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ANGOLA - Economy

Lello Francisco

Executive Chairman, Agency For Private Investment and Export Promotion (AIPEX)


Lello Francisco is a senior executive with over 17 years of experience on the frontline of investment promotion in the public sector. At AIPEX he has led multiple restructuring initiatives, introduced e-governance tools and developed efficient process management standards. He is a strategist, a forward thinker, and is very passionate about improving the business environment in Angola. Prior to joining the public sector, he worked in academia as a micro and macroeconomics, financial markets and econometrics professor at the Universities Jean Piaget de Angola and Metodista. His critical thinking and expertise in quantitative analysis are both fundamental qualities that serve to assess project prospects and their potential impact on Angola’s sustainable development.

“While AIPEX may give the impression of being predominately outward facing, my goal as the Executive Chairman is also to ensure that AIPEX looks inward towards creating an enabling environment for business to flourish in order to create employment, develop skills, and transfer of technology.”

TBY talks to Lello Francisco, Executive Chairman of the Agency For Private Investment and Export Promotion (AIPEX), about attracting private investment, partnerships, and plans for the coming years.

Dr. Lello, recently you assumed the position of greater responsibility at AIPEX, which is focused on attracting more private investment, what are your goals as the new Executive Chairman of AIPEX for this 2023?

We recognize that Angola still faces many challenges, our goals are aligned with the government’s primary goals, which include diversifying the economy, increasing investment in priority sectors outside the oil and gas sector, and promoting strategic partnerships with national and international companies and Foreign Direct Investment attraction for the economy. While AIPEX may give the impression of being predominately outward facing, my goal as the Executive Chairman is also to ensure that AIPEX looks inward towards creating an enabling environment for business to flourish in order to create employment, develop skills, and transfer of technology. In the last five years, the economic transformation pillars and the influence of public reforms have produced significant improvements that have enhanced the business environment. In this context AIPEX continues to take the lead in offering good quality services to investors in all the phases of the investment process. We want to motivate people with grit and perseverance. We will continue to create opportunities for local content, as the sustainable development of any nation requires the involvement of its domestic players, much of which requires a change in mindset, modernisation, and agility.

Angola is open to investment and seeks partnerships with foreign and national investors to work together, how is AIPEX achieving these goals for a better Angolan investment attraction?

The improved macroeconomic conditions created a favorable climate for investment. AIPEX is committed to improving the services provided to investors through the ‘Janel Unica do Investimento,’ our “one-stop service,” assisting international investors interested in investing in Angola, and encouraging national investors to form partnerships. We have a simplified and modern legal framework and financially beneficial incentives.

Angola is geo-strategically very well positioned, how could this advantage carry out a boost in the diversification and structural transformation of Angola and neighboring African economies?

Angola is geographically positioned to play an important role as a regional hub with logistical infrastructure with the capacity to boost the local industrialisation and trade with immediate neighbouring countries, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia and Zambia through the Lobito corridor Leveraging the benefits of free zones, Angola can supply local input products towards value-added processing and manufacturing. Our country is also very well-positioned to become a preferred gateway for trade, transport and tourism – providing access to million people across the continent. Hence, Angola is launching new flight routes, establishing new road networks, renovating and expanding rail networks, developing trade corridors, as well as improving the transmission of fiber-optic cables and satellites for improved communication. All of these generate countless business opportunities for investment in Angola and the neighbouring countries.

How does AIPEX roadmap looks like for the next four years to come?

Still recovering from an economic recession and the global pandemic, we now recognize more clearly the fundamental gaps that must be addressed for the sustainable development of Angola. AIPEX has a critical role to play in this regard, as it is instrumental in scaling, fast- tracking and refining the quality of Angola’s economic diplomacy. AIPEX will continue to prioritize attracting investment in the production sector, such as agriculture, industry, fisheries, minerals, and infrastructure, during the next four years. In general, the AIPEX roadmap will be built on promoting and attracting investments for the assistants program in economic diversification, such as the National Grain Plan, National Fishing Plan, and National Livestock Plan. We have identified 35 countries in Europe, Asia, America, and the Middle East (Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the Emirates) where we will promote these investment programs. Excluding oil, Angola’s exports into Africa valued at USD 197 million in 2021, which is only 10% of the country’s global trade. Therefore, with improvements to be made in the road and rail infrastructure and the modernization of systems, we look forward to steering more exports into the sub-region.



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