APOPO Registered in Angola!

By Ashley Fitzpatrick | Mine Action Advisor

A first step toward independent registration and licensing.

Three years in the making, last week APOPO received its registration from Angola’s Ministry of Justice which permits APOPO to conduct its humanitarian demining activities independently in Angola. This credential is the first step toward independent registration and licensing with all relevant authorities in Angola which will make way for APOPO’s access to new funding streams and a range of potential partnerships. Most importantly, this new standing will help APOPO accelerate landmine clearance in Angola in accordance with Angola’s 2025 deadline for compliance with Article 5 of the Antipersonnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC).

While maintaining its valued and successful partnership with Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), APOPO will, in parallel, continue advancing the process toward full legal standing in Angola as a humanitarian demining operator. To this end, APOPO hopes to form strategic partnerships with other operators already active in the country by providing animal detection capacity and expertise with the aim of accessing the complete mine action toolbox for effective and efficient land release.

As APOPO is the only operator with animals, namely mine detection rats (MDR), in the country, humanitarian mine action in Angola would benefit from increased animal detection capacity nationwide in the challenge for completion and an Angola free of landmines. APOPO’s MDR are too light to detonate the landmines and are very quick at finding them, making them a good tool for accelerating detection and clearance. When they are integrated into conventional landmine clearance methods such as survey, manual deminers with metal detectors, and mechanical demining the MDR are proven to significantly speed up land release, helping return safe land to vulnerable communities as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

APOPO remains most grateful to its donors and partners who are instrumental to the success of our landmine clearance program. We especially thank our legal representation in Luanda and Angola’s national mine action authority the Comissão Nacional Intersectorial de Desminagem e Assistência Humanitária (CNIDAH), for supporting APOPO with the registration process.