Premier Helen Zille and Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, are leading a delegation to Angola to strengthen trade and investment between the region and the Western Cape.
Zille and Winde departed for the official visit on the 26 April 2015.
The Western Cape Government has been driving expansion into Africa for the past few years.
Zille and Winde will lead the delegation, which has been co-ordinated by WESGRO.
The programme includes meetings with the Angolan Ministers of Tourism and Agriculture.
Key on the agenda will be enhancing collaboration between the regions in Project Khulisa’s strategic sectors such as tourism, oil and gas and agri-processing. This is expected to unlock growth and job creation potential in both regions. The value of the Western Cape’s exports to Angola was valued at over R2bn in 2013.
Zille said the Western Cape and Angola were natural partners because they shared the Atlantic coastline, and our common challenges of poverty and youth unemployment.
She added, “The Western Cape Province is committed to building and strengthening relations with Luanda, as evidenced by the recent visit by the Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille.”
“Since an official visit by Provincial Minister Alan Winde in 2013, there have been numerous trade and investment missions led by the Western Cape Tourism, Trade and Investment Agency (WESGRO) to this region.”
Winde said there were significant opportunities for the Western Cape and Angola to work together to increase trade and investment between the two regions.
“African countries are already our top importers for food and beverages. Going forward, consumption on the continent is set to increase dramatically, driven by rising GDP, growing middle classes and urbanisation. Angola is one of Africa’s fast-growing regions. Over the past year, our province’s exports to Angola have increased by 30%.”
“The visit involves boosting trade and investment. Due to current oil situation, Angola is seeking opportunities to diversify its economy, especially in tourism and agriculture. We know that Africa has the world’s most arable land and we need to make sure Africans lead the way forward. To this end, agri-processing has been selected a high priority sector for the Western Cape. There are some types of produce which will thrive in the Angolan climate and we will be exploring partnership agreements between agri-businesses in the two regions.”
Tourism is another fast-growing area, with arrivals from Angola to the Western Cape increasing by 67% between 2009 and 2013.
Central to increasing business and leisure tourism is increased air access. The Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism is developing an implementation plan for increased air access.
“The aim of the Air Access strategy is to improve our competitiveness and we are focusing on routes into Africa. Research shows a direct link between economic growth and improved air access. Currently, there are only three direct flights between Cape Town and Luanda each week. We want to increase that frequency to between five and seven flights per week.”
In the oil and gas sector, there are existing linkages between the Western Cape and Angola.
Several Cape-based companies provided services to Angolan oil and gas companies. In addition, many Angolans travel to the Western Cape to complete specialised training in fields related to oil and gas.