The monopoly held by the incumbent Angola Telecom ended in 2005. Demand outstripped capacity, prices were high, and services poor. Telecom Namibia, through an Angolan company, became the first private licensed operator in Angola’s fixed-line telephone network. Angola Telephone’s mobile unit, Movicel, was sold to private investors and a migration from CDMA to GSM/UMTS/LTE technology delivered a boost to the mobile market in the past years. As for broadband services, access pricing has fallen after WACS, the second international fibre optic submarine cable in the country, started its business activities. The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (MCT) oversees the telecommunications sector which is regulated by the Angolan National Institute of Telecommunication (INACOM).
Angola’s economy is overwhelmingly driven by its oil sector. Oil production and its supporting activities contribute about 50% of GDP, more than 70% of government revenue, and more than 90% of the country’s exports. Diamonds contribute an additional 5% to exports. Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for most of the people, but half of the country’s food is still imported. A postwar reconstruction boom and resettlement of displaced persons has led to high rates of growth in construction and agriculture as well. Some of the country’s infrastructure is still damaged or undeveloped from the 27-year-long civil war. However, the government since 2005 has used billions of dollars in credit lines from China, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Spain, and the EU to help rebuild Angola’s public infrastructure. The global recession that started in 2008 stalled economic growth. In particular, lower prices for oil and diamonds during the global recession slowed GDP growth to 2.4% in 2009, and many construction projects stopped because Luanda accrued $9 billion in arrears to foreign construction companies when government revenue fell in 2008 and 2009. Falling oil prices and slower than expected growth in non-oil GDP have reduced growth prospects. Angola has responded by reducing government subsidies and by proposing import quotas and a more restrictive licensing regime. Corruption, especially in the extractive sectors, is a major long-term challenge.