There are a number of "social funds" in Angola, and other social projects financed and managed by private and foreign actors. International and Angolan companies and commercial actors - mainly in the extractive industries sector - contribute substantial amounts of money through "social funds," social bonuses, earmarked taxes and voluntary charity contributions.

These payments represent attempts to:

(i) create broader economic development from Angola's mineral wealth
(ii) strengthen the legitimacy of oil and diamond companies

There is scarce information on the amounts spent and on the impact of this spending. There is also a weak control and coordination of the projects implemented. For instance, the President's social fund and the First's Lady' social fund are probably primarily strengthening the status and influence of the fund's initiators, and the social component on signature bonuses and production taxes are managed by the state oil company Sonangol outside of public investment budgets.

The social funds raise serious questions of transparency, accountability and democratic control. The current pattern of social spending - in parallel to public spending - can even lead to government de-institutionalisation.

This project will:

(i) Describe the current situation and provide an inventory of the various types and sizes of funds.
(ii) Examine the motivations and strategies of the various fund managers and implementers.
(iii) Analyse the consequences of social spending outside of government structures.
(iv) Suggest ways to improve transparency and accountability.