As the United States and Angola mark 30 years of diplomatic relations, our bilateral relationship is deepening with regular senior-level engagements and increasing cooperation on key shared objectives. Angola is a strategic partner and regional leader, and the U.S.-Angola partnership is critical to advancing our shared goals of economic prosperity, regional security, and increasing energy security in Africa and the Atlantic.
High Level Engagements
Since the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in December 2022, the United States has engaged in frequent and substantive high-level engagements with Angola. Highlights in the past year alone include:
- U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin became the first-ever U.S. Secretary of Defense to visit Angola in September 2023, engaging on military modernization and regional security.
- U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) CEO Scott Nathan, and Deputy Assistant to the President Amos Hochstein, engaged Angolan leadership in September 2023 on food security and the transformational potential of Angola’s Lobito Corridor, part of President Biden’s flagship Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI).
- U.S. Export Import Bank (EXIM) Chair Reta Jo Lewis visited Angola after the EXIM Board’s approval of $900 million in financing for Sun Africa’s solar energy project. In October, EXIM declared the Sun Africa program its “Deal of the Year” for 2023.
- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed Angolan Foreign Minster Tete Antonio to join the launch of the Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation, in which Angola has played a leading and constructive role.
- U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg welcomed Angola Minister of Transport D’Abreu to Washington, D.C in April 2023 to initial a bilateral Open Skies Agreement, facilitating increased air connectivity between the United States and Angola, providing significant new opportunities for trade, tourism, and investment.
- U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves met with President Lourenço in December 2022 to discuss Angola’s improving economy and its commitments to further economic development, and reforms across the country that would benefit deepening U.S.-Angola economic ties.
- In November 2023, the U.S. and Angola signed the Artemis Accords, which advances a common vision of space exploration for the benefit of all humankind.
Trade and Investment
The United States has partnered with Angola on one of President Biden’s key foreign policy priorities, establishing strategic economic corridors that benefit local populations and integrate them into the global economy. The Lobito Corridor is a transformative economic corridor from Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the Atlantic Ocean, and the President’s PGI initiative is working with Angola and development partners to develop infrastructure across the corridor and extend it from Angola directly to Zambia. The Lobito Corridor offers the potential for critical infrastructure that will better integrate DRC, Zambia, and Angola into regional and global markets; develop green energy supply chains; and, spur investment in agriculture, telecoms, and additional sectors in underdeveloped regions of Angola. Angola’s commitment to economic reform since 2017 has laid the groundwork for stronger U.S. commercial and government engagement. Other U.S. government initiatives such as Prosper Africa further deepen U.S.-Angola economic engagement. Since the beginning of Prosper Africa, the U.S government has also facilitated billions of dollars of closed private sector deals.
- DFC’s advanced due-diligence of $250 million of financing to refurbish the 1,300km Lobito Atlantic Railway line as well as Secretary Blinken’s October 2023 signing of the Lobito Corridor seven-side Memorandum of Understanding to build the new 800km rail line between Angola and Zambia underscores the seriousness of U.S. intent to increase economic activity along the corridor.
- EXIM’s $900 million financing of Sun Africa’s solar projects and $363 million financing of Acrow Bridge’s 186 prefabricated bridges promises to support critical infrastructure and thousands of Angolan and American jobs.
- Boeing and Angolan flag carrier TAAG announced a deal for the purchase of ten new 787s valued at $3.6 billion, a testament to growing Angola – U.S. bilateral commercial relations.
- The U.S. Department of Treasury supported Angola’s efforts to reduce its debt vulnerabilities through technical assistance throughout 2023. The program has successfully enabled the Angolan government to reprofile its domestic debt and lower interest costs.
- USAID will provide approximately $1 million to assist the Angolan Ministry of Transportation to develop their planned Public-Private-Partnership Unit for transportation infrastructure. The support will enable the Ministry to replicate the successful and transparent Lobito Rail concession for additional rail and port investments.
- The U.S. Geological Survey Institute and the Angolan Geological Institute signed a Memorandum of Understanding in November 2023 that will enable further scientific collaboration between the two agencies to advance Angola’s potential as a critical minerals producer.
The Biden-Harris Administration has prioritized global food security through increased agricultural trade. The United States has partnered with Angola to increase food security and climate resilience through building capacity and expanding investment in support of Angola’s agriculture development and economic diversification goals.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture will lead the first-ever U.S. agribusiness trade mission to Angola with over 60 individuals representing U.S. companies and agricultural organizations in early February. This mission will promote U.S. agricultural trade and regional food security investments with Angolan partners. U.S. trade mission participants will meet with potential private sector buyers, and engage industry trade experts.
- USAID has provided $13.3 million in 2022 and 2023 in emergency assistance to three southern Angolan provinces affected by the 2022 drought. The program has screened over 500,000 children for acute malnutrition and treated 121,000 for moderate to severe malnutrition.
- Through a $5 million Gender Equality and Equality Action Fund project, USAID will support agricultural development along the Lobito Corridor, focusing on linking women smallholder farmers to value chains that will use the rail line as a critical component of sustainability of the corridor project.
Along with physical infrastructure, the United States is investing in Angola’s digital architecture, supporting reliable telecommunication networks — using trusted vendors — that will benefit the Angolan people and improve Angola’s digital connectivity to the global economy.
- In August 2023, USAID launched a nearly $5 million “Dinheiro Digital é Melhor” (DDM) or “Mobile Money is Better” project with Africell, a U.S.-owned telecoms company, which will provide an equivalent in-kind contribution to the partnership on top of their existing mobile network.
- Under the auspices of PGI, the DDM program will create an enabling environment for digital finance applications to spur the growth of a vibrant, secure, and more inclusive digital payments ecosystem in Angola. This partnership will support Africell’s ongoing expansion of their 5G infrastructure to the area using trusted networks, which is critical for Lobito Corridor development.
- On November 17, 2022, EXIM approved a final commitment in the amount of $42 million in support of Gates Air’s export of FM transmitters, towers, training, and other equipment and services to Radio Nacional de Angola. The U.S. exports are for Angola’s “Radio Signal Expansion and Studio Modernization Project.” The EXIM authorization is for the first phase of the project, which when complete, will extend the Angolan government’s ability to communicate by radio with approximately 95 percent of the country’s population.
Democracy, Governance, and Human Rights
The United States supports Angola’s efforts to combat corruption, enhance accountability, advance democratic governance, and support protections for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to peaceful assembly and of freedom of expression, association, and religion or belief. The U.S. continues to support Angola’s commitment to democratic reforms, including amplifying civil society and faith-based organizations role in democratic elections and local decision making.
- The U.S. Embassy in Angola launched a program to promote rule of law by strengthening judicial independence, making citizens more aware of their legal rights, and building the capacity of courts. The Embassy also supports several grants to strengthen press freedom.
- USAID and State Department are working with the National Bank of Angola to support Angola’s continued efforts to fight against corruption, including Angola’s substantial improvement in its Transparency International score. The programming will increase public finance transparency and build the capacity of oversight institutions in support of Angola’s commitments as a new Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) implementing country.
- Since 2019, the Treasury Department has provided technical assistance to strengthen Angolan institutions’ ability to identify, detect, and prosecute money laundering, terrorist financing, and other crimes in support of Angola’s political and economic reforms.
Angola has been a leader in making progress toward the energy transition. Despite being one of the largest oil and gas producers in sub-Saharan Africa, Angola has made ambitious environmental and conservation commitments with U.S. support as it endeavors to generate 73 percent of its energy from clean sources by 2027.
- Sun Africa’s existing projects in development in Angola will generate 370 MW of renewable energy, preventing the emission of 935,953 tons of carbon per year. In July 2023, under PGI, EXIM’s board approved a $900 million commitment for Sun Africa to construct two utility-scale solar photovoltaic parks that will provide more than 500 MW of renewable power.
- Angola became a signatory to the Global Methane Pledge in November 2023, a voluntary framework supporting nations to collectively reduce methane emissions by 30 percent from 2020 level by 2030. Reducing methane from the atmosphere is the most effective strategy to limit warming this decade.
- USAID launched the Ecosystems, Communities, and Climate – Okavango (ECCO) project in July 2023 to support communities in the heart of the Okavango Delta to sustainably improve their livelihoods while improving conservation of vital natural resources in support of the Congressional 2019 DELTA Act. This five-year program expects to leverage $10 million in funding from U.S., local, and international private sector partners.
- Alongside U.S. support, Angola has invested $60 million of its own resources in demining national parks.
- The State Department is funding efforts to counter wildlife trafficking through training of law enforcement, prosecutors, and park rangers continued.
- NASA’s Applied Sciences program’s Water Resources focus area is supporting research on drought mitigation, crop irrigation schemes, water resource management, and reservoir management in Angola.
- The U.S. – Angola Energy Security Dialogue will launch in 2024 and will focus on the secure and stable supply of energy and deeper commercial ties while advancing our shared climate goals.
The United States and Angola have a longstanding and productive partnership in health. U.S. support has included decades of investment to improve the day-to-day health of Angolans, particularly against malaria and HIV/AIDS.
- The United States intends to provide over $23 million in Angola through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in fiscal year 2023. PEPFAR has strengthened public health and laboratory systems in Angola, providing technical assistance to the National HIV/AIDS Coordinating Office and the Ministry of Health in supply chain management, clinical treatment, capacity building, and community-based mobilization. Over the past year, PEPFAR has tested more than 20,000 Angolans who were contacts of known persons living with HIV or newly diagnosed with HIV.
- Through PEPFAR, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention trained over 400 Angolan laboratory technicians, supported the regional laboratory in Benguela province, and continued collaboration between government institutions, international stakeholders, and partners to collect, test, and diagnose HIV and COVID-19.
- During the past year, the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) distributed over 4 million bed nets to protect Angolans against malaria and trained over 8,000 health workers to diagnose and treat malaria. Through September 2023, Angola has witnessed a 15 percent decrease in deaths in PMI-focused provinces.
- The U.S.-Angolan partnership on COVID-19 response and recovery has provided 10.9 million vaccine dose donations and, through the Initiative for Global Vaccine Access, enabling the vaccination of 9.4 million Angolans in all 18 provinces.
- USAID is providing $5 million from the Local Works program to partner with local universities to address road traffic injuries and deaths, the second leading cause of death behind malaria in Angola and a major burden on economic growth potential due to lost human capital and medical costs.
Peace and Security
- Secretary Austin’s visit to Angola launched the creation of a joint high-level defense dialogue, scheduled for early 2024. The leaders identified future engagement potential in several areas, including capacity building for maritime security, space, and cyber defense.
- The U.S. – Angola partnership continues to grow, focusing on a wide range of security priorities, including International Military Education and Training, English language capacity building, maritime security, and peacekeeping. In the coming year, the U.S. will explore new opportunities to expand capacity building efforts for cyber security and Angola’s Navy.
- The U.S. has significantly increased military assistance to Angola in the past four years, providing over $18 million from 2020 – 2023.