Angola is Sub Sahara Africa’s 3rd largest economy. The country has made substantial economic progress since the end of the war in 2002. Per capita income has grown multiple folds since 2003 to reach an all-time high of 5400 dollars in 2014. The country’s economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas as it constitutes about 50 percent of the country’s GDP and about 90 percent of the country’s export. The country is also rich in diamond, cotton, timber, fish products, etc which continue to contribute to rising non-oil exports. Major imports include machinery and electrical equipment, vehicles and spare parts, medicines, food, textiles, and military goods.
Angola’s Top 10 Exports
A country sharing Africa’s southwestern coastline with the Atlantic Ocean, the Republic of Angola shipped an estimated 22.6 billion dollars worth of goods around the globe in 2020.
That dollar amount reflects a minus 19.3 percent decline since 2016 and a minus 35 percent drop from 2019 to 2020.
Angola’s biggest 3 export products which are crude oil, petroleum gases, and unset diamonds are worth 97.7 percent of the overall value of Angolan exports during 2020.
Angola’s Top Trading Partners
The latest available country-specific data from 2019 shows that 92.1 percent of products exported from Angola were bought by importers namely: China responsible for 61.3 percent of the global total, India responsible for 9.9 percent, Spain responsible for 3.4 percent, United Arab Emirates accounts for 3.2 percent, Portugal accounts for 3.2 percent, the United States responsible for 2.7 percent, Italy responsible for 2.1 percent, Thailand responsible for 1.7 percent, France responsible for 1.6 percent, South Africa responsible for 1.0 percent, Uruguay responsible for 1.0 percent and Singapore responsible for 0.9 percent.
From a continental perspective, 79.8 percent of Angola’s exports by value were delivered to Asian countries while 13.1 percent were sold to importers in Europe.
Smaller percentages went to North America which is valued at 2.8 percent, Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean got 2.3 percent, Africa got 1.7 percent, and Oceania mostly Australia got 0.1 percent.
Given Angola’s population of 31 million people, its total 22.6 billion dollars in exported goods translate to roughly 750 dollars for every resident in the southwest African country.
Angola’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Angolan global shipments during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Angola.
Mineral fuels including oil: account for 22 billion dollars which are 97.2 percent of total exports
Gems, and precious metals: account for 395.8 million dollars which is 1.7 percent
Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: 47.9 million dollars valued at 0.2 percent
Fish: 30.2 million dollars which accounts for 0.1 percent
Machinery including computers: 26.7 million dollars which accounts for 0.1 percent.
Wood: 18 million dollars which are 0.1 percent
Copper: 17.5 million dollars which is 0.1 percent
Food industry waste, animal fodder: 14.2 million dollars which is 0.1 percent
Aluminum: 13.6 million dollars which is 0.06 percent
Iron, steel: 10.7 million dollars which is 0.05 percent
Angola’s top 10 exports accounted for 99.7 percent of the overall value of its global shipments. Copper was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 7,726 percent from 2019 to 2020.
In second place for improving export sales was exported aluminum via a 3,261 percent gain. Angola’s shipments of salt, sulphur, stone, and cement posted the only other gain in value up by 156.7 percent.
The leading decliner among Angola’s top 10 export categories was machinery including computers, thanks to a minus 77.2 percent drop year over year.
89.4 percent of the African country’s total. In second place were petroleum gases with 6.5 percent trailed by unset diamonds with 1.7 percent, processed petroleum oils with 1.3 percent, monument or building stones including granite with 0.2 percent, crustaceans including lobsters with 0.1 percent, bran or other residues with 0.1 percent and sawn wood also 0.1 percent.
In macroeconomic terms, Angola’s total exported goods represent 10.3 percent of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2020 which is 219.8 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity. That 10.3 percent for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2020 compares to 17.4 percent for 2019. Those percentages suggest a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Angola’s total economic performance, albeit based on a short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Angola’s unemployment rate was 30.5 percent in March 2021, down from a 31.8 percent jobless rate in January 2020 according to Trading Economics.
Angola has an estimated population of 32.5 million comprising mostly of the younger population who are less than 25 years which makes up about 66.5 percent of the population, and those in the age bracket of 25 to 64 years make up about 31.2 percent of the population and above 65 years age group makes up of about 2.3 percent of the population. The average population density is estimated at 20.1 inhabitants per kilometer square. In terms of human development indicators, it has a life expectancy of 63.4 years for Women and 59.3 years for Men. It has an overall literacy level of 71 percent.
Angola is located in Southern Africa. It shares borders with Zambia on the East, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the North, and Namibia on the south and is bordered by the South Atlantic Ocean on the West. It gained independence from Portugal on 11 November 1975. Its capital is Luanda with 18 Provinces. It is a multiparty republic with a President as Head of state and the government. It runs a Unicameral National Assembly which serves as the legislative arm of the government. Angola has three main ethnic groups, each speaking a Bantu language, but Portuguese is the official and predominant language. Christianity is a major religion. It has a civil legal system based on Portuguese civil law. It has an area size of 1.25 million square kilometers. The country’s geographical position provides investors with access to the regional market of 16 countries with an estimated 200 million population and GDP of 600 Billion Dollars. Having emerged from 27 years of civil war in 2002, ground travel in some parts of Angola can be problematic. The country’s northern province of Cabinda also poses a security risk.
Angolan authorities have made significant progress on macroeconomic stability and structural reforms. Angola has delivered some of its key reforms including Preventing and Combating Money Laundering, Privatisation program, Banking sector recapitalization, Monetary, and Exchange Rate Reforms, Subsidy reform, and Public financial management reforms. As the country seek to diversify its economy from oil and gas, a potential sector with opportunities includes Agriculture, Beverages, Electricity, Real Estate, Manufacturing Industry, Mining, Tourism, Renewable Energy, Transport, Insurance, etc.