Angolan model Sharam Diniz promotes “the sexiest industry in Europe”

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Angolan model Sharam Diniz is the face of a new international campaign to promote Portuguese shoes and the Portuguese shoe industry. Signed with the moto: “The sexiest industry in Europe”, the ads depict Sharam Diniz with an appropriate sexy pose.

The initiative belongs to APICCAPS, the association that gathers several Portuguese shoemaker industrials and brands, and will target European countries but also new markets such as China, Colombia, USA and Turkey.    model working with  . é o rosto feminino da nova campanha “A Indústria Mais Sexy da Europa”.

The model, working with L’Agence, was one of the stars last February during New York Fashion Week, along with other two Angolan models, Maria Borges and Theolanda Franco.

Sharma was also recently chosen to be on the pages of Italian Vogue magazine, also promoting the quality of Portuguese shoes.

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Why foreign companies should invest in Angola

Portraits of FACRA director

‘Forbes’ magazine contributor Mfonobong Nhese has interviewed Teodoro de Jesus Xavier Poulson, a Member of the Investment Committee of FACRA who leads FACRA’s overall investment strategy and helps to source investment opportunities in Angola and across the Sub-Saharan African region. The resulting article, titled “Why You Should Invest in Angola?, contains useful data and several hints that provide information to investors and companies interested in the Angolan market.

Fundo Activo de Capital de Risco Angolano (FACRA) is a Venture Capital firm backed by the Government of Angola, “that offers long-term financial investments to enable Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and entrepreneurs in Angola to realize their business development potential”.

When asked by teh magazine what advice he gives to foreign companies lookin to set up in Angola, Teodoro Poulson is clear: “Any international company considering entering Angola or the wider Sub-Saharan Africashould take in to account that the region still has its challenges. Angola’s language is Portuguese and English is still not widely used. People educated to University level are more likely to speak English but companies should not make an assumption that they can operate in English all the time”.

“Foreign companies need to bear in mind that whilst Angola has its own sovereign wealth fund and other investment vehicles such as FACRA; it is a proud country that wishes to retain the nation’s wealth for future generations. Companies need to understand that they are there to not only make profits for themselves but to add value to the Angolan economy. Institutions like FACRA wish to work with foreign companies that are keen to remain in the country for the long-term; to create jobs, raise the standard of goods and services and spread wealth through tax returns and paid employees” he adds.

As Mr. Poulson also explains, the advantage of having FACRA into the process is that the institution is “able to provide capital to businesses through a venture capital model, taking a minority share of the business. FACRA is also committed to providing business skills development that can help entrepreneursto achieve success in growing their businesses. These areas of support will range from financial planning to capacity building, talent attraction & retention and growth strategy.

FACRA’s investment will also strengthen an Angolan company’s debt-to-equity ratio – this will allow them to leverage further financing through commercial credits with a lower risk profile – and lower interest rate charges.

FACRA is also able to work with foreign companies, assisting them in entering the Angolan market. Foreign firms can expect to be introduced to the local supply chain and gain an insider’s perspective on how to do business in the country. Most importantly, FACRA can create strategic partnerships between growing Angolan businesses and foreign firms that wish to invest in Angola”.

The full interview, containing Mr. Poulson’s statements about “Angola’s economic potential, the business opportunities available in the country, and why investors from all over the world should take notice”, may be read in its full extent here.

Sonangol and ENI join efforts in the gas sector

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Sonangol and Italian oil company ENI have signed a strategic cooperation agreement for projects in the gas sector. The document was signed by Sonangol’s CEO, Francisco de Lemos Maria (Photo), and ENI’s CEO, Cláudio Descalzi.

Sonangol has issued a press release to inform that the agreement will be followed by “the creation of a Sonangol/ENI joint team tasked with assessing the gas potential in the Low Congo sedimentary basin, a highly promising area in terms of hydrocarbons on the Angolan coast”.

According to the information provided, “the joint team is also tasked with analysing all gas valuing options, with priority to its utilisation in the local market, where the product is expected to have a crucial role in sustaining the country’s economic development”.

The Sonangol/ENI team will also share knowledge concerning the development of gas resources, based on the experience of the Italian company around the country. In addition to the above mentioned aspects, the parties signed deals for the development of business projects in other areas of oil and gas exploration in Angola.

Chinese company CITIC will invest $5 billion in Angola’s agriculture next year

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Chinese state company CITIC Construction,a subsidiary of the CITIC group, will invest $5 billion in 2015 in an agricultural project in Angola, in order to improve the agricultural sector and food production in the country. This information was revealed by Liu Guigen, president of CITIC Construction for Africa, to the Chinese newspaper ‘China Daily’.

The investment to be made next year by CITIC will be mainly focused on the production of soybeans, wheat and corn. CITIC Constrution operates in Angola since 2008 and is one of the largest construction companies in the world. According to news portal ‘MacauHub’, the company “already has two 10,000-hectare farms in Angola, but is best known for building the Kilamba Kiaxi project, a satellite city of Luanda located about 30 kilometres from the centre of the Angolan capital”.

The contract according to the article published on ‘China Daily’, was worth $10 billion and involved the construction of 20,000 houses, “90 percent of which are already occupied,” 200 shops, 24 kindergartens and 17 schools.Last December, CITIC Construction won a quality prize for the Kilamba Kiaxi Urban Project.

Sindika Dokolo: “A new page of Angolan history is being written”

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Sindika Dokolo was interviewed by writer and curator Osei Bonsu, for the ‘New African Magazine’. You may read the entire content of the interview here.This conversation happened during the recent 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Somerset House in London, sponsored by the Sindika Dokolo Foundation.

The article describes Sindika Dokolo as “Representative of a generation of Africans who see the preservation of the continent’s cultural heritage as both a collective duty and an individual right. The Congolese entrepreneur began his collection of art in Luanda, Angola in 2004, with the aim of unveiling contemporary art to an African audience”.

New African Magazine: Recently Angola was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennial, in a year that saw considerable focus on the African continent as a whole. After 30 years of war and turmoil in Angola, there seems to be a newfound optimism led by fledgling economic prospects. What do you feel would help sustain the growth and confidence, looking towards other African nations facing difficult realities?

Sindika Dokolo: The past decade has been clearly marked by a structural growth in the Angolan economy. This positive evolution has created new perspectives as well as expectations, that have reshaped the Angolan society and the way Angolans look upon themselves, Africa and the world.

A new page of Angolan history is being written. A sustained public investment policy in infrastructure, energy, and education is generating a general sense of self-confidence in the Angolan economic and social future.

The particularity of the Angolan mindset, also comes from the war years. Having experienced deception and false promises, Angola has integrated the fact that it should only count on itself to reach its objectives, in terms of development. I think the other African countries should integrate that factor as well, and stop hoping that help is coming”.

Angola says “No” to hosting Africa Cup of Nations

Angola announced this Wednesday that the country will not replace Morocco as host of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. 

João Lusevikueno, vice president of the Angolan football federation, told Agency France Presse that “Angola is not going to host the competition, we haven’t presented our candidature and it is not our intention to do so.” According to the news, the responsible also added that to step in and organize a competition of this scale in just two months, since the event its schedued to start on Jan. 17, is “virtually impossible.”

With Angola out of the picture three potential candidates are left;  Egypt, Gabon and Nigeria. Morocco was put out as a host after the country insisting on a postponement, claiming the causa to be Ebola epidemic. However, that was considered unaceptable by the federation and its president Issa Hayatou: “To postpone the Africa Cup of Nations would be like stopping African football dead.” he declared . “Once you postpone this event, it will open the door for everybody to ask for a delay of any competition and we will no longer be credible.”

Angola needs to diversify its Economy, Economist experts say

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As Angola is on the way to become the largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, overtaking Nigeria in 2016, the Economist Intelligence Unit reports that the country needs to diversify its Economy and to boost the importance of the non-oil sector.

However, In its latest report, EIU declares that oil production in Angola will begin to decline in 2020 due to depletion of reserves, “underscoring the importance of the authorities making faster progress in their efforts to diversify the economy.”

Online news website Macau Hub writes that “According to the Angolan government, the weight of oil production in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has declined in the last five years, from 60-65 percent to 41-43 percent, reflecting the higher contribution of the other sectors” and “Estimated Angolan oil production in 2020 is 2 million barrels a day, retreating sharply to 1.4 million barrels in 2040”.

“The EIA forecast was well received in Luanda” says the same article, “particularly at a time when the country is faced with a drop in oil revenues, which the authorities already assume will affect the growth of GDP for this year, despite 8 percent growth in the non-oil economy”.

For the 2015-2019 period, the EIU forecasts average annual growth of 5.9 percent driven by increased oil production and investment. Oil accounts for around 90 percent of Angolan exports and almost half of Angola’s output – 46 to 48 percent – is sent to China, Macau Hub notes.

Investor and entrepreneur Isabel dos Santos bids for a 25,6% stake on Brasilian carrier Oi

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Portugal Telecom stocks rose as much as 15% after a statement by Terra Peregrin, mentioning that it wants to keep the main strategic guidelines set by Portugal Telecom’s board and the objectives “inherent” to the merger agreements signed by Portugal Telecom and Oi, Bloomberg says.

This statetement followed the official announcement this Sunday that investor and entrepreneur Isabel dos Santos launched a $1,5 billion bid for the 25,6% that PT SGPS holds on Brazilian telecommunications carrier Oi SA.

“Dos Santos is offering 1.35 euros a share through Lisbon-based Terra Peregrin-Participações SGPS SA, 11 percent more than the stock’s Nov.7 closing price”, Bloomberg mentions. The business news agency also reported that “Conditions include an acceptance level of more than 50 percent and no major changes such as a sale of strategic assets”.

Caixa-Banco de Investimento SA, the investment banking unit of Portuguese state-owned lender Caixa Geral de Depositos SA, is assisting with the offer.

Angola has more than 4 million internet users

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Angola has now more than 4 million Internet users. This number was revealed this Thursday by the Secretary of State for Information Technology, Pedro Sebastião Teta.

According to the statement made by the Secretary of State to news agency Angop: “Angola is now working toward achieving technological independence after 39 years since the country won the political autonomy, on November 11, 1975”

Declaring that achieving the number of 4 million Internet users is “a milestone that poses a challenge for the (Information & Telecommunications) sector” in Angola, the Government official stressed the need for a consistent and ongoing investment in staff and teatchers training, as well as in the creation of more infrastructure and training of highly qualified teachers.

“We must invest in staff training and study more if we actually want to be independent. Anthem and flag are not enough, the country must also acquire its Economic and Technological sovereignty,”

French investment in Angola totals $15 billion

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A delegation gathering 60 French businessmen visited Luanda this week in order to find new business opportunities in Angola for French private investors. This visit reciprocates the one that President José Eduardo dos Santos made to France last April, when the two countries agreed to increase their mutual cooperation.

Numbers now revealed by the Foreign Minister, George Chikoti, show that direct investment from France in Angola totals over $15 billion and France is now the country’s third largest investor and supplier. According to the online news site ‘Macau Hub’, the Minister also declared that oil company Total is “a good example of foreign investment”.

Minister Chikoti remembered that the adoption of the new Private Investment Law by the Government will help to reduce bureaucracy and to facilitate the legal process, offering several guarantees to private investors, “such as repatriation of capital, tax incentives, equal treatment between of Angolan and foreign nationals and investment protection”.

Finally, the minister also mentioned the the revitalisation of domestic industry as a priority to the Government, resulting in the “creation of the Luanda-Bengo Special Economic Zone (EEZ) and others that will be created in the short and medium term in other provinces”.