Angola is well-positioned to utilize its immense oil wealth to promote economic diversification and stimulate the development of the agriculture sector
With Angola’s oil and gas products making up more than 90 of the country’s exports and accounting for up to $39.94 billion in revenue in 2022, the southern African country’s oil and gas sector is poised to serve as a leading catalyst in growing and diversifying its economy. In an attempt to accelerate economic diversification, private investment, and local content development, Angola has sought to create a more favorable business environment for micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises to participate in transforming the country into a private sector-led model that is both inclusive and climate-resilient.
As such, Angola’s Minister of Finance, Vera Daves de Sousa, has indicated that the country’s oil sector will enable significant improvements in agriculture, fisheries, and industry.
In 2021, agriculture accounted for approximately 9.5 percent of Angola’s GDP while employing just under half (46%) of the country’s population. Boasting a diverse and fertile ecology, Angola holds the potential to become one of the leading agricultural producers on the continent. The country’s arable land is well-suited to various crops and livestock, including cassava, bananas, potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, citrus, and pineapples. Despite its potential, however, Angola currently cultivates a mere 10 percent of its 350,000km2 of arable land, with an estimated 88 percent of the country’s farms serving as small to medium in size and mainly used for subsistence farming.
In recent years, Angola’s vulnerability to climate change has exacerbated the need for the country to adapt its agricultural sector to support resilience and adaptation. As such, the Government’s Angola Commercial Agriculture Project, co-financed through international financial institution the World Bank and public financial institution the French Development Agency, will mobilize up to $230 million to increase agricultural productivity and market access for more commercial farms in the country. As of 2023, the Project’s interventions have resulted in the approval of 25 business plans to the tune of $7.7 million and the issuance of 16 partial credit guarantees for the agricultural sector, resulting in over $1 million in local investment.
Moreover, the World Bank approved the $300 million Smallholder Agricultural Transformation Project in 2022, which is set to expand Angola’s efforts to transition towards climate-resilient farming. The project aims to increase agricultural production while supporting smallholder farmers to adopt climate-smart agricultural techniques. Furthermore, the project will ensure agricultural surplus to sell to local markets while strengthening water resource management in the country.
In conjunction, these initiatives are poised to increase resilience, food security, and overall nutrition while reducing the sector’s environmental footprint and the country’s dependence on imports. Angola currently imports approximately 150,000 tons of wheat flour per year. As such, Angola’s Credit Support Program has provided financing worth $20 million to Angolan processing company Induve to construct a wheat mill capable of processing an average of 255,000 metric tons per year.
Increasing urbanization, infrastructure improvements, and an increase in imported product availability are driving rapid developments in Angola’s agricultural landscape, with various strategic elements such as political stability, high hydrocarbon and mineral wealth, and access to large, populous markets serving to transform the country’s agricultural sector into an attractive market for international investors. On the precipice of this industrial and socioeconomic transformation, this year’s Angola Oil & Gas 2023 conference and exhibition (https://apo-opa.info/3PTENZ0) – which is organized by Energy Capital & Power – is set to usher in a new wave of international investment and ambitious development opportunities. From 13-14 September 2023 in Luanda, this monumental event will unite African energy and petroleum ministers, global investors, and energy leaders for two days of panel discussions, exhibitions, and deal-signing opportunities, accelerating the growth of the country’s multi-faceted energy industry.