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Angola Country Report

Country Risk Level

High

Overview

Executive Summary

The IMF on 16 September unlocked a USD1-billion disbursement under the Extended Fund Facility programme, started in 2018, and the facility was extended by USD765 million to support the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and mitigate its economic impact. This support and Angola’s inclusion in the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative is very likely to be enough to avoid sovereign default, without the need for other private-sector liabilities to be rescheduled. It will also greatly support Angola’s foreign-exchange-reserves holdings, reducing the downward pressure on the kwanza and decreasing the risks to transferability of funds significantly.President João Lourenço’s government is committed to diversifying the economy away from oil, reducing the fiscal deficit, and improving the quality of public investment. President Lourenço has cemented his control over the ruling party, which increases the likelihood that Angola will continue to implement the IMF’s EFF conditionalities and seek to recapitalise its largest, systemic and insolvent bank, BPC, before the end of fiscal year 2020/21.All construction and energy projects for which funding was not secured by March 2020 have been postponed indefinitely, as the government reprioritises funding towards mitigating the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. The imminent maturation of a number of oil fields and investor reticence over new projects are likely to compound fiscal constraints beyond the 12-month outlook. IHS Markit has lowered the GDP growth forecast for 2020 from 1.06% to 0.9%, partly due to the impact of the COVID-19 virus outbreak on oil demand from China.The business environment will likely continue to be marred by weak infrastructure and high associated costs, while the power sector is likely to remain weak, with occasional outages keeping operating costs very high.

Operational Outlook

The business environment continues to be marred by weak infrastructure and high associated costs. The government has invested heavily in infrastructure, although these investments have declined during recent years because of lower oil revenues. A 2015 USD18-billion plan to overhaul the power grid has still not been fully implemented. The power sector will remain weak in the three-year outlook due to even lower investment following the February 2020 oil price drop, keeping operating costs high. Despite anti-corruption legislation, the risk of bribes being demanded will remain pervasive due mostly to lack of capability to fight this.

Terrorism

The risk of terrorism from the separatist Frente para a Libertação do Enclave de Cabinda (FLEC) group is heightened in parts of the Cabinda enclave, however, this poses a low risk of targeted sabotage to oil and gas operations, which are mostly offshore. Onshore operational bases are protected by private and government security forces. Army patrols, however, are at a high risk of attacks from separatist militants. Mining operations face a moderate risk of attack from illegal miners, some crossing over from the DRC, and are exposed to extortionists that operate alongside the military, especially in the Cabinda and Lunda provinces.

Crime

Armed robberies and kidnappings pose a moderate risk of death and injury in the capital, Luanda, with increasing reports of expatriates being targeted, especially as the economic crisis, brought on by a fall in oil prices, becomes worse. Fatalities tend to be isolated to cases of deliberate resistance in underprivileged neighbourhoods of the capital. Common problems nationally include pickpocketing and theft from parked vehicles, although car-jacking has declined in the past few years. Kidnap for ransom risk remains low in protected compounds in Cabinda, but is now higher for expatriates in the outskirts of Luanda.

War Risks

A renewed outbreak of civil war is unlikely, despite moderate risk of violence between security forces and opposition supporters and youth groups during anti-government demonstrations. These protests are likely to occur again in the run-up to municipal elections, especially given the difficult economic conditions prevailing since the fall in the oil price, and youth frustrations over employment opportunities. The insurgency in Cabinda is experiencing a minor resurgence and poses moderate risk of death and injury to military personnel, particularly in the northeast of the exclave, but with little effect on oil operations. Expenditure on military equipment purchases will continue to fall in response to dwindling oil revenues, affecting the army's capabilities.

Social Stability

Corruption and the rising cost of living remain the main drivers of discontent and are likely to fuel protests, especially in urban areas like Luanda, as the first-ever municipal elections approach. General good sentiment towards the government after the expulsion of the Dos Santos family from key posts has worn thin and economic conditions are bringing renewed protests. The government's use of excessive force to suppress activists is likely to continue. Protests in urban centres, causing disruption of up to a week with protesters fighting police armed with sticks and stones, will likely occur during labour disputes.

Health Risk

Vaccines Required to Enter the Country

Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for all travelers over one year of age upon entry to the country. A single dose of YF vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained life-long immunity against the disease; it should be taken ten days in advance to be fully effective.

Vaccines Recommended for All Travelers

Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).

Vaccines Recommended for Most Travelers

Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.

Malaria: There is currently no malaria vaccine. However, various antimalarial prophylactics are available by prescription and can reduce risk of infection by up to 90 percent. Different medications are prescribed depending on the risk level and the strains of the virus present in the destination. Antimalarial tablets need to be taken throughout the trip to be effective and may need to be taken for as long as four weeks following the trip.

Typhoid fever: The typhoid fever vaccine can be administered via injection (administered in one dose) or orally (four doses). The vaccine is only 50-80 percent effective, so travelers to areas with a risk of exposure to typhoid fever, a bacterial disease, should also take hygienic precautions (e.g. drink only bottled water, avoid undercooked foods, wash hands regularly, etc.). Children can be given the shot beginning at two years of age (six for the oral vaccine).

Vaccines Recommended for Some Travelers

Cholera: A newly licensed cholera vaccine (Vaxchora) has just been made available and may be prescribed for adults traveling to areas with active cholera transmission. The vaccine prevents severe diarrhea caused by the most common type of cholera bacteria. As the vaccine is not fully effective, hygienic precautions should also be taken (e.g. drinking only bottled water, eating only thoroughly cooked foods, washing hands regularly, etc.).

Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.

Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).

Practical Information

Climate

Angola is located in a tropical zone and is divided into large three sub-zones. The northwestern region (from the Cabinda enclave to Ambriz to Luanda to Malanje) has a humid tropical climate, as does the east of the country. The central and southern plateau regions have a more temperate and drier climate; the average temperature in the city of Huambo (previously Nova Lisboa), located at an elevation of 1,701 m, is 19°C and can fall to zero in the winter. Finally, the south of the country is arid or semi-arid, between the plateau and the Namibian border, beginning from Namibe province.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +244
Police: (222)39.29.33, (222)33.48.41, (222)33.67.00, (222)33.71.00

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Risk Level
Critical High Medium Low Minimal