AU Watch

Angola

Brief Overview

A vast country with a long coastline and central plateau, Angola thrusts inland across Southern Africa to border Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its principal cities, including its capital, Luanda, look west over the South Atlantic to Brazil, another Portuguese-speaking nation (like itself). It has a population of more than 28.8 million (2016).

Economic Overview

​Despite significant progress on macroeconomic stability and structural reforms, Angola is still suffering the effects of lower oil prices and production levels, with an estimated gross domestic product (GDP) contraction around 1.2% in 2018. The oil sector accounts for one-third of GDP and more than 90% of exports. The transformation of a state-led oil economy to a private-sector-led growth model is a complex and long-term process and the oil sector will continue to play an important role during this transition period.
The government has delivered on several key reforms since taking office in 2017. Two laws that are essential to enhance private sector-led growth and competitiveness have been approved: the private investment law and the antitrust law, followed by the creation of a competition authority. The government took first steps to reform public utilities, utility tariffs and subsidies, and to privatize or liquidate some state-owned companies by creating IGAPE – the state-owned enterprise (SOE) oversight agency. The government also established a social protection registry to protect the most vulnerable from the reforms.
Macroeconomic stability has been restored and maintained through a more flexible exchange rate regime, restrictive monetary policy, and fiscal consolidation. The reform program is supported by a three-year Extended Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) from the International Monetary Fund ($3.7 billion) and a programmatic series of Development Policy Financing (DPF) from the World Bank ($500 million).
The policy response since late 2017 has been adequate and effective in reducing domestic imbalances. The Banco Nacional de Angola (BNA) adopted a restrictive monetary policy to anchor inflation and to offset the impact of the exchange rate devaluation; however, the tight monetary policy stance has been relaxed somewhat in 2019 with interest rate cuts in January and May to stimulate economic activity. Inflation remains high but continued to decline from 18.6% at end-2018 to 17.2% in July 2019, reflecting weak economic activity and muted exchange rate pass-through.
The authorities are actively addressing financial sector vulnerabilities. The BNA increased minimum capital requirements for banks, which led to the closure of three banks. Nonperforming loans (NPLs) remain high at 28% of total gross loans; but they are concentrated in Banco de Poupança e Crédito (BPC), whose restructuring is part of the IMF EFF program.​

Political Context

Angola has maintained political stability since the end of the 27-year civil war in 2002. In 2010, a constitution established a presidential parliamentary system with the president no longer elected by direct popular vote but instead as the head of the party winning the most seats. The 2010 Constitution sets a limit of two, five-year presidential terms. The country’s first local elections are planned for 2020.
Internationally, Angola is becoming more assertive and demonstrating a more steadfast commitment to peace and stability in Africa, particularly in the Great Lakes region. Very recently it facilitated an agreement to end mounting tensions between the neighbors Rwanda and Uganda.

Development Challenges

Angola has made substantial economic and political progress since the end of the war in 2002. However, the country continues to face massive development challenges, which include reducing its dependency on oil and diversifying the economy; rebuilding its infrastructure; and improving institutional capacity, governance, public financial management systems, human development indicators, and the living conditions of the population.
Large pockets of the population live in poverty without adequate access to basic services, and the country could benefit from more inclusive development policies. The government is creating a social protection scheme program aimed at assisting the poorest of the poor.

The Republic of Angola Capital: Luanda

Population 29 million

Area 1.25m sq km (481,354 sq miles)

Major languages Portuguese (official), Umbundu, Kimbundu, Kikongo

Major religion: Christianity

Life expectancy: 58 years (men), 64 years (women)

Currency: Kwanza

President João Lourenço

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Membership of African Regional Organisations

 

African Union (AU)

Joined the OAU on 11 February May 1975

Signed the Constitutive Act of The African Union on: 1 March 2001

Ratified:19 September 2001

Instrument Deposited:20 December 2001

 

Southern African Development Community (SADC)

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Key Regional Human Rights & Governance InstrumentsSigned and Ratified

 

  1. African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

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2.Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights

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  1. Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights

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4.Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights

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  1. Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa

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  1. African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption

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  1. African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance

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  1. Statute of the African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL)

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  1. OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa

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  1. African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention)

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  1. Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Relating to Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence and Right of Establishment

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  1. African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

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  1. Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Older Persons

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  1. Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa

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