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Economic Overview

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

Largest oil producer in Africa, Angola also has the third largest GDP in sub-Saharan Africa (IMF). Economic growth is prone to large fluctuations, depending on oil production and prices levels. After the recession induced by the fall in oil prices and in world demand, restrictions under the OPEC+ production agreement and the COVID-19 pandemic, economic growth started to recover. From an estimated 0.8% in 2021, GDP growth picked up to 2.9% in 2022, supported by higher oil prices, improved oil production, and resilient non-oil activity (IMF). According to IMF’s latest estimates, GDP growth is expected to further accelerate to 3.5% in 2023 and reach about 4% in the medium term, thanks to structural reforms supporting the non-oil sector.

In 2022, the Angolan economy continued to recover from the pandemic-induced crisis, supported by stronger agriculture and services sector output, and by faster expansion of the oil sector amid the fallout from the war in Ukraine (Focus Economics). Despite the end of the IMF-supported program, continued reforms supported the economy. Overall fiscal balance worsened from 3.8% GDP in 2021 to 1.7% GDP in 2022, following higher-than-budgeted capital expenditure and higher-than-expected fuel subsidy costs, and is expected to be negative in 2023 (-0.4%) (IMF). The 2023 budget envisions a resumption of fiscal adjustment. Benefitting from a stronger exchange rate, public debt continued to drop, from 86.4% GDP in 2021 to 56.6% GDP in 2022. It is expected to further reduce to 52.5% GDP in 2023 and 47.9% GDP in 2024 (IMF). Driven by lower global food prices, a stronger kwanza, and previous efforts by the central bank to tighten monetary policy, inflation decreased from 25.8% in 2021 to 21.7% in 2022, and it is forecast to further decline to 11.8% in 2023 and 9.9% in 2023 (IMF). The 2023 budget reflects the authorities’ commitment to prudent budget management and support to inclusive growth, increasing the allocation for health, education and fight against poverty. Among the many challenges faced by the country, strengthening debt sustainability, addressing the financial sector’s weaknesses, diversifying the economy, improving governance and developing human capital and infrastructure should be key priorities (IMF).

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 getting the country out of the crisis, but the social situation of Angola remains tensed. Inequalities and inflation are nourishing people's dissatisfaction. Only a third of the population has access to electricity. The income per capita has been gradually increasing, especially in the metropolitan regions, but poverty and unemployment rates remain high. According to the African Development Bank, the pandemic is likely to have exacerbated the official poverty incidence of 40.6%. Poverty is more dominant in rural areas (around 60%) than in urban areas (around 20%). The unemployment rate fell below 30% in Q4 2022, but youth unemployment remained above 50% (INE). According to the World Bank data (modelled ILO estimate) unemployment rate was at 8.5% of labour force in 2021. Violence in the region of Kasaï (Democratic Republic of Congo) provoked the arrival of more than 30,000 refugees in Angola.

 
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 , October 2021

Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by La Coface.

 

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Main Sectors of Industry

Angola is Africa's largest oil producer, overtaking Nigeria, a net producer of natural gas and also the third largest producer of diamonds in 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 50% of its GDP and is the primary source of revenue for the country (more than 70% of government revenue and 90% of Angola's exports come from oil activities). In addition to diamonds, the country also produces gold, granite, gypsum, marble, and salt, and possesses 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. The industrial sector represents 44.1% of GDP and 7% of employment (World Bank).

Despite its potential, the agricultural sector is underdeveloped and not very productive, contributing to 7.9% of GDP but employs 51% of the population (World Bank). Only about a third of Angola's arable land is used for harvests; of those, only 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. The key industrial crops are coffee and cotton. The Government heavily invested in coffee, sugarcane and ethanol productions, which should help to diversify agricultural revenues and exports.

The services sector (banking, communication, tourism) is also growing rapidly, accounting for 46.5% of GDP and employing 42% of the population. Tourism is growing, although there is a severe shortage of hotels and other types of accommodation. The construction sector is booming (9% of GDP), driven by a large reconstruction program launched by the government.

 
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.

 
Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Angolan New Kwanza (AON) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD 163.66165.92252.86364.80578.26

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 

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Foreign Trade

Angola has considerably liberalised its trade scheme over the last few years. Trade represents around 60% 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 signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement in May 2019. Custom duties are relatively low (9.5% in average). The imports of certain products, such as pharmaceuticals and agricultural products, still require authorisations from the concerned official ministries. Angola has also adopted the SADC guidelines on biotechnology, which ban the import of biotechnological particles. Delays in customs clearance at the ports still remain a major problem.

Oil exports account for more than 95% of total exports. The country is also a major exporter of diamonds and is exporting liquefied natural gas to the American, European and Japanese markets; other exports include, coffee, sisal, and fish. Imports mainly involve machinery, vehicles, spare parts, medicines, food, textiles, and military goods. Angola's main trade partners are China (more than 60% of exports and 15% of imports), India, the European Union (Portugal, Spain) and the United States.

Thanks to its comfortable oil revenues, Angola historically records a large but volatile trade surplus that should continue in the coming years. In 2021, merchandise exports increased to USD 33.6 billion (from USD 20.9 billion in 2020), while imports increased to USD 11.8 billion (from USD 9.5 billion). Services exports slightly increased to USD 94 million (from USD 66 million in 2020), while imports rose to USD 7 billion (from USD 5.4 billion) (WTO). Thanks to economic recovery and higher oil prices, the trade balance soared to USD 21.8 billion in 2021, up from USD 11.4 billion in 2020 (World Bank).

 
Foreign Trade Values 20182019202020212022
Imports of Goods (million USD) 15,79813,9629,33811,37917,803
Exports of Goods (million USD) 40,75835,43222,13534,47251,275
Imports of Services (million USD) 10,0908,1725,6037,05011,297
Exports of Services (million USD) 631455679482

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 66.457.855.462.1n/a
Trade Balance (million USD) 24,96020,59911,39421,78732,771
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 15,50212,8815,85914,83021,556
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -16.0-25.0-19.6-18.313.8
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -7.6-17.4-6.2-10.70.7
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 25.517.017.316.6n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 40.840.838.045.4n/a

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20232024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)2027 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) -3.02.82.84.22.0
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) -13.9-3.02.31.5-4.7

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Member of African Union (AU)

Member of Southern African Development Community (SADC)

Member of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

Member of Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)

Member of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

 

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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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
Next Election Dates
Presidential elections: 24 August 2027
Legislative elections: 24 August 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, main opposition, strong grassroots support and is defined by its legacy as a guerrilla movement
- Convergence Angola Salvation Wide-Electoral Coalition (Casa-CE): faction that broke away from UNITA
- Social Renewal Party (PRS): centre-left
- Angolan National Liberation Front (FNLA): centre-right
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.
 

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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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