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For the first decade of the 20th century, Angola's rich oil and diamond resources made it one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. This rapid increase was halted in 2014 when the oil price dropped, the exchange rate plummeted and inflation spiked.
With the bulk of the country's economy dependent on the oil industry, Angola was hit hard and has only begun to recover in recent years, though the economic effects of Covid-19 during 2020 and 2021 has stunted this progress. Since the oil crash, the government has made a concerted effort to diversify the economy.
Job market in Angola
Expats working in Angola are almost always employed by a multinational company connected to one of the country's two lucrative natural resources: oil or diamonds. Outside of these major sectors, the largest industries in Angola include agriculture, manufacturing and services such as tourism and construction.
Finding work in Angola
Most expats are brought over to Angola on a contract by one of many multinational companies with a presence in the country. Those moving to the country without work already lined up often find it extremely difficult to secure employment.
For this reason, we advise expats to examine their options thoroughly before committing to a move to Angola. It's a good idea to get in touch with a recruitment agency for advice on breaking into the market. Online job portals are another excellent source for getting an idea of the availability of suitable positions and their salaries.
Work culture in Angola
Expats can expect the workplace in Angola to be hierarchical, with respect to seniors being of utmost importance. Angolans often try to please everyone to avoid conflict, so their communication style can sometimes be indirect. Meetings may have a distinctly formal atmosphere, although formal agendas are rarely, if ever, used.
As is often the case in countries where a small, elite group holds a strong political power, working in Angola is unfortunately often characterised by corruption and seemingly never-ending bureaucratic procedure. Obtaining a work permit, though necessary, can be a painful and drawn-out affair mired in red tape. In addition, certain aspects of Angola can make day-to-day life significantly uncomfortable, from the glaring inequality and poverty evident in Luanda, to the unstable electricity supply that can suddenly blink out without warning.
To offset the difficulties typically encountered in the country, expat salaries in Angola are often high on account of the 'hardship quotient'. Though the cost of living in Angola has dropped significantly in recent years, it's important that expats conduct the appropriate research to get an idea of the cost of living, ensuring that all expenses are covered.