DW AngolaHousing for Whom - Rebuilding Angola’s Cities After Conflict and Who Gets Left Behind

Housing for Whom - Rebuilding Angola’s Cities After Conflict and Who Gets Left Behind


Since the end of the civil war in 2002, the government of Angola has used Chinese credit facilities backed by petroleum-based guarantees to build prestige urban projects on a scale that in sub-Saharan Africa is second only to post-apartheid South Africa. Decades of rural-urban migration have turned Angola into one of Africa’s most urbanized countries, with 62% of its population living in cities. State-delivered subsidized housing has satisfied an important segment of the middle-class and better-paid civil servants, but few of the urban poor benefited from Angola’s major budget allocations for housing that failed to deliver on commitments made to build sustainable and equitable cities. With the collapse of oil prices after 2014, the Angolan state budget has been drastically reduced, and it is unlikely that the government will be able to provide investment and subsidies to continue building new large-scale housing projects. While the private sector, both international and local, has to date, been a major beneficiary of construction contracts from the state. The private sector has been reluctant to provide its own financing and to invest in real estate itself, due to weak land tenure and the lack of legislative reforms to make a functional land market. Solving the problems around land may be a way to stimulate the engagement of private-sector participation in providing direct financing for the housing sector.