Corporate Council on Africa led 13 business executives on a trade mission to Angola and Namibia on September 4-11, 2016. The trade mission which was organized in partnership with the U.S.-Angola Chamber of Commerce (USACC) was led by CCA’s Infrastructure Director, Vivienne Sequeira; Maria da Cruz, President of USACC; and by the Honorable Martin Andjaba, Namibian Ambassador to the U.S.

The delegation included members from ACROW Bridge, AnGlobal, Caterpillar, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, LuaJardim and Shell oil.

The joint CCA -USACC Trade Mission to Angola and Namibia marked the first collaboration of its kind for the two organizations. As a result of the trade mission, the Angolan government announced a new policy to grant visas on arrival for business travelers coming to Angola.

The trade mission garnered broad support from the public sector and private sector including the Provincial Government of Luanda, the Angolan Executive Branch, U.S. Embassy in Luanda, Embassy of Angola in the U.S., Namibian Embassy in the U.S., U.S. Embassy in Windhoek, the Namibian Ministry of Trade, Banco Angolano de Investimentos, ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, TGI, AtlanticoMillenium, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), Hilton and Hotel Diamante.

The trade mission officially kicked off on September 5 with a comprehensive presentation by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in Angola that brought four of their experts to discuss Angolan investment laws, concessions for special economic zones, and opportunities for tax incentives for investments located in remote parts of the country (Zones A and B). After the formal presentations, PWC sponsored a breakfast briefing which featured the Honorable Agostinho Tavares da Silva Neto, Angolan Ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Tavares expressed his government's commitment to the diversification of the Angolan economy and the Angolan embassy’s willingness to support investors.

After breakfast, H.E. Higino Carneiro, Governor of the Province of Luanda hosted the delegation for a two-hour business forum. The forum featured presentations on Angola's economic plan, incentives for investment, and stressed the need for stronger U.S. - Angola private sector engagement. H.E Abraão Gourgel, Minister of Economy; H.E. Fiel Domingos Constantino, Minister of Commerce; and Antonio Henriques da Silva, President of Angolan Agency for Investment Promotion and Exports (AIPEX) all made presentations at the forum.

In the afternoon, members of the delegation had private meetings and small sessions continued with presentations by representatives of Djembe/ FACRA and Odell Global Investors. Djembe is a specialist practice that provides interested companies with key information on emerging sectors. One of Djembe's clients includes FACRA, an Angolan investment fund currently with $250 million (USD) to invest in projects in Angola. Odell Global Investors highlighted areas and types of funding available, namely treasury funds, oil funds, real estate fund, and private equity fund for agriculture currently with $10 million (USD).

On September 6th, the trade mission began with a closed-door briefing with the Honorable Helen LaLime, U.S. Ambassador to Angola and representatives from the economic, military and commercial service sections at the US Embassy in Luanda. Ambassador LaLime and her staff touched on key U.S.-Angola dialogues and cooperation in the region. In Agriculture for example, the embassy has worked with the University of Texas A&M on a comprehensive agribusiness study with the ministry of Agriculture. Ambassador LaLime also highlighted the U.S. Angolan binational agreement signed in 2009, Secretary Kerry’s visit and Angola’s important role on the Conference of the Great Lakes, on maritime security strategy and regional peacekeeping.

The next event of the day was a roundtable moderated by Jorge Silva of Banco BAI on "Doing Business in Angola" and included presentations from: Ana Sofia Roque, Fatima Freitas Advogados; José Tamayo, President of LS Energia; Alex Thomson-Payan, President of TGI Group; John Baltz, Country Manager at Chevron Angola; Paulo Pizarro, Vice President at BP Angola; and Antony Peters, Business Service Manager at ExxonMobil Angola. Each presenter provided first-hand information on the working environment in Angola specifically the opportunities and challenges of operating in the market. This event was sponsored by Chevron.

The delegation was hosted for lunch by Norberto Garcia, Director of Technical Unity for Private Investment (UTIP). UTIP is an instrument for investment reporting to the President of the Republic of Angola. Mr. Garcia explained that the reduced oil prices have provided the country with a unique opportunity to diversify the Angolan economy. The Angolan government plans to promote national production of products through support of the private investment. Mr. Garcia stressed his office's commitment to promoting investment, an improved business environment and reduced bureaucracy related to setting up businesses in the country.

The delegation also attended private government meetings and then paid a courtesy visit to the H.E. João Baptista Borges, Minister of Energy and Water. During the visit, Minister Borges discussed the government's plan to double access to electricity in the country by 2025. This would require 9000MW and implementation of 5000kV of live transportation. It is projected that by 2017, there should be 5000MW available. The Ministry of Energy and Water is awaiting the arrival of a specialist on PowerAfrica to attract private investment, capital, and technical know-how through that mechanism. Minister Borges mentioned that USTDA funded the feasibility study for a 400kV line connecting the HV systems of Angola and Namibia as a part of the development of the bi-national 620 MW hydroelectric plant of Baynes. Minister Borges reiterated the opportunities available in the sector and asked companies present to submit proposals for upcoming projects.

The Mission in Namibia started with an evening reception at the residence of Honorable Thomas Daughton, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Namibia.

The next morning, the DCM, the Economic Officer and the Defense Attaché met the delegates for breakfast to brief them on Namibia’s economic, political and social background. Currently Namibia is experiencing a serious drought due to a shortage of rain for the last 3 years. In terms of energy, Namibia continues to rely heavily on South Africa. There are however, eight power projects in the pipeline. Although there is an abundance of sun, PV panels are still very expensive. The Government of Namibia is hoping to address its power needs through the development of the Kudu Gas project.

Next, the delegates were hosted at the August 26 headquarters. August 26 is the commercial arm of the ministry of defense. The company provides communication technology, military equipment and armored vehicles.

Hon. Immanuel Ngatjizeko, Minister of Industrialization, Trade, and SME Development hosted the CCA delegation for lunch later that afternoon. The meeting went well and was followed by a lively question-and-answer session. The minister was particularly pleased to hear that LuaJardim had registered their company in Namibia and will begin food production for the SADC region using fruit, vegetable and legumes from Angola. Although LuaJardim is already selling in the Angolan market, they are looking at Namibia as an option to set up their hub to serve regional demands. The minister also spoke about the need for affordable housing, materials for construction and the new investment promotion act.

The delegates enjoyed a special dinner sponsored by CCA Member Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun of United Africa Group.

The first meeting of the last day of the mission was with Mr. Conrad Mutonga Lutombi, Chief Executive Officer, Namibia Roads Authority. The delegation also met with the deputy minister of Mines and Energy, and representatives of NamPower, and several parastatals.

The trade mission ended on a high note with a dinner at the State House hosted by His Excellency, Mr. Hage Geingob, President of Namibia and his wife Monica Geingob. 

Photos from top to bottom:
1.) CCA Delegation with the President of Namibia
2.) Delegates hosted at a PWC Sponsored Breakfast in Luanda, Angola
3.) Delegates attended a business forum hosted by the Provincial Government of Luanda
4.) Meeting with H.E. Dr. Joao Baptista Borges, Minister of Energy and Water, Angola
5.) Meeting with Mr. Peter Mwatile Permanent Secretary Works and Transport, Namibia

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