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 Oil and Diamond rich. A country that was dogged with stories of malfeasance and dictatorship while the previous President/Dictator was at the helm.
Jose Eduardo Dos Santos was the president of Angola from 1979 to 2017. Dos Santos has been accused of leading one of the most corrupt regimes in Africa by ignoring the economic and social needs of Angola and focusing his efforts on amassing wealth for his family and silencing his opposition, while nearly 70% of the population lives on less than $2 a day.
As he was at the helm for 38 years, it was quite a shock to the world and Angola, when he agreed to eventually step down. There was mass speculation that he would nominate one of his children to take his place, but he did not – he nominated Joao Lourenco.
Lourenco was a colleague and close friend of Dos Santos, and while it was a surprise that he did not nominate one of his progenies, many Angolans thought that the country would continue to be mired in corruption and poverty and nothing would change. How wrong they were!
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. All of them enjoying key appointments in the state. As we speak, Dos Santos is in unofficial exile in Spain, his children’s assets have been frozen, and his son is on trial for misappropriating 550 million USD of government funds.
Many thought that Lourenco was not up to the task of bringing in reforms, however, there are solid signs of political and economic change. The country has opened up by 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.
The government is also privatising state owned enterprises so the market to invest is ripe at present. The people of Angola has said that they want transparency in Privatisation investors as in the past, it was always those with close ties to the president who benefitted. Lourenco, thus far, seems to be keeping to his word.
The sectors that are currently opening up in Angola is Agriculture, Hydro Electricity, Water plants, Diamond Mining, Construction and Chemical Plants. In the last 6 months, we have seen an increase in queries for various projects in the Petrochemical and Mining industries. By 2022, Sonangol (Angola’s state Oil Company), plans to build 2 refineries by 2022 so they do not have to rely on other countries for the final petrol product.
Don’t have an entity in Angola but your company has a potential project there? Uniglo can assist with the following to facilitate your business in Angola.
- Employment Sponsorship (Employer of Record)
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