Angola flag Angola: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in Angola

Evolution of the Sector
Angola’s business environment is still maturing at just 15 years post-civil war.  As a result, distribution channels for most products and services are limited to some key players. Luanda, the capital city, holds 25%  of the population followed by a limited number of secondary cities: Benguela/Lobito, Huambo, and Lubango, with Soyo and Cabinda as oil industry-focused cities. 

According to Euromonitor, between 70% and 80% of trade in the food market is undertaken by the informal sector via street vendors and unregulated markets that tend to specialise in one product category. The formal sector, which comprises a mix of small neighbourhood markets, grocery stores, specialist high-end food stores and supermarkets, is encroaching rapidly on the informal sector with the expansion of stores owned by Angolans, as well as stores owned by foreign retail chains. The informal sector, where importers sell through their own warehouses, remains the main distribution channel. It is mainly supplied from large chains and distributes products in the suburbs and rural areas. Small farmers also sell their surplus on the market. Market vendors (donnas or zungeiras) and small shops also distribute products in lesser qualities. However, the formal distribution sector is expanding and many supermarkets, hypermarkets and Cash & Carry markets have opened.

Distribution channels are controlled by the The Programme of Restructuring of the System of Logistics and Distribution of Essential Products to the Population (PRESILD), which was created in 2006 to organize and modernize business across the country and expand the supply of basic products.
Market share
The capital city of Luanda is home to a quarter of the population followed by a limited number of secondary cities: Benguela / Lobito, Huambo and Lubango, Soyo and Cabinda are other major cities that revolve around the oil industry. With such a concentrated market, it may make more sense to appoint a single distributor or representative to cover the entire country. Although a number of legally established distributors and international product representatives exist in Angola, many products, especially consumer goods, are sold through resellers. These resellers buy products abroad and resell in retail outlets often using the original brand.

The market is dominated by Portuguese and Brazilian supermarkets:

  • Kero Hypermarket : 40%
  • Alimenta Angola Cash & Carry : 20%
  • Maxi Supermarket : 10%
  • Mega Cash & Carry : 10%
  • Other supermarkets including Nosso Super : 20%

Distribution infrastructure in Angola is challenged by poor road quality, cumbersome customs clearance procedures (among the slowest in the world according to the World Bank), as well as limited storage and cold chain capacity. Current railway expansion projects are aimed at ensuring intermodal transport throughout the country.

Retail Sector Organisations
AIA Associação Industrial de Angola
US Angola Chamber of Commerce
Ministry of Economy Angola

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Latest Update: April 2024