Expert Eye: Three sectors to watch in Angola in 2019

Zandre Campos of ABO Capital highlights three sectors that encompass both Angolan potential and opportunity for the year ahead

The future is bright for Angola’s citizens, businesses, and investment community, as the country has seen steady improvements across infrastructure and technology developments, legislative reform, and strengthened ties with allies.

Diversification is now more achievable than ever before, and it remains a priority for Angola’s strategic economic growth and prosperity. This will prove to be beneficial for local businesses, trade, and investment opportunities.

This past year, Angola’s government leaders passed revisions to the country’s private investment law, which removed the requirement for 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 move is favourable toward Angolan workers because the revisions open job opportunities and require sufficient training, salaries and social conditions for workers.

Additionally, Angola strengthened its alliance with China when President João Lourenço recently visited Beijing for the first time and secured $2 billion in financing from the China Development Bank. Other countries, like Israel, have also invested in Angola’s growth, particularly the agricultural sector, which accounts for a big proportion of Africa’s workforce, and greatly supports the country’s diversification efforts.

The people of Angola, along with all the initiatives we are experiencing in a post-civil war era, are helping to foster healthy growth in our country and make Angola a hub for businesses and opportunity. Three sectors where I see positive investment potential include tourism, mining, and healthcare.

Tourism

The travel and tourism industry is booming in Angola, and it’s also creating jobs across hotels, travel organisations, airlines, and more. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Travel & Tourism Economic Impact 2018 report, the industry generated 110,500 direct hospitality jobs in Angola last year.

Angola needs to focus more on promoting the great destinations it has to offer, including more than 1,000 miles of beach coastline, national parks, and up-and-coming hotels. Leisure and travel spending generated approximately 70 percent of direct travel and tourism GDP last year, while business spending generated approximately 29.2 percent, according to the report.

It’s likely we’ll see a boost in domestic and foreign business spending in the future, especially with all of the latest initiatives that will open up our economy down the road.

Mining

Angola is the world’s fifth-largest producer of diamonds, and we are on track to becoming one of the top three. In much of the world, diamond trends are decreasing because mines are becoming too old, however, there is still much to discover in Angola.

President Lourenço is looking to boost the mining sector with new policies aimed at protecting the interests of producers and establishing the right channels for diamond flow. Just recently, Lucapa Diamond Company made several big discoveries in Africa, including a 46-carat pink diamond from the Lulo mine in Angola, but much of the country has yet to be explored due to the civil war.

There is also an opportunity to explore for iron ore and copper, as Angola borders Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, Africa’s top copper producers.

Healthcare

From 2004 to 2014, Angola had only spent an average of four percent of its GDP on health, according to the World Bank. Investments toward Angola’s healthcare sector are vital for improving health technology, infrastructure, education, medicine and pharmacies, and health insurance.

Most pharmacies in Angola are located in Luanda, and basic over-the-counter medicine can be expensive. More complicated surgeries and procedures typically present challenges without the right resources or specialists. Organisations like Sphera Global Health Care are helping to bring together high-level hospitals, clinics, doctors and technologies.

As patients demand more, including the best professionals and the most thorough information, communication technologies in this market, such as video conferencing, telemedicine, virtual platforms, apps, and mobile-health, help meet those demands. In addition to improving communication, these technologies also guarantee the delivery of quality healthcare and reduce unnecessary hospital or clinical visits. These continued advances will drastically transform Angola’s health system in providing more people with the care that they need.

While all these sectors are flourishing, the most important thing we can do in Angola is to continue investing in our people. A strong education system presents a strong workforce. A strong workforce presents strong opportunities. By devoting our time, resources and enthusiasm into our schools, programmes, and language arts, we’ll continue to see drastic improvements in the development and execution of big ideas and initiatives that will drive our country forward for years to come. 


About the Expert

Zandre Campos is Chairman and CEO of ABO Capital, an international investment firm that focuses on the healthcare, energy, transportation, hospitality, education, technology and real estate sectors throughout Africa. ABO’s mission is to create global value for developing countries in Africa, while contributing to their economic development.