EU-UNCTAD joint programme for Angola: Train for Trade II

With a population of 30.8 million (2018; estimated 32.9 million in 2020), the Republic of Angola's gross domestic product (GDP) was 105.9 billion US dollars in current prices in 2018.

This is relatively high compared to other sub-Saharan African countries, and remarkable for a least developed country (LDC). There has been a steady growth in GDP per capita rising from 745 US dollars in 2000 to 3,437 US dollars in 2018 (current prices). However, despite the growth over time, the most recent trend has been negative, with GDP per capita falling from 2015.

Despite the exceptional improvement in GDP per capita, progress in economic diversification and advances in social and human-capital development has been limited. These challenges continue to be daunting.

Angola remains heavily dependent on oil, which accounts for a whopping 97% of the nation's total merchandise exports (2018). The recent decline in international oil prices has further aggravated the vulnerability of the country to external shocks.

Overdependence on a single export item (oil) has also discouraged the country from incorporating into global value chains and participating more fully in the export of manufactured goods and value-added services.

With the COVID-19 crisis, the country is expected to face increasing challenges in the face of dependence on one single commodity. The COVID-19 pandemic is also expected to reverse the modest gains that Angola has achieved over the last decade in poverty reduction. This, in turn, may put into question the country’s expedited graduation from the LDC category by 2021.

In view of Angola's objective to become an upper-middle income country by 2020, and its expected graduation from LDC status in 2021, a major challenge lies in building economic resilience to help the country weather external shocks. The country is in strong need of reformulated policies and institutions to help diversify its economy, and maximize regional and global trade opportunities.

Objectives of the Programme

The objective of the EU-UNCTAD Joint Programme for Angola: Train for Trade II is to improve human and institutional capacities to foster appropriate economic diversification policies in Angola, and to help the country build a more resilient economy capable of eradicating poverty. UNCTAD's intervention will focus on key problems previously identified by the Angolan Government. These problems are pervasive challenges that undermine efforts to achieve accelerated, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development.

The key areas identified are:

  1. Trade policy and negotiations

  2. Trade facilitation

  3. Transport and trade logistics

  4. SME development

  5. Investment

  6. Scoping non-oil trade opportunities and diversification (including in selected agricultural products and creative industries)

  7. Holistic support to the creative economy

  • Angola National Green Export Review: Scoping non-oil trade opportunities/diversification

  • Commercial Diplomacy: Capacity building in trade policy making, negotiations and analysis for Angola

  • Trade facilitation: Support for the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement in Angola, UNCTAD Empowerment Programme for National Trade Facilitation Committees

  • Transport and Trade Logistics: Promoting sustainable transport and trade logistics systems, corridor and cluster-based approaches

  • EMPRETEC: SME development and support to the creation of an Entrepreneurship Policy Framework

  • Investment: Investment Policy Review of Angola (IPR)

  • Creative Economy: Support for the creation of a stronger creative economy in Angola, including through a coherent dedicated strategy, and focused training to public and private sector agents

Expected accomplishments
  • Enhanced technical skills of Angolan officials and other interested parties through training, and advisory services, as well as policy and regulatory support;

  • Increased knowledge imbedded in national institutions and officials trained to be providers of trade courses;

  • SMEs and businesspeople trained in entrepreneurial and growth techniques by EMPRETEC;

  • Increased capacities through opportunities for regional and international knowledge and experience sharing for government officials and stakeholders;

  • Investment policy framework analyzed and recommendations for improvements provided, incl. support for the implementation of the recommendations;

  • Analysis of economic sectors and value chain mapping;

  • Development of course curricula for academic or vocational training on trade;

  • Creative economy strategy developed;

  • Development of a distance learning network.

*Source for figures and estimates: UNCTADStat.


Project Code



European Union


Republic of Angola



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