The US and Angola: Partnering for Prosperity

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(US State Department, 24.Jan.2024) — Secretary Antony J. Blinken will visit Luanda, Angola, 24-25 Jan. 2024, where he will meet with President João Lourenço and Foreign Minister Tete Antonio to discuss the U.S.-Angola bilateral relationship and commitments made during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit on key areas such as climate, food security, global health cooperation, economic engagement, and trade. The Secretary will also discuss how to advance our partnerships based on shared values that promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, strengthen mutual security, and exemplify rule of law.

U.S.-Angola Relations

  • Since the United States and Angola established diplomatic relations 30 years ago (1993), our bilateral relationship has deepened 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 for expanding economic prosperity and energy access, upholding democracy and human rights, and advancing regional security.
  • Since the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Dec. 2022, the United States has engaged in frequent and substantive high-level engagements with Angola.  Highlights in the past year include President Biden’s meeting with President Lourenço at the White House on Nov. 30, and visits from U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Deputy Assistant to the President Amos Hochstein.
  • In Nov. 2023, the U.S. and Angola signed the Artemis Accords, which advances a common vision of cooperation in space exploration for the benefit of all humankind.
  • U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg welcomed Angola Minister of Transport D’Abreu to Washington, D.C in Apr. 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.

Economic, Trade, and Investment Ties  

  • The United States is developing strategic economic corridors to bring goods, services, and jobs to underserved populations and integrate them into the global economy.  With investment from the United States Government and Western companies, the renewed Lobito Corridor will connect communities and create new opportunity across Southern Africa. The President’s Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) initiative is currently working with the Government of Angola and development partners to build modern infrastructure from the Atlantic Ocean through to Zambia.
  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury has closely 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 $1mn 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 Nov. 2023 that will enable further scientific collaboration between the two agencies to advance Angola’s potential as a critical minerals producer.
  • 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.

Peace and Security

  • 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, humanitarian demining, improving physical security and effective management of weapons stockpiles, 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 $18mn from 2020-2023.

Food Security 

  • The United States is working 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.
  • Angola has been identified as one of six countries for Phase I implementation of the Vision for Adaptive Crops and Soils (VACS). Through VACS, a part of Feed the Future, and working closely with the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), the United States and Angola are partnering to boost agricultural productivity and nutrition by developing diverse, climate-resilient crop varieties and building healthy, fertile soils. The U.S.-Angolan VACS partnership will accelerate plant breeding efforts on nutritious, indigenous African crop varieties and build climate-resilience by delivering improved crops. The partnership will also increase access to knowledge and information at the government, farm, and field levels, enabling informed decisions about what to grow, where to grow it, and which soil management practices to apply.
  • USAID provided $13.3mn in 2022 and 2023 in emergency assistance to five southern Angolan provinces affected by the 2022 drought. The program screened over 500,000 children for acute malnutrition and treated 121,000 for moderate to severe malnutrition.
  • Through a $5mn Gender Equity 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.

Health Cooperation

  • 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. 
  • Over the past two decades, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest commitment by any nation to fight HIV/AIDS in history, has invested nearly $263mn in Angola, providing Angolans with HIV testing, prevention, care and treatment services, and strengthening public health systems. This includes providing more than 24,000 individuals with life-saving HIV treatment by the end of FY23.
  • 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.
  • In response to COVID-19, the United States, in partnership with COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) and the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT), has donated more than 11 million safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine doses to the people of Angola since Jul. 2021.  An additional 432,000 COVID-19 bivalent vaccines are tentatively scheduled for delivery to Angola during the week of February 5, as part of a bilateral donation executed from the U.S. Government.
  • 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 Sep. 2023, Angola has witnessed a 15 percent decrease in deaths in PMI-focused provinces.
  • USAID is providing $5mn 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.

Climate and Environment 

  • 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.
  • Angola joined the Global Methane Pledge in Nov. 2023, a voluntary framework calling on nations to collectively reduce methane emissions by 30 percent from 2020 levels by 2030.  Reducing methane emissions into the atmosphere is the most effective strategy to limit warming in this decade.
  • Since 1995, the United States has contributed over $129mn towards Angola’s demining efforts.  Alongside U.S. support, Angola has invested $60mn of its own resources to demine national parks and to support conservation and eco-tourism development objectives in the Okavango River Basin.
  • The State Department is funding efforts to counter wildlife trafficking through training of law enforcement, prosecutors, and park rangers.
  • USAID is supporting biodiversity conservation, water resource management and sanitation services, conservation-based livelihoods, and lower-impact renewable energy solutions in the upper watershed of the Okavango River.
  • 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.

Democracy, Governance, and Human Rights

  • The United States supports Angola’s efforts to combat corruption, enhance accountability and rule of law, and advance democratic governance, respect human rights, and fundamental freedoms, including the rights to freedoms of expression, press, association, peaceful assembly, and religion or belief. The United States continues to support Angola’s commitment to democratic reforms, including amplifying civil society and faith-based organizations’ roles in democratic free and fair elections and local decision making. The State Department has provided $7.8mn since 2021 in support of these goals.
  • In addition, the State Department, through the Africa Regional Democracy Fund, also provides funding to promote press freedom in Angola through specialized training and advocacy programming.
  • USAID and State Department are working with the National Bank of Angola to support Angola’s continued efforts to fight against corruption. The programming will increase public finance transparency and build the capacity of oversight institutions in support of Angola’s implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) standard.
  • 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.

Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation

  • Angola is an active member and positive voice in the formation of the Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation, a White House priority which was launched on 18 Sep. 2023. The Partnership is a platform for Atlantic coastal states to work together to address common challenges to realize interconnected goals of advancing a peaceful, stable, prosperous, open, safe, and cooperative Atlantic region and promote a healthy, sustainable, and resilient Atlantic resource for generations to come.  It currently has 36 member states across the Atlantic.

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