Angola opens up

Privatisation programme offers extensive opportunities

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On 5 August this year, Angola made public its eagerly awaited privatisation programme (PROPRIV). An important part of the economic reforms contemplated by the new Angolan government involves the privatisation of state-owned enterprises and the sale of stakes that the Angolan state directly or indirectly holds in enterprises. PROPRIV includes assets in Angola as well as assets located abroad.

Kilson Kalanda, Managing Director of the Angola-South Africa Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CACIAAS), says by offsetting or selling this many public assets, it will be the first time in the country’s history that the Angolan government will not be the majority owner of the major top companies in the country across its main sectors.

More than 190 public companies, 32 of them major national companies, will be privatised through a Stock Exchange model. This includes assets in Angola, as well as assets that are located abroad (excluding the major investments of the Angolan state in Portugal). The process of privatisation of public companies is already underway and, according to government officials, it complies with the rules and criteria established by law. The privatisation programme is aimed at improving the productive sector. It also intends to take hold of the companies that have the greatest impact on the country’s economy and provide them with competitive conditions.

According to a report by UK based law firm, Clifford Chance, in terms of its organisational structure, PROPRIV proposes a simple, light and specialised organisational structure. It describes the role of each involved stakeholder. A national commission for the implementation of the programme has been established in order to ensure a smooth co-ordination between the various ministries and other authorities that are involved in the privatisations.

“A communication strategy will be developed for a national and international audience and roadshows are contemplated as well. PROPRIV is financed through the general budget, as well as by allocating to it 15% of the amounts resulting from the execution of the programme,” the law firm says.

According to the report, the success of PROPRIV depends on a number of factors including political and social support, the quality of economic and competition regulation, liquidity of the capital markets, preparedness of supporting industries and the evolution of the macro-economic environment.

Kalanda says he is positive that PROPRIV will be a great success story and that it is exactly what the country needs to move forward in its quest to trade and interact with especially other southern African countries.

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