Somali Magazine – Angola overly depends on crude oil, which represents 93 percent of its exports. Low productivity and meagre opportunities in other economic sectors have left a third of the population below the poverty line.
The country boasts a vast coastline, ample labour in the fisheries sector and good trading relations with major fish importers in Europe and Asia.
UNCTAD estimates that the ocean economy is worth between $3 trillion and $6 trillion and offers vast opportunities for developing countries to build resilience.
Angola is focusing on developing the fisheries and aquaculture sector as one of its priority sectors. Since 2017, UNCTAD has supported the country to modernize its economy through the EU-UNCTAD Joint Programme for Angola: Train for Trade II, with funding from the European Union.
As a part of this programme, UNCTAD and the Nha Trang University of Viet Nam (NTU) are training Angolan fisheries and aquaculture sector stakeholders in sustainable fisheries management and value addition for exports. The timing is opportune, as 2023 marks five years of partnership between UNCTAD and NTU.
UNCTAD’s director for Africa, LDCs and special programmes, Paul Akiwumi, “As a centre of excellence, Nha Trang University is uniquely positioned to share the lessons and good practices learned from the highly successful Vietnamese experience in fisheries and aquaculture sector development.”
He underscored how Viet Nam can serve as a model for other developing countries, including LDCs in Asia and Africa.
Angola’s blue economy potential
Prior to 2002, Angola’s fisheries industry was the country’s third most significant economic sector but has since fallen behind. With its vast coastline and productive and diversified marine ecosystem, Angola has abundant marine resources.
Total official fisheries production in Angola reached over 411,000 tons in 2021. In 2022, the sector contributed approximately 4.1% to the country’s GDP. The Angola national development plan forecasts a growing contribution of fisheries to GDP, reaching 4.5% in 2027.
The national plan for fisheries intends to foster entrepreneurial fishing activity and boost fish and salt production and processing. State investments totalling $300 million have been pledged over the next five years.
In Angola the industry directly employs around 150,000 people, while in coastal communities, approximately half of the population depends directly or indirectly on fisheries.
Beyond its extensive coastline and exclusive economic zone, Angola has several opportunities to develop the fisheries sector, including through encouraging fish processing and value addition, fostering regional and international collaboration, and building enhanced foreign trade networks.
However, lack of public investment and poor infrastructure, including the provision of electricity, transport and research laboratories undermine the crucial role of the sector for the socioeconomic development of Angola.
Highlighting the sector’s potential, Mr. Akiwumi said: “Angola must view its marine and freshwater resources as strategically important for economic diversification, job creation and poverty reduction, while maintaining a strong commitment to environmental sustainability.”