Invest in “primary production sector” to Address Angola’s Unemployment: Bishop to State

Bishop Belmiro Cuica Chissengueti. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Liaison Bishop of the Episcopal Commission for Youth, University, Scouting and Vocations Ministry of the Episcopal Conference of Angola and São Tomé (CEAST) has called on the Angolan government to invest in the “primary production sector” to provide opportunities for unemployed youth.

In an interview with ACI Africa, Bishop Belmiro Cuica Chissengueti said, “What the state, in my opinion, should do, is to foment the primary production sector. Because when you produce what you eat and then have leftovers, you sell it and save resources. Our African countries, unfortunately, tend to be importers of unemployment.”

“The challenge of unemployment is principally the problem that the state needs to fix. Unfortunately, a lot of the policies in our country are not based on reality, and therefore create lobbies that get the youth comfortable with being consumers, not with being hard workers”, said Bishop Chissengueti in the Monday, October 3 interview.

The Local Ordinary of Angola’s Cabinda Diocese who doubles as CEAST Spokesperson further said that the government of the Southern African nation should focus on the primary agriculture sector.

He explained, “When an individual produces their food, they can feed themselves and their families and sell the excess produce. In our African countries, unemployment is so rife that we must look at producing our food so that people do not starve.”


“When speaking about lobbying we know that there are many countries like Portugal, the USA and now, especially China that sell cheap items and Angolans immediately think to buy their products and resell them instead of looking towards growing their produce and selling it”, the 53-year-old Angolan Bishop added.

In the October 3 interview, the member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans) who has been at the helm of Cabinda Diocese since his installation in October 2018 underscored the need to promote agriculture in rural areas to stop people from seeking job opportunities in Angola’s capital city, Luanda. 

“This change in mentality is very important and ultimately the state must invest in agriculture more than it does in defense and security as we are blessed not to have a war going on currently,” he said, and added, “The government needs to especially invest in agriculture in rural areas so that people don’t feel obligated to come to the capital city of Luanda to make a living.”

The Liaison Bishop of CEAST Episcopal Commission for Youth, University, Scouting and Vocations Ministry continued, “Moreover, many youths believe that the only way to escape poverty is gaining an education and to work for the government. However, the government must invest in other sectors like agriculture so that people have more avenues to take themselves out of poverty.”

“Moreover, the government just does not have the capacity to even hire everyone and the more the state hires people, the fewer resources it will have to invest in other sectors,” Bishop Chissengueti said.

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The Angolan Catholic Bishop emphasized the need for the government to “invest in primary agriculture and fertilizer as well as industrialization, so that our country can specialize in both the primary and secondary sectors so that we can export more than we import.”

“The government needs to ensure that foreigners do not earn more than nationals,” he told ACI Africa during the October 3 interview.

Sheila Pires is a veteran radio and television Mozambican journalist based in South Africa. She studied communications at the University of South Africa. She is passionate about writing on the works of the Church through Catholic journalism.