Angola was until 1975 self-sufficient in all key food crops except wheat. Agricultural exports accounted for nearly 60 % of total exports and were composed of mainly coffee 48 %, sisal 5 %, and maize 2 %. Yet, over 25 years of civil war and inability to reactivate the agriculture sector has made Angola largely dependent on food imports. The population is expected to more than double by 2050, which will make the country even more reliant on food import. The country is one of the fastest growing and most promising economies in Sub-Saharan Africa; however, market intelligence is extremely limited in this part of the world and the business environment is complicated. This is exemplified by Angola’s low ease of doing business ranking where Angola ranks 181 out of 189 countries according to the World Bank’s ease of doing business index.



25 mill.

(% of population)

44 %

Corruption Perception Index

15 / Rank 163

Income per Capita

4100 USD

Income Distribution (gini index)

43 (2008)

Tourism contribution to GDP

3.6 %

Annual growth rate

3 %

Wholesale & retail sector (% of GDP)

21.3 %

Travel Turist industry growth forecast

1.7 %

Import 2015

Trading partner - EXPORT

China 51 %, US 9.3 %, India 9.3%

Main export of goods (USD):

Crude oil, diamonds, refined petroleum products, coffee, sisal, fish and fish products, timber, cotton

Export 2015

Trading partner - IMPORT

China 23 %, Portugal 16%, South Korea 6.9%

Main import of goods (USD):

Machinery and electrical equipment, vehicles and spare parts, medicines, food, textiles, military goods


Sources:  World Bank, AfDB, CIA Factbook & Transparency International

  1. World Bank: Population, Income pr. Capita (current USD 2015), Annual growth rate (2015), Urbanization (% of population), Income distribution (Gini index of 0 represents a perfectly equal distribution of income, where all income recipients receive the same income. The greater inequality, the higher the gini index. If the gini-index is 100, one person earns the entire income in the economy. ), Poverty at 1,25/day
  2. AfDB 2011: Middle class distribution: Middle class with floating class ($2-20 per day) / Middle class without floating class ($4-20 per day)
  3. Transparency International 2014: Corruption Perception Index (a scale from 0-100, where 0 means the country is highly corrupt and a 100 mean that a country is perceived as very clean). The ranking is out of 168 countries.
  4. The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015, World Bank
  5. World Integrated Trade Solutions, World Bank 2015: Trading partners, main imports and exports of goods

The political climate

The Angolan state is highly centralized around the president and the top officials and suffers from both a high degree of corruption and nepotism. Angola remains highly dependent on oil revenues and according to Human Rights Watch USD 32 billion was stolen from state coffers by the president and state officials in the years 2007 - 2010. After the civil war ended in 2002 the political climate has stabilised.  However, instability along the borders of the democratic republic of Congo is severe and the enclave Cabinda continues to be a hotspot for local militias trying to take control over the oil. After the

2008-2009 recession Angola’s economy is performing strongly with an anticipated real GDP growth rate at 5-6 % over 2014-2020.The government is also making impressive efforts in fostering economic diversification and job creation

According to Transparency International’s Corruptions Perception Index, which measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption worldwide, Angola ranks 163 out of 168 countries with a score of 15. This is a sign of widespread bribery, lack of punishment for corruption and public institutions that don’t respond to citizens need.

Primary production

It is estimated that 40 % of Angola’s land is arable but only 5.7 % of it is under cultivation. Angola has advantageous conditions for economic and social development within the agricultural-, livestock- and fishing sectors with high aptitude soil, biodiversity, favorable climate, abundance of water resources, and aquatic biological and natural resources.  Yet, the country remains significantly challenged with farmers lacking access to machinery, labor, irrigation, fertilizer, infrastructure and new technology. Angolan export of agricultural products is non-existing. Some estimate that 60 % of the food consumed in Angola is imported resulting in higher food prices. The agricultural production in Angola is predominantly a family-labor activity, planting on average 1-2 ha per family on two or more parcels of land.

Agriculture, value added (% GDP) Food imports  Food exports 
 9 (2014) N.A.  N.A. 



The Government of Angola has made an impressive effort the last years. The National Medium-term Development Plan for the Agricultural sector 2013-2017 (PDMPSA) has established the objectives to campaign for professional training and transfer of technology to optimize agricultural production, to implement a process of agrarian  transformation and rural development based on family farming, cooperativeness and public-private partnerships, and to establish synergies between different sectors and other stakeholders in rural areas. Following the creation of a full-fledged Ministry of Fisheries in September 2012, the national legislative framework of the fisheries area will be strengthened and developed in the coming years. Despite recent progress in implementing policies directed towards an improved agricultural sector there is still a considerable gap to be bridged between policy objectives and instruments to ensure successful implementation.

Commercial indicators


Angola’s middle class grew by 700% between 2000 and 2014. Personal consumption expenditure is projected to grow by an average growth rate of 11% over 2013-2020 and consumers are increasingly able to buy not only necessity goods but also more expensive durables and specialized goods. Over 2009-2013, all consumer categories recorded significant growth in Angola. Packaged food, valued at US$1.8 billion in 2013, grew by an average value of 23 %, with an exceptionally good performance in oils and fats, pasta and noodles and soup. The average growth rate for beverages in 2013 stood at 19%, driven by beer, bottled water, juice and carbonates. Packaged food and beverages are projected to grow by an average value of 19 % and 15 % respectively over 2013-2018, mainly driven by growing income and urbanization.  Angola is dominated by imported products. Although Angolans are generally brand-savvy and value international names, in the majority of categories, brands need to be adjusted to local tastes and preferences, which vary greatly depending on product category. Packaging, advertising and brand positioning are all important considerations before entering the Angolan market.

The Angolan retail sector is forecasted to grow with 8 % in 2015. The wholesale and retail sector made up 21.3 % of the country’s GDP in 2014 from 15 % in 2002. The informal sector still accounts for up to 80 % of the market which implies that the scope for growth is significant. The government is currently taking steps towards closing or relocating the informal retail sector.  Shoprite, a South African  Supermarket and discount store giant, international supermarket chain Spar, and Portuguese group, Teixeira Duarte are already present in Angola while other brands like Portuguese food and FMCG retailer, Sonae, is expected to open in 2016. Kero, a wholly Angolan owned food and FMCG retailer, opened the biggest hypermarket in the country in 2014 and now has 11 stores with five more expected to open.

Wholesale & retail sector  Retail growth  Informal/traditional open trade 
 21,3% (2014) 8% (2014)  80% (2014)  


The Angolan society is extremely hierarchical and people accept a hierarchical order of social statuses which need no further justification. Centralization of power is the norm in organizations and the ideal boss is a benevolent autocrat. Angola is a highly collectivistic society which is manifested in a close long-term commitment to the member ‘group’. This implies that loyalty is paramount and overrules most other societal rules and regulations. The society fosters strong relationships where everyone takes responsibility for fellow members of their group; in a collectivist society offence leads to shame and loss of face. Angola is considered a relatively feminine society. In feminine countries the focus is on “working in order to live”, managers strive for consensus, people value equality, solidarity and quality in their working lives. Conflicts are resolved by compromise and negotiation. Incentives such as free time and flexibility are favored. Focus is on well-being and status is not shown or emphasized. Angola’s high rating of uncertainty avoidance implies a need for rules (even if rules never seem to work) and security. In general Angolans will be intolerant of unorthodox behavior, ideas and innovations. In terms of long-term orientation the Angolan society is more normative than pragmatic. Traditions and culture is highly valued and the propensity to save for the future is low. Furthermore, Angolan culture is very indulgent. Angolans will tend to place a high degree of importance on leisure time, acting after pleasure and spending money as they wish.

Angola’s capital, Luanda, has one of Africa’s biggest metropolitan areas and it serves as a major seaport for Africa’s West Coast. The major seaports include Cabinda, Lobito, Luanda and Namibe. However, underdeveloped transport infrastructure poses a risk for international companies doing business in Angola. Currently, the majority of goods are shipped by sea but port infrastructure is insufficient to accommodate booming demand. Recent initiatives seek to create alternatives to seaports by reconstructing railway systems, improving ports, constructing new airports and reconstructing roads. Three railway lines have been reconstructed; Luanda Railway (Luanda – Malange), Benguela Railway (Port of Lobito – Huambo – Luau), & Moçâmedes Railway (Namibe – Menongue). Export to Angola is challenged by complex customs rules and legislation. A new customs tariff regime (the Angola Customs Tariff Book) aims at increasing local production which increase trade barriers and may distort competition and innovation.  


Paved roads (% of total) Total network (railways km)  Mobile Cellular subscribers (per 100 people)  Airports with paved runways 
10%  2852  63  31 


Angola is initiating tourism but lack adequate governance of the sector. They have some basic infrastructure for tourism but still face market failures pertaining to regulation, resources, and institutions, which also affect the macro economy. Hence, tourism only accounts for 3.6 % of GDP and the growth rates remains low at 1.7 %.

Middle class distribution (millions)


Reports of interest

PWC (N.A): "Angola Country Report"

World Bank (2017): "Doing Business in Angola"

The Danish Embassy in Angola


Currently Denmark does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Angola. Please contact the Embassy of Denmark in South Africa which also covers Angola. 


The Embassy of Denmark, South Africa

iParioli Office Park, Block B2 

1166 Park Street

Hatfield 0083



Tlf: +27 (012) 430-9340


Click here to visit the website of the Embassy