Working in Angola

Expats working in Angola are almost always employed by a multinational company connected to one of the country's two lucrative natural resources: oil or diamonds.

These raw materials have been responsible for both the country's economic growth as well as its long history of destruction; but regardless of which side of the story expats endorse, the fact remains that foreign investment has created a steady influx of overseas residents.

Angola's economic growth over the last decade has been among the world's fastest, and with oil revenues continuing to peak, former colonial power Portugal, China and neighbouring South Africa have all taken concrete interest.

Challenges of working in Angola

Most expats working in Angola live in insular expat communities in Luanda. Travelling outside of the city for work purposes, while otherwise potentially unsafe, is organised by employers.

Angola's war-torn past has left the surrounding countryside littered with landmines and the roads in extremely poor condition. For this reason, heavy rains can close transport routes and it isn't unusual for work to be cancelled on account of the weather.

As is often the case in countries where a small, elite group controls power, working in Angola is often characterised by corruption and crippling bureaucratic procedure.

To offset this, expat salaries in Angola are typically high on account of the "hardship quotient", but it's vital for expats to conduct the appropriate research to get an idea of the cost of living – Luanda is one of the world's most expensive expat destinations and wages should cover costs as well as allow room to save.