National Voluntary Report of Angola 2021
Angola presents its Voluntary National Report (VNR) on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for the first time, committing itself to the voluntary and participatory review of its implementation and follow-up. Under the leadership of the Presidency of the Republic and the coordination of the Ministry of Economy and Planning, and in partnership with the United Nations System in Angola, the Platform for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was set up in June 2020, with the participation of several relevant sectors. Highlights Since 2014 the Angolan economy has been facing a recession caused by falling oil prices and declining production, and recently exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to deal with this crisis with greater resilience and revert its dependence on oil, Angola is focused on carrying out a series of important reforms in the economic domain, articulated in the National Development Plan (NDP 2018-2022) and aiming especially at macroeconomic stabilisation, privatisation and diversification. On the one hand, these crises further exposed the vulnerability of the Angolan economy and its limited structural transformation, with high dependence on oil and unemployment rates especially among the youth (54.4% in 2019). On the other hand, Angola rapidly adopted a response plan to COVID-19 (the National Plan aims at vaccinating around 17 million people), together with a package of measures to alleviate the economic impact for businesses, families and the informal economy.
The government´s past efforts to improve social and economic conditions have also started yielding some results. Angola turned into a country with medium Human Development Index. Among others, the mortality rate of children under five fell from almost 300 per 100,000 live births at the beginning of the century to around 68 in 2015. The net attendance rate for secondary education is situated at 39.9% (2019) and, between 1990 and 2019, the average life expectancy increased by 15.8 years to 61.2 years. The country has also managed to make great strides in the eradication of hunger, reducing the prevalence of malnutrition from 52.2% (2004-2006) to 19% (2017-2019).
Challenges and opportunities
Angola is endowed with important human and natural resources, essential for structural transformation and diversification and to enhance inclusive and sustainable productivity and prosperity, underpinned by solid institutions.
One of the main challenges is to ensure that the reforms translate into an increase in quality/decent employment and a reduction in multidimensional poverty, which remains high, with more than half of Angolans living in this condition, especially in rural areas. To this end, it is necessary to improve inclusive access to a series of services, including quality education, technical and professional training, drinking water, electricity, internet and credit, in general reducing the main inequalities, between urban and rural areas, and the economic – about 23% of the population live on less than half of the average income – and between men and women. The gender inequality index in 2019 was 0.536 and women and girls generally have less access to education, are more affected by HIV-AIDS, suffer more from gender violence, are less represented in decision-making bodies and have lower access to employment.
The country also reaffirms the importance of sustainability in this process. Angola ratified the Paris Agreement and boasts a rich biodiversity and abundant natural resources to manage. However, the impacts from climate change are visible, especially in the South and coastal areas, with the 2012-2016 and 2019-2021 droughts causing serious damage, threatening progress in eradicating hunger.
In February 2021 the United Nations General Assembly approved Resolution A/75/57 on the request for extension of the preparatory period for the graduation of Angola from Least Developed Country to 2024, due to the high socio-economic vulnerability. This extension is an opportunity to review and strengthen relevant international support measures of the government programme and to enhance partnerships with the United Nations system and development partners through a national smooth transition strategy.
The preparation of the VNR provides also an opportunity to develop systems for producing, collecting, compiling and analysing the statistical data necessary to continue to monitor and evaluate the SDGs progress in the next VNRs until 2030.
The NDP 2018-2022 aims at accelerating this progress towards achieving the SDGs, through enhanced monitoring of their implementation, integrated in the annual plans and in the national budget, and through a greater engagement of the private sector in increasing investments in productive value chains, aiming at substantial employment, targeting especially youth and women.