Friday, 21 Sep 2012
Overseas Business Risk - Angola
Political and Economic
Government and business are inextricably linked in Angola, and political interference is reportedly prevalent in some areas of the business environment. The Government has signalled its intention to address this, and the push towards privatisation of some of the larger state-owned business should curtail this interference.
Angola’s recent constitutional revision means that it has modern labour and employment laws including provision for the protection of employees’ rights (including the right to join a trade union). In practice, the developing nature of Angola’s economy and the inconsistent application of the law has resulted in disputes over payment of salaries, forcible resettlement and unregulated pollution, and reprisals have been known to occur as a result of complaints and strikes. Angola has ratified all of the 8 fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organisation.
There are specific concerns which have been raised by opposition parties and international and national civil society and non-governmental organisations over alleged human rights abuses particularly in Lunda Sul, Lunda Norte and the enclave of Cabinda. There are continued reports of forced evictions from homes in slum areas and land grabs in some provinces in Angola to make way for infrastructure projects. There are more frequent reports of the right to protest being undermined. There have been concerns raised around Freedom of expression in Angola and self regulation occurs.
Bribery and Corruption
Bribery is illegal. It is an offence for British nationals or someone who is ordinarily resident in the UK, a body incorporated in the UK or a Scottish partnership, to bribe anywhere in the world.
In addition, a commercial organisation carrying on a business in the UK can be liable for the conduct of a person who is neither a UK national or resident in the UK or a body incorporated or formed in the UK. In this case it does not matter whether the acts or omissions which form part of the offence take place in the UK or elsewhere.
In 2011, Angola was ranked 168 out of 180 in the Transparency International’s corruption perception index.
Bribery and corruption are prevalent throughout society, particularly within the civil service and police. However, President dos Santos has declared a zero-tolerance approach and a number of important pieces of legislation designed to address the problems have been passed. The dialogue that the IMF now have with Angola in connection with its Stand-By Arrangement, as well as the regular visits from commercial credit rating agencies that began last year with Angola’s first rating, have also had a positive impact. There have been a number of high-profile court cases against senior officials which have resulted in some custodial sentences.
Read the information provided on our Bribery and corruption page.
The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure also provides protective security advice to businesses
The threat of terrorism is low in most of Angola, although separatists in Cabinda have in the past targeted foreign companies in, usually, the interior of the province.
Read the information provided on our Terrorism threat page.
Protective Security Advice
Most international companies and organisations operating in Angola have strict security rules and regulations for their staff. If your company has such instructions they should be read in conjunction with the advice in these pages. There is a relatively high level of crime in Luanda. Muggings (particularly to steal mobile phones) and, occasionally, armed robberies can occur in any area at any time of the day or night.
Read the information provided on our Protective security advice page
Angolan laws are weak in this area and are almost never enforced.
Read the information provided on our Intellectual Property page.
Organised crime appears to be limited, although there is evidence of drug smuggling and reports of human trafficking that could well be linked to organised crime.
Read the information provided on our Organised crime page.
More information is available on overseas business risk in a range of markets.