Security services to fit local dynamics Protector Ana CARVALHO

Angola must allow oil and gas companies to decide which security partners they want to rely on based on what they assess is the best solution for them.

Ana CARVALHO President of the Administrative Council PROTECTOR

Security services to fit local dynamics

July 20, 2022

Ana Carvalho, president of the administrative council of Protector, talks to The Energy Year about the safety situation in Angola and the company’s competitive advantages in the security services field. Protector is a security company providing various security services, including security for oil and gas companies.

Can you walk us through the company’s main services?
Protector is a security services company for both private and goods transportation purposes. We also provide CCTV services, security guards and event security for anything from social events to musical acts. Since our founding in 1991, we have been able to secure hundreds of events and have over 100 permanent contracts.
We are certified by APCER – Associação Portuguesa de Certificação, an international certification company from Portugal. Their auditors visit each year to certify companies, and our different departments are in close contact with them. This shows our deep commitment to understanding the security sector’s dynamics in Africa, and we bring and update both services and models that really work here.
Our goal is to create win-win relations by providing quality services. That’s why we are always perceived as a top service provider. The wellbeing of our people and the sustainability of the company itself are also very important for us.
These 30 years of professional life in Angola have given us more sustainability, more professionalism and more adaptability to the client’s needs.

What makes you stand out from the competition?
Both our physical and digital security services are very well structured, and we have our own equipment. We have mechanics and workshops to keep our fleet of 200 vehicles always in good condition and a modern CCTV operations control room working 24 hours.
Our competitors don’t have equipment designed specifically for security purposes, such as armoured safes and armoured cars. We are a safe company to work with, and we are proud to fulfil our core business of security in the country. Our track record proves it and we have delegations from Cabinda to Cunene.
Protector understands its core business with great respect and provides services at an appropriate price.
We have a global perspective too. To know what is happening around the world in the security field and to be updated and acquire knowledge from other countries’ experiences, we produce a comparative analysis of armoured vehicle thefts in different countries. In Angola, Protector has smaller cars than those owned by South African security companies. South Africa has better road infrastructure. Cars there are large, which is something we rarely see here given the quality of our roads, which require rather small vehicles.

How do you assess the safety situation in Angola compared to other African countries?
Angola is currently becoming less safe. One of the main reasons for this is the country’s high unemployment rate, as many people are unable to satisfy their basic needs. This is a factor the government must work on because once it improves, several issues will also improve, including security. Still, Angola is not as dangerous as Nigeria or South Africa.
A favourable point is that insurance is obligatory for all companies in Angola. There is insurance for cash cargo, which determines the quantity of money that can be carried by each vehicle and is a way of protecting us and the client in case something happens, and also other insurance policies so we can focus on security services and do it well.


How is Protector collaborating with international oil and gas companies that operate in Angola?
There are several oil companies in our portfolio. We mostly advise clients on how to act when dealing with security issues. However, the approach oil and gas companies use to ensure safety is different from that of other clients: given their international status, they often have someone specialised in security and a suggested model on how to operate that is usually based on processes that have worked in different countries. Using our on-the-ground expertise, we adapt their proposals to the local reality until we reach common ground.

What kind of security opportunities do you perceive in the development of renewable energies?
We recently signed a service contract with a Group, a multinational oil and gas company considered one of the seven “supermajor” oil companies in the world, which has operations in 69 countries, and is now involved in the building of seven photovoltaic solar power plants with a total of 1 million solar panels to be installed in the south of the country.
We told them how we would operate, and they gave us a lot of input on how things should be done. There will be many solar parks like this one in Angola’s future that will require security. This is the first one, and this experience will allow us to learn a lot.

To what extent do you think the business environment in Angola’s energy industry has changed throughout the years?
There was a point in time when the provision of security services for the oil and gas sector was reserved only for certain Angolan companies. Now the country’s business framework is more competitive and transparent. Companies have won trust based on their merits, and current measures implemented by the government, such as those fighting corruption, are helping us.
Nonetheless, there is still room for local security companies to develop and improve on a daily basis, and they should be aware that ultimately it is the client who chooses who to work with. Angola must allow oil and gas companies to decide which security partners they want to rely on based on what they assess is the best solution for them.

What is the company’s standpoint on partnerships?
We will go through with any partnerships that are required. We do not see them as obstacles but rather as opportunities for us to improve certain skills and learn from others to fulfil our goal of providing a leading security service in the country. We enjoy inviting people to our company. When they come, they might realise Angola is a good market, and some of them might decide to stay.

How might changes in the fuel and power supply affect the company’s future plans?
We have two different points to analyse. If we talk about the State accounts, it will be very favourable if the barrel price will increase. In the business field, because we are in election time and because we know that sooner or later the State will withdraw the support it has given to fuels (stop subsidising the prices) it will be a great challenge for companies, as this increases the cost of living in general.
For our company, fuel plays an important role. The cost of power affects us too, as we always depend on climatised rooms and generators to provide CCTV services, so we need to have multiple backup power systems to be efficient.
Our strategy, however, is to be as prepared as possible for every scenario. I always have plans A, B and C. A is based on the government succeeding in achieving a sustainable fuel and power supply, but if that fails, we have multiple backup plans. We are also examining our strengths and weaknesses, and aiming to implement a leaner, more efficient structure.

Read our latest insights on: