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Last updated in October 2017
Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Angola in July 2011, the first German head of government to do so. Besides holding official talks, she also met with artists and human rights activists and received a briefing on Luanda’s development. In July 2011, following Federal Chancellor Merkel’s visit, the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Government of the Republic of Angola signed a joint declaration of intent in Luanda aimed at intensifying bilateral dialogue through the establishment of a comprehensive political partnership. The inaugural meeting of the German-Angolan Binational Commission envisaged in the declaration was held at the Federal Foreign Office in February 2012 and was chaired by then State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office Emily Haber and her Angolan counterpart Manuel Augusto. The Binational Commission has working groups on foreign and security policy as well as on economic and energy policy. Its second meeting was held in April 2016 in Luanda.
The visit to Angola by then Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in March 2014 gave important new impetus to German-Angolan relations. Angolan Foreign Minister Georges Chikoti paid a return visit in November 2014. An agreement on defence policy cooperation was also signed in November 2014 during a visit to Germany by the Angolan Defence Minister. In July 2015, the State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), Brigitte Zypries, travelled to Angola accompanied by a business delegation. A delegation from the German Bundestag visited in Angola in October 2016.
There are currently no German political foundations in Angola. Both the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung organise events in Angola from their respective offices in Windhoek, Namibia.
Economic relations between Germany and Angola gained momentum until 2012. Angola quickly moved up the ranks to become Germany’s third most important trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa, after South Africa and Nigeria. German exports to Angola initially grew steadily after the end of the civil war. However, since the collapse of the international price of crude oil paralysed the Angolan economy, the volume of bilateral trade has stagnated. After climbing to 391 million euros in 2012, bilateral trade fell to 336 million euros in 2015, but rose again to 406 million euros in 2016.
Around three-quarters of German exports to Angola are comprised of motor vehicles, machinery and engineering products, while German imports from Angola consist almost exclusively of crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products.
German companies’ interest in helping rebuild Angola’s infrastructure is steadily growing. In 2010, a Delegate Office of German Industry and Commerce was opened in Luanda, led by a seconded director. The German-Angolan Economic Forum, which is always presided over by high-ranking officials from both sides, was held for the sixth time in July 2015. Since 1999, Germany has been a regular exhibitor at the international industrial trade fair FILDA in Luanda, an annual fixture on the Angolan business calendar.
A German-Angolan Business Initiative (DAWI) was set up back in 2007. The German-Angolan investment protection and promotion agreement also entered into force in 2007. Further negotiations on an air transport agreement were held in Angola in mid-March 2014. Lufthansa introduced a third direct flight to Luanda in September 2014. The German and Angolan Governments have been negotiating a double taxation agreement since 2017.
Angola ceased to be a partner country of German development cooperation in 2012. Bilateral governmental development cooperation between Angola and Germany is therefore no longer foreseen. The last technical cooperation measure, “Training for the labour market in Angola”, expired on 30 September 2013. It played a part in improving the quality and relevance of training and advisory services in selected economic sectors, especially the construction sector. Regionally, Angola continues to benefit from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in the priority areas of transboundary water management and transboundary use and protection of natural resources as well as from financial cooperation projects with regions.
In the area of non-governmental development cooperation, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is supporting projects in Angola, both those organised by church development agencies as well as projects run by the private organisation OIKOS EINE WELT e.V., which is active in fields such as vocational training and higher education.
As a member state of the European Union, Germany plays an indirect role in the EU’s development cooperation activities with Angola. These activities focus on areas such as agriculture, water and sewage, vocational training and higher education, as well as the promotion of civil society.
More than 2000 Angolans studied or received their professional training in the German Democratic Republic (GDR). This group, which includes some current and past government ministers, still feels an affinity with Germany and the German language. Other Angolans moved to the western part of Germany after the end of the GDR. Numerous returnees to Angola have an excellent command of German and possess dual citizenship.
The German-Angolan cultural and educational agreement entered into force on 8 August 2012. It forms the basis of the work of the Goethe-Institut in Luanda.
This text is intended as a source of basic information. It is regularly updated. No liability can be accepted for the accuracy or completeness of its contents.