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In 2015, Angola’s GDP was $102 billion and GDP per capita was $7 390. Angola is the 58th largest export economy in the world and 80th largest importer. In 2015, Angola exported $34.2 billion and imported $16.9 billion, resulting in a positive trade balance of $17.3 billion, compared to their trade balance in 1995 when they still had a positive trade balance of $1.43 billion in net exports.

Angola’s top exports are Crude Petroleum ($31.2 billion), Diamonds ($1.67 billion), Coal Tar Oil ($501 million), Refined Petroleum ($316 million) and Petroleum Gas ($141 million), using the 1992 revision of the HS (Harmonized System) classification. Its top imports are Special Purpose Ships ($1.56 billion), Excavation Machinery ($1.27 billion), Cars ($413 million), Iron Pipes ($399 million) and Valves ($291 million). The countries trading capacity depends on the various trade agreements it has. Angola is a member state of the WTO and SADC.

Angola’s economy grew by 1.1% in 2016 but is expected to pick up to 2.3% in 2017, and further to 3.2% in 2018, owing to planned increase in public spending and improved terms-of-trade as oil price recovers. Development of local industries and strengthening of entrepreneurship skills is critical to strengthen economic recovery and foster inclusive growth.

The government has taken steps to mitigate the impact of the oil price shock on the economy, and these included: the rationalisation of public expenditure through the elimination of fuel subsidies, significant increase in mobilising non-oil revenues, and allowing the exchange rate to depreciate to preserve export competitiveness and reduce the imports trend of the country. However, additional policy actions are needed to stabilise macroeconomic conditions, enhance equitable distribution of wealth and better service delivery.

Angola needs to increase investment in human capital, pursue economic diversification to dependence on oil and reduce economic vulnerability in order to graduate to middle-income status by 2021. Investment in agricultural transformation and value chains is needed to diversify exports in order to increase revenue sources and reduce dependence on oil. The expansion of economic infrastructure and more importantly electricity access, roads and transportation, water supply and sanitation and skills development is critical to improve the business environment and enhance the private sector’s role in economic growth. The country should also foster regional integration in order to unlock the potential of local manufacturing and boost trade.

Sources: African Economic Outlook and OEC

Last updated: September 2017

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