ANGOLA — International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has opened an office in Angola to deepen its support for private sector development and economic diversification the country.

IFC said in a statement that the new office, located in Luanda, will allow it to work more closely with the public and private sectors to help strengthen Angola’s investment climate and increase job opportunities especially for young people and women.

Sérgio Pimenta, IFC Vice President for the Middle East and Africa, said, “A permanent office in Angola will help us engage more closely with public and private sector partners in the country to support the creation of markets and better respond to opportunities and challenges that arise in the marketplace.”

“We look forward to helping Angola better leverage its assets and realize its strong potential for poverty reduction and growth,” Pimenta added.

The multilateral lender for private sector development also noted that another objective of the new office is to diversify the economy by further supporting agribusiness, tourism, financial services, and other sectors.

Angola’s Minister of Finance, Vera Daves, said, “IFC’s presence in Angola underscores its commitment to helping Angola diversify its economy and cultivate a thriving private sector.”

Daves further noted that “a stronger private sector will help to address many of our development challenges, create jobs, and boost sustainable growth.”

Angola has the second most concentrated economy in the world with oil representing more than 97 per cent of its exports in 2011.

The country has recently turned its focus on diversification to grow the economy and shield the county from over relying on oil whose fortunes have dwindling due to a fall in global crude oil prices.

IFC and the World Bank recently published a private sector diagnostic, Creating Markets in Angola: Country Private Sector Diagnostic, which identified the economic challenges facing the country.

The IFC/World Bank publication also highlighted the numerous opportunities to stimulate sustainable economic growth and development by harnessing the power of the private sector.

IFC has been engaged in Angola since 1997 supporting smaller business, the financial sector, and manufacturing.

In July 2019, IFC announced a $100 million investment in Banco Millennium Atlântico to support increased small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) lending in the country.

The investment is paired with an advisory project to help Banco Millennium Atlântico expand lending to women-owned businesses.