6037,05011,2978,182
Exports of Services (million USD) 45567948273
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -25.0-19.6-18.313.8n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -17.4-6.2-10.70.7n/a
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 17.017.316.6n/an/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 40.838.045.4n/an/a
Trade Balance (million USD) 20,59911,39421,78732,771n/a
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 12,8815,85914,83021,556n/a
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 57.855.462.1n/an/a

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank , Latest Available Data

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2022
China 42.7%
India 10.0%
France 7.1%
Netherlands 6.7%
Spain 4.3%
See More Countries 29.1%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2022
China 16.0%
Portugal 10.7%
South Korea 9.2%
Netherlands 6.8%
India 6.1%
See More Countries 51.1%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

 
 
 
 

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Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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Sources of General Economic Information

Ministries
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Economy and Planification
Ministry of Energy and Water
Ministry of Mineral Ressources and Oil
Ministry of Fishing
Statistical Office
National Statistics Institute
Central Bank
Banco Nacional de Angola
Stock Exchange
Bolsa de Divida e Valores de Angola
Search Engines
DMOZ Open Directory
Google Angola
Yahoo Angola
Mangole
Economic Portals
Portal de Angola

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Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President : Joao Manuel Goncalves LOURENCO (since 15 September 2022) - MPLA ; the president is both chief of state and head of government
Vice President: Esperanca Francisco DA COSTA (since 15 September 2022)
Next Election Dates
Presidential: 2027
Legislative: 2027
Main Political Parties
The MPLA party remains the largest parliamentary force and has had no real political challengers since independence. The largest parties include:

- Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA): social democracy, secured 124 of 220 recognized seats for an absolute majority
- National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA): centre-right, the second-largest political party, strong grassroots support and is defined by its legacy as a guerrilla movement
- Humanist Party of Angola (PHA): slit from UNITA, it was legalised by the Constitutional Court on 27 May 2022
- Social Renewal Party (PRS): centre-left
- National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA): centre-right
Type of State
Unitary Democratic Republic with a presidential-parliamentary system.
Executive Power
The executive power is held by the Government. Following the general election, the head of the list becomes president, the second is appointed vice-president. The position of prime minister was abolished in 2010. The president is responsible for the appointments and powers of the government (ministers, secretary of state). The government is not answerable to the National Assembly. The president is also responsible for the appointment of four out of seven judges to the Constitutional Court (including its president), judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Auditors and High Military Court, the Attorney General of the Republic, governors and vice-governors of the provinces of the State, the governor of the National Bank of Angola. He is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
Legislative Power
Angola has a unicameral legislative system. The parliament is called the National Assembly and has officially 223 seats. Its members are elected under a system of proportional representation by universal suffrage for a five-year term. In practice, the National Assembly has only 220 members. It is responsible for voting the law, granting the tax and controlling the activities of the government. However, the President of the Republic has significant legislative power, which renders the role of oversight of the Assembly's governmental activities ineffective.
 

Indicator of Freedom of the Press

Definition:

The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:
103/180
 

Indicator of Political Freedom

Definition:

The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Ranking:
Not Free
Political Freedom:
6/7

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House

 

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COVID-19 Country Response

Travel restrictions
Regularly updated travel information for all countries with regards to Covid-19 related entry regulations, flight bans, test and vaccines requirements is available on TravelDoc Infopage.
To find information about the current travel regulations, including health requirements, it is also advised to consult Travel Regulations Map provided and updated on a daily basis by IATA.
Import & export restrictions
A general overview of trade restrictions which were adopted by different countries during the COVID-19 pandemic is available on the International Trade Centre's COVID-19 Temporary Trade Measures webpage.
Economic recovery plan
For the general overview of the key economic policy responses to the COVID-19 outbreak (fiscal, monetary and macroeconomic) undertaken by the Angolan government, please consult the section dedicated to Angola in the IMF’s Policy Tracker platform.
Support plan for businesses
For an evaluation of impact of the Covid pandemic on SMEs and an inventory of country responses to foster SME resilience, refer to the OECD's SME Covid-19 Policy Responses document.
You can also consult the World Bank's Map of SME-Support Measures in Response to COVID-19.

 

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Latest Update: April 2024