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Who is Benefiting from Trade Liberalization in Angola? A Gender Perspective

Case study by Zarrill, Simonetta/ UNCTAD, 2013

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The study assesses the extent to which trade liberalization in Angola has had an impact on women and attempts to determine whether trade policies and patterns of structural transformation have reinforced gender inequality or created new opportunities for women. Based on a quantitative approach, the analysis explores first whether patterns of structural transformation have generated job opportunities; and secondly, if such opportunities have matched the skill profile of the female workforce, thereby leading to the feminization of the workforce in the country and affecting the working conditions of women workers.

A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


Who is benefiting from
trade liberalization in Angola?


U N I T E D N AT I O N S C O N F E R E N C E O N T R A D E A N D D E V E L O P M E N T






A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


Who is benefiting from
trade liberalization in Angola?


New York and Geneva 2013


U N I T E D N AT I O N S C O N F E R E N C E O N T R A D E A N D D E V E L O P M E N T




UNITED NATIONS PUBLICATION
UNCTAD/DITC/2013/3


Copyright © United Nations 2013


NOTE


The designations employed and the presentation of the material do not imply the expression of
any opinion on the part of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory,
city or area, or of authorities or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


Material in this publication may be freely quoted or reprinted, but acknowledgement is requested,
together with a copy of the publication containing the quotation or reprint to be sent to the
UNCTAD secretariat.


This publication has not been formally edited by UNCTAD.




iiiCONTENTS


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .................................................................................................................................................................v
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .................................................................................................................................................................vi
INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................................................................ix


I. COUNTRY AND DEVELOPMENT PROFILE ................................................................................................................1
1.1 COUNTRY OVERVIEW................................................................................................................2
1.2 ANALYSIS OF SELECTED ECONOMIC INDICATORS .................................................................3
1.2.1 Composition of GDP ..........................................................................................................3
1.2.2 GDP Growth ......................................................................................................................4
1.2.3 FDI and Finance .................................................................................................................6
1.2.4 Private sector development ................................................................................................8
1.2.5 Employment .......................................................................................................................8
1.2.6 The informal economy ........................................................................................................9
1.3 THE POVERTY CHALLENGE ......................................................................................................9


II. GENDER PROFILE OF ANGOLA........................................................................................................................................... 13
2.1 INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................................14
2.2 GENDER-RELATED “OUTCOMES” ...........................................................................................14
2.2.1 Health and survival ...........................................................................................................14
2.2.2 Educational attainment .....................................................................................................15
2.2.3 Economic participation .....................................................................................................15
2.2.4 Political empowerment .....................................................................................................16
2.3 GENDER-RELATED “INPUT” VARIABLES (LEGAL AND SOCIAL FACTORS


AFFECTING GENDER EQUALITY).............................................................................................16
2.3.1 Laws, policies, and institutions promoting gender equality ...............................................16
2.3.2 Customary law practices and other socio/cultural obstacles to gender equality


in Angola ..........................................................................................................................18
2.3.3 Gendered effects of conflict in Angola ..............................................................................19


III. TRADE POLICY AND TRADE DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGOLA.................................................................................. 23
3.1 ANGOLA TRADE AGREEMENTS ..............................................................................................24
3.1.1 Multilateral agreements ....................................................................................................24
3.1.2 Regional agreements .......................................................................................................24
3.1.3 Bilateral schemes .............................................................................................................24
3.2 POLICIES ON TRADE IN GOODS .............................................................................................24
3.3 POLICIES ON TRADE IN SERVICES .........................................................................................28
3.4 TRADE FLOWS - GOODS .........................................................................................................28
3.4.1 Exports ............................................................................................................................28
3.4.2 Imports ............................................................................................................................30
3.5 TRADE FLOWS – SERVICES ....................................................................................................32


IV. GENDER IMPACT OF TRADE POLICY IN ANGOLA .................................................................................................... 35
4.1 WOMEN IN THE ANGOLAN LABOUR MARKET .......................................................................36
4.2 TRADE, STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMATION AND GENDER IN ANGOLA .................................40
4.2.1 Fisheries ..........................................................................................................................40
4.2.2 Manufacturing ..................................................................................................................40
4.2.3 The formal services sector ...............................................................................................41
4.2.4 Tourism ............................................................................................................................42
4.2.5 Public sector employment ................................................................................................42
4.3 TRADE AND AGRICULTURE IN ANGOLA .................................................................................43
4.3.1 Overview ..........................................................................................................................43
4.3.2 The impact of trade liberalization on agriculture ................................................................44




iv WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


4.4 TRADE AND THE URBAN INFORMAL ECONOMY IN ANGOLA ................................................45
4.4.1 Overview ..........................................................................................................................45
4.4.2 Impact of trade on the informal sector ...........................................................................47


V. CONCLUSION AND POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS ................................................................................................... 51
5.1 THE WAY AHEAD: FRAMING PRO-POOR AND GENDER-SENSITIVE


DEVELOPMENT POLICIES .......................................................................................................52
5.2 HORIZONTAL ISSUES ..............................................................................................................53
5.2.1 Monetary and exchange rate issues .................................................................................53
5.2.2 Tariff protection ................................................................................................................53
5.2.3 Infrastructure rehabilitation ...............................................................................................54
5.2.4 Entrepreneurship awareness-raising and culture-building .................................................54
5.3 SECTORAL POLICIES ..............................................................................................................55
5.3.1 Agriculture .......................................................................................................................55
5.3.2 Fisheries ..........................................................................................................................57
5.3.3 Manufacturing ..................................................................................................................57
5.3.4 Tourism and other service sectors ....................................................................................58
5.3.5 Leveraging oil revenues to fund pro-poor and gender-sensitive social policies ..................60


References ..................................................................................................................................................................... 61


Annex 1 ..................................................................................................................................................................... 67




vACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


This study is part of UNCTAD’s activities on trade, gender and development carried out by the organization in
accordance with its mandate. The Doha Mandate, resulting from the Thirteenth Ministerial Meeting of the United
Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIII) held in Doha, Qatar on 21–26 April 2012, provides
UNCTAD with a specific mandate on gender-related issues. Paragraph 56 calls on UNCTAD to “continue its work
in the area of agriculture in the context of commodities to help developing countries achieve more sustainable
and strengthened agricultural production, food security and export capacity. This work should take into account
the needs of small-scale farmers, and empowerment of women and youths” (subparagraph (i)). Moreover, “…
UNCTAD should…reinforce its work on the links between gender equality, women’s empowerment, and trade
and development, without prejudice to other programmes” (subparagraph (n)). The Doha Mandate underlines the
key role that gender equality and women’s empowerment play in harnessing the potential for inclusive growth and
development” (paragraph 51); and stresses that they are “among the goals which are essential to all countries to
attain” (paragraph 8).


UNCTAD aims to contribute to the analysis of the linkages between trade policy and gender equality, and to
the related international debate, by looking at specific country experiences. This study is one in a series of case
studies that are being conducted by UNCTAD in six developing countries, namely Angola, Bhutan, Cape Verde,
Lesotho, Rwanda and Uruguay.


This study was prepared by an UNCTAD team led by Simonetta Zarrilli, Chief of the Trade, Gender and Develop-
ment Section at UNCTAD, and including Luis Abugattas Majluf, Irene Musselli, Sylvia Booth, Mariangela Linoci
and Elizabeth Jane Casabianca. Insightful comments and suggestions were provided by Murray Gibbs, Rolf
Traeger, Lisa Borgatti and Amelia Santos-Paulino. They are gratefully acknowledged. The overall work was coor-
dinated by Simonetta Zarrilli.


The information in this report has been gathered from various sources, including interviews with key informants
in the country. To this purpose, a fact-finding mission was carried out in Luanda, Angola, in May 2013. Special
thanks go to Rolf Traeger, who took the time to interview and share the preliminary findings of the study with
Government officials and national counterparts in Angola on behalf of the team.


We are especially grateful to Maria Filomena Lobão Delgado, Minister of Family Affairs and Women’s Promotion;
Adriano Martins, National Director of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Trade; and Januário Marra, National Director,
Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. We are also grateful to Henriqueta de Carvalho, Secretary General of the Angolan
Federation of Women Entrepreneurs; and to Nacro Kartoum and Luis Samacumbi of the United Nations Popula-
tion Fund (UNFPA). Our gratitude is extended to Amadeu Leitao Nunes, at the Ministry of Trade, who ensured the
coordination between UNCTAD and the Government of Angola.


The study was financed by the Government of Norway under the project “Enhancing capacities of the Republic of
Angola to mainstream gender in trade policy”. Norway’s support for this specific activity and for UNCTAD’s work
programme on gender and development is gratefully acknowledged.




vi WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


The study assesses the extent to which trade
liberalization in Angola has had an impact on women
and attempts to determine whether trade policies and
patterns of structural transformation have reinforced
gender inequality or created new opportunities for
women. Based on a quantitative approach, the
analysis explores first whether patterns of structural
transformation have generated job opportunities; and
secondly, if such opportunities have matched the skill
profile of the female workforce, thereby leading to
the feminization of the workforce in the country and
affecting the working conditions of women workers.


The Angola case study challenges the macroeconomic
stance whereby structural economic issues are
essentially gender-neutral. The findings of the study
shed light on the relevance of gender considerations
in macroeconomic analysis – particularly trade
analysis – and on the potential exclusionary effects
of liberalization policies. Angola is confronted with
challenges that are structural and systemic in nature:
oil-induced macroeconomic distortions – particularly
the excessive appreciation in the real exchange rate
– tend to crowd out productive activities (agriculture
and light manufacturing) that could absorb the female
workforce and provide women with decent incomes.
Given the concentration of women in subsistence
agriculture and informal activities, and in light of a
higher incidence of poverty among women, gender
is an entry point for Angola to address the potential
exclusionary effects of liberalization policies in a
broader social context.


A necessary caveat should be made at the start.
The quality of data for Angola is rather poor. Official
datasets are limited; and needed data are often non-
existent. Hence, this study only provides preliminary
observations on the effects of trade liberalization on
the Angolan female workforce, sometimes based on
sporadic evidence. Data availability has also influenced
the approach followed, which focuses on the overall
effect of structural transformation on the feminization
of labour in Angola, especially in the formal sector of
the economy (a structural transformation approach).
Further research is required as data becomes available.


Economic profile


Angola faced forty years of conflict up to 2002. This
had long-lasting structural effects on its economy and
society. Angola used to be an agricultural commodity


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


exporter of coffee and staple crops such as maize,
and it was almost food self-sufficient. The armed
struggle led to a drastic decline in productive activities:
agricultural production was seriously disrupted, and
a significant proportion of the population displaced.
Manufacturing activities, which accounted for 10 per
cent of GDP at the time of independence, almost
disappeared.


Just over 10 years after the end of conflict, Angola
has made substantial progress in economic and
political terms. Angola was Africa’s second largest oil
producer in 2010 and, with an average annual growth
rate of 12 per cent, it is one of the fastest growing
economies in the world. However, the extractive
sectors – in particular oil and gas – have had a very
limited integration into the domestic economy, and
their contribution to employment generation has been
minimal.


Since the early 2000s, Angola has implemented
significant economic reforms aimed at achieving
macroeconomic stabilization and restructuring the
economy, allowing for a greater involvement of the
private sector as a driver of sustainable growth and
economic diversification. The structure of GDP has
not changed much since the beginning of the reforms.
Agriculture is growing at a rapid pace, but it still has
to recover from the drastic reduction in production
caused by the conflict-related distortions in rural
areas. Angola has not experienced much agricultural
or manufacturing export dynamism.


A defining characteristic of the Angolan economy is
the predominance of the informal sector, also known
as candonga: informal activities are a primary means
of subsistence for a significant proportion of the
Angolan population and are estimated to contribute
to approximately 45.2 per cent of GDP. The informal
sector, both rural and urban, provides 70 per cent
of existing jobs in Angola and it represents the main
occupation for the female workforce.


Following trade reforms, Angola has tried to strengthen
the protection afforded to domestic production in
some sectors: investment goods for oil and mining
were exempted from import duties, while inputs such
as raw materials and equipment benefited from tariff
reductions. Tariffs were raised for some final products,
with the overall goals of supporting the gradual
process of import substitution for essential goods and




viiEXECUTIVE SUMMARY


of boosting exports from the non-oil sectors.


However, the efforts made by the Government of
Angola to increase border protection as a mechanism
to promote industrialization and enhance agricultural
production have not generated significant results
due to the present exchange rate context of a “hard
kwanza”. Products derived from the extractive industry
continue to constitute the main exported goods in
all destination countries. With a very low food self-
sufficiency rate, Angola is still highly dependent on
imports, and it is estimated that around 70 per cent of
all food consumed in the country is imported.


Gender profile of Angola


Gender equality and women’s empowerment are
fundamental components of national development
in Angola. Yet, data reveal that the gender gap is
still persistent in Angolan society and that gender
inequality remains a key development challenge.


Gender imbalance in overall literacy rates and school
enrolment is still significant, with little progress for girls
beyond primary education. Fertility rates are high,
at 5.8 births per woman. Adolescent motherhood is
common, particularly in rural areas. Lack of adequate
infrastructure and a shortage of qualified staff make
the access to health-related resources – especially
prenatal and maternal care – scarce.


Though the minimum age for marriage is set at 18
years of age – which can be reduced in exceptional
cases to 16 and 15 years of age for boys and girls
respectively – this rule does not appear to be enforced
effectively, and the traditional age of marriage often
coincides with the onset of puberty. Customary
marriage is regularly practised, and evidence suggests
that most couples in Angola are in common law
unions. Polygamy in Angola is forbidden, yet it is a
widespread practice. The incidence of polygamous
marriages has increased as a consequence of the
losses in men during the war.


The vast majority of the Angolan female workforce is still
engaged in rural-based subsistence production and in
the urban-based parallel market. Trade liberalization,
by providing cheap products in kwanza terms, has
permitted the expansion of informal trading; this in
turn allows the female workforce to make a living.


As a result of the conflict, many women were either
abducted or have voluntarily joined armed groups to
serve as nurses, cooks, sex workers, messengers,
spies or administrative or logistical personnel, but


also as armed combatants. Two thirds of displaced
people, out of a total of around 4 million, were women
and children. Conflict has also had strong long-term
effects on the family structure, increasing the number
of widows, polygamous households and female-
headed households. This in turn has had the effect of
reinforcing poverty in the country, despite the fact that
the conflict has stimulated an increase in women’s
participation in the labour market, both in rural and
urban areas.


Angola is party to the main regional and international
instruments related to the advancement of women
and the promotion of gender equality. At the domestic
level, a number of measures have been put forward
by the Government of Angola to foster gender equality
and women’s rights.


Women in Angola enjoy a high degree of civil liberties,
with no de jure discrimination based on gender.
Regardless of their marital status, women in Angola
do not face any legal restriction in accessing financial
resources, in initiating legal proceedings, entering
into contracts or establishing a business activity. On
matters related to inheritance, equal ownership rights
regardless of gender are granted in case of death of
one of the spouses. Equal opportunities are granted
in access to employment and professional training:
the Labour Code prohibits any kind of gender-
based discrimination in the work environment, and it
mandates equal pay for equal work.


However, customary law is still prevalent in Angola,
and issues related to family and property rights are
treated according to traditionally accepted rules, which
typically have a discriminatory approach towards
women. Customary practices determine women’s
access to endowments such as land, education,
health, property and financial resources; the type
of jobs that are available to them; and their working
conditions. Substantial differences in the application
of customary law can be found across regions and
communities.


Gender impacts of trade policy


Angola’s integration into the world economy mainly as
an oil – and to some extent, diamond – exporter has
significantly constrained the diversification potential of
the economy, making it extremely difficult to develop
domestic import-competing or export-oriented
sectors, and reinforcing the primary extractive
character of the economy. This has had negative
repercussions on the development of productive




viii WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


activities that could absorb the female workforce and
provide women with decent incomes. The limited
structural transformation of the Angolan economy
has therefore confined the female workforce to non-
tradable and low-productivity activities.


Sectoral policies that take into account the gender
division of labour are essential to help women benefit
from trade.


Agriculture is the main employer of the Angolan labour
force, accounting for 82 per cent of all jobs. Yet, it
is still a low-productivity sector, even compared to
sub-Saharan African standards. Nevertheless, the
agriculture sector displays significant growth and
diversification potential, which could lead to a shift
from the production of low-value staple crops to
higher-value commodities. However, the creation of a
commercially viable export-oriented agriculture sector
is a precondition to enabling women to benefit from
commercial agriculture. This would include ensuring
women’s access to rural finance, productive inputs and
land tenure; as well as providing agriculture extension
services in production techniques, marketing and
business management.


The fisheries sector constitutes an important income-
generating activity especially for women, and displays
some potential for employment generation and poverty
alleviation. Gender-specific concerns should be taken
into consideration when implementing policies geared
at upgrading the informal artisanal subsector, where
women are actively engaged; and in developing an
export-oriented commercial sector.


While the manufacturing sector has grown at an
annual average rate of 20 per cent, its contribution to
the GDP has remained stable. Economic liberalization
in Angola has not promoted the development of
export-oriented manufacturing activities – the main
venue through which feminization of manufacturing
labour has taken place in many developing countries.


Women’s participation in the sector is estimated at
17 per cent of the total workforce. Should the right
set of macroeconomic incentives be provided – such
as overcoming institutional and physical barriers and
ensuring a more competitive real exchange rate – the
potential exists for reactivating Angola’s manufacturing
capacity in sectors of possible comparative
advantages. The production of differentiated, high-
value processed food products would offer significant
opportunities for formal employment to relatively
unskilled women.


Tourism is increasingly regarded as a sector of
significant economic potential that could contribute
to the diversification of the Angolan economy. The
excessive currency appreciation and lack of adequate
infrastructures and skilled personnel still constitute
major challenges that hamper the development of
the sector. Women’s participation in the services
sector, and particularly in tourism-related activities, is
relatively low if compared to other countries. In view
of the high potential for women’s employment in the
tourism sector, initiatives could be put forward to
bridge the gender gap in education and vocational
training and encourage skills development. Synergies
and partnerships between tourist facilities and
local communities would contribute to promoting
community-based tourism schemes and facilitate the
distribution of tourism-related benefits to the local
population.


Revenues from the extractive sectors (oil and diamond)
could be leveraged to finance gender-sensitive and
pro-poor policies geared to unleash the commercial
potential of sectors in which Angola has an actual
comparative advantage. By transferring a portion of
the proceeds of the oil and diamond industries to
dedicated funds, the Government could leverage
these revenues to fund pro-poor and gender-sensitive
social policies.




ixCONTENTSINTRODUCTION


This study, based on a quantitative approach, seeks
to explore the impact of trade liberalization on
the Angolan population and, in particular, analyse
whether there is a gender bias in the effects of
trade liberalization. The breadth and quality of data
for Angola is rather poor1 and, as a consequence,
this study presents some preliminary observations
on the effects of trade liberalization on the Angolan
female workforce. Data availability has also heavily
influenced the approach followed, which is a structural
transformation approach. An assessment is made
of the impact of trade policy on the structure of the
Angolan economy. Through this analysis, the study
explores first whether the patterns of structural
transformation have generated job opportunities;
secondly, if such opportunities have matched the skill
profile of the female workforce, thereby leading to
the feminization of the workforce in the country and
affecting the working conditions of women workers.


Angola has gone through a “liberalization shock”,
generated by changes in trade policy and the
behaviour of the exchange rate. Trade liberalization
has deepened the extractive character of the Angolan
economy, significantly constraining the diversification
of economic activities. The vast majority of the Angolan
female workforce is engaged in traditional agriculture
and in the urban informal sector. Trade liberalization
has not altered the occupation profile of the female
workforce; in fact it has contributed to confining it
to these low-productivity and low-income activities.
Therefore, trade liberalization has not thus far been an
engine for change or for the improvement of women’s
situation.


The study is structured as follows: Chapter I
presents a brief profile of the Angolan economy


INTRODUCTION


and its development since 2002, when the armed
conflict ended. Currently, Angola is transitioning
towards a private sector-led economy, but which still
shows many traits of a post-conflict society. These
characteristics have important impacts on the overall
development of the country, and in particular on the
situation of the female population. Chapter II presents
the gender profile of Angola. The chapter analyses the
de jure and de facto situation of women in Angola,
starting from the assumption that trade liberalization
and trade policy impact on existing gendered social
structures. The chapter highlights the improvements
in the situation of women in Angola, but also singles
out the significant gender gaps that still need to be
addressed. Chapter III discusses Angolan trade
policy and highlights the radical changes that have
occurred in the overall orientation of trade policy in
the country when the State-led model of development
was abandoned in the late 1980s. The chapter
also delves into the effects of the “Dutch disease”
on the competitiveness of domestic production in
relation to imports. Chapter IV analyses the impact of
trade policy and trade developments on the female
workforce. A comprehensive analysis would have
also included the effects of trade policy on women
as consumers, but this type of assessment has not
been possible due to the lack of data. The chapter first
discusses the potential effects of trade liberalization
on the female workforce in the formal sector, and then
focuses on the agricultural and urban informal sectors
(where the female workforce is concentrated). The
study closes with summary observations and policy
recommendations that indicate some possible paths
that Angola may wish to follow in order to put in place
a more gender-sensitive trade policy.


1 A limited census – the last one – was carried out in the 1970s. A pre-census is being carried out in 2013 in several
provinces. The fully fledged national demographic census will be carried out in 2014 (UNDP). All population data
are estimations based on the last available census, and statistics vary significantly, depending on the source. In
the province of Luanda in 1983 a census was carried out – which was extended to other three provinces in 1984
– but this data are not available. There is a dearth of information on employment by sector, on poverty and social
indicators, and practically no gender-disaggregated data. Most international sources of gender data do not have
extended or updated gender data for Angola; or the country is not included at all. The 2000 Household Spending
survey – the most commonly used data source in available studies – covered only 8 provinces out of the total 16.
Most recent international organization reports still use data derived from that survey. National data for many indica-
tors are unavailable, and those which are available are out of date. When data are available, time series are lacking.






I


Country and
Development


Profile




2 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


1.1 COUNTRY OVERVIEW


Angola is the third largest country south of the Sahara
in terms of its territory. With a population of about
19 million in 2011, it is one of the most sparsely
populated countries in Africa. The country is rich in
natural resources, particularly minerals and oil. The
abundance of arable land and diversified climatic
conditions provide a favourable setting for the
extensive development of a variety of agricultural crops
– both tropical and temperate – and for the raising of
livestock. There are also abundant fishing resources,
and the country has an enormous hydropower
potential. During the colonial period Angola achieved
high growth rates and developed commercial farming
and a dynamic manufacturing sector. It was an
agricultural commodity exporter of coffee and staple
crops – such as maize – and it was almost food self-
sufficient. However, the vast majority of the Angolan
population continued to live in extreme poverty, and
social indicators remained extremely low.


Angola faced 40 years of conflict, which started with
the struggle for independence in 1961 and continued
with the civil war that erupted immediately after it had
achieved independence from Portugal in 1975. The
exodus of Portuguese settlers and the armed struggle
led to a drastic decline in productive activities, both
in the countryside and in urban areas. Agricultural
production was seriously disrupted, and a significant
proportion of the population displaced. Manufacturing
activities, which accounted for 10 per cent of GDP at
the time of independence, almost disappeared. The
armed conflict had long-lasting structural effects on
the Angolan economy and society. Peace between
the warring domestic factions was finally achieved in
2002.


Ten years after the end of the conflict, Angola has
made substantial progress in both economic and
political terms. However, the country continues to face
significant development challenges. The effects of the
protracted conflict on the economy and society have
not yet completely disappeared, and the country still
shows traits of a post-conflict society. In this regard,
despite significant efforts to rebuild infrastructure,
much still needs to be done (UNDP 2005, Pushak and
Foster 2011, OECD 2011). Even though demobilization
and integration of combatants has been almost fully
achieved, distortions generated by the long internal
conflict still affect the economy and society, and have
specific repercussions on women.


Angola is a country in transition, both towards a
market economy and towards a democratic political
system. In both areas there are still significant
challenges that need to be confronted (AfDB 2011,
Vines et al. 2005, World Bank 2007). The Bertelsmann
Foundation Transformation Index,2 which ranks
countries according to where they are in the process
towards democracy and a market economy, as well
as in the process of political management, ranks
Angola 83 out of the 128 developing and transition
countries included (Bertelsmann Foundation 2012).
Furthermore, there are very limited institutional
capacities in Angola, and governance needs to be
significantly improved. Angola scored 44.1 out of
100 points in the 2011 Mo Ibrahim Index of African
Governance, ranking fortieth in the continent.3 The
World Bank Governance Indicators (WGI) show that
while there has been some improvement, much still
needs to be done.4 The political scene in Angola has
been described as “frozen but stable”, and there are
some factors that could generate instability in the
future if not well managed (Vines and Weimer 2011).


Angola has been engaged in a long process of
transition from a centralized planned socialist
economy towards a market-driven one; this process
started with the implementation of two economic
development programmes – the Programa de
Saneamento Económico e Financeiro (PSEF) in 1987,
and the Programa de Recuperação Económica (PRE)
in 1989. The two programmes aimed at achieving
macroeconomic stabilization and restructuring the
economy, allowing for greater involvement of the
private sector and the deregulation of markets. These
initial programmes proved unsuccessful, and up to
the year 2000, some 12 different macroeconomic
stabilization and reform programmes were introduced,
with frustrating results. The resumption of conflict in
1992 certainly affected the implementation of the
programmes and had serious adverse effects on the
economy.


During the 1990s, the design and implementation
of macroeconomic policy was haphazard, reflecting
institutional weaknesses and opposition from vested
interest groups. The Angolan private sector still suffers
from the long-term effects of the macroeconomic
and social distortions generated by the policies
implemented during the first decade of reforms.
Some of the legacies of this process, and also of




3COUNTRY AND DEVELOPMENT PROFILE


the old regime, are still present and represent a
significant obstacle to the process of restructuring and
diversification of the Angolan economy. From 1990
to1999 the real GDP average annual growth rate was
only 1 per cent; and per capita income experienced
an annual average contraction of -2.4 per cent.
Consumer prices increased during this period at an
annual average rate of 1,122.5 per cent (Aguilar 2001).


The transformation of Angola into a functioning
market economy is still in process and there are still
many constraints to private sector development.
Angola ranks 172 out of 185 countries included in the
World Bank Doing Business Report (World Bank/IFC
2013); it ranks 139 out of 142 countries in the Global
Competitiveness Report of the World Economic
Forum (2011–2012). Corruption remains a problem
for Angola’s economic development and the country
ranked 157th out of the 176 countries reviewed by
the Transparency International Corruption Index in
2012. In recent years, important steps have been
successfully taken by the Government to stabilize the
economy and enhance transparency.5


The remaining part of this chapter analyses some
selected economic indicators and presents some data
on poverty and inequality in the country.


1.2 ANALYSIS OF SELECTED ECONOMIC
INDICATORS


1.2.1 Composition of GDP
The resource-based nature of the Angolan economy
has determined the economic and political dynamics
in the country (Kyle 2005, Andrade and Morales 2007).
Angola has an enclave-type extractive economy that is
highly dependent on oil. It was Africa’s second largest
oil producer in 2011, with an estimated production
of 1.6 million barrels per day. Foreign multinationals
and Angola’s State-owned oil company – Sonangol
– jointly control extraction. Angola joined OPEC in
2007. Natural gas production was 10.7 billion cubic
metres (bcm) in 2011 (OPEC 2012). Proven reserves
currently are estimated at 366 billion cubic metres,
and the coming on line of a large liquefied natural
gas (LNG) plant will further boost exports. Angola is
the fifth largest diamond producer in the world; with
great potential for the State-run Endiama company to
boost production further. In addition, the production of
copper, iron ore, gold and other minerals – of which
Angola has significant resources – is being reactivated
after totally collapsing because of the conflict (OECD
2011). The maturing of these investments, which
will happen in the near term, will increase the overall
weight of extractive activities in the Angolan economy
even further.


1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 1999 2002 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009


Agriculture


and fishing
15.64 15.31 14.08 11.76 7.29 7.32 8.21 7.55 8.65 7.77 7.97 8.12


Mining and Utilities 31.97 32.38 33.86 52.55 60.98 61.22 63.14 66.23 61.63 64.95 64.35 63.69


Manufacturing 9.44 9.40 9.59 4.26 3.61 3.39 3.79 3.48 3.98 3.59 3.67 3.74


Services 45.08 44.79 44.15 32.18 27.92 24.63 25.02 22.74 26.02 23.74 24.11 24.60


Construction 6.25 6.20 6.10 2.93 3.39 3.63 3.56 3.30 3.71 3.39 3.46 3.52


Wholesale, retail


trade, restaurants


and hotels


20.12 20.04 19.9 15.19 12.74 10.92 11.17 10.27 11.61 10.55 10.79 10.97


Transport,


communications
6.55 6.54 6.87 4.57 3.83 3.27 3.35 3.10 3.43 3.21 3.24 3.29


Other services 12.16 12.01 11.28 9.49 7.96 6.81 6.94 6.07 7.27 6.59 6.62 6.82


Total value Added 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0


Source: Elaborated by the UNCTAD secretariat based on the latest data available (2009) in National Accounts Main Aggregates
Database. United Nations Statistical Division. Different sources provide data with significant differences on the sectoral participation
of GDP in constant terms


Table 1. ANGOLA: Structure of GDP by economic activity [Percentages, based on constant 2005 kwanza values]




4 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


The structure of GDP, in constant domestic currency,
has not changed much since the beginning of the
reforms. The predominance of the extractive sectors
from 1990 onwards is evident (table 1). The major
changes have been the progressive decline of the
contribution of services to GDP, which also reflects
the relative increase of the extractive sectors; and the
secular decline of the importance of the agricultural
sector. The contribution of manufacturing to GDP
has also significantly declined. It should be noted
that the structure of the GDP in Angola reflects the
disproportionate weight of extractive activities.


Together, the capital-intensive oil and gas sector and
diamond production accounted for 52.64 per cent of
the GDP on average from 2006 to 2011; it represented
more than 98 per cent of commodity exports and
constituted the basis of fiscal revenue, generating
around 79.5 per cent of total fiscal revenues. Due to
its high dependency on natural resources exports, the
country is highly vulnerable to exogenous shocks, with
immediate transmission to the fiscal situation. The
extractive sectors – in particular oil and gas – have a
very limited integration into the domestic economy, and
their contribution to employment generation is minimal
(Teka 2011). An effective use of natural resources
rents as an engine of development has been a major
topic of discussion in the development economics


literature and still constitutes a major challenge that
Angola needs to confront in order to avoid what has
been called the “paradox of plenty” (Karl 1997).


1.2.2 GDP Growth


From 2002 to 2011, Angola has had an average
annual growth rate of 12 per cent (figure 1), making
it one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Growth has been spurred by extractive activities
and increasing private consumption and investment.
The non-oil sector has also experienced healthy
growth rates. In particular, agriculture is growing at a
rapid pace, but it still has to recover from the drastic
reduction in production caused by the conflict-related
distortions in rural areas. The massive reconstruction
projects – financed through foreign loans backed
by oil revenue – which are being implemented by
the Government, have significantly contributed to
accelerating economic growth. Growth has, however,
been volatile, responding to developments in the
oil market; and has decelerated since 2009 due to
the international financial crisis (figure 1). Recently,
growth has been hampered by Government arrears in
construction and infrastructure payments, which have
contracted growth in the construction and distribution
sectors since 2009.


Figure 1. Angola GDP Real Growth Rates Constant 2005 Kwanzas


2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011


14.5 3.3 11.28 20.6 20.7 22.59 13.81 2.41 3.4 3.68


0


5


10


15


20


25


Source: IMF Database




5COUNTRY AND DEVELOPMENT PROFILE


The rapid growth rate has permitted a sustainable
improvement of the GDP per capita, which grew at
an annual average rate of 9.9 per cent from 2000
to 2009. However, there is a significant difference
in the evolution of the level of GDP per capita when
comparing current purchasing power parity (PPP)


Figure 3 presents the evolution of the GDP per capita
in constant kwanzas. This indicator is the most
appropriate one available, due to exchange rate
misalignment in Angola during a prolonged period.
It shows the significant effect of the conflict, which
reduced the level of real income by more than half


US$ and current prices US$ (figure 2). While GDP


per capita at current US$ increased by 634 per cent


from 2002 to 2011, in PPP terms – which take into


account the purchasing capacity of income – it has


only increased by 127 per cent.


per capita; and it also reflects the fact that in constant


kwanzas the GDP per capita of 1974 was reached


again only in 2006 - despite the significant effects of


the expansion of the oil sector and of high oil prices on


the Angolan economy.


Figure 2. Angola: GDP per capita 2002-2011 Current PPP US$ and current price US$


Figure 3. Angola: GDP per capita 2002-2011 Current PPP US$ and current price US$


2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2008 2010 2011


Current PPP US$ 2599 2664 2953 3328 4034 4954 5614 5661 5748 5910


Current prices US$ 689 820 1130 1699 2445 3443 4671 4081 4328 5061


0


1000


2000


3000


4000


5000


6000


7000


-


50'000


100'000


150'000


200'000


250'000


300'000


19
70


19
72


19
74


19
76


19
78


19
80


19
82


19
84


19
86


19
88


19
90


19
92


19
94


19
96


19
98


20
00


20
02


20
04


20
06


20
08


20
10


Source: IMF database


Source: Elaborated by the UNCTAD secretariat based on the United Nations Statistics Division Database




6 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


Table 2 presents the growth rates of the different
sectors of the Angolan economy. The table depicts
the fact that most sectors have experienced high
growth rates since 2006, with the non-oil sectors
performing better on average than the oil sector.
However, growth has been volatile. A characteristic
of Angola’s growth performance is that most sectors
are starting from a very low base and recovering lost


Measured by the ratio of total trade – imports plus
exports – to GDP, Angola is quite an open economy.
This ratio was on average 138 per cent from 2000
to 2009, which is significantly higher than for other
sub-Saharan African countries. Oil exports – and the
foreign exchange income generated by them that
allowed for an increase in the levels of imports – explain
the openness of the economy. Angola has sustainable
levels of foreign debt, and the current account
has exhibited a surplus for most of the 2000–2009
period. Due to fiscal oil revenues – which on average
have been around 31.5 per cent of GDP during the
same period – the overall fiscal balance has been
positive. The main issue affecting macroeconomic
management in Angola is the volatility of oil revenues,
as was evident during 2009 and 2010.


1.2.3 FDI and Finance
A decade of peace has greatly benefited the country,
which has been experiencing high rates of economic
growth. However, the transition to a functioning and
stable market economy has not yet been completed.
Despite significant economic reforms implemented
since the early 2000s, macroeconomic stabilization
still needs to be consolidated on a sustainable basis,


ground – which, in many cases, explains the high
growth rates. This is basically home-grown growth,
because, as will be discussed later, with the exception
of extractive activities, Angola has not experienced
much agricultural or manufacturing export dynamism.
In 2010, the value of Angola’s exports – other than oil
and derivatives, gas, and diamonds – was only US$
266 million, corresponding to US$ 13.9 per capita.


and the private sector has not emerged as a driver
of sustainable growth and economic diversification.
The State still plays a central role in the economy and
accounts for the largest share of gross fixed capital
formation (GFCF): State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are
dominant in the extractive sectors and weigh heavily
in the financial system. The privatization process has
been halted, and more than 60 SOEs still operate in
different sectors of the economy. Concerns have been
voiced about state investment crowding out private
investment (OECD 2011).


Angola is open to foreign investment and has
been the largest recipient country among 49 least
developed countries for a decade (UNCTAD 2012).
Several actions were taken to promote and facilitate
investment. The National Private Investment Agency
(ANIP) was created in July 2003 to assist investors and
facilitate new investment. In the same year, the Angolan
Government replaced the 1994 Foreign Investment
Law with the Law on Private Investment (Law 11/03).
The law laid out the general parameters, benefits and
obligations for foreign investors; acknowledging that
investment plays a vital role in the country’s economic
development. Priority was given to export-promoting
or import-reducing investments. The law established


2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011


Agriculture 9.8 27.4 1.9 29.0 6.0 11.4


Fishing 9.1 9.7 -2.4 -8.7 1.3 3.5


Oil 13.1 20.4 12.3 -5.1 -3.0 -5.6


Diamonds and other extractive 30.9 2.7 -8.2 4.6 -10.3 -3.3


Manufacturing 44.7 32.6 11.0 5.3 10.7 3.8


Energy 13.2 8.6 26.1 21.3 10.9 15.0


Construction 30.0 37.1 25.6 23.8 16.1 6.8


Market services 13.2 8.6 26.1 21.3 10.9 12.3


Other 38.1 21.8 26.9 -1.6 8.7 8.2


GDP market prices 18.6 23.2 13.8 2.4 3.4 3.4


Non-oil sectors 25.9 25.4 15.0 8.3 7.8 9.0


Source: Ministry of Planning (MINIPLAN)


Table 2. Real GDP growth rates by economic activity [Percentage based on constant 2005 kwanza values]




7COUNTRY AND DEVELOPMENT PROFILE


guarantees and special privileges for foreign investors,
such as the right to repatriate dividends and profits. In
addition, tax advantages and financial incentives were
enacted to make Angola more attractive to private
investors.6


By 2011 the stock of FDI in Angola stood at US$
6.27 billion (UNCTAD 2012). However, FDI inflows
to Angola have declined in recent years due to
divestments and payment of intra-company loans,
which contributed to reduce the total LDCs’ inflows to
the lowest level in five years. Inflows of FDI to Angola
peaked in 2009, amounting to about 2.2 US$ billion.
FDI inflows reached negative values in 2010 and
2011 – i.e. the value of repatriation /disinvestment by
foreign investors exceeded that of new FDI inflows
(UNCTAD 2012). Most FDI has gone to the extractive
sectors and related activities, and thus has not
significantly contributed to economic diversification
and employment generation. Some FDI has recently
flowed to the manufacturing sector, mainly to capital
intensive activities with little employment impact. Due
to Angola’s FDI pattern and to the lack of investment
in non-oil activities, unemployment remains a problem,
as discussed in the next section. The 2006 law on
commercial activities established that foreigners are
bound to investing in medium and large commercial
activities – such as supermarkets with an extension
of over 200 square metres, or shopping malls. This
suggests that the Government’s main interest is
basically to attract big investments.


In May 2011, the Angolan Government promulgated
a new private investment law (Law 20/11). The new
law is applicable to both national and foreign investors
and replaces previous (2003) legislation in this field. It
seeks to attract “quality” (as opposed to “speculative”)
investments that can play a positive role for the overall
development of the country – such as investments
in infrastructure – and provide new employment
opportunities for Angolans. The law applies to private
investments starting from a minimum threshold of US$
1 million. It includes provisions for fiscal incentives and
other benefits and, in the case of foreign investments,
for the repatriation of dividends and profits. The law
seeks to encourage investments in accordance with
the Government-set priorities; particularly private
investment in economically disadvantaged areas.
Tax breaks and other benefits are granted according
to: project location, investment amount, form of


investment, and social and environmental impacts;
and are negotiated on a case-by-case basis between
the investors and Angolan authorities (Comissão de
Negociação de Facilidades e Incentivos). Finally,
the law establishes as priorities the development
of: highways, railway, ports and airports, electricity
and water, agriculture and fisheries, manufacturing,
tourism, health, education and social housing (RoA
2011, UNCTAD 2012).


Economic growth and productive restructuring
requires an efficient financial sector. There are some
unresolved issues in Angola that limit the extent to
which this sector can contribute to the achievement
of these objectives (World Bank 2007b, USAID 2008).
The financial sector has developed through the
establishment of foreign banks – mainly Portuguese
– rather than through the privatization of the existing
financial institutions. The State-owned banks are
weak, and have large portfolios of bad loans due to
privileged access and concessionary rates provided
to State- and State-affiliated companies. Even though
competition in the banking system has increased,
three banks – Banco de Fomento de Angola (BFA),
Banco de Poupança e Crédito (BPC) and Banco
Africano de Investimento (BAI) – dominate the system.


The progressive growth of banking services in Angola
is evident. The number of branch offices operated by
public and private banks has increased; and other
services to consumers, such as credit cards and
ATMs, are also expanding. Nevertheless, although
total deposits have grown significantly in the Angolan
financial sector, only 10 per cent of the population has
access to banking services (Euler 2010). Credit to the
private sector amounts to less than 11 per cent of
GDP (World Bank 2006) – in comparison with around
23 per cent for low-income countries – and there is a
limited variety of financial instruments available in the
market. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
are particularly credit constrained. A survey showed
that in 2006 only 0.4 per cent of micro, small and
medium-sized enterprises had bank credit (Services
Group Inc. & Nathan Associates 2008). Some
microfinancing programmes have been established in
the country, but their size and the resources available
are not enough to make a real difference.


In June 2006, the Government of Angola established
the Development Bank of Angola (BDA) to promote
domestic investment and support the implementation




8 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


of the national development plans. BDA manages
a Development Fund to which 5 per cent of fiscal
revenue from the oil industry and 2 per cent from
the diamond industry have been committed. BDA
directly finances big investments and extends credit
lines to partner commercial banks for smaller projects.
Additionally, it undertakes capital investments and
long-term financing to commercial banks, provides
grants for business development services and offers
risk guarantees to commercial banks. The initial
priorities of the Bank were to finance value chains
in four priority sectors: maize, beans, cotton and
construction material. The Bank is a rather small,
though quite active, organization; its operations have
been limited despite having increased over time. In
2008, its financial operations were around US$ 80
million, increasing to US$ 200 million in 2009 (BDA
2009).


1.2.4 Private sector development
As already mentioned, Angola is still in the process
of transition to a private sector-led market economy.
In this context, Angola has a developing private
sector, but the gross fixed capital formation (GFCF)
of this sector has been only 4.3 per cent of GDP on
average from 2000 to 2009.7 This level is insufficient
to generate employment opportunities or to promote
growth and the diversification of the economy.
According to the Doing Business Report 2013,
the country ranks a low 171 out of 185 economies
analysed in terms of the Starting a Business indicator,
due to: particularly lengthy procedures, the high costs
involved and minimum capital requirements for new
start-up companies. Overall, Angola falls below the
sub-Saharan African average with respect to the ease
of starting and operating a new firm: as previously
noted, financial constraints – in particular lack of
access to investment credit, as well as constraints
related to registering property, obtaining construction
permits and getting access to electricity – have limited
the dynamism of the private sector in the country.


Angola, like many other developing countries, has a
heterogeneous private sector with three quite distinct
segments: (a) a highly sophisticated sector, mainly
foreign owned, linked to the extractive economy
operating in competitive markets; (b) a domestic
business sector, engaged in the formal economy
with a dominant position in some key sectors of
economic activity and close relations with the State;


and (c) an informal sector that features a number
of domestically owned micro-enterprises, with low
capital accumulation and limited technological
capabilities, which intensively uses low-skilled labour
and trades mostly in the informal market. The country
is missing the presence of small and medium-sized
enterprises, which could significantly contribute to
the development of the Angolan private sector, once
established (World Bank 2007b).


The informal sector – both rural and urban – has low
investment capabilities; however it constitutes the
main activity providing employment to the Angolan
population, in particular to the female labour force.


1.2.5 Employment
Unemployment continues to be a significant challenge
for Angola, despite the rapid economic growth of the
recent years. The increased levels of both public and
private investments – mostly linked to the programme
of national reconstruction – the absorption of the
migrant labour force and some new dynamism in
the agricultural sector, have resulted in improved
living conditions for Angolans. Unemployment has
decreased from the extremely high levels registered
until the late 1990s (in 2000, 42 per cent of the
Angolan workforce was unemployed) to around 20
per cent in the mid-2000s; and, according to the IBEP
2008–2009 (RoA 2008–2009), the unemployment rate
was 19.7 per cent in 2009. Unemployment is mainly
an urban phenomenon (21.5 per cent as opposed to
5.9 per cent in rural areas), and particularly affects the
older population (the unemployment rate is 18.2 per
cent for those aged 50–64, as opposed to 15 per cent
for youth aged 15–24). The Government is promoting
the employment of Angolans by requiring firms to hire
a minimum percentage (70 per cent) of nationals.
However, lack of skilled labour has made it difficult to
comply with this requirement; the modern sectors of
the economy and reconstruction work are still highly
dependent on foreign skilled workers. The informal
economy is experiencing a growing presence of
foreigners.8 The overall scarcity of formal employment
opportunities remains one of the main challenges for
the development of Angola (UNDP 2005).


There is no readily available data on unemployment
by gender; but taking into account that the rural
rate of unemployment is significantly lower than the
urban one, and the fact that the vast majority of the




9COUNTRY AND DEVELOPMENT PROFILE


female workforce is employed in agriculture, the
unemployment rate for females should be much lower
than for males. However, it should be noted that,
because of the absence of social security insurance
for unemployment, people engage in different
marginal informal activities to generate an income;
and are therefore considered employed individuals
in the statistics. In fact, according to the IBEP 2008–
2009 (RoA 2008–2009), 66.2 per cent of all those
considered employed in Angola were self-employed
or un-paid family members.


1.2.6 The informal economy


A defining characteristic of the Angolan labour market
is the predominance of the informal sector, also
known as candonga. Angola maintains one of the
largest informal economies in the developing world.
Schneider (2005) estimated the participation of the
informal economy in the official Angolan GDP to be
approximately 45.2 per cent. The informal economy
consists of two different, though interconnected,
parts: rural-based subsistence production and non-
agricultural informal rural activities; and the mainly
urban-based parallel market. The urban informal sector
emerged as a result of the rapid pace of urbanization,
mainly spurred by the internal displacement of rural
populations from conflict-ridden areas to the major
cities. These waves of internal migration further
exacerbated the shortage of formal employment
opportunities in the urban areas (UNDP 2002). In
addition, the long period when prices were regulated
in the country encouraged the population to engage
in informal retailing as a source of additional income,
derived from the sale of controlled products at black
market prices (Walther 2006).


Even though data on the size of the informal economy
is scarce and not updated, available information
demonstrates the socioeconomic relevance of
informal activities as a primary means of subsistence
for a significant proportion of the Angolan population.
Recent estimates indicate that informal activities
constitute the main source of income for 93 per cent
of the rural population, while comparatively only 51
per cent of the total urban population depends on
informal economic activities (Development Workshop
2009b). Particularly notable is the fact that the informal
sector provides the main occupation for 70 per cent
of the female population in Angola (AfDB 2008); which
points to the need to specifically focus on this sector


to adequately assess the gender impacts of trade and
trade policy.


1.3 THE POVERTY CHALLENGE


Even though there has been steady progress and
improvement in overall social conditions since 2002,
the country still faces significant difficulties which
hamper its efforts to reduce poverty and inequalities.
The picture presented below comes in stark contrast
to the previous sections on GDP growth, and serves
to illustrate the development challenges faced by this
resource-rich country.


Despite a positive trend in the Human Development
Index – which has improved from 0.383 in 2000 to
0.486 in 2011 – Angola is among the worst African
performers, ranked 148 out of 187 countries. In
recent years, the combined effects of peace and high
rates of economic growth have had a limited impact
in reducing poverty and inequality, and the levels of
extreme poverty remain quite high in some areas
(UNDP 2005).


The percentage of the population which lives in poverty
was estimated at 68 per cent in 2001, while 26 per cent
was living in conditions of extreme poverty. Poverty
went down to 56 per cent in 2007; yet, according to
the 2010 Household Expenditure Survey (RoA, IBEP
2008–2009), about 37 per cent of the population still
lives below the national poverty line of one dollar a
day. When this indicator is disaggregated by place
of residence, a noticeable discrepancy between rural
and urban populations emerges: 58.3 per cent of the
rural population is below this poverty line, compared
with 18.7 per cent in urban areas (RoA 2010e). There
is also a wide regional disparity in the incidence of
poverty; ranging from 17 per cent (Luanda, Bengo,
Malanga and Kwanza Norte), to 55 per cent (Huambo,
Bié, Bengela and Kwanza Sul). Similarly, in resource-
rich regions as Cabinda, poverty levels are not much
better than the national average.9 There is no readily
available data on poverty levels and incidence by
gender; therefore it must be estimated using the data
of the IBEP 2008–2009 (RoA 2008–2009).


Other estimates indicate that 70 per cent of the
population live on less than US$ 2 a day (PPP),
which could be a more adequate indicator of the
overall wellbeing of the population in Angola given
the prevailing cost of living.10 Yet, UNDP registers a
headcount Multifunctional Poverty Index (MPI) of




10 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


77.4 per cent of the population (HDI database). Data
for 2007 indicate that 36.6 per cent of the urban
population, and 70.9 per cent of the rural population,
had less than three meals a day (RoA 2007). Despite
extensive investments in social infrastructure, health
and education services continue to be inadequate to
meet the needs of the population. Life expectancy at
birth stands at a low 47 years for women and 44 years
for men.


Poverty is far more severe and widespread in rural
(versus urban) areas; and is greater in female-headed
households, particularly in rural areas. Many women
are de facto heads of households because they are
members of polygamous households, or because
of male labour migration. According to a survey
conducted in 2004 by FAO and the Angolan Ministry
of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER),
31 per cent of all households are headed by women,
and they form the majority of the households living
in extreme poverty. The survey states that female-
headed households comprise 60 per cent of the
poorest 20 per cent of the population (van Klaveren
et al. 2009).


Angola remains one of the most unequal countries in
the world, due to the high income concentration at
the top of the distribution. Between 1995 and 2000,
the upper 10 per cent of the population increased its
share of total household income from 31.5 to 42.2 per
cent. The Gini coefficient increased from 0.45 in 1995,
to 0.58 in 2000, increasing further to 0.64 in 2005
(BAD/OCDE 2008:115, cited by Lopes 2009). Income
distribution has not significantly improved in recent
years, and most analysts agree that the gap between
the rich and the poor has been growing. However, the
growing size of the Angolan middle class is a positive
development (BTI 2012, Universidade Católica 2010).


In addition to the overall income inequality, there is
a large cleavage between the rural and urban areas.
Economic activity – other than oil and diamonds – is
highly concentrated in Luanda and the coastal areas:
77 per cent of formal employment was concentrated
in Luanda in 2007, and there are other significant
regional asymmetries in the country as well (Alves
Da Rocha 2010). Luanda concentrates 75 per cent
of manufacturing, 65 per cent of commerce and 90
per cent of banking and financial activities. As can
be observed in table 3, the urban population enjoys
privileged access to basic services in comparison with
the rural population.


Table 3. Angola: Access to basic services


Percentage of the population


Basic services Urban Rural


Electricity 66.3 8.6


Water 59.7 22.8


Sanitation 84.6 31.1


Source: Alves Da Rocha (2010)


Poverty alleviation is regarded by the Government
as a tool to support economic growth and develop
a domestic market. The Poverty Reduction Strategy
(Estratégia de Combate à Pobreza – ECP), was
formally approved in 2004, and revised in 2005 (RoA,
National Reconciliation Unit 2004). It has focused
on the reconstruction of infrastructure; access to
education, health and other basic services; and on
the decentralization of governance structures. The
Government has issued a few strategic documents
which have mainstreamed poverty reduction measures,
building on ECP: the Medium-Term Development Plan
2009–2013; the long-term vision document entitled
Angola Visão 2025; the MPLA’s election programme
2009–2012 and the Government’s National Biannual
Plan for 2010–2011 (RoA 2009b). The country
is currently pursuing four main objectives: (a) the
stabilization of the economy and fiscal management;
(b) infrastructure reconstruction; (c) improved access
to basic services, such as health and education;
and (d) the reactivation of the agricultural sector.
The improvement of agricultural production and
productivity is expected to be an important instrument
in the fight against poverty. Even though some
resources have been budgeted for agricultural and
fisheries development in recent years, overall private
sector productive development has not yet figured
prominently on the agenda.


The continued emphasis macroeconomic policy
has placed on fighting inflation has acted against
other development objectives. As shown in figure 4,
even though high inflation rates which affected the
country in the past have been eliminated, yearly price
increases still stand at the two-digit level. Inflation has
a significant effect on the well-being of the population,
eroding real incomes. However, its effect varies
among different segments of the population according
to their consumption profile and source of income.
The varying impacts of inflation on the welfare of the
population have to be factored into the assessment of
the effects of any policy – including trade policy – on
different segments of the population in Angola.




11COUNTRY AND DEVELOPMENT PROFILE


Figure 4. Angola: Inflation Rate 2002-2011 Yearly Average


2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011


108.9


98.3


43.6


23


13.3 12.25 12.46
17.72 14.48 15


Source: IMF Database


The challenge for economic statecraft in Angola is to
find the right balance between economic stabilization
and other development objectives – including poverty


alleviation – and the promotion and consolidation of
an internationally competitive, dynamic, domestic
private sector.




12 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


NOTES


2 See http://www.bti-project.org/country-reports/esa/ago/.


3 See http://www.moibrahimfoundation.org/angola/.


4 On a scale of -2.5 to +2.5 best, Angola in 2011 scored -1.10 in regulatory quality, -1.23 in rule of law, and -1.36 in
control of corruption. See http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi/sc_chart.asp.


5 In 2010 the Government passed a law that establishes penalties for money laundering and terrorism financing
and prescribes penalties of up to 24 years of prison (Law 34/11, RoA 2010c). The same year, a law on public
probity was also passed. In reaffirming the principles of good governance, the law establishes penalties for crimes
committed by public officers (accepting bribes, using public goods for private purposes, etc.) (Law 3/10, RoA
2010d).


6 These included advantages and incentives relating to the acquisition of real estate through the investment project;
and the Government’s annual grants to private companies, geared towards creating permanent employment in
the initial phase of the project.


7 Total GFCF during this period was 12.7 per cent of GDP; demonstrating that the State is the main investor. The level
of GFCF is relatively low and insufficient to transform the economy.


8 It is estimated that between 50,000 and 70,000 foreigners are working in the country. Some sources estimate that
almost 300,000 foreigners are working in the informal sector (Development Workshop 2009b).


9 The incidence of poverty in the provinces of Cabinda, Uíge, and Zaire is 38 per cent; whereas it is 51 per cent in
Luanda Norte, Lunda Sul, Moxico, Kuando and Kubango; and 40 per cent in Namibe, Cunene and Hulla. (RoA,
IBEP 2008–2009).


10 54 per cent of the population lives below the international poverty line of US$ 1.25 a day (World Bank data 2000).




II


Gender Profile
of Angola




14 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


2.1 INTRODUCTION


The overall gender gap is shrinking in Angola, and
significant improvements can be highlighted with
respect to gender equality. Nevertheless, the situation
of women is still fraught with challenges inherited
from the legacy of nearly 40 years of conflict; and
from customary practices and traditional gender roles
which sometimes put women at a disadvantage in
terms of health, educational attainment, and access
to vital resources (such as land). Angola’s difficult past
has left the country with a heavy double burden: the
reconstruction of basic types of infrastructure such
as health and transport, and the demobilization and
reintegration of former combatants into the society.
The conflict has also left a legacy of accrued gender-
based violence that needs to be dealt with. This –
coupled with the discriminations against women still
to be found in customary law, practice and traditional
gender roles – creates a situation in which women
struggle to survive, feed their families and have a proper
role in the society and in the economic development
of the country. Women’s time constraints due to this
challenging context, and the lack of an export-oriented
manufacturing sector, have kept women in the urban
and rural informal sectors of the economy.


Efforts have been made by the Government of Angola
to mainstream gender and women’s empowerment
into Angolan society. Since independence, Angola
has established the principle of equality between men
and women, prohibited any kind of discrimination
based on gender, and revoked all the discriminatory
laws inherited from the colonial period. Women’s
equality is enshrined in the national laws and, notably,
the new 2010 Constitution reaffirms and strengthens
this principle. However, there is a persistent lack
of gender-disaggregated data and an insufficient
allocation of the national budget to the gender
machinery. These are considered some of the major
obstacles to the full achievement of gender equality.
Moreover, discrimination due to customary practices
still persists, and more efforts need to be made to fully
realize women’s equality and to increase women’s
participation in the development of the country (United
Nations 2013), as the following sections will underline.


2.2 GENDER-RELATED “OUTCOMES”


Angola has a gender index gap of 0.662, and ranks
87th out of the 135 countries reviewed in the World
Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report (WEF
2011a).11 It should be noted that the overall gender
gap is falling over time, though progress in the four


indicators – economic participation, educational
attainment, health and survival, and political
empowerment – is uneven.


2.2.1 Health and survival


The population of Angola in 2011 is estimated at
19.62 million; set to rise to 20.16 million in 2012.12


In 2008, the population was characterized as being
young: with 67 per cent of the total population under
25, and 23 per cent of women of childbearing age
(African Development Bank 2008). This is significant,
as the tendency in Angola is for women to marry
young,13 and to have several children rather young.
This is reflected in the country’s overall 2011 fertility
rate of 5.8 (births per woman); and especially in its
2005–2010 adolescent fertility rate of 165 (births per
1,000 women aged 15–19) (WEF 2011a). Adolescent
motherhood is more common in rural areas in Angola
(USAID/UNDP 2006–2007). Though the minimum age
for marriage is set at 18 years of age – which can be
reduced in exceptional cases to 16 and 15 years of
age for boys and girls respectively (RoA 1988) – this
rule does not appear to be enforced effectively, and
the traditional age of marriage (especially in lower
income groups) coincides with the onset of puberty.


Access to health-related resources, especially prenatal
and maternal care, is scarce.14 The problem comes
both from a lack of infrastructure and from a shortage
of qualified staff. Estimates for expenditure on health
as a percentage of GDP in 2009 in Angola and other
African countries, indicate that Angola is among the
countries with the lowest figures of government health
expenditure.


This lack of access to health care resources has
resulted in unnecessary deaths in Angola, which is
reflected in Angola’s high under-five infant mortality
rates. In fact, Angola had a very high incidence of child
mortality under the age of five in 2010 in comparison
with that of other countries in its immediate region
(World Health Organization 2012b).


The problem of lack of access to reliable and
consistent health care in Angola places a significant
burden on women, first of all because of the negative
repercussions on their own health, and secondly
because of the considerable time they have to spend
taking care of the ill and old members of their families.
This reduces their ability to participate in society and
in the economy.


Another constraint to women’s full participation in
society and the economy in Angola is gender-based




15GENDER PROFILE OF ANGOLA


violence. It has been a serious problem in Angola,
both during and post-conflict. According to a study of
the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR), 30 per cent of women in refugee camps
have experienced “one or another form of violence”.
The problem, however, is not limited to women in
refugee camps, as domestic violence is widespread
and frequent (AfDB 2008). A 2007 study on domestic
violence in Luanda indicates that 78 per cent of
women have experienced some form of violence since
the age of 15. Husbands or boyfriends perpetrated the
majority of violence (US Department of State 2012).
Few cases are reported to the police or prosecuted,
as victims often lack support and understanding from
the police and judiciary. For example, it has been
stated that when the rape involves an unmarried
woman, the problem is often considered solved if
the woman marries the perpetrator. Gender-based
violence also aggravates some of the other challenges
facing women in Angola. For example: “sexual abuse
in schools by male teachers influences girls’ high drop-
out rates; cultural beliefs around sexual practices,
many of which include coercion of young women,
affect HIV/AIDS rates; in the home, intimate partner
violence is culturally condoned, affecting maternal
mortality rates” (AfDB 2008: 26).


In response to the problem, the Ministry of Family
and Promotion of Women (MINFAMU) maintains a
programme with the Angolan Bar Association to
give free legal assistance to abused women, and
has established counselling centres to help families
cope with domestic abuse. In an interministerial effort
spearheaded by MINFAMU, the Government has
recently undertaken numerous information campaigns
on women’s rights and domestic abuse and held
national, provincial, and municipal workshops and
training sessions (US Department of State 2012). The
Law against Domestic Violence was passed by the
National Assembly in June 2011. The new law intends
to guarantee protection to women victims of violence
by ensuring their access to medical, financial and legal
support.


2.2.2 Educational attainment


The disproportionate burden of care-work – which falls
particularly on rural girls and women, alongside other
socioeconomic constraints – is also reflected in the
latest statistics depicting girls’ educational attainment
in Angola. There has been almost no change in the
gender gap in educational attainment in Angola
from 2006 to 2011. In 2010, the adult literacy rate
attained 70.1 per cent for adults, and 73.1 per cent


for the youth. However, those figures hide a notable
discrepancy between male and female literacy rates:
the adult literacy rate is 82.7 per cent for men and
58.1 per cent for women, while the youth literacy rate
is 80.5 for boys and 65.8 per cent for girls.15 As for
school enrolment, UNESCO data for 2010 indicates
that 78 per cent of girls and 93 per cent of boys in
Angola are enrolled in primary school, and 4 per cent
of the population of tertiary school age are enrolled
in tertiary education – with the proportion of males
enrolled slightly exceeding that of females.16 According
to a UNHCR/JICA NEPAD country report on Angola,
in 2006 girls represented only 11.5 per cent of all
high school students and 39 per cent of all students
enrolled in university (UNHCR/JICA 2006).


The lack of significant progress for women beyond
primary education is felt most strongly in the interior
of the country, as the gender imbalance in education
there is most marked. According to the AfDB 2008
study, families give priority to boys’ education for
social and economic reasons. For one thing, school
expenses often mean that a family has to choose
which child/children can study, and families often
cannot do without girls’ labour at home. Moreover,
girls marry early and it is thought useless to invest in
training them for a profession as they will doubtless be
responsible for the home and children.


2.2.3 Economic participation


For all the reasons listed above, women face significant
time constraints and little access to the resources and
capacity-building they need in order to participate
more effectively and extensively in the Angolan formal
economy.


The liberalization of the economy, and trade
and exchange policies, have not promoted the
development of an export-oriented manufacturing
sector – the main venue through which feminization
of manufacturing labour has taken place in many
developing countries. These policies (along with the
behaviour of the exchange rate) have, however, led
to an expansion in the informal urban economy. In
the urban informal sector, there is a gender division
whereby women usually sell food and drinks in informal
markets, while working at home or close to home
so that they can also take care of their household
responsibilities (Wold and Grave 1999, Development
Workshop Angola 2009a). Trade liberalization, by
providing cheap products in kwanza terms, has
permitted the expansion of informal trading; offering
the female workforce an opportunity to make a living.




16 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


As an overall trend across countries, literature
highlights women’s incorporation into the value chains
of exporting firms through subcontracting as a means
to increase their ability to benefit from trade (Carr
and Cheng 2002). However, this does not appear to
have occurred in Angola. In Angola, female workers in
the informal sector are mainly engaged in consumer
services, with very little participation in production
activities. Therefore, they do not have experience in
production activities and, at the moment, have little
chance of being hired for outsourcing work. Informal
production activities and other types of services tend
to be male-dominated sectors. In the retail segment,
men are mainly specialized in selling different types
of higher value added products – other than food
and drinks. Chapter IV goes into more detail about
women’s place in the Angolan labour market and how
it is affected by trade policy.


2.2.4 Political empowerment
General elections were held in Angola on 31 August
2012, and José Eduardo dos Santos was re-elected
President of the country. The new Government was
formed in October 2012 and comprises 35 ministers
– 27 men and 8 women – who form 77 and 23 per
cent of the Cabinet respectively.17 In the previous
Government, female ministers held a slightly higher
share (29 per cent) of ministerial positions. However,
considering that as of January 2012 the global average
of women at the ministerial level was 16.7 per cent
(Interparliamentary Union and UN Women 2012), 23
per cent represents a good score for Angola in terms
of women’s political participation.


The presence of women in decision-making positions
often means greater consideration of the obstacles
and challenges women face. However, this cannot
be considered sufficient for the promotion of gender
equality in the country. More dedicated actions
are essential to promoting women’s ability to fully
participate in their society, and benefit from economic
opportunities.


2.3 GENDER-RELATED “INPUT” VARIABLES
(LEGAL AND SOCIAL FACTORS AFFECT-
ING GENDER EQUALITY)


2.3.1 Laws, policies and institutions promoting
gender equality


Angola has a dual legal system based on Portuguese
civil law and customary law. The principles of gender
equality and non-discrimination against women are


enshrined in the Constitution and the national laws.
Evidence of Angola’s commitments towards gender
equality emerges from the analysis of national official
policy and legislation. However, data reveal that the
gender gap is still persistent in Angolan society and
that gender inequality remains a key development
challenge. Customary law is still deeply rooted in
Angolan society, and issues related to land tenure or
inheritance are still governed by traditional practices,
which are typically discriminatory to women.


2.3.1.1 The international and domestic gender
frameworks


Angola is party to the main regional and international
instruments related to the advancement of women
and the promotion of gender equality. Angola acceded
to CEDAW, the 1979 International Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against
Women, in 1986; and to the 2000 CEDAW Optional
Protocol in 2007.18 At the regional level, Angola has
ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human
and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa,
also known as Maputo Protocol (2007), and the
SADC Protocol on Gender and Development (2008);
it has signed the SADC Gender and Development
Declaration (1997). As a member of the African
Union, Angola has endorsed the Solemn Declaration
on Gender Equality in Africa and the African Union
Gender Policy, which set a framework to accelerate
the achievement of gender equality, gender justice
and non-discrimination in the African context.


A number of measures have been put forward by
the Government of Angola to foster gender equality
and women’s rights at the domestic level. In February
2010, a new Constitution came into force and
replaced the Constitution of 1992 (RoA, 1992 and
2010a). In line with the previous constitution, the new
document reiterates the principle of equality and non-
discrimination between citizens regardless of sex. It
further strengthens the principle of gender equality
by stressing that men and women have equal rights
and duties within the family and society. The new
constitution places the promotion of gender equality
among the Government’s main responsibilities and
affirms its obligation to guarantee equality of rights
and opportunities without distinction as to “origin,
race, ethnic group, sex, colour”.


Women in Angola enjoy a high degree of civil liberties
and there is no de jure discrimination against women




17GENDER PROFILE OF ANGOLA


regarding the different dimensions of the legal rights
assessed (World Bank 2011). Regardless of their
marital status, women in Angola do not face any
legal restriction in accessing financial resources, in
initiating legal proceedings, entering into contracts
or establishing a business activity. The Family Code,
which entered into force in 1988, mandates both
spouses’ equal rights and responsibilities in matters
related to the administration of the household, of
marital property and in the exercise of parental
authority. On matters related to inheritance, equal
ownership rights regardless of gender are granted in
case of death of one of the spouses.


The country has also ratified the core International
Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions. The
Labour Law grants equal opportunities in access to
employment and professional training; it prohibits
any kind of gender-based discrimination in the work
environment, and it mandates equal pay for equal
work. Article 273 of the Labour Law establishes the
right to a minimum of three months’ paid maternity
leave and requires the employer to allow regular breaks
for nursing mothers. The legislation in place protects
pregnant women from dismissal and from carrying
out assignments that are not considered safe for
pregnancy. No provision is in place regarding paternity
leave.19 There is no law against sexual harassment in
the workplace (RoA 2000). A law on domestic violence
was approved by the National Assembly in June 2011:
it guarantees protection as well as legal and financial
support to women victims of violence.20 Implementing
regulations still need to be put in place to render the
law operational.


According to civil law, there are no restrictions on
women’s rights to access land (RoA 2004b). The land
is the property of the State, but it can be transferred to
rural communities or individuals – including women –
on the basis of its productive and effective usage. Land
concessions are based on the length and purpose of
utilization, as well as on land classification. The land
law preserves land administration according to the
traditional system of sobas.21 Therefore, although
equal rights in ownership of assets are granted by law
to men and women, the land tenure system in Angola
remains, in practice, outside the formal system.
According to customary land management, women’s
access to land largely depends on their marital status
and land is traditionally allocated to them through
their husbands (see section 2.3.2 below). Although


traditions linked to customary practices can still
exclude women from land tenure, civil law can override
customary practices.


2.3.1.2 Government measures to promote gender equality


The Government of Angola regards gender issues
and women’s empowerment as a fundamental
component of national development. From the year
of independence – 1975 – up to 1991, the national
mechanism for the promotion of gender equality
and women’s empowerment was the Woman’s
Organization of the ruling party (OMA). In 1991, a
Secretariat of State for the Promotion and Development
of Women was established (SEPDM). The same year,
the secretariat was promoted to a fully fledged Ministry
of Women Affairs. Finally, in 1997, the Ministry was
transformed into the Ministry for Family Affairs and
Women’s Promotion (MINFAMU); with a decentralized
structure at the provincial level. In order to reinforce
MINFAMU, in 1999 the Multisectoral Coordination
Council on Gender (CCMG) was established.
MINFAMU is in charge of promoting gender equality
at the decision-making level and women’s integration
into the social, economic, professional, and scientific
spheres. The appointment of gender focal points in
other ministries is meant to guarantee the promotion
of gender equality at all government levels.


In line with the Beijing Platform for Action, the National
Strategy and Plan for the Promotion of Gender
Equality up to year 2005 was adopted in 2001 under
the coordination of MINFAMU.22 It was designed to
encourage women’s participation in the economic,
social, political and domestic spheres. One of the
objectives of this gender strategy is to set up a
sex-disaggregated database as part of the effort to
strengthen the National Statistics Institute. MINFAMU
is also running centres for victims of domestic violence,
and has programmes targeted at men in an effort to
change their attitudes about domestic violence (AfDB
2008).


With the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) approved
in 2004, the Government of Angola launched a major
development programme with the support of UNDP
and the World Bank. In defining the main areas of
intervention for poverty alleviation by 2015,23 PRS
underlines the importance of including the gender
dimension as a crosscutting issue in any strategy or
initiative aimed at combating poverty and boosting
national development (RoA 2005a).




18 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


Within PRS, the Government has designed a series of
programmes targeting specific areas of intervention.
In line with the Millennium Development Goals – and
particularly MDG3 on gender equality and women’s
empowerment – emphasis has been placed on:
enhancing women’s access to education, improving
maternal health, and reducing women’s vulnerability to
HIV/AIDS infection. The Education for All programme
stresses the urgency of enhancing women’s and
girls’ access to education, and of reducing the high
rate of women’s illiteracy. Under the Food Security
and Rural Development Programme, a network of
Women’s Promotion Services has been established
in order to encourage the enhanced inclusion of
gender in all aspects of rural development, including
decision-making, access to the labour market and to
land, community development and the management
and preservation of natural resources. Through
programmes aimed at informing and educating on
the importance of gender equality, MINFAMU ensures
the promotion of gender equality in rural and urban
areas. Under the auspices of the National Committee
to Support to Rural Women (COMUR), a microcredit
programme was launched in 1999 with the objectives
of enhancing rural women’s productive capacities,
increasing family income and alleviating poverty. By
2006, this programme had provided assistance to
approximately 5,000 rural families (UNHCR/JICA
2006).


Despite the active engagement of MINFAMU in
pushing the gender agenda forward through advocacy
and awareness-raising among policymakers – as well
as through the organization of training and workshops
targeting stakeholders and Government officials
– substantial weaknesses have been underlined.
MINFAMU has lacked the agency and resources
needed in order to mainstream gender issues into
the different policy areas (van Klaveren et al. 2009).
In particular, there has been no analysis or national
debate on gender-related trade issues. Gender
equality and women’s empowerment have been in
the development discourse in Angola for a long time;
but other pressing challenges confronting the country
have attracted far more attention from policymakers
in the recent past. The African Development Bank
(AfDB 2008) highlights the tendency for “gender policy
evaporation”.24


2.3.2 Customary law practices and other socio/cul-
tural obstacles to gender equality in Angola


As previously mentioned, customary law is still
prevalent in Angola. Issues related to family and
property rights are treated according to traditionally
accepted rules, which typically have a discriminatory
approach towards women. Traditional rules and
institutions, which operate outside the formal legal
system, determine women’s access to endowments
such as land, education, health, property and financial
resources; the type of jobs that are available to them
and their working conditions. They also determine and
influence the extent of enforcement and protection
of de jure individual rights. Women in Angola are, for
example, weakly protected de facto when it comes
to issues such as violence, divorce, parental authority
and inheritance (AfDB 2008, GID-DB 2007).


Substantial differences in the application of customary
law can be found across regions and communities.
In some regions, inheritance principles are determined
by matrilineal or patrilineal patterns: for instance, in the
Moxico province in eastern Angola, households are
often female-headed, which grants women a higher
social status and assigns them an important role within
the community. In such communities women can
also be elected as heads of the clan and polyandry is
commonly practised.


Polygamy in Angola is forbidden, yet it is a widespread
practice. The incidence of polygamous marriages has
increased as a consequence of the losses in men
during the war. Women married under polygamy are
greatly disadvantaged since, according to customary
rules, the husband is only financially responsible for
the wife and children he shares the household with.


The principles regulating inheritance and land tenure
are also largely determined by differing customary
practices, which often vary from region to region and
from one ethnic group to another. Under the prevailing
customary practices of land tenure, women are not
entitled to own property on equal terms with men.
Especially in rural areas, women gain the right to land
ownership only through marriage. In general, the right
of a woman to own land and to access economic
resources may depend on her reproductive capacity,
as well as on her marital status. This implies that, in
some regions, a woman who cannot have children,
who has divorced or who has become a widow may
easily lose her right to land ownership. Moreover,
women usually do not participate in the management
of community resources.




19GENDER PROFILE OF ANGOLA


There are also some gaps in access to land due
to complex and costly administrative procedures
that penalize poor and poorly educated women in
particular. Public authorities, in some cases, have
reportedly hampered women’s access to land rights
based on discriminatory criteria. Moreover, women
in Angola often possess an inadequate knowledge
of their rights and experience difficulties in having
their cases heard by courts. Notwithstanding the
implementation of mechanisms for legal assistance
to people with lower incomes, the limited number of
courts in the country – and the consequently large
number of procedures and procedural delays – make
recourse to the courts difficult (FAO 2011).


An additional problem is that large sections of
Angolan land are held under informal title and multiple
transfers of land are very common. Massive problems
of squatting and land-grabbing during and after the
war, as well as the destruction of official records, have
made the identification of legitimate ownership very
difficult. On the other hand, the Government does
not have the sufficient capacity for a nationwide land
census. This has given rise to forced evictions of
thousands of people from their informal settlements,
with the subsequent loss of their only economic asset.
Compensation schemes have often been absent or
inadequate (Foley 2007). The disproportionate number
of female-headed households has placed women in a
particularly vulnerable situation; they are regarded only
as temporary custodians of land with no rights under
customary law.


The 2010 Constitution draws a clear distinction
between customary and civil law (article 223). The
validity of customary law and the power of traditional
institutions are accepted when customary practices
do not violate constitutional provisions and human
dignity (article 223). The enforcement of customary
practices remains bound to the principles enshrined
in the Constitution. Considering the reaffirmation
of women’s rights in the new Constitution and the
principle of gender equality, any gender-based
discrimination existing at the level of customary law
might therefore be potentially invalidated by the new
Constitution when it violates human dignity and
constitutional provisions.


Social hearing councils were established to bridge the
gap between the Government and local communities.
These bring together local authorities as well as
representatives of MINFAMU, the church, NGOs and
civil society, and encourage participatory governance.


The councils have power of arbitrage in case of
disputes involving customary and civil law. Women
can appeal to social hearing councils to challenge
decisions based on customary law if they consider
them to be less favourable to human rights than
decisions based on positive law. Women can also
seek further legal advice from MINFAMU, the Angolan
Bar or the Association of Women Lawyers.25


In conclusion, while the non-discrimination principle
enshrined in the 2010 Constitution remains of great
significance, additional positive actions may be
required for women in Angola to fully benefit from it
and to overcome existing administrative and legal
hurdles that hamper the full enjoyment of their rights.


2.3.3 Gendered effects of conflict in Angola


The armed conflict between the Government of Angola
and the National Union for the Total Independence
of Angola (UNITA) ended with the signing of the
Memorandum of Understanding of Luena in April
2002. The current situation of women in Angola is
mainly determined by social institutions and by the
legacy of the conflict (Nzatuzola 2005). Many women
were either abducted or voluntarily joined armed
groups to serve as nurses, cooks, sex workers,
messengers, spies or administrative or logistical
personnel, but also as armed combatants.26 There is
a lack of data on the number of women and girls who
participated in the conflict, as, according to sources,
the community and national level disarmament,
demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programmes
have ignored their presence (Lahai 2010). As result
of the conflict, many women were forced to migrate
from the rural areas to the provincial urban centres,
and a significant proportion of forced migrants have
remained in the cities under precarious conditions.
Two thirds of displaced people, out of a total of around
4 million, were women and children. Some women
who participated in the conflict choose not to return
to their village afterwards, as reintegration into civilian
life is more difficult for women having to revert from the
relatively more egalitarian military culture to traditional
gender relations and restrictive social norms (UNIFEM
2005). Female ex-combatants also face a number
of additional concerns: ostracism and negative
stigmatization, bringing up children born as a result
of rape, health concerns related to their combatant
experience (trauma, HIV) and domestic violence.


It is not only women, however, who face significant
issues because of the conflict. Young male ex-




20 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


combatants also face difficulties reintegrating into
Angolan society and may be stigmatized and
excluded if they are unable to find work or access
land, thereby making them vulnerable to possible
future mobilization.27


Conflict has also had strong long-term effects
on the family structure, increasing the number of
widows, polygamous households and female-
headed households. This in turn has had the effect of
reinforcing poverty in the country, despite the fact that
the conflict has stimulated an increase in women’s
participation in the labour market, both in rural and
urban areas.


Angola’s disarmament, demobilization and
reintegration of combatants were carried out through
the Government-run Angolan Demobilization and
Reintegration Programme (ADRP), which succeeded
in demobilizing 97,392 ex-combatants out of
138,000 targeted (OSAA 2007). The programme was
financially and technically supported by the Multi-
Country Demobilization and Reintegration Programme
(MDRP), which provided a comprehensive regional
framework for DDR in the Great Lakes region.
According to some sources, efforts have been made
to ensure that DDR programmes in the greater Great
Lakes Region addressed the needs of men and
women, as well as other vulnerable groups (women,
children and disabled) and combatants’ dependents.
Each country’s MDRP has developed its own gender
strategy. There have been efforts to strengthen the
gender perspective of the MDRP process. These have


involved gender trainings for staff implementing the
DDR programmes and the developing of operational
tools to strengthen the economic reintegration of
former combatants in urban areas.28


However, according to a 2005 World Bank study,
Angola’s MDRP process included support to no more
than 20 per cent of women associated with the fighting
force, including widows of ex-FMU29 (World Bank
2005). Overall assessments of the DDR processes in
Angola have often stated that, despite its efforts, it has
so far failed to adequately tackle the issues involved in
the re-integration of female and male combatants. For
example, in 2004 CIDA argued that the 1994 Lusaka
Protocol’s Demobilization Commissions focused
on the demobilization of 9,133 boy soldiers and
completely excluded women and girls from the DDR
programmes (Lahai 2012). Overall, these processes
have been deemed to not sufficiently address the
presence and experiences of women associated
with the fighting forces. This may in part be due to
the fact that in Sierra Leone and Angola, women and
girl fighters were only classified as “dependents”: their
real experiences were not acknowledged, and they
were precluded from receiving the benefit provided to
“combatants.”30 In addition, these programmes are far
from having fully come to terms with the experiences
of men and boys involved in the conflict (UNIFEM
2005). Thus, despite the gender mainstreaming
efforts made, these programmes run the risk of being
ineffective and reinforcing gender inequalities and will
likely exacerbate the economic hardships and traumas
faced by both sexes as a result of conflict. 31




21GENDER PROFILE OF ANGOLA


NOTES


11 The gender gap index in this report is constructed based on each country’s overall performance in closing the gen-
der gap on a 0-to-1 scale, where 0 is absolute inequality and 1 represents equality. Angola was removed from the
Global Gender Gap Report 2012, due to lack of updated data.


12 Total annual population estimations for Angola. UNCTADstat.


13 According to the 2011 WEF Global Gender Gap Report country sheet on Angola (p. 93), women’s mean age at
marriage is 19; and 36 per cent of women in the country get married when they are between 15 and 19 years old.


14 According to the WHO 2012 World Health Statistics Report, from 2005 through 2011, only 47 per cent of women
received 4 antenatal care visits, and only 49 per cent of births were attended by skilled health personnel.


15 Education profile Angola; UNESCO Institute for Statistics, http://stats.uis.unesco.org/unesco/TableViewer/
document.aspx?ReportId=121&IF_Language=eng&BR_Country=240&BR_Region=40540. Accessed
12/10/2012.


16 Ibid.


17 Female ministers hold the following ministries: Fishery, Industry, Trade, Environment, Science and Technology,
Culture, Family and Women’s Protection, Parliamentary Affairs.


18 As underlined in the Concluding Observations of the last CEDAW review in 2004, a gender perspective was lacking
in several policy areas and Government programmes. The Committee urged the Government to strengthen its efforts
to promote gender equality and to introduce measures to modify or eliminate cultural practices and stereotypes that
discriminate against women (UN 2004).


19 Decrees No. 52/05 and No. 8/11 on Maternity Protection have incorporated the General Labour Law of 2000 in
matters related to maternity leave, breastfeeding and maternity benefits.


20 http://sgdatabase.unwomen.org/searchDetail.action?measureId=48043&baseHREF=country&baseHREFId=129
and http://www.minfamu.gov.ao/VerNoticia.aspx?id=11598.


21 Sobas are Angola’s traditional leaders. Sobas rule over matters related to local governance and land management.
Under customary law, the soba is in charge of assigning plots of land to households and individuals, and also in
charge of defining the rules for land management and sorting out disputes. Data of the Rural Development Institute
report that only one per cent of sobas are women (Nielsen 2008).


22 National Strategy to Promote Gender Equity up to Year 2005. A summary is available at: http://minfam.netangola.
com/html/perspectivas.htm. The priority areas identified were poverty reduction, gender equality, increased
women’s economic and social participation and in participation in decision-making, improved access to education
and basic health services, improved legal conditions as well as human rights for women and children, and control
and prevention of domestic violence.


23 There are 10 main areas of intervention of the Poverty Reduction Strategy: social reinsertion, security and civil
protection, food security and rural development, HIV/AIDS, education, health, basic infrastructure, employment and
professional training, governance and macroeconomic management. As explained in section 1.3, the Government
has issued new strategic documents where poverty reduction measures have been mainstreamed based on PRS.


24 In 2008, the African Development Bank reported that the allocation of human and financial resources to MINFAMU
was not sufficient, and that gender issues were perceived as confined to the Ministry of Gender rather than
being integrated at all ministerial levels. The Gender Focal Point System did not prove effective in monitoring and
implementing the gender policy: lack of technical training and lack of information and guidelines were recognized as
some of the major obstacles to gender mainstreaming (AfDB 2008, UNIFEM 2008).


25 Information shared by MINFAMU during the fact-finding mission, 2013.


26 Peace-building initiative, “Empowerment: Women & Gender Issues: Women, Gender & Peacebuilding Processes”.
Available at http://www.peacebuildinginitiative.org/index.cfm?pageId=1959#_ftn73. Accessed 06/07/2012.


27 See “In Focus” newsletter from the MDRP Secretariat at the World Bank; Available at http://www.mdrp.org/PDFs/
In_Focus_1.pdf. Accessed 06/07/2012.


28 In 2007, the World Bank and the MDRP Secretariat launched the Learning for Equality, Access and Peace (LEAP)
Programme, which is aimed at strengthening the impact of MDRP-financed programmes from a gender perspective.
According to the LEAP Progress Report for 2009, there has been a focus on: gender training for focal points; the
development of operational tools in order to strengthen economic reintegration of former combatants in urban areas
for future D&R projects; and vocational training, promotion of income generating activities, physical rehabilitation
and social reintegration support. World Bank “Progress Report Learning for Equality, Access and Peace (LEAP)




22 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


Programme August 2007-February 2009”. Available at http://www.mdrp.org/PDFs/LEAPprogressreport022009.
pdf. Accessed 06/07/2012.


29 The military force of UNITA.


30 Peace-building initiative, “Empowerment: Women & Gender Issues: Women, Gender & Peacebuilding Processes”.
Available at http://www.peacebuildinginitiative.org/index.cfm?pageId=1959#_ftn73. Accessed 06/07/2012.


31 Peacewomen, “Demobilization, Disarmament, Repatriation, Resettlement and Reintegration (DDRRR)”.Available at
http://www.peacewomen.org/themes_theme.php?id=9. Accessed 06/07/2012.




III


Trade Policy
and Trade


Developments
in Angola




24 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


3.1 ANGOLA TRADE AGREEMENTS


3.1.1 Multilateral agreements


Angola is an original member of the World Trade
Organization (WTO). As an LDC, Angola enjoys
special and differential treatment (S&D) with respect to
WTO obligations and commitments. A certain degree
of flexibility is granted to Angola in the three key areas
of market access, export subsidies and domestic
support. As regards market access, in implementing
the Uruguay Round obligations on tariff binding, Angola
has bound its tariffs at relatively high levels and is not
expected to liberalize its MFN tariffs in agriculture. As
an LDC, Angola is also exempted from the obligation
to reduce existing agricultural export subsidies, both in
terms of subsidized quantities and budgetary outlays.
It should be stressed, however, that the country has
no significant export subsidy programme in place
(WTO 2006). The country enjoys significant flexibility
to implement domestic support policies in agriculture.
A wider policy space is provided under the following
provisions: (a) Government service programmes that
fall under the “Green box” measures32 are not subject
to reduction commitments, (b) certain developmental
measures in developing countries that fall under
article 6.2 of the Agreement on Agriculture33 are also
exempted and (c) trade-distorting support measures
are admitted within defined minimal levels (de minimis
exemptions).34


3.1.2 Regional agreements


At the regional level, Angola is a co-founder of the
Economic Community of Central African States
(ECCAS/CEEAC), of the African Union (AU) and of the
Southern African Development Community (SADC).
In 2003 the country adhered to the SADC Protocol
on Trade, which envisages the creation of a Free
Trade Area in the region. However, Angola has not
yet implemented it. Angola is also a member of the
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa
(COMESA) but it has withdrawn from its activities
because of duplication with SADC with respect to
trade policies in the region. It should be stressed that
Angola’s intraregional trade remains very limited and
most of the country’s trade flows take place on the
extraregional markets.


3.1.3 Bilateral schemes


As an LDC, Angola is eligible for non-reciprocal
preferential arrangements with industrialized countries
under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).
Angola has been a party to the United States of
America’s African Growth and Opportunity Act
(AGOA) since December 2003. AGOA provisions
for least developed countries establish that goods
from any country, used in the manufacturing process
in Angola, may qualify for AGOA origin of the final
product. Under AGOA, Angola became one of the
three major trade partners of the United States (WTO
2006, US Department of Commerce 2010). Under
the “Everything But Arms” (EBA) initiative for least
developed countries, access to European Union
markets is duty free and quota free for all of Angola’s
products, except arms and ammunitions.


Jointly with SADC, Angola is in the process of
negotiating an Economic Partnership Agreement
(EPA) aimed at fostering trade between the European
Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific
(ACP) Group of States. Seven clusters of topics for
negotiation have been identified: agriculture and
fisheries (where Angola is the coordinator for SADC);
non-agricultural market access; standards, and
SPS; legal issues, rules of origin and statistics; trade
facilitation and development cooperation; TRIPS and
TRIMs; and services, investment, and competition
policy. Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique
and Namibia signed an Interim EPA with the European
Union in 2009. Although Angola did not join the interim
agreement, it still maintains preferential treatment
under the EBA regulation.


3.2 POLICIES ON TRADE IN GOODS


Angola used to have a very complex trade regime
before reforms began to be implemented in the late
1990s. Import duties ranged from 0 to more than a 100
per cent for certain luxury goods. From 1992 to 1994,
the simple average of applied tariffs stood at 11.6 per
cent (Ngy and Yeats 1996). The customs system was
rather ineffective because of numerous exceptions
and widespread customs evasion. Moreover, non-
tariff measures had a considerable impact on
Angolan trade. Foreign trade was strictly regulated
by a system of administrative mechanisms, and the
State exercised a monopoly on external trade through




25TRADE POLICY AND TRADE DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGOLA


State-owned enterprises (SOEs). Furthermore, trade
was significantly affected by a system of extensive
price controls.


Trade reform was first effectively introduced in May
1999, in a context of increasingly deregulated domestic
markets. The new tariff schedule was streamlined
with the introduction of six tariff bands with a simple
average applied MFN tariff of 17 per cent (5 per cent or
less for food and agriculture products). All quantitative
restrictions were eliminated. Investment goods for
some sectors, like oil and mining, were exempted
from import duties. Export products were charged an
export tariff averaging 4 per cent. Tariff obligations for
the oil industry were largely determined by individually
negotiated contracts between foreign oil companies
and the Angolan Government.


A new tariff structure was introduced in 2005. Overall,
the simple average MFN applied tariff was significantly
reduced to 7.3 per cent, with an import-weighted


Figure 6 presents the simple MFN tariff average by
product groups. The highest average applied rates
affect beverages and tobacco, petroleum, fish and fish
products, coffee and tea, and clothing. All remaining


average of 6.4 per cent, those levels being much
lower than the average in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA),
or in lower-middle income countries. However, taking
into consideration additional fees and charges, the
average MFN charge on imports reached almost 10
per cent.


The tariff reform increased the protection afforded
to domestic production in some sectors: it lowered
tariffs for inputs, while increasing them for some final
products, with the overall goals of supporting the
gradual process of import substitution for essential
goods and of boosting exports from the non-oil
sectors. This strategy, which has been implemented in
consultation with the Industrial Association of Angola,
is however still limited to a few products, especially
the beverages industry and its upstream products.35


Figure 5 depicts the breakdown of applied tariffs
by level of the total 5,384 tariff lines included in the
Angolan tariff schedule.


product groups face an average tariff close to or below
10 per cent. The average tariff levied on capital goods
is very low.


Figure 5. Angola Breakdown of Applied MFN duties


0


38.5


27.8


12.6
10.6


7.8


2.7


0% 2% 5% 10% 15% 20% 30%


Duty Levels


Percentage
of Tariff Line


Source: WTO (2006)




26 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


low to avoid its price effects in the framework of the
stabilization policies. Angola has retained substantial
flexibility in adjusting its import duties, including in
agriculture. Indeed, the gap between the bound and
applied MFN rates (“binding overhang”) is fairly large,
including for agricultural products. For example, import
duties for cereals (simple average) are bound at 54
per cent, while the applied average rate stands at 7.8
per cent (WTO, ITC and UNCTAD 2012). This allows
for significant leeway in adjusting border protection to
stimulate domestic import-competing production.


of raising import prices and increasing protection to
domestic production, just as an import duty does.
Moreover, consumption taxes are usually collected in
a more regular and effective manner at the border than
in domestic markets. Therefore, taking into account
the 10 per cent consumption tax, the simple average
of charges on imports was around 17.3 per cent.


A new tariff schedule came into force in September


Figure 6. Average applied tariffs by product group


Figure 7. Angola applied MFN tariffs by ISIC Rev. 2 Sectors with highest simple average tariff


0


5


10


15


20


25


0


5


10


15
20


25


30


35


Source: World Tariff Profiles 2012. WTO-ITC-UNCTAD


Source: WTO (2006), table AIV.1


The applied MFN tariff by ISIC category allows for
the assessment of the degree of protection provided
to different economic activities. Figure 7 presents
the sectors with the highest average applied tariff.
High average tariffs are closely associated with the
existing production structure of the country, and with
economic sectors that exhibit a potential for growth.
It is noteworthy, however, that there is a relatively low
average tariff affecting the agricultural sector (8.2 per
cent), despite its high growth potential. The average
tariff for agricultural products has been kept relatively


The consumption tax was maintained after the reform,
and a 10 per cent consumption tax was charged on
most products (RoA, Pauta Aduaneira 2005b). In the
absence of domestic production of a certain good, a
consumption tax affecting imports has the same effect
as an import duty. In the case of Angola – which has
a very limited productive structure, and where most
manufactured goods and a significant proportion of
food are imported – a consumption tax has the effect




27TRADE POLICY AND TRADE DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGOLA


2008 (Decree 28/08); it provided tariffs exemption
on the import of raw materials, equipment and
intermediate goods for industries. The schedule also
reduced tariffs on 58 categories of basic goods.
This was done as an additional measure to boost
the industrialization of the country. The Government
established a surcharge of 1 per cent on imports
of luxury products. Besides the tariffs themselves,
several additional fees associated with importing were
maintained, including the consumption tax.


Angola still has a system of price controls in effect.
Price controls can have a trade-distorting effect, by
discouraging either imports or domestic production.
Price fixing has basically been eliminated, remaining
only for bread and fuels, which are subsidized
products. However, controls over production, and
wholesale and retail margins still affect a wide range
of essential products, such as agricultural tools and
inputs, food items, textiles, clothing, footwear and
medicines, construction goods and other products.
As is the case for consumption taxes, production and
trade margin controls apply to domestically produced
and imported items. They are more effectively enforced
at the border, as applied to the import bill, than to
domestically produced goods, considering that in
Angola informal channels of distribution predominate.


Duty-free imports of investment goods are allowed
for some sectors and priority areas, in order to
favour investments. A general scheme is available to
investors in priority regions, and separate schemes
are available to investors in the oil, diamonds and
mining industries. These concessions are also linked
to priority development zones as defined in Angola’s
investment policy. The breadth and depth of import
duty exemptions means that virtually any investor or
producer may import inputs required for production
and capital equipment duty free, as well as some end-
use products. These duty concessions also affect tariff
escalation and the effective protection of domestic
production.


In addition to tariffs and consumption taxes, in
Angola the exchange rate emerges as a crucial factor
determining the level of effective protection afforded to
domestic production. Effective protection assessment
has to include the effect of misalignment of the
exchange rate, as the appreciation of the domestic
currency has a significant effect on the price of
imports in relation to those of domestically produced
goods and products. Domestic currency appreciation
artificially lowers the price of imports, while increasing
the prices of non-tradable goods in the domestic
economy.


There is consensus among most analysts that the
kwanza has appreciated significantly since 2002,
from an already high level (Kyle 2005a, Andrade and
Morales 2007, World Bank 2007 and 2007b, IMF
2007, OEDC 2011). The kwanza had a cumulative
appreciation of 40 per cent from 2000 to 2002, and
a further 17 per cent appreciation in 2003 (Gasha and
Pastor 2004); it has continued appreciating since then.
Angola is certainly affected by a Dutch disease; and
this has been considered Angola’s most severe crisis
(Braga de Macedo et al. 2007). Some estimate a real
appreciation of the kwanza as high as far above 50
per cent. The fact that Luanda is the most expensive
city among 240 cities reviewed from around the world
is also a sign of the extent of the appreciation of the
kwanza (ECA 2010).


Domestic currency appreciation has been the result of
the “hard kwanza” policy pursued by the Government
in the framework of stabilization attempts. However,
this has not been a conscious policy objective of the
Government, but rather the result of a combination
of measures aimed mainly at controlling the rate of
inflation in the context of a huge fiscal deficit financed
by large amounts of foreign exchange. Indeed, many
stabilization programmes implemented by developing
countries have resulted in the appreciation of the
domestic currency. In the case of Angola, the problem
is compounded by the recent large inflows of foreign
currency due to increasing oil exports and FDI in the
extractive sectors.


The estimates of real appreciation, or the misalignment
with the equilibrium real exchange rate, vary. In fact, it
is difficult to define which period could be considered
normal in recent Angolan history (Gelbard and
Nagyasu 1999, Gasha and Pastor 2004). While it
is hard to assign a precise number to the extent of
real appreciation, a simple comparison between the
nominal depreciation of the kwanza with respect to the
US$ and the yearly average inflation rate demonstrates
that the latter has been significantly higher in recent
years. The accumulated inflation from 2002 to 2011
was of 743 per cent, against a nominal devaluation of
the kwanza to the US$ of 95 per cent.


It would also be necessary to take into consideration
the movements of the US$ in relation to other hard
currencies in order to assess the extent of the overall
appreciation of the kwanza. But, in any case, the
permanent appreciation of the kwanza is evident. The
behaviour of the tradable sectors in Angola, except
that of the extractive industries, certainly points to the
serious impact that the appreciation of the domestic
currency is having on the economy: providing wrong




28 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


incentives for the production of tradable goods,
and promoting imports. The Government of Angola
is aware of the effects of the exchange rate on the
competitiveness of domestic production, and there is
special concern about its impact on the agricultural
sector, which employs most of the poor (RoA 2009a).


The evolution of Angolan trade policy and the
behaviour of the exchange rate both point to
the conclusion that since 2002 the country has
experienced a major macroeconomic adjustment.
The extent of appreciation of the domestic currency
precludes any level of effective protection that could
be provided by the current trade regime. The efforts
made by the Government of Angola to increase
border protection as a mechanism to promote
industrialization and enhance agricultural production
can hardly produce significant results in the present
exchange rate context. The prospect of steering the
economy towards higher value added products and a
more diversified export bundle in order to reduce the
high dependence on natural resource commodities will
depend on providing the right set of macroeconomic
incentives, which will promote production of tradable
goods in the country.


3.3 POLICIES ON TRADE IN SERVICES
Even though Angola has made limited commitments
on the liberalization of trade in services under the
General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), the
applied trade regime is quite liberal in the country, both
de jure and de facto. Angola’s GATS commitments
only cover banking, tourism and restaurants’ services,
and cultural and sporting services; however they
secure a high degree of liberalization in these sectors.
There are no commitments on Mode 4, except
regarding measures affecting senior management and
specialists with knowledge essential to the provision
of the service.


In practice, commercial presence is open to foreign
services providers, with limited exceptions – for
example in the case of small retailing activities, and
other services. Angola’s previous foreign investment
law expressly prohibited foreign investment in the
areas of defence, internal public order and state
security; in banking activities related to the operations
of the Central Bank and the Mint; in the administration
of ports and airports; and in other areas which are
under the State’s exclusive responsibility by law.
Although the 2011 Law on Private Investment does
not explicitly restate these prohibitions, these areas
are assumed to remain off-limits to foreign investors.


Bureaucratic hurdles regarding authorization and
permits are perhaps the main obstacles to establishing
a commercial presence in Angola (Da Gama 2005,


cited by van Klaveren et al. 2009; USTR 2010). Access
to land by foreigners is also an issue that might restrict
commercial presence. The Angolan Government is
promoting the recruitment of nationals; therefore there
are limitations to the proportion of foreign workers in
services firms. However, in practice, this requirement
has proven difficult to enforce.


Angola is also quite open to imports of services
through the presence of foreign individuals as service
providers (GATS Mode 4). In fact, there is a wide
presence of foreign specialists supplying their services
to foreign firms established in Angola, and to the
main SEOs in the extractive sectors. The presence of
foreign workers and specialists is also highly evident
in the construction sector, and is associated with the
reconstruction projects. Furthermore, as a result of the
abolishment of the controls over foreign currencies,
there are no limitations to consumption abroad by
Angolan nationals. Cross-border trade in services
is not affected by constraints, due to the fact that it
often takes place through the web. The openness of
services trade in Angola is reflected in the behaviour
of services imports. Angola, as analysed in section
5.2, is probably the main importer of services in sub-
Saharan Africa.


The effect of the appreciation of the domestic currency
on trade in services is more ambiguous than for trade in
goods. Trade in services, by the four modes of delivery,
takes place in a context in which both the costs in the
exporting country and those in the importing country
intervene in setting the relative competitiveness of the
trading partners. For example, the mobility of natural
persons providing services is affected both by the
wage levels in the exporting country and by the costs
the individual confronts when supplying a service in
the importing country. Furthermore, for Mode 2 for
example – tourism services – the costs in the importing
country determine the competitiveness of the services
supply.


3.4 TRADE FLOWS – GOODS


3.4.1 Exports
Table 4 presents the recent evolution of commodity
exports. Exports have experienced remarkable
growth; however two main trends should be noted.
First, the dominance of extractive activities, which
in 2010 accounted for more than 99 per cent of all
exports. Secondly, the fact that the structure of
exports has exhibited significant stability over time,
with products other than oil and diamonds showing
limited dynamism and having very low value.36 With
the exception of extractive industries, the amount of
exports and diversification of the products exported




29TRADE POLICY AND TRADE DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGOLA


are too limited to have a positive impact on the
Angolan economy. In this regard, trade policy has
proved unable to achieve one of its main objectives,


namely, steering the economy towards export-led
growth based on diversification, and towards higher
value added and higher productivity products.


Code Product label 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010


TOTAL All products 12 766 632 22 085 744 31 980 904 40 769 880 67 473 322 39 134 320 51 494 339


‘27 Mineral fuels, oils, distillation
products, etc.


12 542 471 21 278 535 31 289 256 39 938 226 66 277 465 38 283 908 50 855 753


‘71


Pearls, precious stones, metals,
coins, etc.


150 756
12 693 227


99.94%


671 884
21 950 419


99.38%


555 394
31 844 650


99.57%


630 042
40 568 268


99.50%


894 086
67 171 551


99.55%


442 953
38 726 861


98.95%


226 264
51 082 017


99.19%


‘87 Vehicles other than railway,
tramway


2 426 15 985 731 3 603 1 998 17 266 154 182


‘84 Machinery, nuclear reactors,
boilers, etc.


8 162 17 537 12 279 17 290 28 678 92 673 49 229


‘25 Salt, sulphur, earth, stone,
plaster, lime and cement


11 934 21 460 20 310 24 293 32 298 29 774 29 899


‘73 Articles of iron or steel 545 3 123 1 905 2 844 6 348 34 363 29 709


‘85 Electrical, electronic equipment 3 700 8 279 2 654 12 779 3 868 56 716 28 994


‘72 Iron and steel 2 245 6 079 9 233 6 818 16 519 5 652 17 245


‘48 Paper and paperboard, articles
of pulp, paper and board


50 32 55 7 829 5 432 41 855 16 348


‘03 Fish, crustaceans, molluscs,
aquatic invertebrates


9 245 25 883 28 088 23 103 19 571 12 540 12 296


‘99 Commodities not elsewhere
specified


9 739 9 843 18 994 4 846 3 841 10 116 11 134


‘89 Ships, boats and other floating
structures


30 95 13 1 586 20 932 7 906 10 854


‘90 Optical, photo, technical,
medical, etc., apparatus


2 807 2 567 3 913 16 114 7 912 8 614 8 587


‘39 Plastics and articles thereof 77 709 182 9 331 335 6 418 7 931


‘74 Copper and articles thereof 1 432 1 890 3 150 5 770 58 839 2 199 5 437


‘76 Aluminium and articles thereof 1 834 2 774 3 846 8 700 2 650 28 587 4 130


‘24 Tobacco and manufactured
tobacco substitutes


154 4 457 657 463 3 777


‘23 Residues, wastes of food
industry, animal fodder


4 544 4 200 3 514 3 221 905 1 2 827


‘94 Furniture, lighting, signs,
prefabricated buildings


134 90 88 703 231 5 318 2 514


‘44 Wood and articles of wood,
wood charcoal


2 799 3 625 3 310 3 287 2 761 2 022 2 191


‘10 Cereals 5 1 10 3 1 966


‘83 Miscellaneous articles of base
metal


38 252 79 304 78 101 1 660


‘88 Aircraft, spacecraft, and parts
thereof


811 634 523 2 654 66 144 2 931 1 293


‘30 Pharmaceutical products 22 4 12 32 132 12 1’057


‘95 Toys, games, sports requisites 44 524 21 98 9 564 922


‘86 Railway, tramway locomotives,
rolling stock, equipment


26 71 30 5 968 78 910


Table 4. Angola: Exports of principal commodities 2004–2010 [Thousand US$]


Source: Elaborated by the UNCTAD secretariat based on ITC Database. HS 2-digit level




30 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


Table 5 breaks down Angola’s major export economies.
Intraregional trade remains very limited as only 2.4
per cent of Angola’s exports are destined to other
SADC countries (South Africa). In 2011, China and
the United States accounted for the bulk of Angola’s


3.4.2 Imports


Angola is highly dependent on imports. Imports
experienced an annual average growth rate of 13.5
per cent from 2004 to 2010. Annex 1 presents the
value of imports by product type for the period under
consideration. Consumer goods represent almost
60 per cent of all imports, and import penetration is
significant in most sectors: in the absence of domestic
production, the domestic market is basically supplied
by imports. For some agricultural/food products
(e.g. cornmeal cassava), domestic production has
increased enough to satisfy internal demand, therefore
imports are no longer required. Intermediate goods
only represent 11.7 per cent of all imports, reflecting
the low proportion of transformation activities in the
country. Capital goods represent the remaining 29.3
per cent of imports. Capital goods imports are, to a
large extent, linked to the extractive sector. Additionally,
construction material, utilized in the reconstruction
efforts, is an important component of import trade.


exports, with 37.7 and 21 per cent of total exports
respectively. Products derived from the extractive
industry continue to constitute the main exported
goods to all destination countries.


Given the weight of the agricultural sector in total
employment in Angola, table 6 presents imports
of agricultural and related food products. These
products account for around 20 per cent of total
Angolan imports. The country has a very low food
self-sufficiency rate, since around 70 per cent of all
food consumed in the country is imported. In 2010,
meat, beverages, fats and oils, and milling products
accounted for almost 55 per cent of all imports of
agricultural and related food products. Imports of
cereals, however, exhibit an annual negative growth
rate: this may indicate that consumption of domestic
products has gained an increased share in total
consumption. An alternate explanation could be that a
process of substitution in the consumption basket of
the population has taken place as a result of the high
prices for cereals in the world market. A 14 per cent
contraction of the imports of agricultural and related
products occurred between 2008 and 2010.


Rank Importers 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011


1 China 4 717
7.10%


6 581
9.90%


10 933
16.50%


12 888
19.50%


22 382
33.80%


14 675
22.20%


22 815
34.50%


24 922
37.70%


2 United
States


4 796
7.20%


8 846
13.30%


12 174
18.40%


12 925
19.50%


19 497
29.50%


9 703
14.70%


12 281
18.60%


13 833
20.90%


3 India 0 661
0.00%


2
0.00%


183
0.20%


920
1.30%


1 289
1.90%


3 394
5.10%


4 838
7.30%


6 005
9.10%


4 Taiwan
Province of
China


859
1.30%


983
1.40%


1 866
2.80%


2 121
3.20%


2 012
3.00%


1 058
1.60%


2 859
4.30%


5 665
8.60%


5 Canada 0 038
0.00%


0 274
0.40%


534
0.80%


1 117
1.60%


2 607
3.90%


1 207
1.80%


1 575
2.40%


2 469
3.70%


6 Italy 35
0.10%


83
0.10%


51
0.00%


195
0.30%


453
0.60%


36
0.10%


348
0.50%


2 068
3.10%


7 France 815
1.20%


1 749
2.60%


1 553
2.30%


2 370
3.50%


4 010
6.00%


3 270
5.00%


2 126
3.20%


1 825
2.80%


8 Portugal 2
0.00%


31
0.00%


66
0.10%


507
0.70%


601
0.90%


211
0.30%


746
1.10%


1 639
2.50%


9 South
Africa


262
0.40%


296
0.40%


366
0.50%


1 645
2.40%


2 686
4.00%


1 370
2.10%


1 998
3.00%


1 584
2.40%


10 Germany 4
0.00%


76
0.10%


75
0.10%


196
0.30%


701
1.00%


343
0.50%


301
0.50%


1 229
1.90%


Source: Elaborated by the UNCTAD secretariat based on ITC Database


Table 5. Major export economies, all products, ranked by market share, 2011 [US$ million]




31TRADE POLICY AND TRADE DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGOLA


Code Product label 2004 % 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 % CAGR


‘02 Meat and edible meat
offal


146 035 12.46 191 459 268 830 348 724 510 009 411 222 505 244 19.75 19.4


‘22 Beverages, spirits and
vinegar


241 671 20.62 214 124 290 535 368 885 493 792 422 770 430 879 16.85 8.61


‘15 Animal, vegetable fats
and oils, cleavage
products, etc.


102 931 8.78 113 373 132 816 198 849 259 041 207 876 245 711 9.61 13.24


‘11 Milling products, malt,
starches, inulin, wheat
gluten


120 998 10.32 121 890 146 625 202 224 280 562 239 062 212 836 8.32 8.4


‘04 Dairy products, eggs, honey,
edible animal product


84 079 7.17 83 882 141 162 130 284 205 455 172 674 190 464 7.45 12.39


‘17 Sugars and sugar
confectionery


67 890 5.79 83 918 134 198 113 466 138 670 124 079 178 243 6.97 14.79


‘16 Meat, fish and seafood
food preparations


57 215 4.88 83 051 98 738 137 956 217 581 176 531 152 992 5.98 15.09


‘19 Cereal, flour, starch, milk
preparations and products


65 397 5.58 82 112 116 098 120 161 208 265 137 138 151 460 5.92 12.75


‘20 Vegetable, fruit, nut, etc.,
food preparations


45 612 3.89 47 902 70 510 78 806 113 904 111 548 91 865 3.59 10.52


‘10 Cereals 106 784 9.11 100 367 72 373 94 946 246 542 116 924 83 159 3.25 -3.51


‘21 Miscellaneous edible
preparations


32 498 2.77 35 650 47 984 45 228 69 107 65 894 76 441 2.99 13


‘03 Fish, crustaceans,
molluscs, aquatic
invertebrates


15 876 1.35 15 737 31 210 43 701 50 039 44 899 62 555 2.45 21.64


‘07 Edible vegetables and
certain roots and tubers


37 079 3.16 42 165 48 427 53 502 69 259 26 252 61 776 2.42 7.57


‘24 Tobacco and
manufactured tobacco
substitutes


13 398 1.14 12 127 14 922 13 085 13 413 20 853 25 377 0.99 9.55


‘18 Cocoa and cocoa
preparations


7 851 0.67 8 252 10 709 13 655 20 872 24 690 22 532 0.88 16.65


‘08 Edible fruit, nuts, peel of
citrus fruit, melons


9 798 0.84 10 853 12 058 14 487 18 308 11 697 21 270 0.83 11.74


‘05 Products of animal origin 3 936 0.34 4 281 2 707 6 269 7 942 5 647 18 056 0.71 24.31


‘09 Coffee, tea, mate and spices 3 747 0.32 3 618 7 285 9 078 10 607 9 787 7 631 0.3 10.7


‘12 Oil seed, oleagic fruits,
grain, seed, fruit, etc.


2 741 0.23 2 830 6 101 6 302 9 011 5 348 5 680 0.22 10.97


‘23 Residues, wastes of food
industry, animal fodder


2 678 0.23 2 644 3 339 5 336 8 172 5 149 5 390 0.21 10.51


‘13 Lac, gums, resins, vege-
table saps and extracts


753 0.06 580 1 162 1 728 6 426 8 015 4 438 0.17 28.84


‘01 Live animals 1 597 0.14 3 105 1 086 6 564 11 454 2 469 1 991 0.08 3.2


‘06 Live trees, plants, bulbs,
roots, cut flowers, etc.


1 395 0.12 1 361 1 215 2 988 1 781 1 729 1 795 0.07 3.67


‘14 Vegetable plaiting materials,
vegetable products


89 0.01 208 384 300 301 22 65 0 -4.39


1 172 048 100 1 265 489 1 660 474 2 016 524 2 970 513 2 352 275 2 557 850 100 11.79


Source: Elaborated by the UNCTAD secretariat based on ITC Database. HS 2-digit level


Table 6. Angola: Imports of agricultural and related food products [US$ thousands]




32 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


As highlighted in table 7, Angola’s overall imports
mainly originate from Portugal and China, accounting
for 19 and 16.3 per cent of total imports respectively.
Machinery, ships, electronic equipment and vehicles
constitute the bulk of total imports. It should be
observed that Angola’s investment policy accords duty
exemptions to imports of investment goods, such as
inputs required for production and capital equipment,
which has favoured a significant increase of imports
proceeding from China and Portugal (especially).
Due to the limited domestic production capacity, it


3.5 TRADE FLOWS – SERVICES


Angola is a net importer of services. Tables 8 and 9
present the available data on the Angolan services
trade. The trade in services deficit has been increasing
rapidly in recent years. While imports show a very
high annual average growth rate, exports have
demonstrated limited dynamism and low export


is estimated that 68 per cent of firms in Angola still
rely on imported inputs (AfDB 2012). Angola is also
a major importer of meat and edible meat offal. Meat
products mainly originate from Brazil and the United
States. Intraregional import flows originating from other
SADC countries, namely South Africa and Namibia,
constitute about 8.16 per cent of Angola’s imports.
Congo accounts for 8.14 per cent of imported goods,
which mainly comprise ships, boats and other floating
structures.


values. Only travel has experienced significant growth,
due to the reactivation of inbound tourism for business
purposes. What is noticeable is the contraction of
exports of other commercial services. This indicates
that there has been no diversification of services
export activities of the type that have emerged in other
developing countries, and that represent a potential
source of employment for the female labour force.


Rank Exporters 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011


1 Portugal 833


4.90%


995


5.80%


1 518


8.90%


2 302


13.50%


3 339


19.60%


3 126


18.30%


2 532


14.90%


3 245


19.00%


2 China 193


1.10%


372


2.20%


894


5.30%


1 234


7.20%


2 942


17.30%


2 385


14.00%


2 003


11.80%


2 784


16.30%


3 United States 594


3.50%


927


5.40%


1 550


9.10%


1 280


7.50%


2 116


12.40%


1 422


8.40%


1 291


7.60%


1 500


8.80%


4 Congo n.r.




n.r.




n.r.




332


2.00%


150


0.90%


952


5.60%


903


5.30%


1 386


8.10%


5 Brazil 357


2.10%


520


3.10%


836


4.90%


1 218


7.20%


1 974


11.60%


1 333


7.80%


943


5.50%


1 073


6.30%


6 South Africa 481


2.80%


544


3.20%


686


4.00%


772


4.50%


897


5.30%


681


4.00%


700


4.10%


897


5.30%


7 France 273


1.60%


370


2.20%


633


3.70%


741


4.40%


745


4.40%


752


4.40%


841


4.90%


812


4.80%


8 United Kingdom of
Great Britain and
Northern Ireland


217


1.30%


288


1.70%


379


2.20%


547


3.20%


530


3.10%


518


3.00%


827


4.90%


602


3.50%


9 India 65


0.40%


103


0.60%


196


1.20%


233


1.40%


330


1.90%


586


3.40%


597


3.50%


536


3.20%


10 Namibia 236


1.40%


179


1.10%


192


1.10%


260


1.50%


405


2.40%


663


3.90%


558


3.30%


492


2.90%


Source: Elaborated by the UNCTAD secretariat based on ITC Database


Table 7. Major import origins, all products, ranked by market share, 2011 [US$ million]




33TRADE POLICY AND TRADE DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGOLA


Table 9 presents the disaggregation of imports of other
commercial services. Other business services imports
are closely linked with the oil extractive sector, while
construction services imports reflect investments in
reconstruction. Communications services imports
respond to the significant foreign investment in the


Angolan telecommunications sector, and insurance
imports are mainly reinsurance contracted in the
international financial centres. Imports of other
commercial services do not compete with domestic
services, since there is no domestic supply of these
services.


Year
Exports Imports Trade balance


Total Transport Travel Other Total Transport Travel Other Total Transport Travel Other


2001 203 13 189 3 176 392 66 2 717 -2 973 -379 n.d -2 906


2002 207 17 37 153 2 766 477 19 2 270 -2 559 -460 18 -2 423


2003 201 16 49 136 2 774 759 12 2 004 -2 573 -743 37 -2 140


2004 323 18 66 239 4 285 877 39 3 368 -3 962 -859 27 -3 607


2005 177 18 88 71 6 191 1 320 74 4 797 -6 014 -1 302 14 -4 868


2006 n.d 20 75 n.d 6 860 1 627 148 5 086 n.d -1 607 -73 n.d


2007 311 17 225 69 11 997 2 505 212 9 280 -11 686 -2 488 13 -9 349


2008 329 14 285 30 20 451 3 721 254 16 476 -20 122 -3 707 31 -16 506


2009 623 32 534 57 18 210 4 156 133 13 922 -17 587 -4 124 401 -13 979


2010 643 n.d n.d n.d 16 396 n.d n.d n.d -15 753 n.d n.d n.d


Source: WTO Trade Database


Year Communications Construction Insurance Financial Computer
Other


business
service


Personal,
cultural and
recreational


2001 n.d n.d 93 n.d n.d 2 623 n.d


2002 8 555 94 34 1 1 563 15


2003 9 150 157 9 2 1 665 11


2004 17 866 174 59 8 2 213 28


2005 23 1 323 103 16 18 3 265 45


2006 19 1 476 297 123 12 3 092 65


2007 48 2 634 414 154 23 5 907 99


2008 88 5 007 1 498 537 27 9 197 121


2009 608 4 676 329 445 38 7 680 146


Source: WTO Trade Database


Table 8. Angola: Trade in commercial services 2001–2010 [Current US$ million]


Table 9. Angola: Imports of other commercial services 2001–2009 [Current US$ million]




34 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


NOTES


32 “Green box” measures are defined in annex 2 of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture. The provision applies to both
developed and developing country Members. The areas covered by the provision include, among others: agricultur-
al extension and inspection services; marketing and promotion services; infrastructural services, including electricity
reticulation, roads and other means of transport, market and port facilities, and water supply facilities.


33 The areas covered by the provision include investment subsidies generally available to agriculture (e.g. irrigation
subsidies) and agricultural input subsidies generally available to low-income or resource-poor producers (e.g. fertil-
izer subsidies for poor producers). No quantity threshold is in place.


34 For developing countries, the de minimis level of product-specific support is established at 10 per cent of the total
value of production of the agricultural product in question; for non-product specific support, the de minimis level
should be less than 10 per cent of the value of total agricultural production.


35 Information shared by the Ministry of Trade during the fact-finding mission, 2013.


36 Reported exports of vehicles, machinery and electronic equipment do not correspond to the manufacturing produc-
tion in Angola. These values might instead reflect re-exports from the country.




IV


Gender
Impact of Trade
Policy in Angola




36 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


The participation of women in the economy and the
female intensity of employment depend on the overall
structural change of the economy, in particular the
growth and decline of different sectors. This process
in turn is strongly affected by trade policy. To the extent
that structural change generates job opportunities that
match the skill level of the female workforce, and that
they are available in the labour market, feminization of
work can take place. Many studies have found that
feminization of employment is associated with the
expansion of manufacturing export activities (Wood
1991, Joekes 1995, Seguino 1997 and 2000) and
with the growth of the services sector (Mitter 2004,
Prasad and Sreedevi 2007). The expansion of the
export-oriented agribusiness sector has also been
associated with a significant increase in the intensity
of female employment. In the case of agriculture, while
feminization of work has taken place in the production
of some commodities, in other cases the expansion
of modern agriculture has displaced female workers
out of the sector. The feminization of labour is not
a linear process, and it can be reversed as result of
technological and structural changes within sectors
(Tejani and Milberg 2010).


This chapter aims to assess the impact of trade policy
on the female workforce in Angola. It analyses the role
of trade policy in the structural transformation of the
economy, and its effects on: the feminization of work,
and work conditions of the female workforce. Trade
policy, through its effect on structural transformation,
impacts on the female workforce through different
channels: (a) increases or decreases in overall female
employment, (b) changes in the female intensity of
employment in different sectors of the economy, (c)
changes in the occupational profile of female workers
within a sector and (d) positive or negative effects on
women’s incomes. Also, trade liberalization, through
its effects on prices, has an impact on women as
consumers. A full analysis should take into account
both dimensions (women as workers/producers
and consumers). However, assessing the effect on
consumers’ welfare requires micro-level data and a
social accounting matrix that, at this stage, are not
available for Angola. Therefore, the following analysis
focuses mainly on women as producers.


At the outset, it is important to highlight the fact that
Angola’s integration into the world economy mainly
as an oil and, to some extent, diamond exporter has
significantly constrained the diversification potential of
the economy, making it extremely difficult to develop
a domestic import competing or export-oriented
manufacturing sector, and reinforcing the primary
extractive character of the economy based on the
oil and diamond sectors. This has had negative
repercussions on the development of productive


activities that could absorb the female workforce
and provide women with decent incomes. It has
also fostered the growth of extractive activities with
very low female work intensity. The limited structural
transformation of the Angolan economy has confined
the female workforce to non-tradable and low-
productivity activities.


This chapter first discusses the overall labour market
in Angola; then it focuses on the feminization of
employment and its conditions in the formal sector of
the economy. The specific cases of agriculture and the
informal economy are then discussed.


4.1 WOMEN IN THE ANGOLAN
LABOUR MARKET


The total population of Angola is estimated at around
19 million, of which 50.24 per cent are women.37 The
total working age population, aged 15–64, is estimated
at 9.4 million. Women represent 50.84 per cent of the
country’s working age population, and 46.67 per cent
of the total workforce. The female workforce amounts
to 3.75 million women. Table 10 presents some basic
indicators of the demographic structure and workforce
by gender, and its evolution over time.


Women have a lower labour participation rate than
men: it was 78.47 per cent in 2009, compared with
91.9 per cent for males. A lower labour participation
rate for women is common to most countries, though
on aggregate gender differentials in labour force
participation rates have decreased over time (ILO
2010). What is noticeable in Angola is that while the
participation rate of women shows strong stability
over time, the one for men has been declining quite
significantly. Moreover, even though the participation
rate for women is almost constant, the absolute
number of women in working age that are inactive –
that is outside of the labour market – has increased
significantly over time. In 2009, more than 1 million
women in Angola of working age were outside the
market. This could mean that social conventions
are keeping them out of the labour market or that
market expectations are not good enough to tempt
them to actively seek a job. This trend could also
reflect – as has been the case in other developing
countries – an increasing standard of living for middle
segments, which reduces the female participation rate
in an inverted U-type curve along the income axis. In
Angola, it might not be reflected in a decline of the
participation rate, but in its stability over time.


The female labour participation rate in Angola is slightly
high in comparison with other African countries, but
not significantly different from the average. The female
labour participation rate depends on a number of
factors, and it is not necessarily associated with the




37GENDER IMPACT OF TRADE POLICY IN ANGOLA


level of development (World Bank 2012). Female
labour participation in Angola was spurred by conflict
– women being forced to replace men who went to
war – and by the high levels of poverty that historically
have plagued the country, which compels women
to search for an income. Also, the agrarian nature
of most women’s activities in Angola is associated


with a high female labour participation rate in many
developing countries.


Table 11 shows a sectoral breakdown of employment
in Angola. Two issues should be highlighted. First
of all, it is important to note the preponderant role
of agriculture as an employment generator in the


1


Total Population
(thousands)


2


Working age
population 15–
64 (thousands)


3


[2/1]


(%)


4


Workforce
(thousands)


5


[4/2]


Labour
participation


rate (%)


6


[2-4]


Inactive
population


(thousands)


Female


1990 5 247 2 631 50.15 2 059 78.23 573


1995 6 147 3 077 50.05 2 439 79.28 637


2000 7 058 3 539 50.13 2 805 79.28 733


2005 8 337 4 189 50.24 3 302 78.82 887


2009 9 367 [50.24%] 4 779 [50.84%] 51.00 3 750 [46.67%] 78.47 1 029 [75.33%]


Male


1990 5 064 2 523 49.82 2 398 95.05 125


1995 5 931 2 955 49.82 2 778 93.99 177


2000 6 834 3 407 49.93 3 187 93.54 220


2005 8 079 4 042 50.02 3 753 92.85 289


2009 9 277 [49.75%] 4 621 [49.15%] 49.81 4 284 [53.32%] 91.93 337 [24.67%]


Total 2009 18 644 [100%] 9 400 [100%] 50.41 8 034 [100%] 85.46 1 366 [100%]


Source: Calculations by the UNCTAD secretariat based on World Bank, World Development Indicators


2006 2008 % of new employment


Agriculture 4 781.13 [84.7] 5 491.29 [82.0] 67.44


Fisheries 46.44 [0.8] 164.43 [2.5] 11.20


Oil 12.78 [0.2] 15.17 [0.2] 0.22


Diamonds 15.65 [0.3] 16.59 [0.3] 0.08


Other extractive 26.13 [0.5] 26.68 [0.4] 0.05


Energy/water -- 2.34 [0.0] --


Manufacturing 37.26 [0.7] 42.21 [0.6] 0.47


Construction 206.72 [3.7] 240.11 [3.6] 3.17


Market services 202.00 [3.6] 334.55 [5.0] 12.58


Social sectors (private sector employment in
education, health and other social services


16.53 [0.3] 18.70 [0.3] 0.20


Institutional sectors (public sector employment,
including public administration and defence and other
services provided by the State)


261.11 [4.6] 296.11 [4.4] 3.32


Other 35.98 [0.6] 45.64 [0.7] 0.91


Total 5 642.17 [100] 6 695.32 [100] 1 053.34 [100]


Source: Calculations by the UNCTAD secretariat based on Universidade Católica de Angola (2010) with data from Ministry of
Planning


Table 10. Angola: Demographic structure and workforce by gender


Table 11. Angola: Employment by sector of economic activity [Thousands and %]




38 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


country, as it represents 82 per cent of all jobs.
Secondly, there is a reduced participation of extractive
activities as employment generators, indicating the
low labour intensity of the Angolan export sector. A
close examination of the figures indicates that the
sectoral structure of employment tends to reinforce
the predominance of agriculture and market services
as the main sources of employment for the Angolan
population. The growth of employment in the fisheries
sector is interesting, attesting to the emergence of a
new source of employment in the country.


There is no available official data with time series of
employment by sector disaggregated by gender. This
issue was addressed in a study, albeit with incomplete


Angola has one of the largest informal economies in
the developing world. Informal activities are estimated
to constitute approximately 45.2 per cent of the
Angolan GDP (Schneider 2005), and to provide a living
for a significant proportion of the Angolan population.
However, there are no definite records of the size
of the informal economy – the candonga – in the
country. Most available studies on the informal sector
refer to the 2000 Household Income and Expenditure
Survey (National Institute of Statistics 2000), or earlier
surveys (Wold and Grave 1999). According to the
2000 survey, individuals with primary activities of an
informal nature corresponded to 62.8 per cent of


and old data (van Klaveren et al. 2009). Based on
that study, and on other available information from
different sources, table 12 presents estimates of
the distribution of employment by gender. The table
clearly depicts the fact that agriculture and the urban
informal sector show the highest intensity of female
workers, indicating that these sectors absorb the
bulk of the female workforce. The absolute number
of women working in other sectors is very limited. In
the formal economy, the main employers of women
are the State (in the central and local administration)
and the services sectors which traditionally hire large
numbers of female workers: health and education
among others.


the total economically active population (PEA) of the


country; although geographically this proportion varied


between 52 per cent and 80.2 per cent. In 2001, 85


per cent of female headed households, and 75 per


cent of male headed households, were self-employed


or working in the informal sector (United Nations


Children’s Fund 2003). More recent estimates indicate


that 65 per cent of all heads of households in Angola


are self-employed or dependent on the informal sector


as their main source of income (Luanda Urban Poverty


Programme 2011), and almost 70 per cent of existing


jobs are in the informal sector (World Bank 2007b).


Sector % Female % Male Total


Traditional agriculture 70 30 100


Commercial agriculture 26 74 100


Industry 17 83 100


Construction 11 89 100


Formal commerce 25 75 100


Informal sector 70 30 100


Community services 28 72 100


Education and science 36 64 100


Culture and arts 49 51 100


Public administration 24.5 75.5 100


Health care 42 58 100


Source: African Development Bank (2008). Angola: Country Gender Profile, August. Data on traditional agriculture, public
employment and the informal sector estimated by the UNCTAD secretariat from various sources, including van Klaveren et al.
2009, the African Development Bank 2008 (for traditional agriculture); MAPESS-Sectoral Report-Balance of General Government
Programme 2007/2008 and Função Pública-Dados 2010 MAPESS webpage (for public employment); UNICEF 2003 and
Development Workshop 2009b (for informal sector)


Table 12. Angola: Gender structure of employment by sector 2008




39GENDER IMPACT OF TRADE POLICY IN ANGOLA


Information from the Ministry of Public Administration,
Labour and Social Security (MAPESS) highlights that
93 per cent of the rural population depends on informal
activities – basically subsistence agriculture – while 51
per cent of the total urban population is engaged in
informal economic activities (Development Workshop
2009b). It is estimated that income generated from
informal activities provides a living for over 75 per
cent of the Angolan population. An indicator of
the degree of informality is the proportion of self-
employed and unpaid family members out of the total
employed workforce. In Angola in 2009 both these
categories together represented 66.2 per cent of the
total employed workforce in the country. There were
significant discrepancies between rural and urban
populations; however, in urban areas these categories
together totalled 43.9 per cent of the employed
population, and in rural areas they totalled 87.3 per
cent of the employed population. In addition, those
engaged in urban and rural informal business activities
with employed labour in micro and small enterprises
should be taken into account. On this basis, and on
the basis of existing estimates, it is safe to conclude
that the informal sector is the main means of survival
for the majority of the Angolan population. The


informal sector – both rural and urban – provides the
main occupation for the female workforce in Angola.
It partially explains the high female participation rate,
as women need to engage in these activities to earn
a living. Therefore, the assessment of the gender
impact of trade and trade policy must, necessarily,
predominantly focus on this sector.


The formal sector in Angola, including public
administration and defence, provides employment only
to around 15 per cent of the total Angolan workforce,
and only to 8 per cent of the female workforce. This
is close to Alves da Rocha’s (2007) estimation of 12
per cent of the total employed workforce in formal
employment. As regards the female share in formal
employment, according to this author women would
account for only 13 per cent of the workforce in
the private formal sector, with an additional 3.2 per
cent of women among those employed in the public
sector. Table 13 presents an estimation of the female
employment in the Angolan formal economy. The
Angolan private sector only generates employment
for around 200,000 female workers – that is, for only
5.3 per cent of the female workforce – while the State
employs an additional 2.7 per cent of the female
workforce.


Sector
Female employment


(headcount)


% of total female
formal employment


% of female
employment by


sector


% of male
employment by


sector


Total formal
employment*


Agriculture and
fisheries


23 000 7.69 26 74 88 461


Manufacturing and
mining


34 000 11.36 17 83 200 000


Construction 22 000 7.35 11 89 200 000


Commerce,
transport, telecoms
and tourism


72 000 24.06 40 60 180 000


Public administration
and defence


102 235 34.17 24.5 75.5 417 571


Education 29 000 9.69 36 64 80 555


Health care 17 000 5.68 42 58 40 476


Total 299 235 100.00 24.8 75.2 1 206 508


Source: Elaborated by the UNCTAD secretariat based on Van Klaveren et al. (2009) and with additional sources. Public employment
data from MAPESS and World Bank
*Estimated on the basis of female share of sectoral employment


Table 13. Angola: Total and female employment in the formal sector, circa 2007




40 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


Services activities (health, education, public
administration and defence, commerce, transport
telecom and tourism) represent 73.6 per cent of all
female employment in the formal economy; public
administration and defence are the main employers
of female workers, followed by retail (table 13). Most
services activities employing women are mainly non-
tradable. Angola follows the world pattern of a relatively
higher intensity of female employment in sectors such
as health and education; however, the proportion of
female workers in these sectors is lower than in other
developing countries. This could be explained by
the lack of skills due to lower female access to the
required specialized education.


4.2 TRADE, STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMA-
TION AND GENDER IN ANGOLA


This section focuses on the overall effect of structural
transformation on the feminization of labour in Angola,
especially in the formal sector of the economy. It should
be noted that there are no available disaggregated
data on the structure of GDP beyond those presented
in table 1, which represents a serious limitation for the
analysis.


4.2.1 Fisheries
Commercial fishing is carried out in Angola by foreign
vessels – leased to, or in joint venture with, Angolan
companies – which are granted fishing quotas subject
to the payment of a periodic charge. The produce of
this activity is to a large extent for export. In parallel,
individuals and small enterprises carry out small-
scale and artisanal fishing. The fisheries sector is
an important income-generating activity in many
provinces in Angola; it also provides an additional
income for households and contributes to diversifying
people’s diet. According to a 2005 survey, 20 per cent
of the households covered in the sample in different
provinces were involved in fishing. In some provinces
the percentage is significantly higher; as in Kuando
Kubango, where more than 50 per cent of households
are involved in fishing. Most of the capture is destined
for sale in the domestic market to supplement family
income (WFP 2005).


The fisheries sector has been developing at a rapid
pace in Angola. According to official statistics, from
2006 to 2008, it generated 118,000 new jobs. This
sector is generally male-dominated in Angola. Men
are engaged in the actual fishing activities, as well
as in industrial fishery and large scale transport, and
distribution of fresh and processed fish. Women are


mainly involved in the buying, primary processing, and
selling of fish; in some cases they are involved in inland
(river) fishing, using traditional methods to harvest
fish for consumption at home (AfDB 2008). Women
often act as intermediaries between fishermen or fish
importers on one side, and final consumers on the
other. They may own up to 20 refrigerated containers
for stocking fish products, which enable them to
supply both large supermarkets chains and small retail
outlets.38 There is no data on the gender distribution of
employment in this sector. The involvement of women
in the fisheries sector is still closely linked to their
participation in the informal economy, which is the
main venue through which women sell fresh fish and
some primary processed fish products in the market.


Angola has significant fishing potential. To the extent
that capture is utilized in the elaboration of processed
fish products for export, this sector can provide
interesting formal sector job opportunities for the
female workforce, as has been the case in other
countries with fish resources. As it involves a resource-
based product with high demand and income elasticity
in the world market, this sector is less affected by loss
of competitiveness due to exchange rates. In many
countries, post-harvest activities are predominantly
done by female workers (Weerantunge and Snyder
2009). However, as can be derived from table 4, in
the case of Angola, the reported rapid increase in
employment in the sector has not been paralleled
with significant export dynamism of processed fish
products. The participation of women in the fisheries
sector in Angola, and its potential for generating
decent employment for the female workforce, is an
area that requires further assessment.


4.2.2 Manufacturing


During the colonial period Angola had a thriving
manufacturing sector. The emigration of Portuguese
settlers – who controlled the sector – and the effects
of the armed conflict both produced the collapse of
manufacturing in the country. From 2002 to 2011, the
sector has grown at an annual average rate of 20 per
cent. However, its contribution to GDP has remained
stable at around 3.7 per cent; less than half the average
contribution of manufacturing to GDP in Africa.39


Angola has a very limited manufacturing base. The
average per capita manufacturing value added
(MVA) in 2009 was 62.81 in constant US$; which
is low in comparison to the African average of US$
75.25, and even more so in comparison with the




41GENDER IMPACT OF TRADE POLICY IN ANGOLA


average for developing countries of US$ 399 (UNIDO
Database). Nevertheless, there has been significant
improvement since 2000, when it was only US$ 18.94.
Manufacturing production is concentrated in the
production of beverages (66 per cent) and processed
food (22 per cent), while other manufacturing activities
only account for 12 per cent of value added (CEIC
2010). Production is expanding in activities related
to oil (refinery, pipes); metal works and engineering;
and plastics and other light manufacturing, including
garments.


According to available information, in 2008, the
manufacturing sector employed around 40,000
workers. Women’s participation in the sector is low:
according to UNCTAD estimates, women represent 17
per cent of the workforce, only around 7,000 workers.40


According to a survey conducted for the World Bank
in 2007, the workforce in the manufacturing sector
is mostly comprised of production workers41 (79 per
cent of the total), of which 14 per cent are female. The
participation of female production workers is higher in
the garment sector (51 per cent), in comparison with
other manufacturing activities. The female share of
non-production workers in general is larger than that
of production workers, standing at 32 per cent of all
non-production workers in the manufacturing sector.
The female share of non-production workers is larger
than that of production workers in firms of all sizes,
attesting to a gender bias in the type of occupation
of the female workforce in this sector (World Bank
2007b). The different type of occupation within the
sector probably has significant effects on the gender
wage gap. However, there is no data available on this
issue which would allow for a further assessment.


In Angola, the liberalization of the economy has not
promoted the development of an export-oriented
manufacturing sector, which has been the main venue
through which feminization of manufacturing labour
has taken place in many developing countries.42


Feminization of work takes place as women provide
a cheaper and more flexible source of labour. They
are thus preferred by employers seeking to expand
manufacturing exports by lowering labour costs,
increasing flexibility in hiring and firing and minimizing
the bargaining power of workers on issues related
to working conditions and collective bargaining. In
this context, the feminization of work in the export
processing zones (EPZ), for example, has been widely
studied (Boyange, 2007; Doraisami, 2008; Berik,
2008). In Angola, the trade and exchange policies
have created an environment which does not appear


to be conducive to this type of activities; not allowing
them to flourish.


4.2.3 The formal services sector


The contribution of the services sector to the Angolan
GDP has remained almost constant since 2002, at
around 25 per cent (table 1). The weight of services
in the economy is relatively low if compared to other
countries. Excluding construction services, formal
private service activities employ 6 per cent of the total
workforce. However, they provide for 25 per cent of all
non-agricultural employment. Feminization of labour in
these activities takes place as a result of the expansion
of low-skilled activities and of the pursuit of low labour
costs and flexible employment arrangements – like
in retailing, restaurants and low-end Information and
Communication Technology (ICT) services, among
other activities.


The female workforce in the private formal sector in
Angola is mainly concentrated in the services sector
where the female labour intensity is significantly higher
than in manufacturing. According to the World Bank,
female employment is mainly in retail trade – where it
represents 15 per cent of total employment – and in
other services where it represents 33 per cent of the
total workforce (World Bank 2007a). Other data on the
gender structure of employment in services activities
in Angola differ widely from these estimates. Women
are involved in domestic retail trade of agricultural
products and imported manufactured goods. They
mostly work informally as street vendors but female
presence is also common in shops, restaurants and
pharmacies.


As the services sector is the main formal employer
of the female workforce in urban areas in Angola,
detailed data on female employment and wages in
these activities are important to assess the effects of
trade liberalization on the female workforce.


Currency appreciation is expected to raise the prices
of non-tradable goods in relation to those of tradable
goods, and according to economic theory, this should
raise the retribution to the factors of production in
these activities. As a result, incomes of the female
workforce engaged in formal non-tradable services
activities should be expected to increase in Angola
relative to those of tradable activities. Given the low
proportion of the total female workforce employed in
private formal services activities, the overall impact
will most certainly be minor in Angola; yet it might
be significant for female workers employed in these
activities.




42 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


4.2.4 Tourism


In many developing countries tourism has become
an important employer for women (UNWTO 2012). In
Angola, tourism is expanding at a rapid rate. Tourist
flows involve mainly Angolan nationals or foreigners
living in the country (Ministry of Tourism). However, the
number of tourists who visited the country increased
from 51,000 in 2000 to 366,000 in 2009, generating
revenues of US$ 534 million. It is expected that tourist
arrivals will continue growing at a healthy rate. Tourism
in Angola is mainly business-related and associated
with the oil, diamond and infrastructure sectors. The
Government has been investing a great deal in event
tourism and has financed the construction of sport-
related infrastructures. Leisure tourism is growing
slowly and the country has been recently included on
major cruise routes.


Encouraged by the combination of economic growth,
prohibitive prices in the domestic markets and a
favourable exchange rate, wealthy Angolan nationals
have begun to travel abroad extensively. Angolan
travellers are the highest-spending tourists in countries
like South Africa, Brazil, Portugal, China, Ethiopia,
Namibia and the United Arab Emirates.43


Angola has liberalized tourism and bound its
commitment under GATS. The expansion of tourism
has generated employment opportunities for the female
workforce in all related activities. However, it is mainly
low-skilled work with low remuneration. Nevertheless,
to the extent that total retribution, monetary and non-
monetary, in tourism-related activities is higher than in
alternative occupations in the informal urban sector or
in traditional agriculture, the shift to formal employment
in tourism by a fraction of the female labour force is to
be regarded as an overall positive development. The
Government of Angola provides on-the-job training for
women in the tourism industry. For this purpose, hotel
schools have been established across the country
to provide training opportunities to both men and
women, although most of the students are women.44


Women own and manage most of the micro and
small enterprises in the tourism industry, particularly


in restaurants and catering services. However, most
of these firms operate in the informal economy.
Women’s participation as owners or managers of
larger businesses (e.g. hotels) operating in the formal
sector is minimal.


With the National Tourism Plan, the Government of
Angola has set ambitious goals for the expansion of
domestic, regional and international tourism for the
2013–2020 period. The Plan aims at hosting 4.7
million tourists (60 per cent domestic and 40 per
cent international), creating one million extra jobs,
contributing to 3 per cent of GDP with tourism-related
activities and ensuring revenues of 4.7 billion US$.45


4.2.5 Public sector employment


The State is the main employer in the Angolan formal
economy. Total employment in public administration –
central and local government – has experience steady
growth. Total public employment in administration
was 200,000 in 2000; grew to 261,544 employees
in 2006; and reached 339,242 employees in 2010;
with an increase of almost 70 per cent during the
decade. Central administration employed 39,516
workers in 2010; while local administration employed
299,726, providing a significant share of total formal
employment outside the capital, in particular for the
female workforce.


Table 14 presents State employment disaggregated
by sex. The share of female employment in total State
employment was 35 per cent in 2010, having slightly
increased since 2007. Available data show that there is
an occupational gender differentiation in public sector
employment. Women only represent 44 per cent of
the professional jobs, and 25 per cent of the senior
professional positions. Additionally, the armed and
security forces employ around 120,000 individuals; of
which only 2.6 per cent are women.46 On the basis of
this data, the State was estimated to employ a total of
around 120,000 women in 2010.


Wages in the public sector have significantly declined
in real terms, affecting women in public employment
(Universidade Católica 2010).


Gender 2007 % 2008 % 2010 %


Male 194 182 66.5 198 456 66.7 220 416 65.0


Female 97 815 33.5 99 115 33.3 118 826 35.0


Total 291 997 100.0 297 571 100.00 339 242 100.0


Source: MAPESS-Sectoral Report-Balance of General Government Programme 2007/2008 and Função Pública-Dados 2010
MAPESS webpage


Table 14. Angola: Public sector employment by gender, thousands and percentage




43GENDER IMPACT OF TRADE POLICY IN ANGOLA


4.3 TRADE AND AGRICULTURE
IN ANGOLA


The Angolan female workforce is mainly engaged in
the agricultural sector. Therefore, the impact of trade
liberalization on this sector weighs heavily on women’s
welfare. This section presents a brief overview of the
main features of the agricultural sector in Angola and
provides some observations on the impact of trade
liberalization on the female workforce.


4.3.1 Overview


Agriculture, which contributes only around 8 per cent
to the GDP, is the main employer of the Angolan labour
force, accounting for 82 per cent of all jobs generated
in the country. This sector is the main source of
employment for the female workforce. Female
workers represent 70 per cent of all people engaged
in agricultural activities. According to UNCTAD’s
estimations, in 2008 around 3.85 million women in
Angola were occupied in the agricultural sector, which
corresponds to around 80 per cent of the total female
working age population. Therefore, the impact of trade
on the agricultural sector necessarily has a significant
impact on women’s welfare.


In general, Angolan agriculture is still a low-productivity
sector, even in relation to other sub-Saharan
countries. Extremely low labour productivity and low
yields per hectare signal widespread subsistence
agriculture. The area cultivated annually by a family
normally ranges between 1 and 3 hectares under
rain-fed conditions, and 0.2 hectares under irrigation
(IFAD 2005). The fragmentation of land-holding into
small plots limits the potential for improving farming
methods and incorporating machinery. According to
available data, productivity levels in the agricultural
sector vary significantly across regions and crops,
but interestingly, commercial agriculture is not
necessarily more productive in many products than
family agriculture (Universidade Católica 2010). Low
productivity is associated with a high incidence of
poverty in the rural areas of the country, as there is
little surplus to be monetized.


As in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, there
is a gender division of labour in agriculture. Men
are responsible for land clearing and ploughing
for commercial crop production and cattle raising.
Women, besides household work and caring for
children, are responsible for all aspects of family
subsistence – including the production of food crops


and small livestock – as well as for the collection
of water and firewood. Women work on average
between 14 to 15 hours a day, both on household
chores and as agricultural producers. Women-headed
households – 33 per cent of all agricultural households
– are among the poorest and most vulnerable, as
they are deprived of male labour for land clearing and
ploughing.


Eighty per cent of total agriculture production in
Angola takes place in the traditional sector, on small
plots of land with rudimentary production methods
and very low productivity, generally producing little
or no surplus (the so-called “family sector”). The
female workforce is concentrated in this segment of
agricultural production. Data from a recent sample
survey of households engaged in the production of
maize – which stands out as the primary crop both
in terms of acreage and absolute yield levels in the
country – provides an overview of the conditions in the
agricultural sector (Kassie et al. 2012).


According to the survey, the average farm size is
2.5 hectares and the most important source of farm
labour is the household itself, which provides almost
all the labour input that is needed. Angolan farmers
have very little capital in livestock, and poultry farming
is not a common practice. Forty-four per cent of the
households in the sample have a negative wealth
index47 – indicating poverty levels – and only 28 per
cent have been educated above the primary level.
No household in the sample owns a draft animal, or
a tractor, meaning that all ploughing is done with very
rudimentary methods. Farmers do not use improved
seeds, as 95 per cent of them are not aware of the
difference between different sorts of seeds, and
91 per cent purchase and plant only local maize
varieties. Sales of farm products provide 85 per
cent of household cash income. Sixty six per cent of
household members are also engaged in working off-
farm, mainly in petty trade. It is worth noting that only
56 per cent of land is allocated to maize production,
implying some diversification of farm produce.


Medium-sized and large commercial farming (so-
called “entrepreneurship farming”), accounts for the
rest of agricultural production in Angola.48 Commercial
agriculture employs mainly men. Female workers only
represent 26 per cent of all employment in commercial
farming and, according to an UNCTAD estimate, only
around 20,000 women are engaged in commercial
agriculture in Angola.49




44 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


The agricultural sector in Angola was devastated by
the effects of the armed conflict, and the marketing
channels for agricultural produce collapsed. However,
since 2002, agricultural production has experienced
healthy growth rates, and the agricultural and food
production indexes have practically doubled from
the 1999–2001 levels (UNSTATS 2010) – albeit
mainly due to recovering lost ground. Marketing
channels, on the other hand, have not been totally
restored and this – together with the lack of adequate
infrastructure and logistics services – represents one
of the main impediments for an efficient integration
of agricultural production into the Angolan market.
Most of the country’s agricultural production is meant
for household consumption, and available surplus is
mainly sold in local markets through informal retailing.
Domestic production is insufficient to satisfy domestic
demand, which is growing in parallel with population
growth.


4.3.2 The impact of trade liberalization
on agriculture


A comprehensive assessment of the gender impact of
agricultural trade liberalization would demand a micro
analysis at the agricultural system and product level;
which is beyond the scope of this study. This section
presents some general observations on the possible
impact of trade liberalization on the female agricultural
workforce as a first approximation to this issue, which
obviously requires further research as micro data
become available.


As discussed in section 3.4.2, imports of agricultural
products have increased substantially in Angola,
with most products experiencing high growth rates
of imports as of 2004. The level of tariff protection is
relatively low for most agricultural products, and the
prevailing exchange rate lowers their prices in terms
of domestic currency. Given the low productivity of
agricultural production in Angola and the trade context,
one would expect a significant effect of imports on
the agricultural sector. The effects would materialize
through depressing prices of domestic agricultural
products, affecting production levels and the income
of the rural workforce, which is mainly composed by
female workers. Also, cheap imports would cause
a displacement of domestic traditional staples by
imported staples, or produce a shift in consumption
patterns from traditional staples to new imported
products, affecting domestic production. According
to available information, the import penetration of food
products is around 70 per cent in Angola. However,


contrary to what could be expected, and as noted
above, agricultural production of most products is
experiencing fast growth in the country.


There are neither readily available time series of farm-
gate prices of agricultural products in Angola, nor
data on the cash income of the female agricultural
workforce, that would provide a basis from which
to assess the impact of import penetration on the
welfare of the female workforce. However, so far trade
liberalization may not have significantly impacted a
large proportion of agricultural producers who are
subsistence-oriented, and tend to be relatively insulated
from trade flows. However, this analysis requires
differentiating between segments of agricultural
workers. One segment is composed of producers
who are practically excluded from the market and
produce exclusively for household consumption, with
no surplus to be commercialized. Another segment
includes agricultural producers who generate part of
their cash income from sales of their produce in the
domestic market. An additional segment includes
the workers and landowners in export-oriented
agriculture. Trade liberalization has not changed the
situation of the workers in the first segment – who are
mostly women. In Angola, export-oriented agriculture
is very limited, employing an extremely low percentage
of the total agricultural workforce, and in particular of
the female workforce.


As for the agricultural producers who derive some of
their cash income from the market, trade liberalization
may have had an impact on their welfare. This
would be channelled through the effects of import
competition on production levels, prices and farm
cash income. Furthermore, to the extent that the
consumption basket of this group includes imported
goods, cheaper imports would contribute to improving
overall welfare. However, some caveats have to be
noted here in relation to the situation in Angola. First,
an important characteristic of the agricultural labour
force in Angola is the diversification of income sources.
Even if agriculture is the main activity, people tend to
have quite a diverse portfolio of sources of income;
including wages, informal sector activities, fishing and
handicrafts. Agriculture as such, and livestock, only
generate on average 50 per cent of the cash income
of the rural population; albeit with significant regional
variations (WFP 2005). Therefore, trade liberalization –
through its impact on agricultural markets – may have
impacted only a fraction of the cash income of this
segment of the agricultural labour force.




45GENDER IMPACT OF TRADE POLICY IN ANGOLA


Secondly, as noted by Kyle (2005a), in large parts
of the country, a significant proportion of agricultural
producers are sheltered from competition from
imports due to the high transport costs and the lack of
infrastructure and logistics services. This means local
markets are mostly supplied by domestic production.
Due to these factors, there are significant differences
in import penetration in different regions of the country.
For example, in Kuando Kubando, national agricultural
products represent 70 per cent of the food marketed
in the municipalities of Menongue and Mavinga; but
the percentage is inverted in the municipalities of Calai
and Dirico. In Kwanza-Sul, 60 per cent of agricultural
goods consumed locally are Angolan. In Bengo, the
majority of production is sent to Luanda, as most
products in the local markets are imported (Angola
Civil Society Organization Report 2008).


Given the regional differences in import penetration
and in the production bundle, the effect of trade
liberalization on the female workforce certainly varies
across the country and among the main commodities.
A survey published by the International Maize and
Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT, Kassie et al.
2012) on the perceived effects of trade liberalization on
agricultural producers provides an interesting example,
even though the survey (conducted in 2008) is limited
to maize producers in two districts only – Cauacu and
Lobito. Only 21 per cent of the respondents believed
that the profitability of maize production was declining,
while 36.4 per cent thought that it was increasing, and
the remaining producers believed there had been no
change. As infrastructure is upgraded and logistics
services develop, the national market will be more
integrated, exposing domestic agriculture to the full
effects of competition from cheap imported goods.
This will have a significant impact on the female
workforce, in particular the most vulnerable segments.


A positive effect brought about by trade liberalization
in agriculture is producers’ access to a cheaper and
more diverse variety of inputs, though this effect
depends on the degree to which producers utilize
imported inputs. In the case of Angola, the majority
of producers – in particular in subsistence agriculture,
which employs the majority of the agricultural female
workforce – are not expected to gain much, if at all,
from a price reduction for import goods, given the low
import content of their expenditures. The effects will
probably be more beneficial for medium and large-
scale agriculture; but these sectors only represent 18
per cent and 2 per cent, respectively of total agricultural


production in Angola, and they predominantly employ
the male workforce.


The feminization of labour in the production of
differentiated, high-value and processed food
products is one of the reputed positive effects of trade
liberalization on the agricultural female workforce. This
has been the case in some developing countries with
the emergence of export oriented activities such as
cut flowers, fruit and horticulture (among other things),
where women in particular have been able to profit
both as smallholders and wage employees (Dolan
and Sorby 2003). In Angola, even though the potential
exists and could be realized with appropriate policies,
this has not happened. In general, the agricultural
sector has not diversified towards export activities.
The value of agricultural exports is still very low, even
by sub-Saharan standards, and limited to a few
products. Efforts have focused on the recuperation of
basic commodities, such as coffee and sugar, which
mainly rely on the male workforce. The expansion
of large commercial agriculture – in the absence
of appropriate measures – could be a challenge for
women, as they could be displaced from the land (as
has been the case in some developing countries).


4.4 TRADE AND THE URBAN INFORMAL
ECONOMY IN ANGOLA


The urban informal sector is the second source of
employment for the female workforce nationwide and
the main occupation of the female urban population.
While the widespread labour informality is largely
tolerated by the Government due to the lack of
alternative sources of income in the formal sector,
the State is encouraging informal entrepreneurs to
become formal. It is doing this, among other things,
by facilitating access to financing at preferential rates;
and by providing advice on issues like hygiene, service
quality improvement and licensing requirements.


This section first presents, on the basis of available
information, some of the main features of the urban
informal economy in Angola. It then discusses the
possible impacts of trade liberalization on the urban
female workforce.


4.4.1 Overview


The informal sector is a salient feature of the Angolan
urban economy. The informal urban economy has
experienced rapid growth in Angola since the 1970’s,
as formal job creation has not kept pace with the
ever increasing urban population (Feliciano, Lopes




46 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


and Rodrigues 2008). Urbanization was spurred by
forced migration due to the armed conflict, and has
since continued. The urbanization rate has increased
significantly, from 49 per cent in 2000, to 59.8 per cent
in 2010.50 The urban population growth rate stands
at 4 per cent annually. In a context of accelerated
urbanization, the informal market has increasingly
emerged as an essential venue for the survival of
the urban poor, particularly those involved in informal
small retail businesses (Pestana 2008). In 2000,
the informal sector generated 65 per cent of total
urban employment in Angola (Instituto de Pesquisa
Económica e Social 2006). This figure represents the
most recently updated indicator at the national level of
the proportion of total urban employment generated
by the informal sector. The MAPESS estimated that,
in Luanda, more than 70 per cent of the population
survives on informal sector activities (Development
Workshop 2009b). Other sources indicate that in
Luanda, 78 per cent of households have at least one
member engaged in the informal sector; of these, 90
per cent are self-employed and more than 75 per cent
work as independent traders.51


Table 15 presents urban employment by category
for the year 2004. It shows that 65 per cent of all
employment was in what is considered the informal
sector.


Table 15. Angola: Urban employment by category, 2004


Category Percentage of total urban
employment


Self-employed (informal) 43


Unpaid family worker (informal) 16


Small business (informal) 6


Private sector 19


State company 5


Public administration 10


Other 1


Source: World Bank (2004)


A study by the Development Workshop (2009a), based
on previous analysis and original research, highlights
the continuous increase in the number of families in
Luanda completely or partially dependent on informal
activities to earn a living. In the mid-1990’s, 42 per
cent of families were completely dependent on the
informal sector, and 12 per cent partially dependent
on it. In 1999, the informal sector was the principal
occupation of 58–69 per cent of working members
of families; and in 2005, 84 per cent of families


were completely or partially dependent on small or
medium-sized enterprises in the informal economy.
The study estimates that the absolute number of
people employed in the informal sector in 2008 is
similar to that of 2002. However, the proportion of
people employed in the informal sector out of total
employment might have dropped slightly as a result
of: the normalization of the security situation, the
stabilization of the economy and economic growth
leading to a small increase in formal employment.


The urban informal sector is the main non-agricultural
activity for the female labour force in Angola: women
represent between 60 and 70 per cent of all workers
engaged in the urban informal sector (UNICEF 2003,
Development Workshop 2009b), and this sector
provides employment for more than half of the active
urban female workforce. Most women (65 per cent)
engaged in the informal sector are married and work
to supplement family income. The informal economy
is the principal source of income for urban female-
headed households: 67 per cent of these households
depend exclusively on the informal sector to generate
income (Walther 2006).


There is a gender division of labour in the informal
sector (Wold and Grave 1999, Development
Workshop 2009a). Retailing is the predominant activity
of the urban female workforce in the informal sector
(involving 83 per cent of women heads of household).
Women basically sell food and drinks in the informal
markets. Production activities and other services
account for less than 10 per cent of all women involved
in the informal sector. Men, on the other hand, though
their main activity is still retailing, are also engaged
in informal production activities and other types of
services. They specialize in selling higher value added
products, other than food and drinks. Women mainly
undertake their activities from home, or close to home,
which allows them to also take care of their household
responsibilities; however, some work in the markets.
Men tend to work mostly in the streets or inside a
market.


There is no updated sex-disaggregated information
on incomes in the informal sector.


A recent survey carried out in Angola in the context
of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitoring Project
(GEM 2010) provides some interesting information
that confirms the continued importance of the
informal sector in the country. The study, however,
only covers those who paid salaries during the three




47GENDER IMPACT OF TRADE POLICY IN ANGOLA


months (nascent entrepreneurs), or three and half
years (new entrepreneurs) prior to data collection.
Therefore, the survey leaves out those self-employed
in informal activities, which accounts for the majority
of the Angolan population engaged in the informal
sector. With this caveat, the survey shows that Angola
has one of the highest total entrepreneurial activity
rates (TEA) in the world. The TEA rate measures the
proportion of adults (18 to 64 years of age) either
involved in a nascent business, or who own or manage
a new business which has been in operation for three
to three and a half years. The TEA in Angola is 32 per
cent. The rate has increased by 9 percentage points
between 2008 and 2010, which signals that starting
a business is an option for a large portion of the adult
population. The TEA rate, however, is significantly
higher in the age range between 25 and 44, where
it stands at close to 40 per cent; having increased
by almost 16 percentage points between 2008 and
2010.


Some results of the survey are particularly revealing,
namely that necessity is the most important motivation
for entrepreneurship in Angola. Almost 60 per cent
of people are engaged in their own business, either
because they need to work, or as a supplement to
increase their total household income. This indicates
that the economy is not providing either employment
or adequate income to the population. The TEA rate
for men and women in Angola is very similar (32.9
per cent for men, 31 per cent for women); however,
since 2008 the rate has declined for the adult female
population by 5 percentage points. This could
mean that other opportunities have opened up for
women workers, or that they have been discouraged
from engaging in setting up their own business.
Nevertheless, Angola has one of the highest female
TEAs among the factor-driven economies.52 Self-
employment in activities of an informal nature – which
do not imply setting up a business as such – are not
captured in the survey; however, those are precisely
the type of informal activities in which the urban female
workforce engages in Angola.


Over three quarters (78.6 per cent) of early
entrepreneurs in Angola are in the consumer-oriented
sector (retailers, bars, restaurants, hotels, health,
education and leisure, among others). The engagement
in manufacturing activities and in business services is
very limited in comparison with other countries: 12.8
per cent and 12 per cent respectively for men and
women. Furthermore, most activities are oriented


to the domestic market; with a limited proportion of
early entrepreneurs who have clients abroad. The
GEM study confirms, to a certain extent, the findings
of previous studies regarding the nature of the urban
informal activities in Angola.


4.4.2 Impact of trade on the informal sector


Informality has received increasing attention in studies
assessing the impact of trade liberalization. Theoretical
models have been developed to help understand the
overall potential effects of trade liberalization on the
presence of large informal sectors in the economy, and
empirical analysis has been undertaken to quantify
those effects. It has been shown that the overall
effects of trade liberalization vary in the presence of a
large informal sector (Chaudhuri 2002, Carr and Chen
2002). Another line of work has been the assessment
of the relationship between trade and informality,
and the effects of trade on employment and wages
in these activities. Studies in this regard have not
reached conclusive results (for a review of the literature
refer to Bacchetta et al. 2009, and Sinha 2011). In the
case of Angola, the assessment of the impact of trade
liberalization on the informal sector – and specifically
on the female workforce – is even more complex
due to the lack of updated sex-disaggregated data
on informal activities, particularly concerning income
data.


The effects of trade and trade policy on informality
seem to be contingent, among other factors, on
a country’s markets’ specificities, the production
structures of informal activities and their links with the
formal sector; and on the extent of resource mobility
between the formal and informal sectors. Therefore,
any assessment has to include the specificities of
the country situation. Some models predict that
trade liberalization under certain conditions can
raise employment and wages in the informal sector.
This would lead to the expectation that the urban
female workforce in Angola might benefit from trade
liberalization. However, these models assume that the
informal sector is engaged in the production of final
goods or intermediaries. This certainly is not the case
in Angola, where the informal sector – in particular
the female workforce – is predominantly engaged in
non-tradable consumer services. In addition, positive
effects on wages in the informal sector are found
in models that assume that there is capital mobility
between the formal and informal sectors, which again
is not the case in Angola.




48 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


The Angolan case would probably be better explained
by a dual-economy model, in which the informal sector
is basically disconnected from the formal economy. In
these cases, informal employment and wages remain
relatively unaffected by trade reforms. However, to the
extent that the consumption basket of the population
engaged in informal activities includes a significant
proportion of imported goods, trade liberalization
can increase the welfare of informal workers through
its effects on the prices of the imported goods they
consume.


Some studies have found an association between
trade liberalization and increasing informality; however,
the conclusions are not definitive. In Angola, the
process of accelerated growth of the informal economy
– which long preceded trade liberalization – has been
the result of a confluence of factors: migratory flux
towards the provincial capitals as result of the armed
conflict, distortions generated by the centralized and
planned economic system that made possible the
development of instruments and circumstances prone
to the appropriation of earnings, the incapacity of
both the private and the public sectors to generate
new jobs for a growing population, the disarticulation
of salaries as the main source of income and the
progressive decline in the availability of products and
services provided by the State (Lopes 2009). In the
case of Angola, data show that, in the context of a
drastic liberalization of the economy brought about by
trade policy and the behaviour of the exchange rate,
the informal sector has continued to expand. Trade
liberalization has reinforced an already thriving informal
sector and fixed the female workforce to this type of
activities.


Trade liberalization and exchange rate effects
have generated negative incentives to increasing
the production of import-competing and export
products, thus constraining both the emergence of
new productive activities and the growth of existing
firms in the magnitude necessary to generate formal
employment in the economy. Therefore, the growing
urban population has been left with no alternative but
to engage in the informal sector. This is particularly
true for the female workforce, which suffers from
limited employment possibilities in the formal sectors
that have created urban jobs in Angola, such
as construction. Moreover, the skill profile of the
urban female workforce limits their potential to find
employment in the high-skill occupations that have
been created in some capital-intensive industries.


There has been no diversification of production in
Angola towards those sectors that – because of their
nature or of social conventions – are more prone to
employ female workers, such as the labour-intensive
garment industry (World Bank 2012). Thus, trade
liberalization has crystallized female employment in
the informal sector in Angola.


There is no available data on the income differentials
between the informal sector and formal employment
by gender. It may be that even if jobs were created
in the formal sector for women, the salaries would
not be attractive enough to tempt them into formal
employment. In fact, in the late 1990s female income
in the informal sector in Angola was higher than in the
formal sector; even higher than male income in the
formal sector (Wold and Grave 1999).53 Due to their
household responsibilities, female workers are less
mobile between the informal and formal sectors; so
even if some opportunities emerged, they might not
be able to benefit from them. Finally, a lack of skills
suited for production work, or for more sophisticated
services jobs, limits the mobility of women between
the informal and the formal sectors.


Literature highlights that one of the avenues through
which the female workforce could benefit from trade
while still remaining in the informal sector is by being
incorporated in the value chain of exporting firms
through subcontracting (Carr and Chen 2002). This
has happened in many developing countries. Export
firms find it profitable to employ women through
home-based contract work without having to provide
any labour security or other benefits. Though this is
far from the best possible outcome, to the extent
that this alternative offers higher income than other
informal activities, it would be beneficial for the female
workforce. It also allows women to combine paid work
with household chores. In Angola, as discussed in
section 5.1, the manufactured goods sector has not
shown any export dynamism, including in industries
where outsourcing could be a feasible strategy for
export firms. Therefore, subcontracting has not taken
place in the country.


Further, there has been no evidence of an articulation
of informal productive activities with formal import-
substitution production in Angola, which could have
been another mechanism through which female
informal workers may have been able to benefit
from opportunities offered by trade. In any case,
female workers in the informal sector in Angola are
mainly engaged in consumer services, with very little




49GENDER IMPACT OF TRADE POLICY IN ANGOLA


participation in production activities. Therefore, they
have very scarce experience in production activities
and little potential to be hired for outsourcing work.


The informal sector in Angola is an important channel
for the distribution of imported goods. Around 90
per cent of the goods sold in Angola’s informal
markets are imported, either legally or otherwise
(Development Workshop 2009a). Trade liberalization,
by providing cheap products in kwanza terms, has
permitted the expansion of informal trading, offering
the female workforce in Angola the chance to make
a living. Moreover, to the extent that imported
products constitute an important component of the
consumption basket of the population, they contribute
to increasing consumer surplus. Access to imports
became even more important after the liberalization
of domestic prices, which reduced the possibilities of
exploiting the differential between controlled prices
and market prices in order to earn a profit. Therefore,
the female informal workforce depends on continuous
access to imported products. However, evidence
indicates that the profit margins are kept mostly by
the wholesaler – who has a dominant market position


– leaving a reduced profit margin for informal retailers.


Women entrepreneurs are, to a lesser extent, also
directly engaged in international trade and import
activities. They often establish informal cooperatives
and pool their resources to travel to countries like
China, but also South Africa, Namibia, the United
Arab Emirates and Brazil to purchase goods. The
merchandise is then shipped back to Angola and
traded domestically in retail businesses.54


The eradication and formalization policy currently
being implemented by the Government of Angola,
through which it intends to relocate informal markets
away from the city centres, could have more significant
effects on the informal female workforce than changes
in trade policies, as they do not necessarily have the
resources to establish a business in a fixed location,
either at home or outside the home. The relocation
of the Roque Santero wholesale market away from
the centre of Luanda, for example, has disrupted the
functioning of informal retailing. It has affected those
who depended on the daily purchasing of perishable
goods, as is the case of the female workforce
specialized in food retailing.




50 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


NOTES
37 There are widely varying estimates of the total population of Angola. This is the one most commonly used.


38 Information shared by the Angolan Federation of Women Entrepreneurs during the fact-finding mission, 2013.


39 Other sources indicate that by 2010 manufacturing contributed to over 6 per cent of GDP.


40 Data in total manufacturing employment are not consistent. Depending on the source, they vary from 7,000 workers
– which is the UNCTAD estimate – to 34,000 workers, as estimated by Van Klaveren et al. (2009).


41 Workers involved in productive activities, as opposed to clerical and managerial workers.


42 This has occurred for example in Asia, especially in the four East Asian «tigers», but also in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka
in South Asia; and Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines in South-East Asia. More limited expansion has
also occurred in Latin America (most notably Mexico, but also Central America and the Caribbean) (Fontana 2007).


43 Information shared by the Ministry of Tourism during the fact-finding mission, 2013.


44 There are three hotel schools in the country: Lunda, Benguela and Huila. New schools are being built in Huambo,
Cabinda, Namibe and Bié.


45 Information shared by the Ministry of Tourism during the fact-finding mission, 2013.


46 World Bank, World Development Indicators.


47 Wealth indices were calculated based on assets holdings to estimate the relative welfare distribution of the sample
communities.


48 In 2005 it was estimated that only 2 per cent of farmers were commercial producers with paid workforce (IFAD
2005).


49 Female employment in commercial agriculture might be even lower. According to Universidade Católica (2010:120),
total employment in commercial agriculture in Angola was only 52,205 workers.


50 There is an apparent contradiction in the available statistics. While there seems to be consensus that the urbaniza-
tion rate is above 50 per cent, all available data indicate that around 80 per cent of the workforce is employed in
agricultural activities.


51 A study financed by UNDP on urban microenterprises estimated that more than 50 per cent of the population
survives thanks to informal business activities. Around 82 per cent of operators in the informal sector are self-em-
ployed, and 74 per cent are involved in commerce, while barely a tenth are involved in traditional productive activities
such as baking, carpentry and welding. Also, 47 per cent of women worked in the informal sector, compared with
27 per cent of men.


52 Angola has been identified as a factor-driven economy, in which countries are categorized by basic factor conditions
such as unprocessed natural resources being the dominant sources of competitive advantage and exports, and in
which firms produce commodities or relatively simple products often designed in other countries (GEM 2010).


53 Further discussion of this issue requires income data for both informal and formal employment by type of occupa-
tion.


54 Information shared by the Angolan Federation of Women Entrepreneurs during the fact-finding mission, 2013.




V


Conclusion
and Policy


Recommendations




52 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


The trend in mainstream economic thought is still to
argue that structural economic issues are essentially
gender-neutral. Differences between men’s and
women’s roles and opportunities do not figure among
the variables used to assess the performance of an
economy, or to analyse its behaviour. Accordingly,
trade, monetary, and other macroeconomic policies
designed to redresses structural imbalances tend to be
gender-blind – i.e. they fail to recognize that there may
be discrete impacts on women and men. The Angola
case study appears to challenge this macroeconomic
stance, by highlighting the dimensions and relevance
of gender issues in macroeconomic analysis. On the
one hand, the country is confronted with challenges
that are structural and systemic in nature – how to
re-develop production and exports of goods other
than oil and diamonds in a context that combines a
deliberate “hard kwanza” policy to curb inflation and
Dutch disease effects resulting from large flows of
oil and diamond revenue (which, together, weaken
the competitiveness of the country’s non-oil exports
and production). On the other hand, as highlighted
throughout this report, these seemingly gender-
neutral dimensions appear to have discernible gender
implications. In particular, oil-induced macroeconomic
distortions, and particularly the excessive appreciation
in the real exchange rate, tend to crowd out productive
activities (agriculture and light manufacturing) that
could absorb the female workforce and provide
women with decent incomes. The acknowledgement
of the gender dimension is critical for the design of
socially inclusive development strategies in Angola.
Given the concentration of women in subsistence
agriculture and informal activities, and in light of the
higher incidence of poverty among women, gender
is an entry point for Angola to address the potential
exclusionary effects of liberalization policies in a
broader social sense. Hence, a call for trade policy
responses that are not only gender-specific – in that
they respond to practical gender needs of either sex;
but are also gender-redistributive – as they aim to
create a more balanced relationship between men
and women in access to productive resources.


Drawing on the previous analysis, the following sections
will present some policy recommendations. On the
one hand, they will outline specific gender dimensions
that need further analysis and consideration. On
the other hand, they will present policy measures,
including macroeconomic policy and trade policy,
which take into account the current situation of the
Angolan economy as well as its future potential.


These conclusions, it should be stressed, are put
forward only tentatively. Indeed, the analysis was
fraught with difficulty, due to severe data limitations. A
number of findings, on which these conclusions rest,
were based on facts drawn from appearances and
indications. More robust data are needed to draft final
conclusions.


5.1 THE WAY AHEAD: FRAMING PRO-POOR
AND GENDER-SENSITIVE DEVELOP-
MENT POLICIES


As discussed, Angola has an enclave-type extractive
economy that is highly dependent on oil. Angola’s
integration into the world economy mainly as an oil
exporter has significantly constrained the diversification
potential of the Angolan economy, making it extremely
difficult to develop productive sectors that could
absorb the female workforce and provide women with
decent income.


Against this background, the challenge to policymakers
is to effectively implement a set of interventions that
can reactivate the non-oil export sectors – particularly
agriculture and light manufacturing – and spur the
development of domestically competitive production.
The Government’s strategy focuses on investment in
import-competing sectors where Angola enjoys proven
comparative advantage, and in sectors where Angola
used to be a major producer before independence,
with the intention of eventually moving towards
export-led growth within a diversified economy. Food
security is high on the agenda, given Angola’s status
as a low-cost food producer capable of supplying
food to the regional market. In this context, the Angola
Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS), validated
in July 2007, provides a plan for the reactivation of
Angola’s productive capacity in a number of sectors
that may exhibit significant export potential, including
agriculture, fisheries, light manufacturing (such as
agroprocessing); and services (port services and
transit trade, and tourism).


From a gender perspective, export diversification
towards agriculture and light manufacturing would
particularly reward the female workforce, as women
tend to be concentrated in these sectors. In this
respect, the medium- to long-term import substitution
and export-diversification objective, to which the
Government has committed, is inherently gender-
specific and gender-redistributive. However, there
are qualifications to be made, and some aspects
that need to be critically assessed, as discussed
below. Eventually, in order to be socially inclusive and




53CONCLUSION AND POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS


pro-poor, policies will need to be carefully designed
and implemented to help redress inherent gender
imbalances.


This chapter first outlines some gender dimensions
that would need to be more thoroughly analysed and
addressed when implementing policies to restore
capacity in non-oil exports (section 5.2). It then moves
on to sector-specific policy recommendations (section
5.3).


5.2 HORIZONTAL ISSUES


If trade is to be an engine of economic diversification,
some critical factors that undermine the country’s
export competitiveness in the non-oil sectors need to
be tackled. This would require, among others, avoiding
excessive appreciation in the real exchange rate,
temporarily subsidizing/protecting import-competing
sectors that are being rehabilitated and restoring basic
infrastructure and utilities. Though seemingly gender-
neutral, these issues have gender ramifications that
require in-depth scrutiny.


5.2.1 Monetary and exchange rate issues


Avoiding excessive appreciation in the real exchange
rate is largely considered to be a pre-condition for
restoring Angola’s export capacity in non-oil/mineral
products. While a competitive real exchange rate is
critical for promoting both efficient import substitution
and production for export, exiting from the current
hard kwanza regime would also entail some costs
(inflation) and would need to be carefully managed.
In particular, currency depreciation and inflation could
have discrete effects across the income spectrum,
and for low-income women-headed households
in particular. More detailed analysis is required to
determine if and when these effects might occur.


It has been highlighted that as long as Angola
remains a major oil exporter, the national currency will
remain strong and the real exchange rate will tend to
appreciate (Dutch disease effects). To attain export
competitiveness, efforts should thus focus on the input
side of the equation: i.e. lower the cost of inputs used
by producers and enhance productivity. Given the high
proportion of women employed in agriculture (and
likely to be employed in light processing, if the sector is
rehabilitated), supply incentives that fail to identify and
address gender-specific needs and constraints may
fall short of expected results. In particular, constraints
that stem from cultural norms (for example, women´s
exclusion from formal ownership of land) need to be


acknowledged, alongside other impediments ( e.g.
lower levels of literacy, high time constraints) that may
prevent women from responding to price incentives
or other policy support to boost supply capacity.
Incentive schemes should then be carefully designed
and implemented so as to redress gender-specific
constraints and imbalances. Some specific policy
recommendations are outlined in section 5.3.


5.2.2 Tariff protection


Tariff protection has been advocated – and used in
Angola – as another possible policy measure to make
domestic production more competitive in the face of
cheap imports. As discussed, Angola has retained
substantial flexibility in adjusting its import duties, as
the gap between the bound and applied MFN rates
is fairly large. In particular, there is a relatively low
average tariff affecting the agricultural sector, despite
its high growth potential.


Constraints, however, may arise from regional
agreements. As mentioned, Angola is a co-founder
of SADC and has signed the SADC Trade Protocol.
The Protocol is aimed at creating a free trade area
among the member States. It also envisages the
establishment of a customs union among SADC
countries, and at a later stage, a fully fledged common
market. The liberalization of intra-SADC trade and
the establishment of a common external tariff for all
SADC members would significantly constrain Angola’s
flexibility in terms of adjusting its tariffs. However, Angola
acceded to the Trade Protocol in March 2003, but has
yet to negotiate a tariff liberalization schedule with
other member States. In addition, the establishment
of a SADC customs union is being delayed. Hence, at
least temporarily, Angola retains some policy flexibility
in terms of tariff overhang. However, this flexibility is
short-term, and should only be used to foster sectors
that have the potential to become competitive in the
short to medium term.


The Government may raise some tariffs on agricultural
products of export interest to Angola (e.g. cereals), at
least in the short to medium term, while expanding
domestic capacity. Since women represent the
vast majority of the rural workforce, tariff protection
to support import-competing and export-oriented
agriculture is expected to improve the welfare of
women. There are, however, some import caveats
and trade-offs. First, as discussed, the level of food
import penetration in Angola is significant: around
70 per cent of all food consumed in the country is




54 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


imported. Particularly in urban/coastal areas (more
heavily reliant on food imports), levies on basic food
imports would adversely impact the most vulnerable
people, with possibly serious nutritional and health
consequences. It is important to stress that these
tariffs would have an anti-poor bias, as they would
more seriously impact poorer households in general
– and women-headed households specifically– as the
income share spent on food declines with the level
of household well-being. Second, the effects on rural
women would eventually depend on the agricultural
segment in which they operate. Subsistence farmers
with little or no surplus to market (mostly women)
would not directly benefit, while those who have the
potential to engage in commercial agriculture for
domestic and export markets (who tend to be men)
could reap the benefits of this import-substitution
and export-oriented strategy. All these aspects need
to be carefully assessed and weighted. If in the end
extra duties are levied on cereals to stimulate local
production, two accompanying measures would
be necessary: (a) safety net measures (e.g. in kind
distribution and food vouchers) targeted to the most
vulnerable segments of the urban and rural population
and (b) gender-specific measures to redress existing
gender inequalities and help women to reap the
benefits of the switch to commercial agriculture
(discussed in section 4.3.1).


5.2.3 Infrastructure rehabilitation


Rehabilitation of infrastructure, particularly roads and
bridges, is critical for reactivating the non-oil export
sectors. Trade-related infrastructure – e.g. transport
and storage, marketing/communications, quality
inspection services and customs administration
– is also essential to developing a cost-effective
trade network. The Government and major donors
have already embarked on a number of projects to
rehabilitate major railroad routes to the interior. While
such rehabilitation is a prerequisite for the export of
farm products, there are some aspects that need to
be carefully examined. As discussed, to date, farmers
in the interior, particularly the most vulnerable ones,
have been somewhat protected by virtue of their
isolation. Some evidence would indicate that until
now the impact of trade liberalization (displacement of
domestic production) may not have been significantly
felt by a large proportion of agricultural producers –
sheltered from competition from imports due to the
high transport costs and the lack of infrastructure
and logistics services. This means local markets are


mostly supplied by domestic production. As transport
infrastructure improves and markets are connected,
the national market will be more integrated, exposing
domestic agriculture to the full effects of competition
from cheap imported goods. This will have a significant
impact on the female workforce, in particular the most
vulnerable segments.


These are just some examples of the complex gender
ramifications of policies that belie the assumption that
women and men will benefit equally. It is imperative
for policymakers to anticipate how these policies
will redistribute wealth within the economy between
men and women, so as to prevent the deepening
of dynamics of social polarization and exclusion,
and take corrective actions. Poverty will be tackled
more effectively if gender issues are identified and
addressed at the very inception of the reconstruction
programme.


5.2.4  Entrepreneurship awareness-raising and
culture-building


In developing its private sector, the Government of
Angola may wish to increase the rate of firm creation by
promoting sustainable start-ups that would particularly
encourage the engagement of the youth and
women. The Angolan population has demonstrated
initiative in generating their own occupations and
trying to compensate for the job scarcity in the
country. However, efforts should be made to expand
employment opportunities beyond low-level informal
activities, and to facilitate the development of a
dynamic business sector with significant growth
potential. To this purpose, programmes could be
put in place to encourage youth and women to
enter into entrepreneurship and start a business
as a viable and attractive career and employment
opportunity. Efforts should focus on enhancing skills
and know-how of both prospective and nascent
entrepreneurs, including young people and women,
in order to ensure better informed approaches. This
would lead to the creation of higher value added
start-ups with greater probabilities of survival and
growth; favour management skills development and
improve the capacity of firms to achieve higher levels
of performance in terms of productivity, turnover,
employment, quality and innovativeness.


With the objective of stimulating entrepreneurship,
awareness campaigns could be launched to promote
entrepreneur role models, and business education
could be fully integrated as a curriculum component




55CONCLUSION AND POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS


at all levels of the educational system. It is widely
recognized that the integration of entrepreneurship
as an academic discipline is instrumental to achieving
an entrepreneurial mindset, and thus constitutes an
important component of any entrepreneurship and
private sector development policy. In this regard,
international good practices point to the importance
of interministerial cooperation – most notably the
establishment of ad hoc agreements between the
government ministries responsible for education/
higher education; and the ministries responsible for
economic affairs/industry, labour and employment,
and/or science, technology and innovation.


5.3 SECTORAL POLICIES


Women are doubly disadvantaged in Angola, in terms
of economic empowerment. First, they tend to be
concentrated in low-income activities, and most
notably in traditional agriculture and the urban informal
sector. As discussed, trade liberalization has not
altered the occupation profile of the female workforce;
in fact, it has contributed to confining women to these
low-productivity and low-income sectors. Second,
women face gender-specific constraints that may
hinder their ability to reap the benefits of policies
geared to modernize these highly informal sectors.
Despite progressive legislation, cultural traditions and
norms often place women in a subservient position
and inhibit their access to productive resources such
as land, productive equipment/inputs, and credit.
Lower levels of education and literacy compared
with those of men, and higher time constraints, also
contribute to form a framework of gender-specific
constraints that prevent women from responding
to supply-side incentives. Against this context, any
policy intervention which hopes to be socially inclusive
instead of exclusive, should identify and acknowledge
gender issues at the inception phase and help
redress inherent gender imbalances. Some relevant
dimensions are highlighted below.


5.3.1 Agriculture


Significant export growth and diversification
opportunities exist in agriculture, with considerable
potential in a number of staple foods and cash
crops for export (including maize, coffee, rice,
cassava, sorghum/millet, livestock, coffee, cotton
and potatoes). In particular, Angola has a potential
comparative advantage in producing surplus food
for export – mainly maize, a sector where Angola
used to be a major producer before independence,


and a substantial exporter. At present, agricultural
exports, and even informal cross-border trade with
neighbouring countries, are insignificant. The national
food balance in basic staples has moved from a surplus
to a deficit in virtually all crops. This situation could be
reversed again, if the right set of macroeconomic and
sectoral incentives were provided. Given chronic food
shortages in several SADC countries – all of which
prefer maize as a staple food – Angola could even
emerge as a major food supplier to the SADC region.


As female workers represent 70 per cent of all people
engaged in agricultural activities, agricultural exports
are expected to positively impact on women’s
welfare. In practice, the expansion of export trade in
agriculture can magnify or reduce existing disparities,
depending on the set of corrective measures that are
implemented to redress gender-specific constraints
and imbalances. It should be stressed, in this regard,
that export growth in agriculture typically involves
a trend toward commercialization (i.e. towards
increasing the proportion of agricultural production
that is sold by farmers) and, possibly, diversification
(leading to a shift in production from low-value staple
crops into higher-value commodities diversification).
The conversion from subsistence to commercial
agriculture could be a challenge for rural women, in
the absence of counteractive measures. In fact, the
risk is that rural women living on subsistence farming
might be marginalized or even displaced, rather than
empowered.


In order to design the right set of incentives, it is
critical to acknowledge the gender division of labour
in the Angolan agricultural sector – alongside gender-
specific constraints that make women less prone
than men to adjust – and take corrective actions
accordingly. As discussed, besides doing household
work and caring for children (which translates in
significant time constraints), rural women in Angola
are essentially engaged in staple food production,
the local marketing of food crops and small livestock.
Men are dominant in commercial crop production and
cattle raising. This set-up tends to confine women
to subsistence/quasi-subsistence farming for self-
consumption or local marketing, while men can more
easily switch to export-oriented segments. The limited
ability of rural women to switch to the more lucrative
export segment is compounded by traditional rules
and institutions that operate outside the formal
legal setting. As discussed, these customary norms
and practices tend to constrain women’s access to




56 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


critical assets such as land, other productive inputs,
education, and financial resources. If export trade is
to become an instrument for women´s empowerment
and for poverty alleviation, a consistent set of gender-
specific and pro-poor actions need to be taken to
redress these inequalities. Areas for policy action
include:


1. Access to rural finance – Rural women
typically cannot pledge physical assets (e.g.
land) to secure loans, as household assets
are generally the property of male heads
of households, or the male relatives of the
deceased. Hence, the need for government-
(or NGO-) backed rural microfinance
schemes that include informal guarantees/
collateral substitutes (e.g. group lending
and liability, pre-loan savings requirements
and trust relationships), no-fees accounts
with no minimum balance and more lenient
repayment terms. It is also important to
supplement credit with training on agriculture,
agricultural marketing and business.


2. Agriculture extension services – Extension
activities tend to be oriented towards
cash crops traditionally grown by men.
Furthermore, timetables often take no
account of women’s household chores. It is
important to design extension services that
respond to practical women’s needs, based
on two-way communication and engagement
between rural women and extension agents.
Moreover, in order to transform Angola’s
subsistence farmers – mostly women – into
commercial micro-entrepreneurs, extension
agents should effectively train rural farmers in
at least three key areas, namely agriculture
production techniques (pest management,
improved crop husbandry techniques, crop
scheduling/rotation, soil protection, irrigation),
marketing produce (facilitating the use of
market information and the establishment
of business contracts and alliances) and
business management (basics).


3. Inputs and facilities – It is worth considering
schemes for the provision of subsidized
inputs (higher yielding and disease-resistant
varieties and fertilizers) to vulnerable rural
households, particularly female-headed
households; and technical assistance to
ensure that recipients use the inputs correctly.


In the context of infrastructure rehabilitation
(roads and marketing infrastructure – such
as warehouses), it is important not to neglect
infrastructure that caters for women. These
include secondary or tertiary roads that are
useful to small-scale farmers who need to
reach local markets; village-level warehouse
facilities, etc. Public investment in these
facilities will respond to the practical needs of
most rural women, while also improving local
food security.


4. Land tenure – As discussed, under the
prevailing customary practice of land tenure,
women are not entitled to own property;
they only have usage rights for individual
fields given to them by the head of the
household. This is one of the most serious
obstacles to increasing the agricultural
productivity and income of rural women.
When designing mapping and registration
systems, the Government may wish to give
full consideration to the need to secure
women’s user rights to communal property.
Specific attention should be given to forms of
shared ownership and management, such as
vesting title onto women’s cooperatives and
self-help groups. Also, efforts to secure land
tenure for women should be accompanied
by legal literacy training for men and women.


5. Restoring markets and marketing networks
– When reactivating or developing market
institutions/trading networks, it is important
to redress imbalances in bargaining power
between the various economic agents
involved, and between women (typically
engaged in small-scale food staple
production/marketing) and men (predominant
in large-scale trading). In this context, it is
important to favour women’s associations
and cooperatives, so as to increase women’s
bargaining power vis-à-vis downstream
actors (wholesalers, transporters/carriers,
and other medium to large-scale traders –
who tend to be men).


From a gender perspective, the challenge lies
in implementing these measures holistically, so
as to enable rural women to achieve a level of
sophistication and scale that would allow them
to produce a marketable surplus, and effectively
integrate into marketing chains. Overall, the feasibility




57CONCLUSION AND POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS


of this strategy will depend on the ability to create
a commercially viable export-oriented agriculture
sector in Angola. Agricultural subsidies, temporary
tariff protection, extension services and investment
in strategic physical infrastructures would be critical
to offset competitive disadvantages while restoring
Angola’s supply/marketing capacity in agriculture.
To implement this strategy, Angola should take full
advantage of the leeway accorded to the LDCs under
WTO rules in the key areas of agricultural domestic
support, export subsidies and tariff protection. In the
medium to long run, the key question is whether public
investment will translate into productivity gains, and
whether these productivity gains will be large enough
to offset the competitive disadvantages posed by the
strong currency.


5.3.2 Fisheries


The fisheries sector has significant potential for
employment generation and poverty alleviation,
particularly for women. The industrial subsector (fish
processing), if developed, could provide interesting
formal sector job opportunities, given some preference
for women in light processing/assembly types of work.
There is also some potential for upgrading and scaling
up the informal artisanal subsector, where women are
actively engaged.


In both sectors, it is critical to identify gender-based
imbalances, and implement gender-specific and
gender–redistributive actions, with a view to levelling
the playing field. As discussed, the fisheries sector
in Angola tends to be male-dominated: men are
engaged in fish harvesting, as well as in industrial
fishery and large scale transport and distribution of
fresh and processed fish; women tend to operate
downstream (in fresh fish marketing and distribution
and in the processing and distribution of cured fish
products), typically on a smaller scale than men
and through informal venues. In light of this, there
are some gender-specific concerns that should be
taken into consideration when implementing policies
to upgrade the artisanal subsector and develop an
export-oriented commercial sector. The key concern
is to avoid a trend where women – largely segregated
in the domestic segment of the chain – receive
“diminished” assets, while export-oriented sectors
that attract investment “defeminize”. Indeed, as
has occurred in other developing countries, policies
geared to developing a commercial, export-oriented
sector may result in the creation of a dual structure in
the fisheries sector, with some diversion of investment


from the domestic segment (domestic marketing and
distribution of fresh fish and traditionally processed
products) to the export-oriented segment (particularly
fresh and frozen fish products, but also cured products
for the regional market). This dual structure of the chain
is a potential source of disadvantage for small-scale
women operators (driers, smokers, retailers), who
mainly operate in the domestic segment. While the
fish species involved in the export and the domestic
trade tend to be different, for those species that serve
both the export and domestic markets there may be
some diversion of supplies from the domestic to the
export chain.


Some corrective measures may be required. Areas of
intervention would include:


Ensuring that facilities dedicated to the
export-oriented segment (e.g. ice plants
and refrigerated containers at the landing
sites) can be effectively accessed by small-
scale operators that serve the domestic
market. This may require, among other
things, subsidized pricing for small artisanal
operators – women’s associations in
particular; and “slots” reserved for women.


Ensuring that facilities used by women’s
groups (smoking houses / drying stalls, and
local transport) are also rehabilitated and
upgraded. To this purpose, due mechanisms
should be in place to ensure that women are
fairly represented at the community level/
local level, where rehabilitation decisions are
taken.


Creating dedicated lines of credit for women
operators in the fisheries sector; and
providing technical training on fish handling/
processing techniques, as well as micro-
business administration.


Identifying and investing in niche products
that can generate value added for women
(e.g. smoked/dried fish products for the
regional market or the international “diaspora”
market).


5.3.3 Manufacturing


As discussed, the liberalization of the Angolan
economy has not promoted the development of an
export-oriented manufacturing sector – the main
venue through which feminization of manufacturing
labour has taken place in many developing countries.




58 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


The trade and exchange policies have created an
environment which is not conducive to this type of
activities, not allowing them to flourish.


Should the right set of macroeconomic incentives be
provided, the potential exists to reactivate Angola’s
manufacturing capacity in sectors of potential
comparative advantages. These include, among
others: petroleum-based products and petrochemical
products; and agroprocessing (cereal milling, vegetable
oil production, animal feed, rice milling, etc.). The
production of differentiated, high-value and processed
food products would offer significant opportunities of
formal employment for relatively unskilled women.


As discussed, the reactivation/development of
these sectors would require overcoming a number
of institutional and physical barriers, in addition to a
more competitive real exchange rate. To encourage
investment, the Ministry of Industry envisages the
creation of strategically located industrial processing
zones (IPZs) or development poles with tax-free
privileges. From a gender perspective, a key challenge
is the promotion of industrial development in a socially
responsible manner, with a view to achieving “decent
work” outcomes for women.


5.3.4 Tourism and other service sectors


5.3.4.1 Tourism


The beneficial impact of the tourism sector in creating
opportunities for growth and employment in the
developing economies is widely acknowledged. In
particular, sub-Saharan Africa’s enormous richness in
natural and cultural resources provides a significant
potential for economic expansion. Sub-Saharan
African countries show an average annual growth of
nearly 8 per cent in terms of tourist arrivals55 and one
in twenty jobs are related to the Travel and Tourism
industry (T&T).56 Women’s participation in formal
tourism employment is typically high globally, and
particularly high in Africa as 47 per cent of employees
in hotels and restaurants are women.


As in other developing economies, the tourism sector
in Angola has expanded at a rapid pace in recent
years. The current upward trend in tourist arrivals and
in the construction of new hospitality facilities across
the country displays some potential for further growth.
The positive evolution of the sector essentially reflects
business tourism flows. High prices, particularly in
Angola’s capital, and safety concerns still significantly
limit the potential for leisure tourism.


The Government has played a decisive role in
encouraging the development of the tourism sector,
both at the national and regional levels: it has set
ambitious targets for the expansion of hospitality-
related infrastructure and the creation of new
employment opportunities, and instituted professional
trainings aimed at developing qualified human
resources. Tourism is therefore increasingly regarded
as a sector of significant economic potential that could
contribute to the diversification of the Angolan economy.
However, Angola still confronts major challenges, and
a number of measures need to be undertaken to
improve the country’s capacity and competitiveness
in this sector. In fact, out of 139 countries under review
in the 2011 “Travel and Tourism Competitiveness
Report”, Angola ranked 138th.57 If the right set of
macroeconomic incentives are put in place (including
a more competitive currency), the development of
the tourism industry may open up a number of both
formal and informal employment opportunities –
especially for women – across the tourism value chain.
Yet, as women are underrepresented in the formal
sector, efforts should focus on attracting a qualified
female workforce; otherwise any improvement in
available formal employment opportunities may
benefit only men. Initiatives should be put forth to
build women’s capacity in the sector, and encourage
skills development and access to education and
training opportunities. Furthermore, synergies and
partnerships could be established between tourist
facilities and local communities in order to facilitate
the distribution of tourism-related benefits to the local
population. For this to occur, it is important to develop
tourism products and segments well served by the
poor, and to incorporate gender considerations in
the design and implementation of support measures.
Important areas for policy intervention include the
following:


1. Take positive action to bridge the gender
gap in education and vocational training –
To date, the proportion of female workforce
employed in the formal services sector in
Angola remains minimal and women tend
to occupy the lower segments of the sector,
with typically low-wage and low-skilled
positions. Moreover, a widespread lack of
skilled labour and specialized personnel still
constitute major challenges to the effective
and steady development of the hospitality
sector in the country. The sustained and
inclusive growth of the tourism sector




59CONCLUSION AND POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS


would therefore require, among other
things, the design and implementation of
policies aimed at encouraging women’s
post-primary education and professional
skills development, which would facilitate
their participation and access to more
qualified, stable and better paid positions
in the tourism industry. Given the significant
gender gap in education, affirmative action
is needed to enhance girls’ participation in
school, particularly at post-primary levels.
As done elsewhere, these measures may
include, among other things: i) awareness-
raising campaigns to sensitize parents; ii)
scholarships and cash transfers targeting
bright low-income girls; iii) and the provision
of community-based hostels so that girls can
avoid the long journey to and from school.
These measures should be carefully designed
to contribute towards pro-poor schooling.


2. Promote viable community-based tourism
schemes – Angola has a significant potential
and could strategically position itself in the
subregion as an eco-tourism destination. By
leveraging its protected areas and natural
reserves, which cover 15 per cent of the
national territory and are host to a great
variety of wildlife and landscapes, Angola
may wish to promote the development of
a low-impact and high-value eco-tourism
model. Along with the construction of eco-
friendly lodging, goods and services would
be locally sourced. With an increased
involvement of the local community, eco-
tourism would directly benefit small farmers
– including women – by contributing to the
local economy and to poverty reduction. In
practice, villagers often lack the skills needed
to design and manage tourism packages.
However, they could play an active managerial
role through strategic partnerships with
key stakeholders. Important steps would
include: i) identifying conservation areas
renowned for rich biodiversity and tourism
potential; ii) identifying and structuring
suitable community level organizations, and
establishing strategic links with private sector
operators and relevant public entities (public–
private partnerships); iii) establishing eco-
tourism facilities and issuing concessions
for their operations to community-based


partnerships; iv) training the villagers (guiding
skills, language learning, food preparation,
housekeeping and accounting systems); v)
and establishing supervisory structures. The
key challenge is to ensure that public–private
sector partnerships in this area are genuinely
community-based: the local people should
have an effective voice in management
decisions and part of the profits should
directly go to the community.


3. Facilitate linkages between tourism business
and local micro and small enterprises – In
this regard, mechanisms should be put in
place to identify and minimize the barriers
that limit the positive spillover effects
on the local economy. This may include
eliminating anticompetitive practices or, for
example, including clauses in the contracts
that eliminate exclusive dealings between
tour operators and hotels, and franchise
contracts with import requirements. It is
also important to overcome constraints
that tend to discourage local suppliers from
supplying tourist hotels with consumption
goods. Particularly in the case of fresh fruits
and vegetables, these include stringent
requirements in terms of quality, quantity,
timely delivery and consistency of supplies.
These obstacles can be overcome within
the framework of strategic partnerships that
pool together hotels, extension services and
producer groups. These schemes should
be carefully designed and implemented
to empower small farmers – and women
farmers in particular – rather than traders.


5.3.4.2 Other service sectors


In addition to tourism-related activities, this study
highlights other service sectors that may offer job
opportunities for women. These include retailing, low-
end ICT services, and personal and social services. A
number of gender concerns arise in these areas.


First, and of paramount importance, in Angola women
tend to be less skilled in terms of literacy and formal
schooling than men. As mentioned, the adult literacy
rate is 82.7 per cent for men and 58.1 per cent for
women, while the youth literacy rate is 80.5 for boys
and 65.8 per cent for girls. In this context, middle-
skilled services (e.g. low-end ICT services) can help
increase women’s economic participation only if
actions are taken to enhance women’s access to basic




60 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


education and vocational training (some measures
have been discussed above). The problem is less
severe for more sophisticated service segments, as
the gender gap narrows in tertiary education.


Second, in the low-end ICT services, as in other service
sectors, women tend to be the preferred service
workers in the lower- and middle-skilled jobs. Indeed,
there is a tendency for labour to “feminize” in these
service sectors as a result of the pursuit of low labour
costs and flexible employment arrangements. While
the expansion of these service sectors will create new
opportunities for women’s formal employment, it is
important to acknowledge that gender disparities will
persist in training, wages and professional upgrading.


Third, women tend to prevail in informal service
activities, such as informal retailing. To scale up and
upgrade, women micro-entrepreneurs that operate
informally will likely need at some stage to move into
the formal economy. For this to occur, the key is to
set up an enabling environment, where the benefits
of formalizing offset the costs of operating formally.
Policy incentives for informal enterprises that decide
to formalize may include, for example, improved
access to microfinance schemes, temporary fiscal
exemptions, opportunities for marketing links and
a streamlined, inexpensive registration procedure.
Formalization could enhance business opportunities
for women-run micro and small enterprises if their
productive capacity is connected to Angola’s major
economic sectors. Policy interventions could facilitate
the integration of women-managed small enterprises
into the mainstream network of products and
services providers (e.g. caterers of food, suppliers of
merchandise) to major oil companies, as well as to
onshore oil production sites and mines.


Adequate policy action should also strengthen
intersectoral linkages and better address the relationship
between the service sector, the manufacturing sector
and the energy sector. As the manufacturing sector
expands, the demand for services that are dependent
on productive activities tends to grow accordingly.
Creating an enabling environment for women micro-
entrepreneurs would help them to directly benefit from
this structural interdependence and actively participate
in the country’s economic growth.


5.3.5 Leveraging oil revenues to fund pro-poor and
gender-sensitive social policies


To sum up, sectoral policies should identify and
understand the dimensions and relevance of gender
issues in agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing and
services; and include corrective action, where
appropriate. Revenue from the extractive sectors (oil
and diamond) could be leveraged to finance gender-
sensitive and pro-poor policies geared to unleashing
the commercial potential of sectors in which Angola
has a potential or actual comparative advantage. This
could occur, for example, by transferring a portion
of the proceeds of the oil and diamond industries to
dedicated sector-specific development funds, co-
financed by donors. The funds would then finance
the type of schemes outlined above. The Angolan
Government has recently moved in this direction, by
creating a sovereign wealth fund that will invest profits
from oil sales in businesses in an effort to diversify
the country’s economy. The Angolan fund will focus
on investments in Africa’s hotel industry and large
infrastructure projects. It is worth exploring options
for investing in sectors where the majority of the poor
– particularly women – are concentrated, such as
subsistence agriculture.


NOTES


55 UNWTO 2012 (UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2012).


56 A study by the Natural Resources Consultative Forum reveals that investing in the tourism sector spurs job cre-
ation to a greater extent than investing in the agricultural sector, as the former creates 40 per cent more income-
generating opportunities than the same investment in agriculture, and over 50 per cent more than in mining (Africa
Competitiveness Report, World Economic Forum 2011).


57 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, World Economic Forum, 2011c




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67


ANNEX 1
ANGOLA’S IMPORTS BY COMMODITY TYPE 2004–2010


Code Product label 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 CAGR
(%)


‘01 Live animals 1 597 3 105 1 086 6 564 11 454 2 469 1 991 3.74


‘02 Meat and edible meat offal 146 035 191 459 268 830 348 724 510 009 411 222 505 244 22.98


‘03 Fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic
invertebrates


15 876 15 737 31 210 43 701 50 039 44 899 62 555 25.68


‘04 Dairy products, eggs, honey, edible animal
product


84 079 83 882 141 162 130 284 205 455 172 674 190 464 14.6


‘05 Products of animal origin 3 936 4 281 2 707 6 269 7 942 5 647 18 056 28.9


‘06 Live trees, plants, bulbs, roots, cut flowers, etc. 1 395 1 361 1 215 2 988 1 781 1 729 1 795 4.29


‘07 Edible vegetables and certain roots and
tubers


37 079 42 165 48 427 53 502 69 259 26 252 61 776 8.88


‘08 Edible fruit, nuts, peel of citrus fruit, melons 9 798 10 853 12 058 14 487 18 308 11 697 21 270 13.79


‘09 Coffee, tea, mate and spices 3 747 3 618 7 285 9 078 10 607 9 787 7 631 12.59


‘10 Cereals 106 784 100 367 72 373 94 946 246 542 116 924 83 159 -4.08


‘11 Milling products, malt, starches, inulin,
wheat gluten


120 998 121 890 146 625 202 224 280 562 239 062 212 836 9.87


‘12 Oil seed, oleagic fruits, grain, seed, fruit, etc. 2 741 2 830 6 101 6 302 9 011 5 348 5 680 12.91


‘13 Lac, gums, resins, vegetable saps and
extracts


753 580 1 162 1 728 6 426 8 015 4 438 34.4


‘14 Vegetable plaiting materials, vegetable
products


89 208 384 300 301 22 65 -5.1


‘15 Animal,vegetable fats and oils, cleavage
products, etc.


102 931 113 373 132 816 198 849 259 041 207 876 245 711 15.61


‘16 Meat, fish and seafood food preparations 57 215 83 051 98 738 137 956 217 581 176 531 152 992 17.81


‘17 Sugars and sugar confectionery 67 890 83 918 134 198 113 466 138 670 124 079 178 243 17.45


‘18 Cocoa and cocoa preparations 7 851 8 252 10 709 13 655 20 872 24 690 22 532 19.21


‘19 Cereal, flour, starch, milk preparations and
products


65 397 82 112 116 098 120 161 208 265 137 138 151 460 15.02


‘20 Vegetable, fruit, nut, etc., food preparations 45 612 47 902 70 510 78 806 113 904 111 548 91 865 12.38


‘21 Miscellaneous edible preparations 32 498 35 650 47 984 45 228 69 107 65 894 76 441 15.32


‘22 Beverages, spirits and vinegar 241 671 214 124 290 535 368 885 493 792 422 770 430 879 10.12


‘23 Residues, wastes of food industry, animal
fodder


2 678 2 644 3 339 5 336 8 172 5 149 5 390 12.36


‘24 Tobacco and manufactured tobacco
substitutes


13 398 12 127 14 922 13 085 13 413 20 853 25 377 11.23


‘25 Salt, sulphur, earth, stone, plaster, lime and
cement


32 097 44 915 59 480 91 367 213 299 242 230 208 783 36.63


‘26 Ores, slag and ash 973 1 664 982 799 1 167 1 423 2 510 17.11


‘27 Mineral fuels, oils, distillation products, etc. 56 322 52 011 160 355 294 433 580 470 798 383 702 000 52.27


‘28 Inorganic chemicals, precious metal
compound, isotopes


15 290 16 099 31 487 33 286 51 516 25 692 48 216 21.1


‘29 Organic chemicals 16 855 25 932 35 171 33 972 43 604 31 371 43 234 17


ANNEX 1




68 WHO IS BENEFITING FROM TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN ANGOLA? A GENDER PERSPECTIVE


‘30 Pharmaceutical products 47 437 65 564 92 993 109 239 130 705 130 678 121 950 17.04


‘31 Fertilizers 10 819 6 466 10 992 12 475 40 168 20 723 22 587 13.05


‘32 Tanning, dyeing extracts, tannins, derivs,
pigments, etc.


23 557 29 313 40 942 54 582 76 222 66 018 66 049 18.75


‘33 Essential oils, perfumes, cosmetics, toiletries 29 726 54 836 65 191 83 162 99 008 81 209 94 885 21.34


‘34 Soaps, lubricants, waxes, candles,
modelling pastes


66 427 64 181 105 143 131 555 160 471 109 795 125 425 11.17


‘35 Albuminoids, modified starches, glues,
enzymes


2 624 3 898 4 132 5 809 10 265 10 280 7 897 20.16


‘36 Explosives, pyrotechnics, matches,
pyrophorics, etc.


3 298 5 068 6 442 4 023 8 318 10 717 7 812 15.46


‘37 Photographic or cinematographic goods 5 354 8 331 8 618 10 708 9 899 7 468 7 074 4.75


‘38 Miscellaneous chemical products 33 000 47 875 76 487 124 239 139 274 112 710 125 705 24.97


‘39 Plastics and articles thereof 91 120 130 251 189 101 294 058 412 495 325 207 305 861 22.36


‘40 Rubber and articles thereof 45 610 50 902 67 475 97 725 137 524 117 581 97 410 13.48


‘41 Raw hides and skins (other than furskins)
and leather


120 557 288 4 316 487 116 178 6.79


‘42 Articles of leather, animal gut, harness,
travel goods


6 662 9 284 12 009 20 536 35 877 41 564 33 593 30.95


‘43 Furskins and artificial fur, manufactures
thereof


26 169 26 196 183 34 38 6.53


‘44 Wood and articles of wood, wood charcoal 18 194 27 050 31 749 55 025 110 983 95 239 68 802 24.82


‘45 Cork and articles of cork 850 1 216 692 218 434 613 185 -22.44


‘46 Manufactures of plaiting material,
basketwork, etc.


898 1 058 816 1 091 2 574 3 229 1 970 13.99


‘47 Pulp of wood, fibrous cellulosic material,
waste, etc.


83 286 170 1 067 463 2 144 858 47.59


‘48 Paper and paperboard, articles of pulp,
paper and board


53 259 68 474 78 992 96 923 145 827 123 885 136 213 16.94


‘49 Printed books, newspapers, pictures, etc. 13 580 22 355 23 522 52 240 48 455 44 021 54 580 26.09


‘50 Silk 232 43 41 31 52 46 258 1.79


‘51 Wool, animal hair, horsehair yarn and fabric
thereof


90 79 51 35 49 22 12 -28.52


‘52 Cotton 17 222 15 636 13 906 19 329 28 818 21 089 19 527 2.12


‘53 Vegetable textile fibres , paper, yarn, woven
fabric


81 97 138 424 228 200 221 18.21


‘54 Manmade filaments 5 741 7 868 11 810 11 036 20 292 12 371 6 412 1.86


‘55 Manmade staple fibres 3 829 3 309 5 547 12 184 11 900 8 953 8 287 13.73


‘56 Wadding, felt, nonwovens, yarns, twine,
cordage, etc.


3 459 5 253 7 556 10 978 18 076 25 747 38 346 49.32


‘57 Carpets and other textile floor coverings 1 997 2 008 3 290 5 453 7 847 11 765 8 032 26.11


‘58 Special woven or tufted fabric, lace,
tapestry, etc.


2 166 941 1 331 1 595 3 146 2 276 1 881 -2.32


‘59 Impregnated, coated or laminated textile fabric 1 372 3 358 2 665 3 974 7 025 7 770 6 722 30.32


‘60 Knitted or crocheted fabric 402 363 989 1 835 2 893 877 626 7.66


‘61 Articles of apparel, accessories, knit or
crochet


22 689 30 409 34 034 63 687 106 763 84 641 85 907 24.84


‘62 Articles of apparel, accessories, not knit or
crochet


28 183 40 283 43 362 60 709 89 413 68 832 52 316 10.86




69


‘63 Other made textile articles, sets, worn


clothing, etc.


47 005 70 017 89 496 103 359 143 028 138 786 131 776 18.75


‘64 Footwear, gaiters and the like, parts thereof 31 696 39 722 48 244 74 426 94 357 110 680 138 371 27.84


‘65 Headgear and parts thereof 2 082 2 407 4 160 5 705 15 881 7 628 4 014 11.56


‘66 Umbrellas, walking-sticks, seat-sticks,


whips, etc.


1 216 1 372 1 681 2 782 4 361 2 521 4 097 22.44


‘67 Bird skin, feathers, artificial flowers, human


hair


755 1 462 1 542 2 350 4 352 4 862 7 444 46.43


‘68 Stone, plaster, cement, asbestos, mica,


etc., articles


19 726 29 990 40 812 44 038 74 764 69 734 72 254 24.16


‘69 Ceramic products 33 172 44 773 60 928 86 373 129 899 118 742 133 641 26.14


‘70 Glass and glassware 15 204 20 137 27 272 48 216 60 401 65 609 93 314 35.31


‘71 Pearls, precious stones, metals, coins, etc. 2 281 4 565 3 816 6 549 11 429 9 872 9 174 26.11


‘72 Iron and steel 63 351 85 445 163 299 171 182 590 018 425 844 290 405 28.89


‘73 Articles of iron or steel 302 353 553 163 818 191 918 259 1 671 683 1 644 877 1 311 027 27.7


‘74 Copper and articles thereof 3 307 4 625 10 000 12 973 21 584 17 712 19 924 34.89


‘75 Nickel and articles thereof 32 116 279 635 883 3 730 4 866 131.03


‘76 Aluminium and articles thereof 50 255 78 303 86 173 78 552 125 433 121 474 110 990 14.12


‘78 Lead and articles thereof 325 229 1 183 234 299 630 1 092 22.38


‘79 Zinc and articles thereof 6 930 5 457 5 822 8 505 9 364 1 572 1 329 -24.06


‘80 Tin and articles thereof 66 76 134 54 543 69 254 25.18


‘81 Other base metals, cermets, articles thereof 57 112 47 163 308 274 93 8.5


‘82 Tools, implements, cutlery, etc., of base


metal


26 028 35 105 50 931 77 483 102 644 92 324 72 098 18.51


‘83 Miscellaneous articles of base metal 31 336 91 166 147 862 170 297 109 814 81 980 213 174 37.65


‘84 Machinery, nuclear reactors, boilers, etc. 960 064 1 494 123 1 748 444 2 601 690 3 758 649 3 151 458 2 912 262 20.32


‘85 Electrical, electronic equipment 403 461 443 533 908 916 990 199 1 517 312 1 545 714 1 305 613 21.62


‘86 Railway, tramway locomotives, rolling


stock, equipment


2 690 6 820 31 171 63 404 98 325 30 585 27 730 47.53


‘87 Vehicles other than railway, tramway 435 608 604 403 1 001 077 1 559 160 3 006 631 1 854 432 982 902 14.53


‘88 Aircraft, spacecraft, and parts thereof 29 940 137 477 871 733 529 050 694 686 264 831 281 609 45.29


‘89 Ships, boats and other floating structures 2 019 418 1 511 054 949 932 97 652 1 185 894 265 006 108 984 -38.53


‘90 Optical, photo, technical, medical, etc.,


apparatus


64 868 114 003 200 775 330 895 325 688 253 996 278 629 27.5


‘91 Clocks and watches and parts thereof 2 849 4 249 2 799 4 321 9 355 10 953 14 429 31.05


‘92 Musical instruments, parts and accessories 480 799 817 670 1 642 1 922 699 6.46


‘93 Arms and ammunition, parts and


accessories thereof


1 246 675 404 751 6 683 16 820 8 353 37.32


‘94 Furniture, lighting, signs, prefabricated


buildings


143 637 155 543 214 246 407 305 569 884 454 776 389 390 18.08


‘95 Toys, games, sports requisites 10 118 10 940 15 654 21 096 25 490 24 343 26 671 17.53


‘96 Miscellaneous manufactured articles 6 163 8 155 12 994 17 982 22 290 21 235 23 095 24.63


‘97 Works of art, collectors pieces and antiques 186 826 532 683 737 1 805 1 820 46.25


‘99 Commodities not elsewhere specified 33 015 37 294 64 717 76 846 176 751 69 260 52 757 8.13


All products 6 586 894 7 741 168 10 477 102 12 337 951 20 310 636 15 885 840 14 104 673 13.53


ANNEX






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