Switzerland and Angola enjoy good bilateral relations. Ties between the two countries were reinforced with the 2006 opening of Angola's first embassy in Bern, followed by the reopening of the Swiss embassy in Luanda in 2009.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Angola
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Switzerland has set out a strategy for sub-Saharan Africa for 2021–24.
Swiss-Angolan relations are primarily based on topics of common interest concerning political issues, the economy, migration and the judiciary.
To further cooperation in the fight against international crime and in support of the Angolan government's commitment to combating corruption, in 2021 both countries signed a memorandum of understanding on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.
Close cooperation on migration is based on an agreement signed by Angola and Switzerland in 2015.
Despite Angola's recent economic downturn caused by falling oil prices, it is still considered one of the region's lion economies in the Sub-Saharan Africa Strategy 2021-24. The term refers to countries in Africa with major economic potential, particularly in terms of trade and investment. Angola is home to a number of Swiss and Swiss-based multinationals as well as a dozen or so SMEs. Although a Swiss Business Club was recently established and a Swisscham representative for Western and Central Africa has been operating in Luanda since 2009, trade between the two countries remains modest.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers who are citizens of Angola can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Development cooperation humanitarian aid
Between 1996 and 2007, Swiss Humanitarian Aid carried out major operations in Angola – ranging from humanitarian aid for displaced people to the reconstruction of infrastructure.
A 2005 asset restitution agreement gave birth to a special project managed by the Swiss embassy in Luanda and the SDC, known as the Swiss-Angolan socio-humanitarian programme. An additional agreement on the further restitution of Angolan assets from Switzerland was signed in 2012. The funds have been used to finance major projects in the education sector (construction of an agricultural school, rehabilitation of a technical college) aimed at developing and diversifying the Angolan economy.
Swiss citizens in Angola
According to statistics on the Swiss abroad, 88 Swiss citizens were living in Angola at the end of 2020 and 2,167 Angolan nationals were living in Switzerland.
History of bilateral relations
Economic ties between the two countries started to develop in the 1950s but they remained limited, mainly because of the internal conflicts.
The Swiss consulate in Luanda operated from 1962 to 1975, the year when Angola gained independence from Portugal. Switzerland recognised the People's Republic of Angola on 18 February 1976 and in 1977 opened an embassy in Luanda, headed by a chargé d'affaires. Between 1975 and 2002, regional conflicts and Angola's civil war forced Switzerland to close its embassy in August 1996 and replace it with a Swiss Humanitarian Aid office, first in Huambo and then in Luanda.