This paper describes how business can be done in Angola. Therefore it is divided into:
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Angola is a country in the Africa continent that is located at the South-Central Africa bordering Zambia to the East, Namibia to the South, Democratic Republic of Congo to the North and the Atlantic Ocean the West. It covers an area of 1,246,700 sq km with a population of approximately 17 million people. It has 1,600 km of coastline with four ports and lots of natural resources; it’s the African wealthiest country with a lot of oil and precious quality diamond. (Roundhouse Publishing Limited, 2008. pg 67-70).
The initial inhabitants of Angola are the Khoi and San who are dated back tin 25, 000B.C but in 800 B.C the Bantu started to stream in from the North leading to 1483 arrival of the Portuguese. The Bantus formed the Kongo, Loango, Mbundo, Lunda and Ovimbundu kingdoms after merging with the native Khoi-sam people. As the Portuguese number increase, they started colonizing Angola and this they did from the year 1955 -1975 during which time they were involved with slave trade.
Despite the negative activity of slave trade, the Portuguese helped in improving the education of the Angolan people and help boost the economy of Angola first with slave trade money and later with the resources they got from extraction and exportation of rubber, diamond, coffee and oil (Tony, 2001. pg 156-170). In all this, the Portuguese refused to integrate the Angolans in the development of their country and used them to extract the precious commodities from the ground by force. In 1961, Angolans formed the first rebellion movement against the colonial government; however the Portuguese sent their army troops who killed the members of the movement.
This made the Angolans run too neighbouring countries but later they regroup to three major groups; movement of liberation of Angola (MPLA), National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA),and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). These groups did not only fight to gain independence but also fought among themselves for leadership after independence and in November 1975 Angola got its independence and MPLA was granted the leadership (UHY, 2008. pg 12-23).
However, the other groups did not accept the MPLA as their leader and continued to fight among themselves till 1991 when there was a peace agreement. But the peaceful mode did not last long as on 1991 UNITA leaders disagreed with the MPLA leader Jose Eduardo dos Santo to be the president and this brought war between the two groups. Fortunately, this did not last long as in 1993 the united States of America accepted dos Santo to be the president of Angola and this cooled things down (Vincent et al, 2007. pg 38-59).
Since the Angolans were colonized by the Portuguese, their official language is Portuguese andit’s also the most dominant language A third of the Angola people speak Bantu as their first language and the other two third speak Bantu as their second language after Portuguese. The most spoken Bantu language include; Kimbundu, Umbundu and Kikongo. The people of Angola are grouped into various tribes or ethnic groups which tend to be located in certain areas of the country.
These tribes and ethnic groups have their own distinct culture and customs (Jill, 2006.pg 130-140). The various tribes include Ovimnundu which forms the largest group and occupy the central part of the country, Mbundu who live in the Luanda province and the Bakongo who occupy the northwest provinces. There are other small ethnic groups like the Mesti’co who are a mixture of the native and the Portuguese, Nganguela and the Luanda –chockwe who do not have their specific place to area that they occupy. Most of the Angolans are Catholics with a few practicing traditional religion or the native religion who practice ancestral worship.
They believe that the dead play a major role in the lives of the living people and thus they incorporate the spirit of the dead as members of the community. They believe that the ancestral spirits are responsible for all misfortune that befalls them and thus, they perform rituals to appease the ancestral spirits. Moreover, the country has freedom to practice any religion and people a freedom to worship whoever or whatever they want so long as they do not harm the other people (Tony, 2001. pg 150-200). In Angola the people use hand shake but close friends or relatives kiss and hug.
Moreover, the greetings are not rushed and people take time to know the other peoples family and intentions. According to the customs the young should greet the elders first and in the rural areas the women do not look at the other person’s eyes when greeting them. Angolans serve their foods in a bowl and each individual starting with the eldest use scooping spoons to scoop food to their individual bowl. The people of Angola like it better to do business with people they know and trust and thus the first meeting is used for knowing the each other and less of business is discussed. Business meetings are open and agendas are used as the bases for discussion. However, the Angolans do not allow business discussion over dinner.
The government of Angola has allowed each and every individual or groups of people a chance to manage his or their company. However, they should comply with the rules and regulation that are set by the government in the company’s Act (Simeon et al, 2004. pg 20-24).
Doing business in Angola
Over the year investors from outside have increased especially at the end of civil wars in the year 2002, the political and economical stability together with vast resources that are found in Angola attracted more investors in this country. Once an investor come to Angola he or she should in the first pace contact the Angolan Private Investment Agency who act to support private investments through Angolan and foreign Nationals in the set industrial sector and development zones. The Angolan Private Investment Agency issue important information that help the investors to choose the best investment opportunity; for instance, they may offer information on sector such as Agriculture, civil construction, electricity, water, mining among others.
Whether prior declaration or contractual declaration, whether big or small investment, the process of approving the investment do not change (UHY, 2008. pg 1-22). There are three development zones in Angola and they may include; Zone A- which include Luanda province, capital- municipalities of Bunguala, Huila, Cabinda, and Liboti, Zone B- which include the municipalities of all the provinces and Zone C- which include the provinces of Huambo, Bie, Cuando Cubango, Cunene, Namibe Malanje and Zaire.
All investments that are subject to Prior Declaration are approved by the Angola Private investment Agency where they allow a minimum of USD 100,000 to a Maximum of USD 5 Million while all the investments that are for contractual declaration are approved by both the Angola Private Investment Agency and the Council of ministers of Angola. However, the government has reserved all investments concerning, telecommunication, infrastructure, postal services, production and sale of military materials, central banking and ownership and operation of seaports and airport to themselves.
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Once a project has been approved the investor is issued with a Certificate of Registration for Private Investment and thus the business can start (Vincent et al, 2007. pg 23-67). However, for a business to be fully legal the owner needs to register the following; Tax registration, Commercial registration, statistical registration, commercial operation permit, Import / Export registration and social security registration.
Doing business in Angola requires that one understand fully their culture, customs, rules and regulations and business ethics. This will help one become more profitable in the business venture he has opted (Roundhouse Publishing Limited, 2008. pg 123-156). The idea of the providing information about the best area to invest in regard to different sectors of economy all the investors to focus and invest on the best sector. Thus an investor should first consult the Angola Private Investment Agency before starting a business.
Roundhouse Publishing Limited.Angola: All You Need to Know to Do Business and Have Fun. MTH Multimedia S.L. 2008. pg 67-87, 123-156.
Simeon, D., Caralee, M. & Micheal, U.K. doing Business in 2004. oxford University Press. 2003. pg 17- 27.
Tony Hodges. Angola. 2nd Edition. Indiana University Press 2001. pg 150- 220.
Jill Shankleman. Oil, Profits, and Peace: Does business have a role in peacemaking? US Institute of Peace Press. 2006. pg 123-345.
Vincent, A., Frank, W., William, L. & Adam, P. Towards an Angola Strategy. Council of Foreign Relation. 2007. 1-59.
UHY. Doing Business in Angola. Sambazinga, Luanda. 2008. pg 1-22.