1. Property Rights
1.1 Legal Protection
1.2 Registries
1.3 Formal Ownership
In-Country Assessment Information


1. Property Rights -Very Weak

Goal – Property rights that are legally protected, secure, recorded in a single, accurate, widely accessible electronic registry and that lead to high levels of formal ownership for all citizens
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1.1 Legal Protection


Core Question: Does an effective and sufficient legal framework exist to protect property rights for all citizens? No – Very Weak – Land Law of 2004 not followed by a regulatory road map for addressing land rights


Legal Framework

1.1.1   Are property rights clearly defined and protected by law? No – Very Weak – Score  15  out of 100 – Property rights are difficult to enforce, judicial corruption is extensive and expropriation is common.

Source: 2013 Index of Economic Freedom – Heritage Foundation


Security of Tenure

1.1.2   Can citizens challenge the legality of government takings? No – Very Weak – The Government’s decentralization activity has left the power structure of the provinces uncertain. This means that no one knows the relevant government authority to submit property rights documents.

Source: Strengthening Land Tenure and Property Rights, USAID – Angola May 2008


Bundle of Rights

Survey Question

SQ1    What is the bundle of rights (group of rights such as occupancy, use and the right to sell or lease) associated with both residential and commercial property ownership?

Angola’s land law includes several categories of landholdings based on the type of land, use, local planning, and other factors. Rural communities can obtain recognition of rural community land. However, this protection also potentially restricts individual members of the community from obtaining rights to individual parcels. Very Weak

Source: Strengthening Land Tenure and Property Rights, USAID – Angola May 2008



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1.2 Registries


Core Question:  Does a reliable property registry exist including cadastral, title and mortgage lien information? No – Very Weak, process is extremely complex, lengthy, costly and open to corruption.

1.2.1  Cadastral Information

Status – Very Weak

Survey Questions

SQ 2   Is cadastral information (information about the dimensions and location of land parcels) accessible to the public? No – information is out of date.

SQ 3   Is zoning/permitted use information included are use regulations respected and enforced? No

SQ 4   Are Geographic Information Systems (GIS) including Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) information used to create and update the registry? No

Source: Real Estate Market and Lending, Luanda Angola, IRPF June 2007

Civil Society Resources: International Federation of Surveyors

Instituto Geografico e Cadastral de Angola


1.2.2  Title Registry

 Weak – Ranking –  131st out of 181 Trend ­↓ What is the number of procedures required to register the transfer of a property from one owner to another? 7 What is the duration of time in calendar days that it would take to complete the transfer? 184 What is the total cost of the transfer including all fees, taxes, etc. expressed as a percentage of the value of the property?  3.1%

See Appendix for complete procedure for registering property

Source – Doing Business 2013 – Registering Property, World Bank

1.2.3  Mortgage Registry

Status – Very Weak

Survey Questions

SQ 5   The mandatory use of notaries or similar officials slows down and adds cost to the process. Does a notary need to be involved in the registration process? Yes

SQ 6   Is information in the registry available electronically? No

SQ 7   Title insurance is indemnity insurance against financial loss from defects in title and from the invalidity or unenforceability of mortgage liens. Is title insurance available to lenders? No



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1.3 Formal Ownership


Core Question: Do citizens understand and trust property rights institutions and avoid the informal sector? No – Very Weak – Land claims to be completed by July 2010 but processes for making claims not established.



Survey Questions

SQ 8   What is the status of land ownership?  Very Weak – rural areas are primarily community owned, but not formalized; informal shanty towns dominate urban areas.


Home Ownership

SQ 9   What is the percentage of formal home ownership? Very Weak –  86.5% Luanda residents live in informal settlements.

Source:  U.N. Habitat Urban Indicators


Informal Sector

SQ 10  What is the size of the informal economy as a percentage of GDP? Estimates of 66% of population informally employed (2004) – Very Weak

Source: Livelihoods and the Informal Economy in Post-War Angola, Institute for Security Studies, August 2004



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In-Country Assessment Information  (as of May 2008)

Field Question (FQ) 1. What is the actual status of property rights and ownership for citizens?

In 2004 the government passed a new land law that redefined land use and rights. It became mandatory for all land occupants to initiate regularization of their land rights before July 2010. If land was not regularized at this time, it would all revert to state control. This law did not provide any guidance on how to initiate this process or any direction to government ministries on how to assist households. It is estimated that over 50% of the Angolan population moved to urban centers during the civil war. This increased urbanization led to more pressure on land resources in an environment where security of tenure is severely lacking. In rural areas, subsistence farming households compete for land with concessions granted by the central government for large commercial farms that may overlap with community boundaries, or even completely encompass a community.


FQ 2.What is the actual experience of transferring a property?

As a part of a pilot demarcation and formalization project, 450 property rights documents were prepared and were still waiting (as of May 2008) to be submitted to the local government. The documents were to be submitted to the provincial government, but during the course of the project the central government continued its decentralization activity. This left the Huambo municipal government in a state of uncertainty as to which government entity has the authority to handle land issues.


FQ 3. What are the actual housing conditions for all groups including the poor, minorities and other marginalized groups?

Most women interviewed in the peri-urban area who were identified as joint owners of parcels did not understand the nature of their rights or what their rights would be in the event of divorce or death of their husbands. In the rural area, many of the residents misunderstood the process of identifying land interests and initially identified most land as individually owned by the heads of households, a group that is predominantly male.

Source: Strengthening Land Tenure and Property Rights, USAID – Angola May 2008



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