Angola is a safe country and has a stable and friendly political environment. It currently holds a significant amount of investment opportunities within various industries, including notably mining and agriculture.
Can you provide a brief background into the BelarusAngola Company and highlight in which sectors of the economy the organization is involved?
I became involved in civil construction through projects with the Angolan government, and while looking for opportunities to expand abroad, I was introduced to the attractive prospect of partnerships in the country of Belarus. In 2015 BelarusAngola was created, and the company has been built on successful partnerships with Belarusian companies. We have the ongoing objective to gain support from both governments for a project to set up an assembly plant for tractors, trucks and buses, as well as creating a logistic center to market Belarusian products, in Angola.
In 2016, the BelarusAngola Company joined the mining industry, and we are currently in the process of obtaining exploration licenses. Beyond mining opportunities, the land in Angola is incredibly fertile, and we also see huge opportunities to make this a profitable venture. We have taken the first steps into pursing this avenue, which has included the construction of 100 km of access roads. Key to this project is the provision of necessary goods and services to the population in order to strengthen the agricultural production in these areas. We are very aware of the growing number of people living in poverty, and we therefore prioritize our contribution to minimizing the difficulties people face in this country on a daily basis.
The company intends to engage in large-scale alluvial mining, which requires heavy capital investments into equipment. From where will BelarusAngola source the machinery?
The company already has several contracts with Belarusian companies, and we purchased equipment to the value of US$1.3 million from AMKODOR. The BelarusAngola Company also owns US$1.2 million in tractors, and has invested US $1.3 million in MAZ buses, in addition to 6x6 dump trucks to complete our fleet. Belarus offers a more cost-competitive process in their equipment, which is why we mostly source from there. We are also managing a credit line from the Development Bank of Belarus.
Can you elaborate on the extent to which you believe private companies have a responsibility to support the development of local populations where they operate?
The government’s role is to serve people by providing electricity, hospitals, roads, schools and other key infrastructure. We believe that private companies must engage in social responsibility, and we must also play a role by helping people to gain documentation that leads to the creation of jobs and other opportunities to stimulate economic growth. Agriculture and particularly family farming may be the key to the development that is needed.
The Angolan government has pledged to facilitate a business climate that encourages foreign investment. How have you experienced working with the government and what advice would you give to newcomers?
Angola is a safe country and has a stable and friendly political environment. It currently holds a significant amount of investment opportunities within various industries, including notably mining and agriculture. The key to successfully investing in Angola is to do things the right and legal way, and to focus on the wellbeing of the population. Because the BelarusAngola Company prioritizes people in all our projects, we have managed to gain the support and respect of the government.
What would the BelarusAngola Company be looking for in a potential partnership with an international investor?
Our business philosophy is based on an “Angola first” approach. A potential investor and partner must keep this in mind in order to work effectively with us. Investment is not extremely vital at this stage, but we need someone that can bring experience, expertise and know-how to our operations.
What is BelarusAngola’s Company vision for the coming five years?
The current government is putting significant efforts into the development of the country. Recently, they began an initiative called “Operação Transparência” to end illegal mining exploration, which we believe will bring positive developments to our activities. Our projects are already in motion, and the BelarusAngola Company is looking forward to expanding further in the mining, agriculture, and building industries. Our commitment to the future of Angola is very strong, and in five years from now, I expect we will have accomplished a significant amount with the continued support from the government.