Angolan government wants to sell non-strategic state companies

16 May 2013

The Angolan government plans to sell off over 30 public companies to private entities over the next five years in order to drive economic activities in the country and reduce the weight of the State in the economy, said Angola’s economy Minister Abraão Gourgel.

Speaking to financial news agency Bloomberg, the Minister said that Angola needed to diversify its economy, which is dominated by the oil sector that accounts for almost all the country’s exports and around 40 percent of its Gross Domestic Product.

“The civil war, the limited domestic market and a lack of capacity of those that bought State companies in the past has led to few successes in areas such as beer making and light industry,” said Gourgel adding that the idea was to sell non-strategic companies and thus to reduced costs and the amount of subsidies paid out by the government.

Most companies that will be sold off are small or medium-sized, including construction company Bricomil and insurance company Empresa Nacional de Seguros de Angola, amongst others.

Oil company Sonangol, which posted profit of US$1.24 billion in 2012, will remain a state company, as will companies in the mining sector, due to the need for public funding of large projects.

Referring to public-private partnerships (PPP), Gourgel noted the disappointing results of PPPs in Portugal and the United Kingdom to explain the “slow progress” of the regulations of the law that was passed last year.

Potential candidates for PPPs include small dams to produce electricity near Cabinda, a province in the north of Angola and Lobito, in the south of the country, but the minister declined to name them. (macauhub)