The reform of the Angolan education system has been under implementation since 2004, as approved by Basic Law of the Education System 13/01 of December 2001, including new divisions of education levels, changes in the student evaluation system and reformulation of curricular content. Angola has now a unified system consisting of seven subsystems (pre-school education, general education, technical and vocational education, teacher training, adult education, higher education) and structured under three levels (primary, secondary and higher education).
Primary education lasts for six years and its gratuity and compulsory status are stipulated in afore mentioned law. In practice, however, there are neither enough schools nor teachers to enforce the law.
The secondary education system is divided into two cycles of three years each. There is a parallel technical education system divided into three years of vocational education and four years of middle technical education.
University education is offered only in major urban centres. In comparison with regional competitors (Namibia, South Africa), the tuition fees are higher.
The access to education is hindered not only by network failure, but also by the social condition. With an estimated population of 19 million people (next census due in 2014), Angola presents wide gaps between rich and poor. The typical Angolan family has on average 3-4 children and cannot support the indirect costs with education (e.g.: dislocation, school meals). Thus, children are often withdrawn even from compulsory attendance and girls in special are being affected, due to local values and traditional practices.
This reflects in the country’s education indicators that show a national enrolment rate in primary education of only 54% for men and 46% for women. For the secondary school, the enrolment rate was found to be 20.6% and 17.6%, respectively (PNUD, 2008).
The lacunae in the education system are present across all education levels, with teacher absenteeism, lack of support structures including access to resources, textbooks, libraries, laboratories and an overall sub-standard level of quality. Cumulated with the social factors, they are an impediment to the formation of the new generation that Angola needs in support of its economic positive growth.
The government is committed to address these lacunae through various initiatives and programmes. Though access to education has improved in recent years, both quality and quantity remain a concern, with rural areas continuing to be disadvantaged due to lack of sufficient investment streamed in this direction.
The approved Private Investment Law (Law No. 20/11 of 20 May 2011), defines the Education sector as one of the priority areas for private investment in Angola.
Opportunities in the education sector of Angola are plentiful, with the private sector having a pivotal role in this process. The United Kingdom education service and training industry has had an established reputation in Angola since 1984, with the Chevening Scholarships Programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations.
Both private and inter-governmental project propositions are welcomed and can be directed at the following areas:
Need for recognized and certified vocational and practical training in a variety of sectors
Qualitative training by certification, especially in technical areas, health and safety, accounting, economics, architecture
Increasing demand for English language providers for secondary education and at professional level, particularly for the Oil & Gas, aviation, tourism and hospitality industry
The emerging agriculture sector is in need of agri-business skills.
Getting into the market
The central structure of the education sector in Angola is the Ministry of Education (MED). A number of other ministries have also developed education programmes, such as the Ministry for Social Reinsertion (MARES) for vocational training, Ministry of Public Administration, Employment and Social Security (MAPESS) for technical and professional training programmes, and Ministry of Youth and Sports (MINJUD). In partnership with the government, civil society organizations have a strong involvement in administrating the provision of education in Angola.
The Education sector stands high on the priority governmental list, we suggest approaching the relevant institutions first, in order to coordinate and synchronize the effort with the national development plans. In addition, we also advise the following:
Do make regularly contact and develop face to face relationships with local bodies
Employ the services of a local law firm and perform thorough due diligence on potential business partners
Local partnerships can facilitate the process of establishing in Angola
Be prepared that market entry can take longer and cost more than in other countries
Although there are considerable entry barriers (high investment level requirements, difficulties in obtaining visas, operating costs, language barrier, dynamic law environment), with one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, the returns from doing business in Angola are potentially high.
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.
Jose Paulo, British Embassy Luanda. Tel: ++244 222 397 681; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Margarethe da Paixao, British Embassy Luanda. Tel: ++244 222 397 681; Email: email@example.com
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.
EDUCA Angola 2013 – National Fair of Education, Training, Vocational Training and Employment
07-10 November 2013