5 Unexpected Facts about Doing Business in Angola

5 Unexpected Facts about Doing Business in Angola

Have you ever thought about doing business in Angola? Angola is a high-risk  high-opportunity market, so not for the faint-hearted, but with huge potential for you if you are up for a challenge.

I know a few people who are doing business in Angola, one is a relative of mine. They moved into Angola around 2004/2005 a couple of years after the end of the war focusing simply on import and export – 10 years later most of them are multi-millionaires, yes, my relative included. But the import-export market is much more competitive these days my relative told me recently over the phone, he would not suggest getting into that anymore as a newcomer. The licensing issue for import and exporters have become very restrictive recently and the Chinese are now bringing their products right into Luanda themselves, according to him, twice a year during huge trade shows.

Angola’s conflict ended in 2002 and Angolans embraced the peace and reconciliation process leading to stable growth and development. So much so that Angola is regarded as Africa’s 3rd largest economy and like in Nigeria, much of that revenue is made through oil trades. Angola has topped most African countries in terms of growth rates with two digit figures.

How can we disregard such a powerful dynamic market?! Well we can’t and we shouldn’t, so, this post is all about sharing some surprising facts with you about doing business in Angola.

 1. Big opportunities in the social sectors

Luanda - Angola

Who would have thought that businesses would thrive in these sectors in Angola! After years of neglect, the government is making significant efforts to rebuild the country’s infrastructure and drive forward development. In 2012 for example, a staggering 30% of the 2012 budget was earmarked for priority social sectors: education, health and housing. Up to know, education & training, construction, and affordable housing tops the government’s agenda; there is a pressing requirement to bring about significant reductions in the huge housing deficit the country currently experiences, so it is a great area for your business or investment. 

TIP: But you do not need to think about building a school, a hospital, or apartments that require big capital, instead look at providing valuable training, set up an agency in one of those sectors, a property agency for example, or even cheaper and more convenient: do it mostly online. 

2. Agribusiness is top on the agenda

Like Nigeria, Angola wants to diversify production away from oil, and agricultural production is its top choice to achieve that. Before the start of the civil war, Angola used to be a dynamic producer of bananas, coffee and sisal, of which production is now almost nonexistent. Due to the civil war agricultural production was drastically reduced. The country has depended on international help and on food imports since the middle of 1980’s. In fact, Angola was at one point the world’s fourth largest coffee producer and the government suggests that there are ample opportunities for interested investors to get coffee production started !  Cattle breeding was another important part of the Angolan economy, but animal husbandry is hardly visible now. So, here you go, you have a population of 20 Million inside the country who need to eat every single day and Angola has a lot of fertile land available for production, but not enough is happening in this regard.

The government supports the production and processing of cereals, roots and tubercles, beans, fruits, vegetables, oil seeds, and specialty products such as green products, small ruminants, cattle breeding and meat processing, pig farming and the rearing of poultry and other birds.

TIP: The simplest food products such as eggs, chicken meat, and juice for example get imported into Angola and are worth millions of Dollars. The poultry sector holds clearly the biggest opportunity for you. Can you imagine, according to the National Private Investment Agency, Angola produces currently less than a tenth of its poultry and egg consumption, although it is really such an easy production line to set up! Once you pass Angolan bureaucracy, the opportunities with such very simple agricultural and food processing concepts are amazingly profitable and there are many , many more.  

3. UK is second largest investor in Angola –  and the US….

The UK is the second largest investor in Angola. This is interesting I would say, especially for the large African Diaspora in the UK. You will be able to follow those who started the journey of doing business with Portugal before you and it will be easier for you to find partners on the ground. Portuguese is the official language, and penetration of English language is one of the lowest in the world. Although some English is spoken in business circles language will remain a major barrier for many. Well, having said that The Chinese are the largest investor in Angola, followed by the UK, and France – hmm…it looks like there is a way around knowing Portugese after all. What about the US? Interestingly, the US, views Angola as one of it main partners on the continent; Angola is the second-largest trading partner of the United States in sub-Saharan Africa, mainly because of its petroleum exports. Having said that US-Angola relations face several constraints at the moment and Angola enjoys greater strategic links with China, Brazil, and Portugal.

TIP: The US is keen to build non-oil market links with Angola, and if you are in the Diaspora, this may be an interesting area to support new US-Angola business links through the facilitation of market and export insights for US SMEs and companies, market entry in Angola or the US, matchmaking, relocation services, or special business events for example among other. Angola is a US AGOA partner, and as such you will also be tapping into US interests. There may even be funds available at the US end to establish a company in Angola for export purposes.

4. Angola’s capital Luanda rated most expensive city in Africa….sorry, and in the world!


In 2014, Luanda was voted the world’s most expensive city adding another constraint to all those who want to do business in Angola. Having said that, the returns are potentially very high and will soon cover your expenses. But you will need considerable starting capital, including for your daily subsistence costs, such as accommodation, food, and travel.

Tip: To save cost, find cheaper accommodation through local partners and insiders, or stay at another small location outside of Luanda while you wait for certain permits to clear or goods to arrive.

5. Get goods out of the market instead of into the market

To import into Angola is a very challenging and very complex exercise, in particular for newcomers, and it is important that you do thorough research and find reliable partners on the ground. According to the UK government, there are a few main product distributors in Angola. A possible solution during the early stages could involve establishing a partnership and then perhaps finding ways of identifying new effective distribution methods and start operating through these. However, a much better strategy may be to invest in production inside Angola instead targeting the Angolan market and possibly exporting your products. The Angolan government is keen to support exports. Agricultural production or value addition through simple local manufacturing is without a doubt one of your best bets in this regard.

TIP: Exports of fish, fruits, or coffee is something you could start with. Angola has a strong fish sector: 41,000 tons of seafood as well as over 1.4 million litres of fish oil were exported throughout the year 2014. Fish oil can go a long way in the Western health and wellness industry!

Doing Business in Angola is not straightforward. In fact, the country is one of the bottom performers regarding the ‘ease of doing business’ in Africa according to the World Bank. If you wish to do business in Angola, the complexity and bureaucratic nature of the business environment requires careful guidance – you have to get reliable local partners on board! On the upside: you will have to deal with less competition in most sectors, simply because entry is so much more difficult and the space for intervention at your part is huge. If you are adventurous, patient, and risk-resilient, go for it, and be ready to reap enormous profits.

Here is an excellent resource on doing business in Angola by the National Private Investment Agency. It is a must-read if you want to find out more. Now, what do you think or know about doing business in Angola? Please share your thoughts with us!


Dr. Harnet
Dr. Harnet Bokrezion is the Founder of africajumpstart.com and co-author of the book '101 Ways to Make Money in Africa'. She coaches individuals and consults existing companies assisting them to make smart and strategic business decisions in Africa’s new emerging markets faster and more confidently. Dr. Harnet also regularly writes for the renowned DHL powered publication howwemadeitinafrica.com. Get in touch to inquire how she can be of assistance to your own Africa business endeavors: harnet@africajumpstart.com

User Comments ( 24 )


    Interesting positive judgement, since you’ve got to have skin in the game….

    • Leandro


  • Santanu Mitra

    We want to do the business in Angola, Our product the Insulating Items & CI Casting items, please you send us your valuable inquiry.
    Santanu Mitra

  • Collen Mututwa

    I am much interested in supplying chickens and eggs, how best can I do that business in Angola

    • Dr. Harnet

      Hi Collen

      Thank you for your question and I will be honest with you: In my view it will be very difficult for three reasons:

      1. Angola has made importing much more difficult recently and you will need to find and win over the main local importers with licences to make it happen.
      2. Angola is keen to stop agricultural imports and start producing so you will find little support from strategic partners on the ground, but all the support if you wanted to start PRODUCING chicken and eggs locally.
      3. Angola has a very difficult business environment and is Portuguese speaking, which makes market entry a challenge.

      I am not sure about your capacities to export chicken and eggs and where you are based, but there may be other markets or approaches that may work better for first time entry.

  • Zahoor

    We are Tire Derived Fuel producers in the UAE & are interested to export to Angola, is there any positive response there for this product.

    Best regards…..

  • Samantha

    I am interested in doing poultry projects in Angola as I have vast experience in that field. More so focusing on the indigenous breed that is not susceptible to diseases and tastes better. My question is how do I go about it how much am I looking at to start up and how difficult is it to aart it up in the country?

    • Jorge Muyenga

      Dear Samantha,

      You can get me 00 244 933 342 796 or00 244 926 511 463 or Jorge.muyenga@gmail.com.

      I am an Angolan and am in Angola. Interested in poultry Farming too.

  • Jorge Muyenga

    Dear Samantha,

    I am Jorge, an Angola interested in doing poultry projects. The market is very wide and far away from saturation.

    I have a land in Southern Angola 150m X150m, 20KM away from town ready for the project. Partnering with an Angola delays document procession are minimized to non frustrating levels. You can get me on 00 244 933 342 796 or 00 244 926 511 463.

  • Samantha

    Hi Jorge,

    I will get in touch shortly. Thanks

    • Afri

      Hi Samantha , I am ready to work with you i have land in many part of Angola in fact i am looking for a proper partner if we can .
      Contact me on africana2013@rediffmail.com

  • Srikanth

    We want invest in Angola in poultry eggs. What is the scope
    Acquiring land,employee permits,
    Gov’t acceptances, about the social security

    Want to invest around one million dollars

  • Tamer Qardan

    We a Jordanian group of companies with vast experience in Aviation, Logistics,Supply Chain Management and General trading.
    We are interested in investing in Angola in the aviation sector, Logistics and export of fruits to the Middle East and Russia.
    It would be of great help to understand the rules and regulations of the local civil aviation authority in Angola along with export procedures.
    As for the Logistic services, we would like to know if there are any international firms operating in Angola?

    You may contact me: +962-77-2431380 , +962-79-6977157, tamerqardan@yahoo.com

  • Leandro

    It is a positive view but in an imaginary world only. While Government does not stopping creating trouble to sell facilities nothing will gonna change. I know Angola since 1985 and worked there in the last years. No skilled labor and the Universities are of very poor quality. Only learn who has wealthy family (usually linked to the government) that can send study abroad. On the other hand, every year they make it more difficult and more the entry of professionals from abroad (expatriates) that would be very helpful for sure. These, however, are poorly received from ingress in TAAG flights especially in aircraft and customs. If such kind of situation and corruption is not solved, I do not see how nowadays scenario could be changing.

  • Interesting piece , I am interested in the Casino gaming markets and I visited Luanda just before Christmas and found the Casinos quietly doing very well there .

  • Emmanuel Chike Williams

    I am a Nigerian I love Angola I want to live in Angola and do business in it whot do I do to achieve my desire in Angola? pls help me tanx

  • Uche

    Am a Nigerian I need to know the process to come to Angola and do transportation business there. Can some one show me the way.

  • Good evening everyone, I am an Angolan living in Canada. Although i am well settled here (BA In Management currently an Operations Manager for 26 shopping centers) my heart has always been to positively impact my country of birth and being an entrepreneur at heart I’ve begun ventures which isn’t picking up much speed. I currently own and run a drinking water selling service in Luanda with a 2010 Scania (20,000 Liters truck) – though the business has allot of potential its almost impossible to manage the drivers for almost always end up being lies and thief. the current one has potential although started giving excuses to why the money doesn’t add up. trusted family members are none existent now i’m looking forward to selling the truck – any interested buyers please msg me.

    The second business is a large piece of Land near the city of N’Dalatando only 1hour and 45 minute away from Luanda. i strategically purchased this land due to its proximity to the main hub of Angola (Luanda) and its potentiality of growing or raising anything. there are 2 rivers which pass through the land and it measures 5KM x 5KM. I always dreamed of having a serious Agriculture production encompassed with some poultry to feed the Nation then the Continent but no partners rather ‘SERIOUS’ partners have come up. with the two rivers, I’ve planned to create large tanks to raise fish, since its connected to the river the water would always be well oxygenated.

    I am back in Canada for now, will go back this summer 2016 – can you reply with a few tips on how to properly grow this aspect of business. i have tons of family but none good to trust since they know my idea is to start something great and then leave someone to manage as i come back, therefore the opportunity to ruin (has happen before with my importing electronics business which was very profitable in 2008-2013).

    and yes, should it be very profitable – i am prepared to be there full time until the legs are strong enough to walk by itself.

    Many thanks,


  • Victor azevedo

    Thanks to everyone. I’m an Angolan. I used to leave in Uk since 1998 back in angola for good. Since November 2016. If anyone needs a help I will be happy to do so.thanks

    • My name is Tom. I am looking for partners in Africa.
      Please write to me: oneprosolutions@yahoo.com


    • RammKO

      Dear Alberto,

      I am from East Africa operating a renowned Mineral water project in Uganda, i am also looking for a business partners in Angola, U may get contact me on rammko@yahoo.com.

  • Albert Madanhire

    hie Dr

    if i need a business partner in Angola for mushroom business how can i look for one are you able to assist thank you.

  • Gideão Lourenço

    I’m Angolan 20y old I’m looking to start a business anyone with ideas can partner up. Young but very serious and ambitious