Name of the Country:
- Conventional long form: Republic of Angola
- Conventional short form: Angola
- Local long form: Republica de Angola
- Local short form: Angola
- Former: People's Republic of Angola
Currency: Angolan kwanza
President: José Eduardo dos Santos
Anthem : National Anthem
- Angola derives its name from the Bantu kingdom of Ndongo.
- The name of the Bantu king was Ngola, hence the name “Angola”.
- Khoisan speakers are believed to be the original inhabitants of the region.
- 1000 years later, the area was taken over by Bantu speakers.
- Angola was explored by the Portuguese navigator Diego Cão in 1482.
- It was an import trade link between India and Southeast Asia.
- It was also a major source of slaves for Portugal's New World colony of Brazil.
- Development of the interior began after the Berlin Conference in 1885.
- British and Portuguese investment developed mining, railways and agriculture.
- The major nationalist organizations were the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA); National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).
- After 14 years of war with Portugal, Angola won its independence in 1975.
- The MPLA has controlled the government since independence.
- UNITA disputed the MPLA's ascendancy and a civil war ensued.
- After the end of the cold civil war in 1989, the MPLA worked towards a multiparty democracy.
- Free elections took place in 1992 which were won by the MPLA.
- Four years of relative peace took place between 1994 and 1998.
- In 1997 it was agreed that a coalition government with UNITA would be implemented.
- The government suspended coalition rule in Sept. 1998, and another civil war took place.
- On April 4, rebel leaders signaled the end of 30 years of civil war.
- The post –war Angola suffered from starvation and poverty.
- In Aug. 2006, a peace deal was signed with separatist rebels from the Cabinda region.
Angola has a variety of ethnic groups that are distributed as follows:
- Ovimbundu -37%
- Kimbundu -25%
- Bakongo -13%
- Mestico (mixed European and native African)- 2%
- European -1%
- Other -22%
- Close to half of the Angolan population follows indigenous religious beliefs.
- The remaining are Roman Catholic (38%) and Protestant (15%)
Government and Politics:
- Angola is run by a republic, multiparty presidential regime government.
- Administrative divisions include 18 provinces namely: Bengo, Benguela, Bie, Cabinda, Cuando Cubango, Cuanza Norte, Cuanza Sul, Cunene, Huambo, Huila, Luanda, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Malanje, Moxico, Namibe, Uige and Zaire.
- 11 November 1975 (Independence Day) is observed as a national holiday.
- The Constitution was adopted by People's Assembly in 25 August 1992.
- The legal system is based on Portuguese civil law system and customary law.
- Legal system is modified to accommodate political pluralism and increased use of free markets.
- Angola has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.
- The president is both chief of state and head of government.
The Council of Ministers are appointed by the president The president is elected by a universal ballot for a five-year term.
- The Legislative branch comprises of a unicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional bearing 220 seats.
- Members are elected by a proportional vote to serve four-year terms.
The Judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court and separate provincial courts.
- Judges are appointed by the president.
- Portuguese is the official language of Angola.
- Indigenous customs and traditions are widely prevalent.
- Other recognized languages are Bantu, Kongo, Chokwe, South Mbundu and Mbundu.
- The Angolan culture is mostly native Bantu mixed with Portuguese culture.
- In the Moxico province more than 10,000 persons are Spanish-speaking.
- Angola is the second-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Yet it is one of the poorest countries on the African continent due to a corrupt government.
- Angola's high growth rate is attributed to record oil prices and rising petroleum production.
- Oil production and its supporting industries contribute about 85% of GDP.
- A postwar reconstruction boom and resettlement programs has led to growth in construction and agriculture departments.
- Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for most of the people.
- More than half of the food items have to be imported.
- Angola has large credit lines from China, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Spain, and the EU. The central bank in 2003 implemented an exchange rate stabilization program which has significantly reduced inflation.
- The stabilization policy has however put pressure on international net liquidity.
- Angola became a member of OPEC in late 2006.
- In 2007, Angola was assigned a production quota of 1.9 million barrels a day.
- Angola’s other resources include gold, diamonds, extensive forests and Atlantic fisheries.
- The government has rejected a formal IMF monitored program.
- The country continues with Article IV consultations and ad hoc cooperation.
- GDP (purchasing power parity) as calculated in 2007 was $91.29 billion.
- Extensive unemployment and underemployment affects more than half the Angolan population.
- 70% of the population is below poverty line (2003 est.)
- Agricultural produce includes bananas, sugarcane, coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, manioc (tapioca), tobacco, vegetables, plantains; livestock; forest products and fish.
- Industrial produce includes petroleum; diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, feldspar, bauxite, uranium, and gold; cement; basic metal products; fish processing; food processing, brewing, tobacco products, sugar; textiles; ship repair
- Imported commodities include machinery and electrical equipment, vehicles and spare parts; medicines, food, textiles and military goods.
Airports in Angola:
- Much of the country's infrastructure is still damaged or undeveloped due to prolonged civil war.
- In 2005, the government started using a $7 billion line of credit from China to rebuild Angola's public infrastructure.
- The telephone system in Angola is inadequately developed.
- There are less than 20 fixed lines per 100 persons.
- Telephone prices are high and services are poor.
- Telecom Namibia is the first private licensed operator in Angola's fixed-line telephone network.
- Angola Telecom provides mobile-cellular service in Luanda and other major cities.
- Radio and television broadcast services are well established.
- Internet services are present though not readily available.
- Most airports have unpaved runways.
- Railway lines are spread over 2,761 km.
- Large parts of the roadways are unpaved.
- Main ports and marine terminals are located in Cabinda, Lobito, Luanda and Namibe.
- Education in Angola is compulsory and free for children upto 8 years of age.
- There is a severe paucity of school buildings and teachers.
- There continue to be significant disparities in enrollment between rural and urban areas.
- The number of boys attending school is more than that of girls.
- The government is making attempts to recruit and train large number of teachers.
- Lack of resources and poor health also prevent children from regularly attending schools.
- The education system in Angola is extremely under-funded.
- Literacy is quite low, with 67.4% of the population being able to read and write in Portuguese.
- 82.9% of males and 54.2% of women are literate (2001 est.)
Angola is surrounded by:
- Namibia (south)
- Democratic Republic of the Congo ( north)
- Zambia ( east)
- Atlantic Ocean (west)
- Angola is located in Southern Africa.
- Its geographic coordinates are 12 30 S, 18 30 E.
- The total area of the country is 1,246,700 sq km, The coastline is 1,600 km long.
- The climate is semiarid in south and along coast to Luanda.
- The north has cool, dry seasons and hot, rainy seasons.
- The terrain comprises of narrow coastal plains that rise abruptly to vast interior plateau.
- The highest peak is Morro de Moco standing at 2,620 m.
- Natural resources include petroleum, diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, copper, feldspar, gold, bauxite and uranium.
Angola Related Topics:
Angola Tourist Attractions:
- Quicama National Park
- Cangandala National Park
- Mupa National Park
- Kalandula Falls
- Iona National Park
- Luiana National Park
- Cunene River
- Bicauri National Park
- Fortress of Sao Miguel
- Cameia National Park
- National Museum of Slavery
- Cathedral of the holy Saviour