Just recently, government leaders unanimously passed revisions to the country’s Private Investment Law, which supports Angola’s diversification efforts in job opportunities and trade. This is particularly helpful when there are price fluctuations in oil, metal, and other commodities that are top sources of revenue for the country.
In the past, the Private Investment Law had required foreign investors to partner with Angolan citizens, public capital companies, or Angolan companies, and hold at least a 35-percent stake in the share capital of the companies. The revision removes this requirement, and I’m hopeful that Parliament’s new regulation will be more attractive to foreign investors, grow businesses, benefit trade, and create more jobs.
Under the new bill, private investors must employ Angolan workers and provide them with favorable training, salaries, and social conditions, without discrimination. This is a great step in providing concrete opportunities for Angola residents and building upon other investment opportunities with high manufacturing intensity. The new law assigns four development areas, or zones, within Angola. The priority trade sectors are: food and agriculture; forest resources; textile, clothing and footwear; hotel business, tourism and leisure; construction; public works; telecommunications and information technology infrastructure; energy and water; and education, training and investigation respectively.
All of these elements can greatly contribute to the growth of businesses, research, and trade, which is crucial for Angola, as it is one of few African countries that has just two main exports. Diversifying these opportunities is beneficial, should there be another price decrease on a primary export in the future.
While the law revisions don’t apply to the oil and mining industry or financial sector, it’s a way to open up the economy. I’m pleased to see our government take action to grow multiple trade sectors, especially agriculture, which has accounted for more than half of Africa’s workforce. Through my own ventures, I’ve placed a focus on Angolan companies in the energy, transportation, hospitality, healthcare, technology, and real estate sectors.
According to the 2018 African Development Outlook, African countries that experienced three episodes of growth acceleration reduced poverty by 1.3 percentage points more per year and inequality by .2 percentage points more per year than countries that experience no growth acceleration. Education will play an important role in keeping up with this growth because it will prepare more workforce prospects for new jobs.
While the revisions to the Private Investment Law are crucial, it’s important to note that the continued investment in Angola’s infrastructure and technology, and maintaining positive relationships with Africa’s close trade partners, are all key in further driving this growth. Without these improvements, it will be difficult to maintain a steady economic growth pattern for years to come. I applaud President João Lourenco and the Council of Ministers for their efforts in eliminating poverty and creating a hopeful future for Angola.
- Zandre Campos, Chief Executive Officer of ABO Capital, dedicates his career to bettering Angola as well as advancing progress of other African nations