Angola - Country Commercial Guide
eCommerce

Describes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and covers prominent B2B websites.
 

Last published date: 2021-09-08

While internet access levels in Angola are fairly high compared to other sub-Saharan countries, electronic commerce in Angola is limited as the country remains a predominantly cash-based economy with an unreliable mail delivery system.

Current Market Trends

Potential exists for eCommerce in Angola considering the growing base of internet users in Angola.  Internet World Stats for 2020 report 8.9 million internet users who account for over 25 percent of the population. Almost half use mobile phones rather than home computers to access the internet; mobile broadband access is available to just 16 percent of the population.

The major limitation in eCommerce in Angola is the lack of use of credit cards or other internationally accepted payment mechanisms.  Though having a bank account among adult Angolans is not unusual, access to international credit cards is extremely restricted.  For domestic purchases, debit cards (Multicaixa) have become more common.

Domestic eCommerce (B2C)

Domestic eCommerce (B2C) is not wide spread in Angola, but it is slowly growing with the creation of several domestic e-Commerce websites.  BayQi, Otchitanda, Roque Online and O Soba are some of the most popular and widely used eCommerce sites in Angola. Payments are made through domestic debit cards (Multicaixa), bank transfer and digital wallet and delivery is through local courier service since the mail delivery system is unreliable.  Online taxi services include three main companies Kubinga, T’leva and Azimbora, with French start-up Heetch entering the market in late 2020.  There are also two food delivery services such as Tupuca, Mamboo and Kumoxi, which serve the restaurant and consumer markets.

Given the Covid-19 pandemic and the emergency response measures, online purchasing of food, beverages, clothing, shoes, electronics and other accessories via social media has increased in the major Angolan cities. 

Cross-Border eCommerce

Cross-border eCommerce is restricted to middle and upper income Angolans with access to international credit cards and international travel.   Such purchases are made most often through major international online stores such as Amazon, Ebay (USA and Europe) and Alibaba (China).  Deliveries are made through international couriers.

Some Angolans use international commercial consolidator services such as U.S. company MyUSA.com for multiple eCommerce purchases then save on transportation delivery costs.

Middle and upper income Angolans travel regularly to Portugal and South Africa where many have homes and extended family. It is common for them to make eCommerce purchases for delivery to family and friends in Portugal, and then after visiting Portugal bring the items back to Angola in their luggage.

B2B eCommerce

A limited number of Angolan businesses use European or U.S. based B2B websites such as ebay.com and Amazon.com with products shipped to them in Angola by express courier.

eCommerce Services

International transportation delivery services including Fedex, UPS, and DHL exist in Angola.  For domestic deliveries, couriers are commonly used due to the unreliability of the domestic mail system.

eCommerce Intellectual Property Rights

Angolan intellectual property rights law does not specifically address eCommerce.

Popular eCommerce Sites

An Angola-specific online store selling Chinese products is Baobabay.com.  The local version of international company OLX was a popular on-line direct sales platform in Angola but closed recently.

Some Angolan consumers use European or U.S.-based B2B websites such as ebay.com and Amazon.com with products shipped to them in Angola by express courier.

Online Payment

Approximately 50 percent of the adult population participates in the formal banking systems. Debit cards (Multicaixa) have become increasingly common for domestic purchases. 

International credit cards are scarce and extremely restricted by commercial banks due to the lack of foreign exchange availability to cover these payment commitments.  For those with access, Visa and Mastercard are most commonly issued in Angola. Some consumers are beginning to use Paypal.

The Union Pay International card was officially launched in 2018.  In Angola, UnionPay cards can be used in Point of Sales (POS) terminals with the UnionPay or the Banco Angolano de Investimentos (BAI) logos, while use at a limited number of ATM machines for cash withdrawals is available.  

Mobile eCommerce

The majority of the Angolan population with internet access use a cellphone as their method of access.  However, only 16 percent of the population have access to mobile broadband.  Those using a laptop or a desktop to make online purchases normally use their cellphone or tablet as well. 

Digital Marketing

Many companies promote themselves exclusively on Facebook as an affordable and accessible on-line presence versus establishing and managing their own website.

Additional popular social media platforms in Angola with advertising opportunities are the news website Club K, Angonoticias and Instagram.

Social Media

Social media is widely used in Angola given the relatively high number of internet users in the country at around 8.9 million. Social media users account for 22.3 percent of the population as of January 2020 with majority registering as Facebook and WhatsApp users. An estimated 2.2 million companies and individuals use Facebook for business promotion and personal communication and many companies promote themselves exclusively on Facebook as an affordable and accessible on-line presence versus establishing and managing their own website.