The economy of Luanda varies extremely, with a huge gap between the rich and the poor. More than half (53%) of the city's population lives below the World Bank's poverty line. However, for expats living and working in Luanda, this is a prosperous city with vast employment opportunities. In certain regions, drinking water is unsafe and there is little to no electricity, but the more exclusive districts provide luxurious properties and a range of amenities.
Luanda is considered to be the most expensive city in the world for foreigners to relocate to. The major industries that contribute to this booming business climate include the production of processed food and drinks, textiles and cigarettes. Expats, who are always sought after, are English teachers, missionary workers and doctors to fill roles in trauma and medical facilities.
It's easy to see why Luanda has been given the nickname 'the new El Dorado' by Portuguese expats. There is ample opportunity for employment in this expansive city, which is both varied and easy to come by. Skilled workers, especially in the IT and engineering sectors, are always highly demanded and expats with a strong academic background are often employed in large multinationals.
Websites such as Careers in Africa are excellent resources for anyone seeking overseas work in the city. The newspaper Expansão is distributed throughout Angola and features a helpful job advertisement section.
All individuals in Luanda are taxed on their income and the tax is deducted from a monthly salary by the employer. In addition to this, every resident must complete and provide an accurate annual tax declaration.
Income tax is calculated on a means tested basis and can range from a minimum of 5% up to 17% of all earnings. It is most likely that expats will be in the highest band of earnings, and, as a result, will be liable to pay the maximum 17% income tax rate.
It is extremely important that all foreigners seeking overseas employment in Luanda discuss the tax clauses of their contract, and find out exactly how much they will be eligible to pay before moving. Expats are also highly advised to seek the advice of an accountant with international expertise before traveling.