Angola’s informal markets

Vegetable sellers on outskirts of Luanda.

Vegetable sellers on the outskirts of Luanda.

I participated in the last ‘international conference of a changing country’ in Lisbon which took place from October 26 to 27, 2012. I presented a talk about informal markets in Angola, commerce and its challenge. I talked about the history of the informal markets, legislation governing the informal sector, public policy and challenges.

The informal sector is a consequence of the war that took place in Angola from 1975 to 1991. We adapted the communist political model which created a lot of bureaucracy. In 1998 the researcher Mario Adauta demonstrated that a large part of the informal sector is filled by women.

A primary example of the informal sector in Angola was Roque Santeiro Market whcih in the 90s was considered the largest market in Africa. The market was transferred to Panguila in 2010.

In recent years the Angolan government has implemented various public policies:

-closure of old markets and opening of new markets (for example Roque Santeiro Market)-Baleo Umico do Emprende
-Support program for small business

I believe that the informal market will continue to grow because so many Angolan families can’t support themselves. The government must create policies on protection of sellers due to competition from the Chinese and immigrants from Nigeria and Rwanda.

-Helga da Silveira, Research and Documentation Centre Coodinator