Angola: remaking one's life in a country under construction

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Publico had an article here yesterday about a subject referenced here a few times: Portuguese citizens making their way to Angola for better jobs in the booming (yet still very underdeveloped) economy, usually as engineers. It would be interesting to see a comparison between the number of Portuguese citizens going to Angola vs. other booming economies, which would give a rough idea of how much of a difference sharing a common language makes.

Senior management are the ones that emigrate to Angola the most, but there are young people as well leaving for the adventure. In this country under construction, there are always more and more Portuguese leaving to live there for financial reasons.

It is called the El Dorado of Portuguese emigration and the data justify it. Since 2006 the number of Portuguese in Angola has not stopped: at the end of October 2011 there were 97,616 registered at the two consulated in the country, compared to 45,000 in 2005. That is, in six years the number has doubled. The actual number is naturally greater than this as not every Portuguese citizen registers with the consulate upon arrival. The majority of emigrants go on contracts, for periods ranging from three to five years.

Remittances have also increased. In 2010, 134 874 euros were sent from Angola to Portugal. In 2005 this number was 23 354 euros. Angola is expected to grow by 12% in 2012, while Portugal is expecting a contraction of 2.8% in its GDP. Roles are also reversed: in November, the prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho said that his government would look "very favorably" towards Angolan investment in Portugal.


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