Decentralization/Federalism: Luena Memorandum of Understanding



1.2. The objective of the Memorandum of Understanding is collaboration between the parties for the resolution of negative military factors posing an obstacle to the Lusaka Protocol, and the creation of conditions for its definitive conclusion.


2.2. The parties reiterate their unequivocal acceptance of the validity of pertinent political-juridical instruments, namely the Lusaka Protocol and UN Security Council resolutions related to the Angolan peace process.

Lusaka Protocol: Annex 6: Agenda Item II.4: National Reconciliation: I. General Principles

4. National Reconciliation implies:(d) That, in accordance with Article 54(d) and (e) and Article 89(c) and (d) of the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Angola, the administration of the country be effectively decentralized and deconcentrated. 

5. Within the framework of National Reconciliation and without prejudice to the principle of national unity, the concretization [sic] of decentralization and administrative deconcentration, as stipulated in Paragraph 4(d) of the General Principles, shall be carried out.

Implementation History


Minimum Implementation

The 2002 Luena Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) calls for continuing and completing the decentralization efforts under the 1994 Lusaka Protocol. In February 2002, Fernando Dias Dos Santos Nando, Minister of the Interior, spoke at a national seminar on the topic of renewing the government’s ongoing programs of decentralization.1 

  • 1. “Angola: Savimbi's Death Likely to Lead to Cease-Fire – Minister,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, February 28, 2002.

Minimum Implementation

No major steps toward decentralizing the government took place in 2003.


Minimum Implementation

A joint study by the UN Development Program and Angola's Ministry of Territorial Administration examined 16 provinces, 47 municipalities, and 47 districts across Angola and recommended greater decentralization of power. Specifically, the report called for fewer government employees at the national and provincial levels and more at the local community level.2

  • 2. “Angola: New UN Report Calls for Greater Decentralisation,” Africa News, May 27, 2004.

Minimum Implementation

Limited decentralization programs were promoted in areas of the country in 2005, although it is unclear whether government functions were transfered to local areas. In 2006, the USAID budget for Angola was 25.5 million and focused on improved governing and democratization. According to USAID, “The Governing Justly and Democratically objective strengthens constituencies and institutions required for democratic governance by strengthening civil society organizations and promoting local government decentralization; fostering an independent media, government transparency, accountability, and capability, and improved dialogue between citizens and government; and laying the groundwork for free and fair elections.”1

  • 1. “State Department Issues Background Note on Angola,” US Fed News, July 1, 2007.

Minimum Implementation

No details on decentralization programs were found for 2006.


Intermediate Implementation

Programs on decentralization and local governance promoted by the Ministry of Territory Administration, in partnership with UNDP, were held in communities throughout Angola in 2007.4 

In August of 2007, the government took a major step toward the administrative decentralization of the country by granting budgetary autonomy to 50 municipalities. According to one report “the government has embarked on a program of decentralization, and in August 2007 the Council of Ministers passed a resolution to grant 50 municipalities control of their own budgets.”5

  • 4. “Angola: Malanje Hosts Workshop on Decentralisation, Governance,” Africa News, November 14, 2007.
  • 5. “State Department Issues Background Note on Angola.” US Fed News, January 1, 2008.

Intermediate Implementation

The creation of the Municipal Management Fund in 2008 was considered an important step for the decentralization process in Angola. Also in 2008, the program on budgetary decentralization was extended to give all municipalities in Angola control over their budget.6

  • 6. “State Department Issues Background Note on Republic of Angola,” Targeted News Service, April 11, 2011.

Intermediate Implementation

Programs on decentralization and local governance continued in 2009.


Full Implementation

A 2010 report claims that Angola has completed “the permanent transfer of competences from the central administration organs to the local administration of state and the reinforcement of the districts' institutional capacity.”7

  • 7. “Angola: Steps Taken for Decentralisation Process Considered Important,” Africa News, October 22, 2010.

Full Implementation

The Ministry of Territory Administration took further steps towards decentralization with the formation of local administrative units and the passage and implementation of new laws such as the Law on the Local Administration Organ Organization and Functioning.8

  • 8. “Angola: Country Takes Positive Steps in Decentralisation Process,” Africa News, November 2, 2010.