About Angola [ Country ]

Here we've distilled information and facts from various sources about the location, size, population, geography, transport, climate, economy, history, government, law, and so on, of Angola; into a view that makes sense for a traveller to, or within, this country.

Location

Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Namibia and Democratic Republic of the Congo

Climate

Semiarid in south and along coast to Luanda; north has cool, dry season (May to October) and hot, rainy season (November to April)

Terrain

Narrow coastal plain rises abruptly to vast interior plateau

Elevation

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Morro de Moco 2,620 m

Geo Notes

The province of Cabinda is an exclave, separated from the rest of the country by the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Approved Official Names

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

Capital City

name: Luanda
geographic coordinates: 8 50 S, 13 14 E
time difference: UTC+1

Administrative Divisions

18 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Bengo, Benguela, Bie, Cabinda, Cuando Cubango, Cuanza Norte, Cuanza Sul, Cunene, Huambo, Huila, Luanda, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Malanje, Moxico, Namibe, Uige, Zaire

Natuaral Hazards

Locally heavy rainfall causes periodic flooding on the plateau

Environmental Issues

Overuse of pastures and subsequent soil erosion attributable to population pressures; desertification; deforestation of tropical rain forest, in response to both international demand for tropical timber and to domestic use as fuel, resulting in loss of biodiversity; soil erosion contributing to water pollution and siltation of rivers and dams; inadequate supplies of potable water

Infectious Diseases

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2009)

Life Expectancy

total population: 38.48 years
male: 37.48 years
female: 39.52 years (2010 est.)

Sex Ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Languages Spoken

Portuguese (official), Bantu and other African languages

Religions Practiced

Indigenous beliefs 47%, Roman Catholic 38%, Protestant 15% (1998 est.)

Legal System

Based on Portuguese civil law system and customary law; modified to accommodate political pluralism and increased use of free markets; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National Holiday

Independence Day, 11 November (1975)

Illicit Drugs

Used as a transshipment point for cocaine destined for Western Europe and other African states, particularly South Africa

Telephone System

general assessment: limited system; state-owned telecom had monopoly for fixed-lines until 2005; demand outstripped capacity, prices were high, and services poor; Telecom Namibia, through an Angolan company, became the first private licensed operator in Angola's fixed-line telephone network; by 2010, the number of fixed-line providers had expanded to 5; Angola Telecom established mobile-cellular service in Luanda in 1993 and the network has been extended to larger towns; a privately-owned, mobile-cellular service provider began operations in 2001
domestic: only about two fixed-lines per 100 persons; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity about 65 telephones per 100 persons in 2009
international: country code - 244; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; satellite earth stations - 29 (2009)

Broadcast Media

State controls all broadcast media with nationwide reach; state-owned Televisao Popular de Angola (TPA) provides terrestrial TV service on 2 channels; a third TPA channel is available via cable and satellite; TV subscription services are available; state-owned Radio Nacional de Angola (RNA) broadcasts on 5 stations; about a half dozen private radio stations broadcast locally (2008)

Background

Angola is rebuilding its country after the end of a 27-year civil war in 2002. Fighting between the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), led by Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS, and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas SAVIMBI, followed independence from Portugal in 1975. Peace seemed imminent in 1992 when Angola held national elections, but fighting picked up again by 1996. Up to 1.5 million lives may have been lost - and 4 million people displaced - in the quarter century of fighting. SAVIMBI's death in 2002 ended UNITA's insurgency and strengthened the MPLA's hold on power. President DOS SANTOS held legislative elections in September 2008 and, despite promising to hold presidential elections in 2009, has since made a presidential poll contingent on the drafting of a new constitution.

Economy Overview

Angola's high growth rate in recent years was driven by its oil sector, and high international oil prices. Oil production and its supporting activities contribute about 85% of GDP. Increased oil production supported growth averaging more than 15% per year from 2004 to 2007. The global recession and lower prices led to a contraction in GDP in 2009. A postwar reconstruction boom and resettlement of displaced persons has led to high rates of growth in construction and agriculture as well. Much of the country's infrastructure is still damaged or undeveloped from the 27-year-long civil war. Remnants of the conflict such as widespread land mines still mar the countryside even though an apparently durable peace was established after the death of rebel leader Jonas SAVIMBI in February 2002. Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for most of the people, but half of the country's food must still be imported. Since 2005, the government has used billions of dollars in credit lines from China, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Spain, and the EU to rebuild Angola's public infrastructure. Although consumer inflation declined from 325% in 2000 to under 13% in 2008, the stabilization policy proved unsustainable and Angola abandoned its currency peg in 2009. Angola became a member of OPEC in late 2006 and in late 2007 was assigned a production quota of 1.9 million barrels a day (bbl), somewhat less than the 2-2.5 million bbl Angola's government had wanted. In November 2009 the IMF announced its approval of Luanda's request for a Stand-By Arrangement; the loan of $1.4 billion aims to rebuild Angola's international reserves. Corruption, especially in the extractive sectors, is a major challenge.

National Anthem

name: "Angola Avante" (Forward Angola)
lyrics/music: Manuel Rui Alves MONTEIRO/Rui Alberto Vieira Dias MINGAO
note: adopted 1975

Angola location map
Size

total: 1,246,700 sq km
land: 1,246,700 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Angola flag
Population

13,068,161 (July 2010 est.)

Nationality

noun: Angolan(s)
adjective: Angolan

Ethnic Groups

Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, mestico (mixed European and native African) 2%, European 1%, other 22%

HIV/AIDS Rate

2.1% (2007 est.)

Independence Date

11 November 1975 (from Portugal)

Government Type

Republic; multiparty presidential regime

Voting Rights

18 years of age; universal

Internet Users

550,000 (2008)

Internet Hosts

3,717 (2010)

Internet Country Code

.ao

Refugees & IDPs

refugees (country of origin): 12,615 (Democratic Republic of Congo)
IDPs: 61,700 (27-year civil war ending in 2002; 4 million IDPs already have returned) (2007)

Number Airports

193 (2010)

Number Paved Airports

total: 31
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2010)

Railways

total: 2,764 km
narrow gauge: 2,641 km 1.067-m gauge; 123 km 0.600-m gauge (2008)

Roadways

total: 51,429 km
paved: 5,349 km
unpaved: 46,080 km (2001)

Inland Waterways

1,300 km (2008)

Ports & Terminals

Cabinda, Lobito, Luanda, Namibe

National Budget

revenues: $27.06 billion
expenditures: $31.47 billion (2009 est.)

Account Balance

-$1.668 billion (2009 est.)
$6.408 billion (2008 est.)

Exchange Rates

kwanza (AOA) per US dollar - 77.17 (2009), 75.023 (2008), 76.6 (2007), 80.4 (2006), 88.6 (2005)

Inflation Rate

13.7% (2009 est.)
12.5% (2008 est.)

Main Industries

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

Agricultural Products

Bananas, sugarcane, coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, manioc (tapioca), tobacco, vegetables, plantains; livestock; forest products; fish

Labor Force

7.769 million (2009 est.)

Main Occupations

agriculture: 85%
industry and services: 15% (2003 est.)

Unemployment Rate

NA

GDP (USD Parity)

$106.2 billion (2009 est.)
$107.1 billion (2008 est.)
$94.48 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP Per Capita

$8,300 (2009 est.)
$8,500 (2008 est.)
$7,700 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

Family Income Percent

lowest 10%: 0.6%
highest 10%: 44.7%

Below Poverty

40.5% (2006 est.)