Ver Angola


Executive president of Refriango: “Education must be the basis for the development of Angola”

Leaders of Portuguese companies present in Angola defended this Tuesday, in Lisbon, that education is the main basis for the country's development and highlighted the urgency of accelerating training to encourage economic growth.

: Ampe Rogério/Lusa
Ampe Rogério/Lusa  

"Education has to be the basis for the development of Angola", said the executive president of Refriango, Diogo Caldas, in his intervention on a panel at the Doing Business Angola forum, which took place this Tuesday in Lisbon, organized by Jornal Económico and by Forbes Lusophone Africa.

"Training people is a problem, Angola will have to go faster, train faster", said, in turn, the executive president of the Nabeiro Group, Rui Miguel Nabeiro, highlighting, even so, that there is a notable improvement in this area.

"The most important priority is training people to be able to grow faster and provide other conditions for companies, human conditions, the way we look to the future, in agriculture too, it's not just in industry", stressed the leader of the coffee producing group, highlighting that "accelerating training is fundamental to the pace of growth".

In the panel on "Experiences of Business Groups", Diogo Caldas, Rui Miguel Nabeiro and José Carlos Pinto Nogueira, financial administrator of Mota-Engil, reviewed Angola's constraints and opportunities, agreeing that the country is no longer a synonym of easy wealth, on the contrary.

"You can no longer earn millions in the short term, so it's better not to go", said Rui Miguel Nabeiro, stating that, despite the opportunities, the return is not immediate.

"There are local constraints, yes, as everywhere. It is a country of opportunities, but the return is not instantaneous or immediate, you cannot gain in the short term, the idea has to be to invest in the country in the long term", he added.

During the conversation, the three businessmen also agreed on the idea that although there is still a lot to be done, it is important to implement economic activity in the country and complement the natural capacity resulting from development with the implementation of education and training sessions for local employees.

"Today, the issue of the lack of local training in Angola no longer arises so much in our case, because when we open in a new country, Angola is already a supplier of human capital for other markets, they are the first to go to another country, because they already have the capacity to do so", said José Carlos Pinto Nogueira, the financial administrator of Mota-Engil, a Portuguese construction company present in 22 countries, 16 of which are in Africa, and with 45 thousand employees, 8 thousand of which are in Angola.

Regarding the constraints and difficulties of the Angolan market, the three businessmen also agreed on the answer, pointing out, in addition to the specificities of a country in sub-Saharan Africa, exchange rate volatility and exposure to external shocks, but here too the solution was common: produce locally.

"2015 was the year of the most complicated impact [with the drop in oil prices and entry into recession], but the solution is to be a truly local agent, not only finding solutions for ourselves, but also supporting the Executive in times of difficulty, for example, finding financing solutions for our client [the State], helping to access lines of financing that he did not know about or had no access to, and which he can resort to through our solidity", pointed out José Carlos Nogueira.

Furthermore, he highlighted, it helps when "96 percent of the staff are local, the entire fleet is local, major consumables and complementary items are produced locally, which means that we depend little on imports, and that is the true measure of local investment".

2015, agreed the executive president of Refriango, was the year of "exchange rate volatility, with a lack of foreign exchange, but we learn to live with it, and the diversification of the economy and the entry of new agents will make it possible to overcome this", he concluded.


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