Angola Cables and TM Global Successfully Establish Proof of Concept For a New Undersea Cable Route

Most of the global internet traffic today utilizes infrastructure located primarily in the northern hemisphere to link Asia, Europe and North America. Meanwhile, the southern hemisphere, which includes parts of Asia, Africa and South America is heavily connected via links coming from the North as well. However, the traffic to the southern region currently travels a longer route which may affect the internet experience of the end-users.

Aware of the increasing needs for a more efficient and low latency route, TM GLOBAL, the global and wholesale arm of Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) and Angola Cables have been exploring another alternative via a new express route connecting the southern hemisphere subsea cables from Asia directly to South America. A Proof of Concept (PoC) testing is being conducted by both parties leveraging two (2) cable systems; the South Africa Far East cable system (SAFE), connecting Malaysia to Angola, and South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) connecting Angola to Brazil owned by both parties respectively.

The preliminary PoC results have showed up a reduction in the latency reading as compared to the current northern hemisphere routes. This may lead to a significant improvement in the global internet traffic routing quality especially on data connectivity services to the southern hemisphere.

The new express route is set to provide a shorter path connecting Asia to South America while bypassing the Middle East and Europe, hence delivering a better customer experience. The low latency routing will also provide the catalyst for the creation of more effective digital ecosystems that are developing within the southern hemisphere. This initiative is expected to transform data transfer between countries and economies, enabling more robust connection amongst back-haul providers, content/application providers and content delivery network providers in a more efficient data sharing process. The benefits will be far-reaching, especially for financial institutions in conveying market-sensitive information or multinational companies in sharing large amounts of data and applications to users in the US, Latin America or the Far East region.

TM GLOBAL and Angola Cables believe that this initiative will provide better options for service providers in growing their business and expanding their reach to new and niche markets. Both parties will continue to explore other potential collaboration areas in penetrating new market opportunities and serving the customers who are looking for diversity, high resiliency route and better quality of service.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Angola to Introduce Value Added Tax in October This Year

After a postponement in July 2019, Angola is planning on introducing Value Added Tax (VAT) of 14% on 1 October 2019.

The Angolan government and the GTE, its partner for private business policies, agreed to change the date, although it still depends on a timetable to be set by the General Tax Administration (AGT), which is responsible for implementation of the Angolan state’s tax policies.

Among other recommendations, it was decided to opt for the “reducing” the IVA rate to 7% for companies in the Transitional Regime and to deduct at least 2% of the value of stock in the net amount of the Industrial Tax (II).

The government and the GTE also decided to consider new mechanisms to propose the creation of a specific legal instrument to avoid double taxation in the case of advances to official brokers. The IVA Code provides for a single rate of 14% for all imports of goods and for all large taxpayers with income above 15 million kwanzas (about 45,000 euros) and large public enterprises and banking institutions.

The new taxes will be applied as soon as IVA is implemented, which will replace the Consumer Tax (IC). These include the Special Consumption Tax (IEC) and the new Income Tax (IRT).

The IEC Code is mandatory for all natural persons or legal persons and other entities engaged in production operations, whatever the processes or means used, and on imports of goods. The IEC that is proposed for Angola focuses on importers, producers and holders for commercial purposes.

The IRT stipulates that income subject to tax will include profits shared with partners of purely civil companies, with or without a commercial form, and income earned by members of the corporate bodies.

Angola is the only country in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) which has yet to introduce VAT. In other member countries of the regional economic bloc the rate of this tax is over 14% and has been one of the main taxes for State Budget revenues.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Italian Oil & Gas Company Eni Discovers New Light Oil in Angolan Waters

Eni has made a new light oil discovery in Block 15/06, in Angola’s deep offshore. The well was drilled on the Ndungu exploration prospect. The new discovery is estimated to contain up to 250 million barrels of light oil in place, with further upside.

The Ndungu-1 NFW well is located a few kilometers from Eni’s West Hub facilities, and has been drilled by the Poseidon drill-ship in a water depth of 1076 meters and reached a total depth of 4050 meters. Ndungu-1 NFW proved a single oil column of about 65 meters with 45 meters of net pay of high quality oil (35° API) contained in Oligocene sandstone with excellent petro-physical properties. The result of the intensive data collection indicates a production capacity in excess of 10,000 barrels of oil per day.

Ndungu is the first significant oil discovery in Angola inside an already existing Development Area. It certifies the concrete validity of the recent legislation, promoted through the Presidential Legislative Decree No. 5/18 of 18 May 2018, which defines a favorable legal framework on additional exploration activities within existing Development Areas.

Being located about 2 km from the Mpungi field, the new discovery can be fast-tracked to production due to the proximity to the Sub Sea production system. Production will be routed to the N’goma FPSO, therefore extending the West Hub’s production plateau.

Ndungu is the fourth discovery of commercial nature since the Block 15/06 Joint Venture re-launched its exploration campaign in mid-2018. It follows the discoveries of Kalimba, Afoxé and Agogo; the four discoveries altogether already estimated to contain up to 1.4 Billion barrels of light oil in place. The appraisal phase of these discoveries will target their additional upside.

These important discoveries further demonstrate the upside potential of the block and the effectiveness of the proprietary technologies that Eni used and will use to explore Block 15/06.

The Block 15/06 Joint Venture, composed by Eni (operator, 36.8421%), Sonangol P&P (36.8421%) and SSI Fifteen Limited (26.3158%), will work to fast track its development.

Angola is a strategic Country for Eni’s organic growth. Eni has been present in the Country since 1980 and currently accounts an equity production of about 150,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. In Block 15/06 the two oil development projects, West Hub and East Hub, currently produce about 155,000 barrels of oil per day (100%). Eni is also operator of Cabinda Norte Block, located onshore.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: lewis pratt [1], [2].

Angola Launches Electronic Import Licensing Service to Reduce Bureaucracy, Entice Investors

Angola Ministry of Economy and Planning has launched a new Electronic Goods Import Licensing Service to improve the business environment and motivate economic activity.

With the entry of this new service, importers in the sectors of Industry, Agriculture, Fisheries and goods of the basic basket will only have to wait three days to have the import pre-licensing processes completed.

During the ceremony, the Minister of Economy and Planning, Pedro Luís da Fonseca, said that the initiative demonstrates the will of the state to improve administrative productivity and create a better business environment by reducing bureaucracy, simplifying and decentralizing the pre-licensing process.

The minister also stressed that the Executive’s economic policies and reform are promoting greater openness to private investment, making them the most important pillar of structural changes in the economy, the creation of employment par excellence and income multiplier.

“A good business environment is surely a valuable indicator for private capital investment decisions,” he said.

Pedro Luís da Fonseca said that the Executive is implementing the process of facilitation and economic simplification with the help of different institutions, seeking to maximize synergies.

In turn, Refriango’s administrator, Stephen Daniel, said that the new Electronic Import Licensing Service, under the auspices of the Agriculture and Forestry, Industry, Fishing and Sea sectors, is welcome once that there was a lot of bureaucratization in the treatment of import pre-licensing processes.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: chuttersnap [1], [2].

From The Hippo’s Ears: Angola

Facts you may not have know about Angola:

Angola, officially the Republic of Angola, is a west-coast country of south-central Africa. It is the seventh-largest country in Africa, bordered by Namibia to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Zambia to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.

Angola has a population of approximately 25 million, is a Unitary, dominant party, constitutional republic, and gained independence from Portugal in 1975.

1.  When you first meet someone, how do you greet them?

The most common greeting in Angola is the handshake. Friends and relatives may embrace with hugs or cheek kisses. As in many African countries, greetings should never be rushed. It is important to take time to inquire about the person’s family and other matters of general interest during the greeting process. Basic verbal greetings in Portuguese include “Olá” (hello) and “Como estás?” (How are you?)

2. What languages are spoken in the country?

Angola has one official language – Portuguese. Other widely-spoken indigenous languages include Umbundu, Kimbundu, and Kikongo, in that order. A 2014 census, carried out by the Instituto Nacional de Estatística, mentioned that around 70% of Angolans use Portuguese as either a first or second language.

3. Do you use a twelve hour clock, or a twenty-four hour clock?

We use a 24-hour system.

4. What side of the road do people drive on? What do we need to know about driving in the country?

We drive on the right side of road.

5. How important is punctuality?

Time is flexible in Angola. People don’t always arrive on time for meetings, as part of the culture.

6. Which types of music are popular? Who are some of the most popular musicians?

Belonging to the same family as Brazilian Samba but distinct from that genre, Semba is the predecessor to a variety of music styles originating in Africa. The subject matter of Semba is often a cautionary tale or story regarding day-to-day life and social events and activities, usually sung in a witty rhetoric. Barceló de Carvalho, the Angolan singer popularly known as Bonga, is arguably the most successful Angolan artist to popularize semba music internationally.

For some time, a new, more electronic music movement, called kuduro, has blossomed in Angola. It combines traditional Angolan Kilapanga, Semba and Soca with Western house and techno. The main proponent of Kuduro is the international group Buraka Som Sistema although there are a number of artistes working on the national scene and a growing number of bedroom producers.

For a taste of Zimbabwean music, listen to Buraka Som Sistema’s Sound of Kuduro, and Bonga’s Kambua.

Miradouro da Lua (Viewpoint of the moon), Belas, Luanda, Angola.

7. Are there any Traditional Dances?

Kizomba is a partnered social dance, that is quickly gaining worldwide attention, especially in Europe and North America. The kizomba rhythm and movement is derived from an up-beat semba, meaning “a touch of the bellies,” which is a characteristic posture of the dance. Kizomba supports a fairly large number of artists singing in both English and Portuguese. The biggest producer in the Kizomba field is Nelo Paim.

Watch an example of Kizomba here.

8.  What traditional Festivals are celebrated in the country?

Lubango Festival
Based on the feast of Our Lady of the Hill, Lubango Festival is a 30-day celebration held in Lubango City in Angola’s Huila Province. Beginning in August, it features music performances, fashion parades, a sports tournament, motorbike racing, and the prestigious Miss Huila beauty pageant. The festival also kicks off the Expo-Huila trade show, along with some workshops and a cattle auction.

Sumbe Music Festival
Also known as Festi-Sumbe, this three-day September celebration is an international festival mainly taking place in Sumbe City in the Kwanza Sul province. Marked by performances, bands, singers and dancers from a wide variety of musical genres, it’s quite the show.

Angola Carnival

Angola Carnival is one of the most colorful and widely celebrated festivals in the country. Beginning on the last Thursday of the Lenten season, it goes until the day before Ash Wednesday and features shows, performances, parades, and dances.

9. What are the seasons like?

Like the rest of tropical Africa, Angola experiences distinct, alternating rainy and dry seasons. It is semiarid in the South and along the coast to Luanda. There is a short rainy season lasting from February to April. Summers are hot and dry, while winters are mild. The north has a cool, dry season. The far north has the highest annual rainfall.

10. What are some interesting facts about the President?

President João Lourenço has served as Angola’s President since September 2017. Previously, he was Minister of Defence from 2014 to 2017. In September 2018 he became the Chairman of the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the ruling party. He was the party’s Secretary-General from 1998 to 2003. Born in Lobito, Angola, the President grew up in a family of ten children. He is married to Ana Afonso Dias Lourenço, a Member of Parliament of the MPLA and former Minister of Planning.

11. What are the country’s major industries?

Angola’s main industries include petroleum; mining (diamonds, gold, iron ore); food processing; tobacco; and textiles. A large majority of the country’s workforce is employed in the agricultural sector. Angola joined the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 2007. The construction industry is taking advantage of the growing economy, with various housing projects stimulated by government initiatives.

12. How do people spend their free time?

Eating out is a big pastime and in Luanda, there’s a vibrant restaurant scene, with many Angolan-owned restaurants in downtown. Angola has 1600km of coastline, rainforests in the north, the world’s oldest desert in the south, and hundreds of miles of savannah in between. The coastal cities of Benguela and Lobito have art deco architecture and miles of deserted beaches. There’s surfing in Caba Ledo. In Namibe province, you can sleep under the desert stars. There is much to do outdoors. Going out dancing is also a popular activity.

Ilha do Mussulo Beach, Angola.

13. What is a popular local drink?

Luandans love their beer. Cuca is the main brand in town (and in the country), but the newer Tigra, developed together with Germany’s Doemens Institute, is taking a bite out of its market. Angola imports more bottled Portuguese wine than the U.S., U.K. or France, and even backyard restaurants (quintais) sell it.

14. What is a popular local dish?

Several of Angola’s most popular dishes are stew-based, such as moamba de galinha (chicken cooked in a red palm oil sauce called moamba de dendem) and calulu (similar to moamba but cooked with dried and fresh fish). Staple ingredients include flour, beans and rice, fish, pork and chicken, various sauces, and vegetables such as sweet potato, tomatoes, onions, and okra. Spices such as garlic are also frequently seen. Farofa – rice and beans with toasted manioc flour on top – is a dish of Brazilian origin common in Angola.

15. What do you pay, on average, for the following? (1 USD = approx. AOA 314)

The Angolan currency is the kwanza (AOA).

3 Course meal: AOA 11,000
Domestic beer (500ml): AOA 1,300
Cup of coffee: AOA 1,300
Coca cola (330ml): AOA 760
Milk (1l): AOA 650
Loaf of white bread: AOA 1,100
Apples (1 kg): AOA 1,500
Water (1.5l): AOA 300

16. Any general safety tips?

There is a high level of crime in Luanda. Muggings, particularly to steal mobile phones and other valuables, and armed robberies can occur in any area at any time of the day or night. Areas popular with foreigners are particular targets. Assault is known to be frequent at night, and it is not advisable to travel alone after dark. Avoid wearing jewelry or watches in public places. Don’t change or withdraw large sums of money in busy public areas. When driving, be very wary if another car signals you to pull over. Deposit valuables and cash in a hotel safe where practical. Keep copies of important documents, including your passport, in a separate place from the documents themselves.

17. In conclusion, famous (and sometimes infamous) people from the country include:

  • Bonga (José Adelino Barceló de Carvalho), a popular folk and semba singer and songwriter. In 2016, he published his 31st album, Recados da Fora.
  • Holden Roberto, the founder and leader of the National Liberation Front of Angola.
  • Akwá (Fabrice Alcebiades Maieco), an Angolan former football player who played as a forward for the Angolan national team, representing the country a total of 80 times.
  • Viriato da Cruz, an Angolan poet and politician, considered one of the most important Angolan poets of his time. He wrote poems in Portuguese and Angolan languages.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5]. Image sources: Jorge Sá Pinheiro [1], Creative Lunatics [2], Lass O’Luanda [3].