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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

EU-UNCTAD Joint Programme for Angola: Train for Trade II - Building back better through holistically strengthening productive capacities for a diversified, green and sustainable economy in Angola

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) (
United Nations / Multilateral body

    Angola is an LDC heavily dependent on oil, making it extremely vulnerable to external shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic. High inequality persists despite its relatively high GDP, with poverty rate at 48% (2018). The EU-UNCTAD Joint Programme for Angola: Train for Trade II supports the diversification of the Angolan economy & exports by strengthening institutional and human resources capacity, identifying non-oil green products and facilitating integration into regional & global economy to enable sustainable revenue generation for achieving the SDGs. A holistic approach is applied across 7 components concurrently. Beneficiaries include government agencies, private sector, NGOs and academia

    Implementation of the Project/Activity

    The Program was designed through a comprehensive consultative process in Angola, involving government ministries, agencies, provinces, private sector, industry associations, NGOs and academia. A national technical committee composed of key ministries and agencies, UNCTAD and the EU was set up to monitor activity implementation and a minister-led steering committee established to provide political guidance. A national coordinator was placed in Luanda in the coordinating agency, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MINDCOM), and a project manager in UNCTAD in Geneva. The steering committee approves yearly workplans prepared by the technical committee in line with the Program’s results framework. Activities are further refined with national implementing partners. The identification and invitation of training participants is coordinated by MINDCOM. A mirror management structure is in place in UNCTAD, integrating several divisions’ work. Regular coordination meetings are held to monitor implementation & exchange on lessons learned. Progress reports reporting results against the LogFrame are provided both to the national management structures and the donor. The Program’s M&E plan foresees a mid-term review and a final evaluation. The Program has undergone evaluations coordinated by the EU and MOPAN. The original budget of EUR5.5 million was increased to EUR6.3 million in Dec. 2020 through an additional investment by the EU, and implementation period extended to July 2023. MINDCOM provides in-kind office space to the National Coordinator. All implementing agencies provide in-kind expertise and facilities by leading or participating in delivery of activities. UNCTAD multiplies the budget by providing in-kind expertise through leveraging the capacities of 35 in-house experts.


    The multisector Program has triggered a whole-of-society culture, facilitating coherent policies. By integrating vulnerable groups as valuable contributors to development, it has stimulated leave-no-one-behind-attitude. Together with green sector focus and support to diversification to reduce vulnerabilities, it contributes to most SDGs. The Program has helped draft better policies, incl. investment policy and investment agreements reviews; PPP regulations; and draft strategies for the creative economy, entrepreneurship, trade facilitation and trade policy, and train entrepreneurs to reap opportunities. Exports to SADC countries have increased since 2016, while the pandemic has slightly reduced the share of non-oil exports. Results have been achieved by training so far 1400 Angolans; training trainers; developing green products & services; helping attract investment & design PPPs for transport infrastructure; building institutions for new tasks; supporting policy review and development

    Enabling factors and constraints

    High-level political commitment has been instrumental in enabling success, ensuring government officials’ effective engagement. Increased understanding of the key role of private sector and development of productive capacities has enabled investment in these areas. The EU’s financial contribution and political partnership provided the basis for the action. UNCTAD’s widely recognized expertise and high-success-rate training programs have opened doors to partnerships and collaboration. Lack of coordination and cooperation created challenges that have been gradually overcome by showing impacts that can be achieved through holistic approaches.

    Sustainability and replicability

    Sustainability is secured by: 1) training national trainers to deliver Program trainings; 2) delivering activities jointly with national institutions and with their co-leadership; 3) building national institutions’ capacities to take forward activities; 4) supporting the formulation of improved policies and their implementation; 5) developing an online learning platform with the Program’s interactive trainings and materials, to be taken up by a national institution (INAPEM); 6) working with national training institutions to integrate the Program’s trainings into their curricula; 7) relying on national Program management structures. Several member states have made requests to benefit from an “Angola style” program. A comprehensive analysis using the Productive Capacities Index (PCI) developed by UNCTAD and helpful in revealing the main productive capacities’ gaps can be used in program design. So far UNCTAD has engaged with Bolivia, Haiti, Rwanda and Sudan to develop similar programs.

    Other sources of information

    Program website: containing a description, news articles, events and meeting notifications and documents Youtube: Flickr: Luena training: Uíge training: UNCTAD activities in Africa: EU Aid for Trade report 2020: Deutsche Welle: Africa Oil & Power: and https://30CwlTh

    COVID-19 Impact

    The Program’s objective of building back better through a diversified, green economy revealed itself more pertinent than ever during the pandemic which triggered a major shock on the economy dependent on only one commodity, leading to reversal of some SDG gains. Implementation was greatly impacted by travel bans and restrictions to presential meetings. Even so, the Program found innovative ways to provide capacity building in hybrid format, via online platforms and online trainings, which are being integrated in a comprehensive e-learning site. Trainings included cross-regional experience-sharing elements on COVID-19 mitigation strategies for enterprises and public institutions. National trainers were mobilized to deliver trainings with a video-link to international master trainers.

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    01 May 2017 (start date)
    31 July 2023 (date of completion)
    United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
    Other beneficiaries

    Beneficiaries include Angolan government institutions, enterprises, academia and civil society at central level and in provinces. Activity implementation is done through national institutions which are supported to take up leadership roles and sustain activities independently. The Program engages in joint delivery with national programs, such as PRODESI, and development partners, incl. UN agencies, development banks and bilateral aid providers.

    Contact Information

    Johanna Silvander, Programme Management Officer