Angola, a country in South West Africa has finally been making headlines for all the right reasons. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Angola’s past- it is a country that is known for its Oil and Gas operations. A country that was dogged with stories of malfeasance and dictatorship while the previous President was at the helm.
A new dawn
The new president. Joao Lourenco came in like a wrecking ball with sweeping reforms that no one anticipated. He fired the previous president’s daughter and son from strategic posts in the Telecoms and Oil and Gas Sectors as well as few other key close allies. Many thought that Lourenco was not up to the task of bringing in reforms, however, there are solid signs of political and economic change. Visa regimes becoming friendlier. They have joined the African Free trade zone and most importantly, foreign investors no longer need to have an Angolan Partner and shareholder. They are also privatising state owned business and they are looking to expand beyond oil and gas into Power Generation and Mining.
A piece of the pie
Angola is Africa’s third largest diamond producer. There is massive potential for expansion and growth in the country’s mining sector as it is relatively new and underdeveloped. As Angola loosens the reigns on state owned enterprises there is a gap for mining companies who want to enter the market. Angola is considered a country that offers the potential for high returns.
While diamonds reign supreme in Angola and are responsible for around 98% of the government earnings, they have other minerals such as: manganese, copper, gold, granite, marble, uranium, quartz, lead, zinc, wolfram, tin, fluorite, sulphur, feldspar, kaolin, mica, asphalt, gypsum, and talc. The government wants to resume mining in the southwest for crystalline quartz and ornamental marble, as it has been estimated that 5 000 m³ of marble could be extracted annually for a period of 20 years.
Due to the ravages of maladministration for decades, Angola lacks scarce and critical skills and a vast majority of its citizens are manual labourers or brokers. Many company’s employ International staff at their company’s such as Civil, Structural and Electrical Engineers and it is an acceptable practice for Angola. While border closure’s have scuppered commercial travel for now, many expats work in Angola.
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