Michael Page Africa recruits all over the African continent. Our easy to use guides give you the lowdown on living and working in selected countries in Central Africa.
Our quick reference guides have vital information on pay, benefits, tax and visas - everything you need to work and live in Angola:
Working in Angola
Pay & Benefits
The minimum salary is 8,609 Kwanzas (AOA). The average monthly wage for a woman is 1,787 USD and 2,898 USD for a man. A computer specialist earns about 60,000 USD a year.
Anyone living and/or getting income from sources inside or outside Angola is required to pay income tax. It is a direct tax that employers deduct from monthly wages. A tax declaration must also be completed every year. The tax rate varies from 4 to 15%, depending on the income group. Independent workers will automatically have 15% of their benefits deducted. Incomes above 1,500 AOA are the highest group and are subject to a 15% tax.
It is possible to apply for a work visa at any Angolan embassy or consulate. Applications are sent to the Angolan Migration Services and Aliens (SME) in Angola for approval. It will take at least 45 days to be issued a visa. The work visa is valid for two years and multiple entries are permitted. The validity of the visa may not exceed the period of the work contract.
First-time applicants for work in Angola are encouraged to apply for the ordinary visa, which enables them to enter Angolan territory for working purposes.
Living in Angola
Portuguese is the official language. French and English are also spoken, especially in the north of the country. Most expats live in gated communities. The weather is beautiful and the beaches and landscape is breathtaking. Angola is stable and rapidly developing, but the majority of people still live in poverty.
In Angola, medical treatment is fairly expensive and cash payment in advance is required. You should get health insurance in your home country. Medical facilities are quite limited throughout the country, except in Luanda where you can find doctors, dentists and pharmacies. If treated prior to departure, you should bring all medications and prescription drugs with you in their original containers.
Vaccinations against yellow fever, tuberculosis, diphtheria, cholera, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, meningitis and tetanus are needed. In addition, anti-malarial drugs and measures to avoid insect bites should be taken. It is also recommended to avoid drinking tap water.
The currency is quite stable in Angola. It is forbidden to leave the country with Kwanzas. Currency can be exchanged in banks and foreign exchange offices. Visa and MasterCard are gradually being accepted in major hotels, travel agencies, restaurants and in a few shops.
There are only a few ATMs, and it is best to pay cash most of the time. Check the MasterCard ATM locator page for ATM locations around Angola.
It is also recommended to bring US dollars to Angola with you. Euros are not used much yet. Investors and consequently banks, are numerous in Angola. BCI, Banco Nacional de Angola, Banco Africano de Investimentos (BAI), Banco Espírito Santo Angola (BESA) and Banco de Poupança e Crédito (BPC) operate in the country.
Finding a Property
The main Angolan cities are Luanda, Huambo, Benguela, Lobito, Namibe, Lubango, Cabinda and Malange.
Due to a shortage of accommodation, it can be difficult to find a place to stay in Luanda, even in a hostel. Many foreign investors are entering the country; as a result, demand is high. In hotels, oil companies sometimes book entire floors for their employees, so it may be difficult to find proper hotel rooms as well. A room should be booked a month before arrival. A night's stay may be quite expensive, and can cost upwards of 400 USD.
Accommodation in Luanda is shabby, yet the city is one of the most expensive places in the world when it comes to renting. In addition, many areas are unsafe. A regular apartment will cost between 10,000 and 15,000 USD per month. Often landlords will ask for two years' rent in advance in cash.
Expatriates may like to stay in apartments or villas around Alvalade, Miramar, the city centre and the southern part of Luanda, where modern condominiums are being built.
By air: Air France, SN Bruxelles, TAP, South-African Airways and Ethiopian Airlines, among others, fly to Angola. Within the country, only two companies operate: Air 26 and Sonair (flights connecting Luanda, Cabinda, Soyo, Malange, Benguela, Lubango, Ondjiva, Huambo, Kuito).
By train: The railways are currently being renovated. Only the Lubango-Namibe line is in operation.
By road: Outside Luanda, your best bet is a four-wheel drive. An International Driving Permit is required. In the city, only one taxi company called Macon operates. It is completely booked most of the time. You can also rent a car, which will cost around 756 USD per week.
Cost of Living
The currency is the Angolan Kwanza (AOA) and the exchange rate at the time of writing (May 2011) is: 1 Euro = 137.25 AOA and 1 USD = 93.28 AOA.
Prices of imported products from Europe have increased substantially since 2007. Luanda is the most expensive city in Africa and in the world.
Here are some prices for common expenditures: