This study was carried out as a collaborative effort between the Center of Studies and Scientific Research (CEIC) of the Catholic University of Angola (UCAN), the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) and Independent Policy Analysis. Its purpose is to critically review the role the churches in Angola play in relation to addressing poverty in the country. Central questions addressed are the kinds of interventions the churches undertake and to what extent the churches contribute to poverty reduction in Angola?

Churches have a long history in Angola, which is intertwined with the history of colonialism, the struggle for independence and the many years of civil war. This has forced churches to relate and adapt to radical changes in the political, social and economic environment.

The churches are the civil society actors in Angola with the most developed organizational structures and strongest international networks. Yet, the strength of this network is weakened by the lack of skilled human resources.

Making education available is perhaps the most significant contribution the churches make to development in Angola. Most of the churches also run health posts and hospitals in remote areas of the country.