Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Land Use Policy



First Page



Land, Agriculture, Industrialization, Political Economy, Conflict, Reconstruction, Angola

Last Page



Numerous large scale land acquisitions have occurred in Angola since partial political and economic liberalization in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and further increased after 2002 and the end of armed conflict. They have occurred in conjunction with the emergence of a range of large state-coordinated agricultural projects, often by foreign contractors, for domestic food, and involving plans for backwards and forwards linkages to agro-processing and manufacturing initiatives. Altogether such land allocations and projects involve several billion dollars and several million hectares. These activities appear to often also involve high-level officials and/or wealthy Angolans and are often interpreted as neo-patrimonialism, state-sanctioned private accumulation, and instances of continuity in extractive institutions. Yet examining specific agrarian transformations illustrates how land and rural poverty in Angola are much more complex than a zero-sum game of elite accumulation of private land concessions. Key are Angola’s geo-historical trajectories of colonialism, war, socialism and liberalization, which the article examines in two concessions in Malanje Province We address the relationships between international enterprises and domestic elites, and the relevance of land dynamics within a long-term political economy perspective on capitalist industrialization and structural transformation in Angola and Africa.