22 August 2023

A new lens towards a more inclusive growth perspective

by Fanan Biem / in Impact story

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KEY RESULTS

  • The Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) has had a direct and positive impact on the activities of the Ministry of Industry and Trade regarding Angola's compliance with rules and commitments undertaken in the multilateral trading system. These include notifications to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the country’s commitments to the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Dedicated trainings have also been conducted on regional integration and notification requirements.
  • Support to Angola commenced late in the second phase of the EIF, with an institutional capacity-building project implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). An EIF-supported Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) Update is also being conducted by the World Bank. EIF support to Angola responds to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 and the EIF’s principle of leaving no country behind.

A move towards more inclusive trade could be the answer to how Angola can reduce poverty and income inequality through job creation. For 80% of the population, employment is in the informal sector, mainly subsistence agriculture. The original DTIS, conducted by the World Bank and the United States Agency for International Aid in 2006, for instance highlights that “The country’s abundant arable land is capable of supporting rainfed agriculture, and variations in altitude permit the growth of tropical and temperate zone crops.”

The EIF's efforts to support Angola through a pro-poor trade agenda crystallized moreover under a recent partnership between the Government of Angola and UNDP. The goal, in the medium and long term, is to support Angola’s plans to reactivate its agriculture, manufacturing and other sectors and build export capacities. This is in line with the Angola National Poverty Reduction Strategy 2018-2025 (Plano de Desenvolvimento Nacional) to “increase the welfare of the population through sustainable, diversified, and inclusive growth”. In this regard, building institutional capacity to implement the trade agenda has been critical to ensuring that trade functions as an engine for economic growth and poverty reduction.

Setting the frame for transformation

In the intervening period since the EIF-supported DTIS in 2006, Angola has made several reforms to improve macroeconomic management and public sector governance. It has also enacted laws to allow greater private sector participation in the economy and increase the stability of the financial sector. 

With Angola scheduled to graduate from least developed country (LDC) status in 2024, a DTIS Update being conducted in 2023 is among others factoring in the country's potential loss of preferential access to markets once it graduates from LDC status. This country-owned and evidence-based research and analysis is identifying current challenges and opportunities for trade development in the country. The DTIS Update is being undertaken by the World Bank and will feed into Angola's upcoming Trade Policy Review at the WTO. 

In addition to the DTIS Update, the EIF together with UNDP have supported the Government of Angola in strengthening institutions and institutional capacity as a way to mainstream trade and to realize Angola’s trade development goals. National implementation arrangement support has included the training of 192 government officials. Fifty of the trained staff were then selected to fill posts in newly created specialized technical teams established within the secretariat of the National Committee on Trade Facilitation to implement and monitor trade agreements. The teams cover trade policy, trade defence instruments and trade facilitation. The training also benefitted from support from the People’s Republic of China in trade facilitation, as well as from the European Union (EU), which participated as a continuation of a previous EU-funded project. 

This capacity-building is also strengthening Angola’s ability to fully engage in trade under regional and continental bodies. Angola is a member state of the SADC and the Economic Community of Central African States. 

The staff training was especially relevant in a context where a new cadre of government staff came in to replace retired officials and following the merger of the Ministries of Industry and Trade into one entity. As a sustainability measure, the expectation is that the Government will continue to provide support beyond the project’s lifespan. 

Mobilizing for partnership

Ensuring country ownership and dedicated mobilization of key players have been an important part in the trajectory of EIF support to Angola and the achievements to date. “The EIF listens to the beneficiary countries to ensure their needs and requirements are taken into account,” stated Lukonde Luansi, Coordinator of the EIF National Implementation Unit in Angola. He went on to explain that the involvement of the State Secretary of Commerce, Angola’s former delegate to the WTO, was a key factor in achieving buy-in by convincing key decision-makers across the different government ministries and the private sector of the benefits of the project. This buy-in enabled the establishment of the Government of Angola-EIF partnership and paved the way for project implementation. 

Sights set on opportunities

While the partnership between the Government of Angola, UNDP and the EIF has so far been focused on establishing a foothold for export diversification through institutional capacity strengthening as described above, it is already providing some lessons on how trade diversification and strengthening enterprises can increase jobs and build better lives. As Luansi says: 

We were able to sensitize not only the political authorities but also entrepreneurs. The Angolan Women Entrepreneurs Association, for example, is keen on trading in regional markets and wanted to learn the rules and procedures.

The Angolan Women Entrepreneurs Association, which started out as a group working in the informal sector, has registered its business and is now a formal trading entity. The Ministry of Industry and Trade responded to the association’s request by organizing training sessions on trade facilitation and trade defence instruments, as well as on production processes and value addition for exports. 

The Government of Angola’s willingness and increasing readiness to support micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises show the potential to make trade diversification work to reduce poverty. Luansi expressed confidence in the opportunities that lie ahead for Angolans: 

With greater co-operation between different ministries, for example the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, we can establish an enabling environment to support producers and exporters. 

 

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As the second phase of the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) comes to an end in 2024, the objective is to produce a catalogue of impact stories showcasing the efforts of the EIF partnership in the least developed countries (LDCs) and recently graduated LDCs where it has been actively engaged. This impact story makes up one of the stories in the catalogue. Essential input and reviews were received from the country‑based EIF National Implementation Units (NIUs) and the wider EIF team. 

The primary objective of each impact story, as well as the entire catalogue, is to adopt a journalistic approach in recounting the EIF's engagement in the LDCs during both Phase One and Two. The aim is to offer valuable insights and to document outcomes and impacts, as well as some lessons learned from the work of the EIF partnership in the LDCs. These stories do not provide a comprehensive overview of every aspect of EIF partnership engagement such as precise timelines or the exact extent of involvement (i.e., financial contributions). Instead, they serve as one of several means of information about the work of the EIF partnership. Interested readers are encouraged to supplement these impact stories by consulting other sources, including EIF Annual Reports, Trade for Development News articles, EIF social media channels, and, where applicable, the NIUs in the LDCs as well as the EIF Executive Secretariat.

It is essential to acknowledge that the information provided is neither exhaustive (e.g., it is based on the latest available data at the time of writing in 2023) nor evaluative in nature. 

Lastly, while each impact story adheres to a similar structure, the diverse range of countries, contexts, and EIF engagements means that each story is unique.

Disclaimer
Any views and opinions expressed on Trade for Development News are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect those of EIF.