Angola visa business

Angola is making great strides towards attracting foreign investment into its economy, with visa policy amendments and the promotion of intra-African trade laying the foundation for capital to flow inwards. In 2024, Angola was named one of CNN Travel’s top 24 tourist destinations and one of Business Today’s top five destinations for foreign investment. Ease of travel, attractive fiscal terms and opportunities across the entire economic spectrum represented driving factors in the rankings, with transport-related infrastructure development expected to accelerate business tourism even further.  

Unpacking Angola’s Pro-Investment Approach

Angola serves as an example of how business-centric policies can stimulate investment across the economy. In September 2023, the country passed an amendment allowing visa-free travel for a period of 90 days to nationals from over 90 countries. Of these, 14 African countries are included, and while the exemption is exclusively for tourism-related activities, the policy adjustment incentivizes cross-border travel, laying the foundation for trade and commerce.

In addition to visa exemptions, the country is modernizing its various airports, with 17 of the total 30 airports in the country having been recently renovated. Renovations are also planned for the Quatro de Fevereiro Airport (LAD) – the country’s primary international airport. An agreement was signed in 2019 between Angola and the UAE for the development of various projects, including the expansion of LAD. Meanwhile, in November 2023, the country opened the $3-billion Antonio Agostinho-Neto International Airport, capable of handling up to 15 million passengers annually. The airport is strategically located to support Angola’s transport and tourism sectors and is expected to serve as a hub for passenger and cargo services. An international tender is currently open for the management of the airport.

As global interest in Angolan oil and gas opportunities accelerates, these developments are expected to support bi- and multilateral trade and commerce. The country has made a strong push for foreign investment in hydrocarbons, with a six-year licensing strategy that launched in 2019; heightened collaboration with international operators; and untapped opportunities in oil and gas attracting new players. Angola’s most recent onshore tender – featuring 12 blocks in the Lower Congo and Kwanza basins – received 53 bids. As ease of doing business improves on the back of enhanced business tourism, Angola is poised to unlock new investment across its energy value chain.

While Angola’s visa exemption policy is a notable step forwards, the inclusion of more African nations in the amendment is critical if the country is to realize its objectives of accelerating regional trade and commerce. Frameworks such as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement – the largest free trade area in the world – have already laid the foundation for enhanced intra-African trade, and further visa exemptions would only fuel cross-border business further.

In the energy sector, regional trade is a cornerstone of Angola’s long-term development agenda. With a strong natural resource base – including 9 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and 11 trillion cubic feet of proven gas – Angola is strategically positioned to become a regional oil and gas hub. The country’s ambitions to export refined petroleum products to its neighbors are slowly being realized, with the development of three new refineries – the 30,000-barrel per day (bpd) Cabinda Refinery; 200,000-bpd Lobito Refinery; and 100,000-bpd Soyo Refinery – currently underway. A pipeline agreement is already in place with Zambia, and Angola is inviting further collaboration with its regional partners.

As Angola continues to make gains in attracting foreign investment, the country’s annual oil and gas event – Angola Oil & Gas (AOG) – consolidates its position as a center for petroleum trade, as well as capital for doing business in Africa. Taking place from October 2-4 in Luanda, the event builds on four successful editions and serves as the official platform to sign deals and foster partnerships among the Angolan government, global energy companies and local firms. By promoting upcoming oil and gas opportunities, connecting players from across the market, and providing first-hand insight into attractive fiscals, projects and national priorities, AOG 2024 seeks to drive exploration and development towards increased production in Angola.