Angola: Who will benefit from the big round of privatisations?

By Cláudio Silva, Honoré Banda
Posted on Monday, 1 August 2022 18:06, updated on Sunday, 27 November 2022 17:01

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres greet Angola's President Joao Lourenco during arrivals at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain November 1, 2021. Christopher Furlong/Pool via REUTERS

Angola’s privatisation campaign is an experiment. It will reveal whether President João Lourenço’s administration can improve its governance and attract long-haul investors, or if, like Russia’s privatisations in the 1990s, the programme will strengthen the hands of cronies and stymie competition.

So far, the government has not been rushing the process, which started in 2019. It has been making sure that companies that do not meet the requirements to sell stakes on the local bourse find other ways to offload stakes. “Their balance sheets need to be clean and transparent,” finance minister Vera Daves tells The Africa Report. “All the legal processes regarding the assets of those companies need to be resolved before starting the due diligence. This will ensure that the final value the government gets from this sale is as good as possible.”