Angola
Overview
 
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola ' onMouseout='HidePop("16910")' href="/topics/Kimbundu">Kimbundu
Kimbundu
North Mbundu, or Kimbundu, one of two Bantu languages called Mbundu is one of the most widely spoken Bantu languages in Angola, concentrated in the north-west of the country, notably in the Luanda Province, the Bengo Province and the Malanje Province...

, Umbundu
Umbundu
South Mbundu, or Umbundu, is a language spoken by the Southern Mbundu people - now generally referred to by the way they call themselves, Ovimbundu - in the central highlands of Angola. Umbundu is the most widespread Bantu language in Angola. About one third of Angola is represented by Ovimbundu...

: Repubilika ya Ngola), is a country in south-central Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 bordered by Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

 on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

 on the north, and Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 with Luanda
Luanda
Luanda, formerly named São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda, is the capital and largest city of Angola. Located on Angola's coast with the Atlantic Ocean, Luanda is both Angola's chief seaport and its administrative center. It has a population of at least 5 million...

 as its capital city.
Timeline

1575    Luanda, the capital of Angola was founded by the Portuguese navigator Paulo Dias de Novais.

1976    The Angolan court sentenced US and UK mercenaries to death sentences and prison terms in the Luanda Trial.

1976    One American and three British mercenaries are executed in Angola following the Luanda Trial.

1976    Angola joins the United Nations.

1991    A rare tropical storm develops in the South Atlantic Ocean near Angola; the first to be documented by satellites.

1991    Bicesse Accords in Angola lay out a transition to multi-party democracy under the supervision of the United Nations' UNAVEM II mission.

1993    A truce is concluded between the government of Angola and UNITA rebels.

1994    The Angolan government and UNITA rebels sign the Lusaka Protocol in Zambia, ending 19 years of civil war (localized fighting resumes the next year).

2000    A chartered Antonov An-26 explodes after takeoff in Northern Angola killing 50.

2000    A chartered Antonov An-24 crashes after takeoff from Luanda, Angola killing more than 40 people.

Encyclopedia
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola ' onMouseout='HidePop("16910")' href="/topics/Kimbundu">Kimbundu
Kimbundu
North Mbundu, or Kimbundu, one of two Bantu languages called Mbundu is one of the most widely spoken Bantu languages in Angola, concentrated in the north-west of the country, notably in the Luanda Province, the Bengo Province and the Malanje Province...

, Umbundu
Umbundu
South Mbundu, or Umbundu, is a language spoken by the Southern Mbundu people - now generally referred to by the way they call themselves, Ovimbundu - in the central highlands of Angola. Umbundu is the most widespread Bantu language in Angola. About one third of Angola is represented by Ovimbundu...

: Repubilika ya Ngola), is a country in south-central Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 bordered by Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

 on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

 on the north, and Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 with Luanda
Luanda
Luanda, formerly named São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda, is the capital and largest city of Angola. Located on Angola's coast with the Atlantic Ocean, Luanda is both Angola's chief seaport and its administrative center. It has a population of at least 5 million...

 as its capital city. The exclave
Enclave and exclave
In political geography, an enclave is a territory whose geographical boundaries lie entirely within the boundaries of another territory.An exclave, on the other hand, is a territory legally or politically attached to another territory with which it is not physically contiguous.These are two...

 province of Cabinda has borders with the Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
The Republic of the Congo , sometimes known locally as Congo-Brazzaville, is a state in Central Africa. It is bordered by Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo , the Angolan exclave province of Cabinda, and the Gulf of Guinea.The region was dominated by...

 and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

.

The Portuguese were present in some—mostly coastal—points of the territory of what is now Angola, from the 16th to the 19th century, interacting in diverse ways with the peoples that lived there. In the 19th century they slowly and hesitantly began to establish themselves in the interior. Angola as a Portuguese colony encompassing the present teritory was not established before the end of the 19th century, and "effective occupation", as required by the Berlin Conference (1884) was achieved only by the 1920s. Independence was achieved in 1975, after a protracted liberation war. After independence, Angola was the scene of an intense civil war from 1975 to 2002
Angolan Civil War
The Angolan Civil War was a major civil conflict in the Southern African state of Angola, beginning in 1975 and continuing, with some interludes, until 2002. The war began immediately after Angola became independent from Portugal in November 1975. Prior to this, a decolonisation conflict had taken...

. The country has vast mineral
Mineral
A mineral is a naturally occurring solid chemical substance formed through biogeochemical processes, having characteristic chemical composition, highly ordered atomic structure, and specific physical properties. By comparison, a rock is an aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids and does not...

 and petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 reserves, and its economy has grown on average at a two-digit pace since the 1990s, and especially since the end of the civil war. However, its level of human development is rather low, and its life expectancy
Life expectancy
Life expectancy is the expected number of years of life remaining at a given age. It is denoted by ex, which means the average number of subsequent years of life for someone now aged x, according to a particular mortality experience...

 and infant mortality
Infant mortality
Infant mortality is defined as the number of infant deaths per 1000 live births. Traditionally, the most common cause worldwide was dehydration from diarrhea. However, the spreading information about Oral Re-hydration Solution to mothers around the world has decreased the rate of children dying...

 rates are both among the worst-ranked in the world.

Etymology

The name "Angola" comes from the Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 colonial name Reino de Angola
Angola (Portugal)
Angola is the common name by which the Portuguese colony in southwestern Africa was known across different periods of time...

, appearing as early as Dias de Novais's 1571 charter. The toponym was derived by the Portuguese from the title ngola held by the kings of Ndongo
Kingdom of Ndongo
The Kingdom of Ndongo, formerly known as Dongo or Angola, is the name of an early-modern African state located in what is now day Angola. Ndongo was built by the Northern Mbundu people, a Bantu-speaking people inhabiting northern Angola....

. Ndongo was a kingdom in the highlands between the Kwanza and Lukala Rivers nominally tributary to the king of Kongo
Kingdom of Kongo
The Kingdom of Kongo was an African kingdom located in west central Africa in what are now northern Angola, Cabinda, the Republic of the Congo, and the western portion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

 but which was seeking greater independence during the 16th century.

Early migrations and political units

Khoisan
Khoisan
Khoisan is a unifying name for two ethnic groups of Southern Africa, who share physical and putative linguistic characteristics distinct from the Bantu majority of the region. Culturally, the Khoisan are divided into the foraging San and the pastoral Khoi...

 hunter-gatherer
Hunter-gatherer
A hunter-gatherer or forage society is one in which most or all food is obtained from wild plants and animals, in contrast to agricultural societies which rely mainly on domesticated species. Hunting and gathering was the ancestral subsistence mode of Homo, and all modern humans were...

s are the earliest known modern human inhabitants of the area. They were largely replaced by Bantu tribe
Tribe
A tribe, viewed historically or developmentally, consists of a social group existing before the development of, or outside of, states.Many anthropologists use the term tribal society to refer to societies organized largely on the basis of kinship, especially corporate descent groups .Some theorists...

s during the Bantu migrations
Bantu expansion
The Bantu expansion or the Bantu Migration was a millennia-long series of migrations of speakers of the original proto-Bantu language group...

, though small numbers remain in parts of southern Angola to the present day. The Bantu came from the north, probably from somewhere near the present-day Republic of Cameroon
Cameroon
Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon , is a country in west Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the...

. When they reached what is now Angola, they encountered the Khoisan, Bushmen and other groups considerably less technologically advanced than themselves, whom they easily dominated with their superior knowledge of metal-working, ceramics and agriculture. The establishment of the Bantu took many centuries and gave rise to various groups who took on different ethnic characteristics.

During this period of time, the Bantu established a number of political units ("kingdoms", "empires") in most parts of what today is Angola. The best known of these is the Kingdom of the Kongo that had its centre in the northwest of contemporary Angola, but included important regions in the west of present day Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

 and Republic of Congo as well as in southern Gabon
Gabon
Gabon , officially the Gabonese Republic is a state in west central Africa sharing borders with Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, and with the Republic of the Congo curving around the east and south. The Gulf of Guinea, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean is to the west...

. It established trade routes with other trading cities and civilizations up and down the coast of southwestern and West Africa and even with the Great Zimbabwe
Great Zimbabwe
Great Zimbabwe is a ruined city that was once the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, which existed from 1100 to 1450 C.E. during the country’s Late Iron Age. The monument, which first began to be constructed in the 11th century and which continued to be built until the 14th century, spanned an...

 Mutapa Empire, but engaged in little or no transoceanic trade.

Portuguese presence on the coast

The geographical areas now designated as Angola entered into contact with the Portuguese in the late 15th century, concretely in 1483, when Portugal established relations with the Kongo
Kingdom of Kongo
The Kingdom of Kongo was an African kingdom located in west central Africa in what are now northern Angola, Cabinda, the Republic of the Congo, and the western portion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

 State, which stretched from modern Gabon
Gabon
Gabon , officially the Gabonese Republic is a state in west central Africa sharing borders with Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, and with the Republic of the Congo curving around the east and south. The Gulf of Guinea, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean is to the west...

 in the north to the Kwanza River in the south. In this context, they established a small trade post at the port of Mpinda, in Soyo
Soyo
Soyo is a city located in the province of Zaire in Angola. Soyo recently became the largest oil-producing region in the country, with an estimate of .-Early history:...

. The Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 explorer Paulo Dias de Novais
Paulo Dias de Novais
Paulo Dias de Novais , a nobleman of the Royal Household, was a Portuguese colonizer of Africa in the 16th century and the first Captain-Governor of Angola. He was the grandson of the explorer Bartolomeu Dias....

 founded Luanda
Luanda
Luanda, formerly named São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda, is the capital and largest city of Angola. Located on Angola's coast with the Atlantic Ocean, Luanda is both Angola's chief seaport and its administrative center. It has a population of at least 5 million...

 in 1575 as "São Paulo de Loanda", with a hundred families of settlers and four hundred soldiers. Benguela
Benguela
Benguela is a city in western Angola, south of Luanda, and capital of Benguela Province. It lies on a bay of the same name, in 12° 33’ S., 13° 25’ E...

, a Portuguese fort from 1587 which became a town in 1617, was another important early settlement they founded and ruled. The Portuguese would establish several settlements, forts and trading posts along the coastal strip of current-day Angola, which relied on slave trade
Slavery in Angola
Slavery in Angola existed since early times. Several peoples and tribes from current-day Angola, like the Imbangala and the Mbundu, were active slave traders for centuries...

, commerce in raw materials, and exchange of goods for survival. The African slave trade
African slave trade
Systems of servitude and slavery were common in many parts of Africa, as they were in much of the ancient world. In some African societies, the enslaved people were also indentured servants and fully integrated; in others, they were treated much worse...

 provided a large number of black slaves to Europeans and their African agents. For example, in what is now Angola, the Imbangala
Imbangala
The Imbangala or Mbangala were 17th century groups of Angolan warriors and marauders who founded the kingdom of Kasanje.-Origins of the Imbangala:...

 economy was heavily focused on the slave trade.
European traders would export manufactured goods to the coast of Africa where they would be exchanged for slaves. Within the Portuguese Empire
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

, most black African slaves were traded to Portuguese merchants who bought them to sell as cheap labour for use on Brazilian agricultural plantations. This trade would last until the first half of the 19th century. According to John Iliffe, "Portuguese records of Angola from the 16th century show that a great famine
Famine
A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including crop failure, overpopulation, or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality. Every continent in the world has...

 occurred on average every seventy years; accompanied by epidemic disease, it might kill one-third or one-half of the population, destroying the demographic growth of a generation and forcing colonists back into the river valleys."

The Portuguese gradually took control of the coastal strip during the 16th century by a series of treaties and wars forming the Portuguese colony of Angola. Taking advantage of the Portuguese Restoration War
Portuguese Restoration War
Portuguese Restoration War was the name given by nineteenth-century 'romantic' historians to the war between Portugal and Spain that began with the Portuguese revolution of 1640 and ended with the Treaty of Lisbon . The revolution of 1640 ended the sixty-year period of dual monarchy in Portugal...

, the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 occupied Luanda from 1641 to 1648, where they allied with local peoples, consolidating their colonial rule against the remaining Portuguese resistance. In 1648, a fleet under the command of Salvador de Sá
Salvador de Sá
Salvador Correia de Sá e Benevides was a Portuguese soldier and politician. In 1625 he fought the Dutch invasion of Salvador in Brazil and regained Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe from the Dutch in 1647...

 retook Luanda for Portugal and initiated a conquest of the lost territories, which restored Portugal to its former possessions by 1650. Treaties regulated relations with Kongo
Kingdom of Kongo
The Kingdom of Kongo was an African kingdom located in west central Africa in what are now northern Angola, Cabinda, the Republic of the Congo, and the western portion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

 in 1649 and Njinga's Kingdom of Matamba and Ndongo in 1656. The conquest of Pungo Andongo
Pungo Andongo
The Black Rocks at Pungo Andongo are found some 116 km from the provincial capital of Malanje in Angola. They are a series of mysterious rock formations, many incredibly and spectacular shaped in the form of animals, standing high above the flat African Savanna.There is a fort erected by the...

 in 1671 was the last major Portuguese expansion from Luanda outwards, as attempts to invade Kongo in 1670 and Matamba in 1681 failed. Portugal also expanded its territory behind the colony of Benguela to some extent, but until the 19th century the inroads from Luanda and Benguela were very limited, and Portugal had neither the intention nor the means to carry out a large scale territorial occupation and colonization.

Delimitation and occupation of Angola

The process resulted in few gains until the 1880s. Development of the hinterland began after the Berlin Conference
Berlin Conference
The Berlin Conference of 1884–85 regulated European colonization and trade in Africa during the New Imperialism period, and coincided with Germany's sudden emergence as an imperial power...

 in 1885 fixed the colony's borders, and British and Portuguese investment fostered mining, railways, and agriculture based on various forced labour systems. Full Portuguese administrative control of the hinterland did not occur until the beginning of the 20th century. In 1951, the colony was designated as an overseas province, called Overseas Province of Angola. Portugal had a presence in Angola for nearly five hundred years, and the population's initial reaction to calls for independence was scarce. More overtly political organisations first appeared in the 1950s, instigated by the USSR, and began to make organised demands for self determination, especially in international forums such as the Non-Aligned Movement
Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

.

The Portuguese regime, meanwhile, refused to accede to the demands for independence
Independence
Independence is a condition of a nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory....

, provoking an armed conflict that started in 1961 when black guerrillas attacked both white and black civilians in cross-border operations in northeastern Angola. The war came to be known as the Colonial War
Portuguese Colonial War
The Portuguese Colonial War , also known in Portugal as the Overseas War or in the former colonies as the War of liberation , was fought between Portugal's military and the emerging nationalist movements in Portugal's African colonies between 1961 and 1974, when the Portuguese regime was...

. In this struggle, the principal protagonists were the MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola
Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola
The People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola - Labour Party is a political party that has ruled Angola since the country's independence from Portugal in 1975...

), founded in 1956, the FNLA (National Front for the Liberation of Angola), which appeared in 1961, and UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola), founded in 1966. After many years of conflict that lead to the weakening of all the insurgent parties, Angola gained its independence on 11 November 1975, after the 1974 coup d'état
Carnation Revolution
The Carnation Revolution , also referred to as the 25 de Abril , was a military coup started on 25 April 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, coupled with an unanticipated and extensive campaign of civil resistance...

 in Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

, Portugal, which overthrew the Portuguese regime headed by Marcelo Caetano
Marcelo Caetano
Marcelo José das Neves Alves Caetano, GCTE, GCC, also spelled Marcello Caetano , was a Portuguese politician and scholar, who was the last prime minister of the Estado Novo regime, from 1968 until his overthrow in the Carnation Revolution of 1974....

.

Portugal's new revolutionary leaders
Movimento das Forças Armadas
The Movement of the Armed Forces was an organisation of lower-ranked left-leaning officers in the Portuguese Armed Forces which was responsible for the Carnation Revolution of 25 April 1974, a military coup in Lisbon which ended the corporatist New State regime in Portugal, the Portuguese...

 began in 1974 a process of political change at home and accepted its former colonies' independence abroad. In Angola, a fight for the conquest of power broke out immediately between the three nationalist movements. The events prompted a mass exodus of Portuguese citizens, creating up to 300 000 destitute Portuguese refugee
Refugee
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

s—the retornados.
The new Portuguese government tried to mediate an understanding between the three competing movements, and succeeded in agreeing, on paper, to form a common government, but in the end non of them respected the commitments made, and the issue was resolved by military force.

Independence and civil war

After independence in November 1975, Angola faced a devastating civil war
Angolan Civil War
The Angolan Civil War was a major civil conflict in the Southern African state of Angola, beginning in 1975 and continuing, with some interludes, until 2002. The war began immediately after Angola became independent from Portugal in November 1975. Prior to this, a decolonisation conflict had taken...

 which lasted several decades and claimed millions of lives and produced many refugee
Refugee
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

s. Following negotiations held in Portugal
Alvor Agreement
The Alvor Agreement, signed on January 15, 1975, granted Angola independence from Portugal on November 11, ending the war for independence while marking the transition to civil war...

, itself under severe social and political turmoil and uncertainty due to the April 1974 revolution
Carnation Revolution
The Carnation Revolution , also referred to as the 25 de Abril , was a military coup started on 25 April 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, coupled with an unanticipated and extensive campaign of civil resistance...

, Angola's three main guerrilla groups agreed to establish a transitional government in January 1975.

Within two months, however, the FNLA, MPLA and UNITA
UNITA
The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola is the second-largest political party in Angola. Founded in 1966, UNITA fought with the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola in the Angolan War for Independence and then against the MPLA in the ensuing civil war .The war was one...

 were fighting each other and the country was well on its way to being divided into zones controlled by rival armed political groups. The superpowers were quickly drawn into the conflict, which became a flash point for the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 supported the FNLA and UNITA. The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 supported the MPLA.

In the beginning of the Civil War, most of the half million Portuguese that lived in Angola and accounted for the majority of the skilled work in the public administration, agriculture, industries and trade fled the country leaving its once prosperous and growing economy to a state of bankrupcy.

During most of this period, 1975–1990, the MPLA organised and maintained a socialist regime. Despite the ongoing civil war, the model functioned to a certain degree, although it was foreseeable that it would eventually fail in face of UNITA opposition.

Ceasefire with UNITA

On February 22, 2002, after the MPLA regime come to terms with the USA, Jonas Savimbi
Jonas Savimbi
Jonas Malheiro Savimbi was an Angolan political leader. He founded and led UNITA, a movement that first waged a guerrilla war against Portuguese colonial rule, 1966–1974, then confronted the rival MPLA during the decolonization conflict, 1974/75, and after independence in 1975 fought the ruling...

, the leader of UNITA
UNITA
The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola is the second-largest political party in Angola. Founded in 1966, UNITA fought with the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola in the Angolan War for Independence and then against the MPLA in the ensuing civil war .The war was one...

, was killed in combat with government troops. A cease-fire was reached by the two factions shortly afterwards. UNITA gave up its armed wing and assumed the role of major opposition party, although in the knowledge that in the present regime a legitimate democratic election is impossible. Although the political situation of the country began to stabilize, President Dos Santos has so far refused to institute regular democratic processes, UNITA head officials being given senior positions in top level companies. Among Angola's major problems are a serious humanitarian crisis (a result of the prolonged war), the abundance of minefields, the continuation of the political, and to a much lesser degree, military activities in favour of the independence of the northern exclave of Cabinda
Cabinda (province)
Cabinda is an exclave and province of Angola, a status that has been disputed by many political organizations in the territory. The capital city is also called Cabinda. The province is divided into four municipalities - Belize, Buco Zau, Cabinda and Cacongo.Modern Cabinda is the result of a fusion...

, carried out in the context of the protracted Cabinda Conflict
Cabinda Conflict
Cabinda Conflict is a separatist insurgency of the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda in Cabinda Province against the government of Angola. Cabinda is an enclave rich in oil. The conflict started ´several decades ago...

 by the Frente para a Libertação do Enclave de Cabinda, but most of all, the dilapidation of the country's rich mineral resources by the regime. While most of the internally displaced have now settled around the capital, in the so called "Musseques", the general situation for Angolans remains desperate.

Politics

Angola's motto is Virtus Unita Fortior, a Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 phrase meaning "Virtue is stronger when united." The executive branch of the government is composed of the President, the Vice-Presidents and the Council of Ministers. For decades, political power has been concentrated in the Presidency.

Governors of the 18 provinces are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the president. The Constitutional Law of 1992 establishes the broad outlines of government structure and delineates the rights and duties of citizens. The legal system is based on Portuguese and customary law but is weak and fragmented, and courts operate in only 12 of more than 140 municipalities. A Supreme Court serves as the appellate tribunal; a Constitutional Court with powers of judicial review has not been constituted until 2010, despite statutory authorization.

After the end of the Civil War the regime came under pressure from within as well as from the international environment, to become more democratic and less authoritarian. Its reaction was to operate a number of changes without substantially changing its character.

Parliamentary elections
Angolan legislative election, 2008
A legislative election was held in Angola on September 5 and September 6, 2008, as announced by President José Eduardo dos Santos on December 27, 2007. The 220 seats in the National Assembly were at stake. The 2008 election was the first election in Angola since 1992;...

 held on 5 September 2008, announced MPLA as the winning party with 81% of votes. The closest opposition party was UNITA with 10%. These elections were the first since 1992 and were described as only partly free but certainly not as fair. A White Book on the elections in 2008 lists all irregularities surrounding the Parliamentary elections of 2008.

Angola scored poorly on the 2008 Ibrahim Index of African Governance
Ibrahim Index of African Governance
The Ibrahim Index of African Governance is an attempt to statistically monitor African governance levels throughout all the countries of Africa. Funded and led by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, it uses a number of different indicators to compile an overall ranking of countries, which is designed to be...

. It was ranked 44 from 48 sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of the African continent which lies south of the Sahara. A political definition of Sub-Saharan Africa, instead, covers all African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara...

n countries, scoring particularly badly in the areas of Participation and Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development. The Ibrahim Index uses a number of different variables to compile its list which reflects the state of governance in Africa.

The new constitution, adopted in 2010, further sharpened the authoritarian character of the regime. In the future, there will be no presidential elections: the president and the vice-president of the political party which comes out strongest in the parliamentary elections become automatically president and vice-president of Angola. Through a variety of mechanisms, the state president controls all the other organs of the state, so that the principle of the division of power is not maintained. As a consequence, Angola has no longer a presidential system, in the sense of the systems existing e.g. in the USA or in France. In terms of the classifications used in constitutional law, its regime falls now in the same category as the "caesarist" monarchy of Napoléon Bonaparte in France, António de Oliveira Salazar
António de Oliveira Salazar
António de Oliveira Salazar, GColIH, GCTE, GCSE served as the Prime Minister of Portugal from 1932 to 1968. He also served as acting President of the Republic briefly in 1951. He founded and led the Estado Novo , the authoritarian, right-wing government that presided over and controlled Portugal...

's "corporatist" system established by the Portuguese constitution of 1933, the Brazilian military dictatorship based on the constitution of 1967/69, or several authoritarian regimes in contemporary Africa.

Military

The Angolan Armed Forces (AAF) is headed by a Chief of Staff who reports to the Minister of Defense. There are three divisions—the Army (Exército), Navy (Marinha de Guerra, MGA), and National Air Force (Força Aérea Nacional, FAN). Total manpower is about 110,000. Its equipment includes Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n-manufactured fighters, bombers, and transport planes. There are also Brazilian-made EMB-312 Tucano for training role, Czech-made L-39 for training and bombing role, Czech Zlin for training role and a variety of western made aircraft such as C-212\Aviocar, Sud Aviation Alouette III, etc. A small number of AAF personnel are stationed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

 (Kinshasa) and the Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
The Republic of the Congo , sometimes known locally as Congo-Brazzaville, is a state in Central Africa. It is bordered by Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo , the Angolan exclave province of Cabinda, and the Gulf of Guinea.The region was dominated by...

 (Brazzaville).

Police

The National Police departments are: Public Order, Criminal Investigation, Traffic and Transport, Investigation and Inspection of Economic Activities, Taxation and Frontier Supervision, Riot Police and the Rapid Intervention Police. The National Police are in the process of standing up an air wing, which will provide helicopter support for police operations. The National Police are also developing their criminal investigation and forensic capabilities. The National Police has an estimated 6,000 patrol officers, 2,500 Taxation and Frontier Supervision officers, 182 criminal investigators and 100 financial crimes detectives and around 90 Economic Activity Inspectors.

The National Police have implemented a modernization and development plan to increase the capabilities and efficiency of the total force. In addition to administrative reorganization; modernization projects include procurement of new vehicles, aircraft and equipment, construction of new police stations and forensic laboratories, restructured training programs and the replacement of AKM rifles with 9 mm UZIs for police officers in urban areas.

Administrative divisions


Angola is divided into eighteen provinces
Provinces of Angola
Angola is divided into eighteen provinces:-See also:* ISO 3166-2:AO, the ISO codes for Angola....

 (províncias) and 163 municipalities
Municipalities of Angola
The following is the list of municipalities of Angola, grouped by province.Angola contains 18 províncias which are divided into 163 municípios ....

. The provinces are:

  1. Bengo
    Bengo (province)
    Bengo is a province of Angola. Its capital is Caxito. According to 1988 statistics, there were 18,700 people living in urban areas with 137,400 in rural areas, with a total of 156,100 residents...


  2. Benguela
  3. Bié
    Bié (province)
    Bié is a province of Angola. Located on Bié Plateau in central part of country. Its capital is Kuito and it has an area of 70,314 km² and a population of approximately 800,000. Municipalities in the province include Andulo, Nharea, Cunhinga, Chinguar, Chitembo, Catabola, Camacupa and Cuemba...


  4. Cabinda
    Cabinda (province)
    Cabinda is an exclave and province of Angola, a status that has been disputed by many political organizations in the territory. The capital city is also called Cabinda. The province is divided into four municipalities - Belize, Buco Zau, Cabinda and Cacongo.Modern Cabinda is the result of a fusion...


  5. Cuando Cubango
    Cuando Cubango
    Cuando Cubango is a province of Angola and it has an area of 199,049 km² and a population of approximately 140,000. Menongue is the capital of the province. The governor of the province is General Eusebio de Brito. According to 1988 US government statistics, the provincial population was...


  6. Cuanza Norte
    Cuanza Norte
    Cuanza Norte or Kwanza Norte is a province of Angola. N'Dalantando is the capital and it has an area of 24,110 km² and a population of approximately 400,000. According to 1988 US government statistics, the province has a population of 365,100, with just 18,000 living in urban areas. Manuel Pedro...


  7. Cuanza Sul
    Cuanza Sul
    Cuanza Sul is a province of Angola. It has an area of 55,660 km² and a population of approximately 600,001.Sumbe is the capital of the province. Municipalities in this province include Porto Amboim, Seles, Conda, Amboim, Quilenda, Libolo, Mussende, Quibala, Waku-Kungo, Cassongue and Ebo.Cuanza Sul...


  8. Cunene
    Cunene (province)
    Cunene is a province of Angola. It has an area of 87,342 km² and a population of approximately 200,000 to 300,000.-Overview:Ondjiva is the capital of the province it was previously known as Vila Pereira d’Eça . Ondjiva is the only city in this province...


  9. Huambo

  1. Huila
  2. Luanda
  3. Lunda Norte
    Lunda Norte
    Lunda Norte is a province of Angola. It has an area of 103,000 km² and a population of approximately 850,000. Angola's first President, Agostino Neto, made Lucapa the provincial capital after independence, but the capital was later moved to Dundo. Municipalities in this province includeShah-Muteba,...


  4. Lunda Sul
    Lunda Sul
    Lunda Sul is a province of Angola. It has an area of 77,637 km² and a population of approximately 125,000. Saurimo is the capital of the province. Other municipalities include Cacolo, Dala and Muconda. This region is rich with diamonds....


  5. Malanje
  6. Moxico
    Moxico (province)
    Moxico is the largest province of the African nation of Angola. It has an area of 223,023 km² and a population of approximately 230,000. Luena is the capital of the province....


  7. Namibe
  8. Uíge
  9. Zaire

Exclave of Cabinda

With an area of approximately 7283 square kilometres (2,812 sq mi), the Northern Angolan province of Cabinda
Cabinda (province)
Cabinda is an exclave and province of Angola, a status that has been disputed by many political organizations in the territory. The capital city is also called Cabinda. The province is divided into four municipalities - Belize, Buco Zau, Cabinda and Cacongo.Modern Cabinda is the result of a fusion...

 is unique in being separated from the rest of the country by a strip, some 60 kilometres (37.3 mi) wide, of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) along the lower Congo river
Congo River
The Congo River is a river in Africa, and is the deepest river in the world, with measured depths in excess of . It is the second largest river in the world by volume of water discharged, though it has only one-fifth the volume of the world's largest river, the Amazon...

. Cabinda borders the Congo Republic to the north and north-northeast and the DRC to the east and south. The town of Cabinda is the chief population center.

According to a 1995 census, Cabinda had an estimated population of 600,000, approximately 400,000 of whom live in neighboring countries. Population estimates are, however, highly unreliable. Consisting largely of tropical forest, Cabinda produces hardwoods, coffee, cocoa, crude rubber and palm oil. The product for which it is best known, however, is its oil, which has given it the nickname, "the Kuwait of Africa". Cabinda's petroleum production from its considerable offshore reserves now accounts for more than half of Angola's output. Most of the oil along its coast was discovered under Portuguese rule by the Cabinda Gulf Oil Company (CABGOC) from 1968 onwards.

Ever since Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 handed over sovereignty of its former overseas province of Angola to the local independence groups (MPLA, UNITA, and FNLA), the territory of Cabinda has been a focus of separatist guerrilla actions opposing the Government of Angola (which has employed its military forces, the FAA—Forças Armadas Angolanas) and Cabindan separatists. The Cabindan separatists, FLEC-FAC, announced a virtual Federal Republic of Cabinda under the Presidency of N'Zita Henriques Tiago. One of the characteristics of the Cabindan independence movement is its constant fragmentation, into smaller and smaller factions, in a process which although not totally fomented by the Angolan government, is undoubtedly encouraged and duly exploited by it.

Transport

Transport in Angola consists of:
  • Three separate railway systems totalling 2,761 km (1,715 mi) of highway
    Highway
    A highway is any public road. In American English, the term is common and almost always designates major roads. In British English, the term designates any road open to the public. Any interconnected set of highways can be variously referred to as a "highway system", a "highway network", or a...

     of which 19156 km (11,903 mi) is paved
  • 1,295 navigable inland waterways
  • Eight major sea ports
  • 243 airport
    Airport
    An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport...

    s, of which 32 are paved.


Travel on highways outside of towns and cities in Angola (and in some cases within) is often not best advised for those without four-by-four vehicles. Whilst a reasonable road infrastructure has existed within Angola, time and the war have taken their toll on the road surfaces, leaving many severely potholed, littered with broken asphalt. In many areas drivers have established alternate tracks to avoid the worst parts of the surface, although careful attention must be paid to the presence or absence of landmine warning markers by the side of the road. The Angolan government has contracted the restoration of many of the country's roads. The road between Lubango and Namibe, for example, was completed recently with funding from the European Union, and is comparable to many European main routes. Progress to complete the road infrastructure is likely to take some decades, but substantial efforts are already being made in the right directions.

Geography


At 481321 square miles (1,246,615.7 km²), Angola is the world's twenty-third largest country (after Niger
Niger
Niger , officially named the Republic of Niger, is a landlocked country in Western Africa, named after the Niger River. It borders Nigeria and Benin to the south, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, Algeria and Libya to the north and Chad to the east...

). It is comparable in size to Mali
Mali
Mali , officially the Republic of Mali , is a landlocked country in Western Africa. Mali borders Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d'Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west. Its size is just over 1,240,000 km² with...

 and is nearly twice the size of the US state of Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, or five times the area of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. It lies mostly between latitudes
4th parallel south
The 4th parallel south is a circle of latitude that is 4 degrees south of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, Australasia, the Pacific Ocean and South America....

 and 18°S
18th parallel south
The 18th parallel south is a circle of latitude that is 18 degrees south of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Australasia, the Pacific Ocean and South America....

, and longitudes 12°
12th meridian east
The meridian 12° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Africa, the Atlantic Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 24°E
24th meridian east
The meridian 24° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, Europe, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

.

Angola is bordered by Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

 to the south, Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 to the east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

 to the north-east, and the South Atlantic Ocean to the west. The exclave of Cabinda
Cabinda (province)
Cabinda is an exclave and province of Angola, a status that has been disputed by many political organizations in the territory. The capital city is also called Cabinda. The province is divided into four municipalities - Belize, Buco Zau, Cabinda and Cacongo.Modern Cabinda is the result of a fusion...

 also borders the Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
The Republic of the Congo , sometimes known locally as Congo-Brazzaville, is a state in Central Africa. It is bordered by Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo , the Angolan exclave province of Cabinda, and the Gulf of Guinea.The region was dominated by...

 to the north. Angola's capital, Luanda
Luanda
Luanda, formerly named São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda, is the capital and largest city of Angola. Located on Angola's coast with the Atlantic Ocean, Luanda is both Angola's chief seaport and its administrative center. It has a population of at least 5 million...

, lies on the Atlantic coast in the northwest of the country.

Climate

Angola's average temperature on the coast is 60 °F (15.6 °C) in the winter and 70 °F (21.1 °C) in the summer. It has two seasons; dry season (May to October) and hot rainy season (November to April).

Economy

Angola has a rich subsoil heritage, from diamonds, oil, gold, copper, as well as a rich wildlife (dramatically impoverished during the civil war), forest, and fossils. Since independence, oil and diamonds have been the most important economic resource. Smallholder and plantation agriculture have dramatically dropped because of the Angolan Civil War
Angolan Civil War
The Angolan Civil War was a major civil conflict in the Southern African state of Angola, beginning in 1975 and continuing, with some interludes, until 2002. The war began immediately after Angola became independent from Portugal in November 1975. Prior to this, a decolonisation conflict had taken...

, but have begun to recover after 2002. The transformation industry that had come into existence in the late colonial period collapsed at independence, because of the exodus of most of the ethnic Portuguese population, but has begun to reemerge (with updated technologies), partly because of the influx of new Portuguese entrepreneurs. Similar developments can be verified in the service sector.

Overall, Angola's economy has undergone a period of transformation in recent years, moving from the disarray caused by a quarter century of civil war
Angolan Civil War
The Angolan Civil War was a major civil conflict in the Southern African state of Angola, beginning in 1975 and continuing, with some interludes, until 2002. The war began immediately after Angola became independent from Portugal in November 1975. Prior to this, a decolonisation conflict had taken...

 to being the fastest growing economy in Africa and one of the fastest in the world, with an average GDP growth of 20 percent between 2005 and 2007. During 2001–2010 Angola has the world's biggest Annual average GDP growth with 11.1 percent. In 2004, China's Eximbank approved a $2 billion line of credit to Angola. The loan is being used to rebuild Angola's infrastructure, and has also limited the influence of the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 in the country.

The Economist reported in 2008 that diamonds and oil make up 60 percent of Angola's economy, almost all of the country's revenue and are its dominant exports. Growth is almost entirely driven by rising oil production
Extraction of petroleum
The extraction of petroleum is the process by which usable petroleum is extracted and removed from the earth.-Locating the oil field:Geologists use seismic surveys to search for geological structures that may form oil reservoirs...

 which surpassed 1.4 Moilbbl/d in late 2005 and was expected to grow to 2 Moilbbl/d by 2007. Control of the oil industry
Petroleum industry
The petroleum industry includes the global processes of exploration, extraction, refining, transporting , and marketing petroleum products. The largest volume products of the industry are fuel oil and gasoline...

 is consolidated in Sonangol Group
Sonangol Group
Group Sonangol is a parastatal that oversees petroleum and natural gas production in Angola. Sonangol actually had become a fundraising machine of government. The group consists of Sonangol EP and its many subsidiaries...

, a conglomerate which is owned by the Angolan government. In December 2006, Angola was admitted as a member of OPEC
OPEC
OPEC is an intergovernmental organization of twelve developing countries made up of Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. OPEC has maintained its headquarters in Vienna since 1965, and hosts regular meetings...

. The economy grew 18% in 2005, 26% in 2006 and 17.6% in 2007. However, due to the global recession the economy contracted an estimated -0.3% in 2009. The security brought about by the 2002 peace settlement has led to the resettlement of 4 million displaced persons, thus resulting in large-scale increases in agriculture production.
Although the country's economy has developed very significantly since achieving political stability in 2002, mainly thanks to the fast-rising earnings of the oil sector, Angola faces huge social and economic problems. These are in part a result of the almost continual state of conflict from 1961 onwards, although the highest level of destruction and socio-economic damage took place after the 1975 independence, during the long years of civil war
Angolan Civil War
The Angolan Civil War was a major civil conflict in the Southern African state of Angola, beginning in 1975 and continuing, with some interludes, until 2002. The war began immediately after Angola became independent from Portugal in November 1975. Prior to this, a decolonisation conflict had taken...

. However, high poverty rates and blatant social inequality are chiefly the outcome of a combination of a persistent political authoritarianism, of "neo-patrimonial" practices at all levels of the political, administrative, military, and economic apparatuses, and of a pervasive corruption. The main beneficiary of this situation is a social segment constituted since 1975, but mainly during the last decades, around the political, administrative, economic, and military power holders, which has accumulated (and continues accumulating) enormous wealth. "Secondary beneficiaries" are the middle strata which are about to become social classes. However, overall almost half the population has to be considered as poor, but in this respect there are dramatic differences between the countryside and the cities (where by now slightly more than 50% of the people live).

An inquiry carried out in 2008 by the Angolan Instituto Nacional de Estatística has it that in the rural areas roughly 58% must be classified as "poor", according to UN norms, but in the urban areas only 19%, while the overall rate is 37%. In the cities, a majority of families, well beyond those officially classified as poor, have to adopt a variety of survival strategies. At the same time, in urban areas social inequality is most evident, and assumes extreme forms in the capital, Luanda. In the Human Development Index
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...

 Angola constantly ranks in the bottom group.

According to The Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation is a conservative American think tank based in Washington, D.C. Heritage's stated mission is to "formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong...

, a conservative American think tank
Think tank
A think tank is an organization that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, and technology issues. Most think tanks are non-profit organizations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax...

, oil production from Angola has increased so significantly that Angola now is China's biggest supplier of oil.

Before independence in 1975, Angola
Angola (Portugal)
Angola is the common name by which the Portuguese colony in southwestern Africa was known across different periods of time...

 was a breadbasket of southern Africa and a major exporter of bananas, coffee and sisal, but three decades of civil war
Angolan Civil War
The Angolan Civil War was a major civil conflict in the Southern African state of Angola, beginning in 1975 and continuing, with some interludes, until 2002. The war began immediately after Angola became independent from Portugal in November 1975. Prior to this, a decolonisation conflict had taken...

 (1975–2002) destroyed the fertile countryside, leaving it littered with landmines and driving millions into the cities. The country now depends on expensive food imports, mainly from South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 and Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, while more than 90 percent of farming is done at family and subsistence level. Thousands of Angolan small-scale farmers are trapped in poverty.

A serious structural problem of the Angolan economy are the enormous differences between the regions. This is best illustrated by the fact that about one third of the economic activities is concentrated in Luanda and the neighbouring Bengo province, while several areas of the interior are characterized by stagnation and even regression.

Demographics

Angola's population is estimated to be 18,498,000 (2009). It is composed of Ovimbundu
Ovimbundu
The Southern Mbundu, now generally called Ovimbundu , are an ethnic group who lives on the Bié Plateau of central Angola and in the coastal strip west of these highlands. As the largest ethnic group in Angola, they make up almost 40 percent of the country's population...

 (language Umbundu
Umbundu
South Mbundu, or Umbundu, is a language spoken by the Southern Mbundu people - now generally referred to by the way they call themselves, Ovimbundu - in the central highlands of Angola. Umbundu is the most widespread Bantu language in Angola. About one third of Angola is represented by Ovimbundu...

) 37%, Ambundu (language Kimbundu
Kimbundu
North Mbundu, or Kimbundu, one of two Bantu languages called Mbundu is one of the most widely spoken Bantu languages in Angola, concentrated in the north-west of the country, notably in the Luanda Province, the Bengo Province and the Malanje Province...

) 25%, Bakongo 13%, and 32% other ethnic groups (including the Ovambo, the Ganguela
Ganguela
Ganguela or Nganguela is the name of a small ethnic group living in Angola, but since colonial times the term has been applied to a number of peoples East of the Bié Plateau...

 and the Xindonga
Xindonga
Xindonga is an ethnological term created as a common label for four small ethnic groups existing in the extreme Southeast of Angola: the Cusso, the Dilico , the Sambio and the Maxico. These peoples live in that region, which today is the Cuando Cubango Province, together with other small groups,...

) as well as about 2% mestiços (mixed European and African) and 1% European The Ambundu and Ovimbundu nations combined form a majority of the population, at 62%. The population is forecast to grow to over 47 million people to 2060, nearly tripling the estimated 16 to 18 mission in 2011 The last official census was taken in 1970, and showed the total population as being 5.6 million, but this is of course of historical interest only. The first post-independence census is to be held in 2012 or 2013.

It is estimated that Angola was host to 12,100 refugees and 2,900 asylum seekers by the end of 2007. 11,400 of those refugees were originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo-Kinshasa) who arrived in the 1970s. As of 2008 there were an estimated 400,000 DRC
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

 migrant workers, at least 30,000 Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

, and more than 20,000 Chinese
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 living in Angola. Prior to independence in 1975, Angola had a community of approximately 350,000 Portuguese.

Languages

The languages in Angola are those originally spoken by the different ethnic groups plus Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 due to its being a former Portuguese colony. The indigenous languages with the largest usage are Umbundu
Umbundu
South Mbundu, or Umbundu, is a language spoken by the Southern Mbundu people - now generally referred to by the way they call themselves, Ovimbundu - in the central highlands of Angola. Umbundu is the most widespread Bantu language in Angola. About one third of Angola is represented by Ovimbundu...

, Kimbundu
Kimbundu
North Mbundu, or Kimbundu, one of two Bantu languages called Mbundu is one of the most widely spoken Bantu languages in Angola, concentrated in the north-west of the country, notably in the Luanda Province, the Bengo Province and the Malanje Province...

, and Kikongo, in that order. Portuguese is the official language of the country.

However, in Angola the mastery of the official language is probably more extended than elsewhere in Africa, and this certainly applies to its use in everyday life. Moreover, and above all, the proportion of native (or near native) speakers of the language of the former colonizer, turned official after independence, is no doubt considerably higher than in any other African country.
There are three intertwined historical reasons for this situation.
  1. In the Portuguese “bridgeheads” Luanda
    Luanda
    Luanda, formerly named São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda, is the capital and largest city of Angola. Located on Angola's coast with the Atlantic Ocean, Luanda is both Angola's chief seaport and its administrative center. It has a population of at least 5 million...

     and Benguela
    Benguela
    Benguela is a city in western Angola, south of Luanda, and capital of Benguela Province. It lies on a bay of the same name, in 12° 33’ S., 13° 25’ E...

    , which existed on the coast of what today is Angola since the 15th and 16th century, respectively, Portuguese was spoken not only by the Portuguese and their mestiço descendents, but—especially in and around Luanda—by a significant number of Africans, although these always remained native speakers of their local African language.
  2. Since the Portuguese conquest of the present territory of Angola, and especially since its “effective occupation” in the mid-1920s, schooling in Portuguese was slowly developed by the colonial state as well as by Catholic and Protestant missions. The rhythm of this expansion was considerably accelerated during the late colonial period, 1961–1974, so that by the end of the colonial period children all over the territory (with relatively few exceptions) had at least some access to the Portuguese language.
  3. In the same late colonial period, the legal discrimination of the black population was abolished, and the state apparatus in fields like health, education, social work, and rural development was enlarged. This entailed a significant increase in jobs for Africans, under the condition that they spoke Portuguese.


As a consequence of all this, the African “lower middle class” which at that stage formed in Luanda and other cities began to often prevent their children from learning the local African language, in order to guarantee that they learned Portuguese as their native language. At the same time, the white and ‘’mestiço’’ population, where some knowledge of African languages could previously often been found, neglected this aspect more and more, to the point of frequently ignoring it totally.
After independence, these tendencies continued, and were even strengthened, under the rule of the MPLA which has its main social roots exactly in those social segments where the mastery of Portuguese as well as the proportion of native Portuguese speakers was highest. This became a political side issue, as FNLA as well as UNITA, given their regional constituencies, came out in favour of a greater attention to the African languages, and as the FNLA favoured French over Portuguese.

The dynamics of the language situation, as described above, were additionally fostered by the massive migrations triggered by the Civil War. Ovimbundu
Ovimbundu
The Southern Mbundu, now generally called Ovimbundu , are an ethnic group who lives on the Bié Plateau of central Angola and in the coastal strip west of these highlands. As the largest ethnic group in Angola, they make up almost 40 percent of the country's population...

, the most populous ethnic group and the most affected by the war, appeared in great numbers in urban areas outside their areas, especially in Luanda and surroundings. At the same time, a majority of the Bakongo who had fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo in the early 1960s, or of their children and grandchildren, returned to Angola, but mostly did not settle in their original "habitat", but in the cities—and again above all in Luanda. As a consequence, more than half the population is now living in the cities which, from the linguistic point of view, have become highly heterogeneous. This means, of course, that Portuguese as the overall language of communication is by now of paramount importance, and that the role of the African languages is steadily decreasing among the urban population—a trend which is beginning to spread into rural areas as well.

The exact numbers of those fluent in Portuguese or who speak Portuguese as a first language are unknown, although a census is expected to be carried out in 2013. Quite a number of voices demand the recognition of “Angolan Portuguese” as a specific variant, comparable to those spoken in Portugal or in Brazil. However, while there exists a certain number of idiomatic particularities in everyday Portuguese, as spoken by Angolans, it remains to be seen whether or not the Angolan government comes to the conclusion that these particularities constitute a configuration that justifies the claim to be a new language variant.

Religion

There are about 1000 mostly Christian religious communities in Angola. While reliable statistics are nonexistent, estimates have it that more than half of the population are Roman Catholics, while about a quarter adhere to the protestant churches introduced during the colonial period: the Congregationalists mainly among the Ovimbundu
Ovimbundu
The Southern Mbundu, now generally called Ovimbundu , are an ethnic group who lives on the Bié Plateau of central Angola and in the coastal strip west of these highlands. As the largest ethnic group in Angola, they make up almost 40 percent of the country's population...

 of the Central Highlands and the coastal region to its West, the Methodists concentrating on the Kimbundu
Kimbundu
North Mbundu, or Kimbundu, one of two Bantu languages called Mbundu is one of the most widely spoken Bantu languages in Angola, concentrated in the north-west of the country, notably in the Luanda Province, the Bengo Province and the Malanje Province...

 speaking strip from Luanda to Malanje, the Baptists almost exclusively among the Bakongo of the Northwest (now massively present in Luanda as well) and dispersed Adventists, Reformed and Lutherans. In Luanda and region there subsists a nucleus of the "syncretic" Tocoists and in the Northwest a sprinkling of Kimbanguism
Kimbanguism
Kimbanguism is a branch of Christianity founded by Simon Kimbangu in what was then the Belgian Congo . The church's name is the Kimbanguist Church , and is a large, independent African Initiated...

 can be found, spreading from the Congo/Zaire. Since independence, hundreds of Pentecostal and similar communities have sprung up in the cities, where by now about 50% of the population is living; several of these communities/churches are of Brazilian origin. The Muslims, practically all of them immigrants from West African and other countries and belonging to the Sunnite branch, represent only about 1%; because of their diversity, they do not form a community. In 2011, according to the Islamic Community of Angola (Comunidade Islâmica de Angola, COIA) there were more than 80 mosques serving about 500,000 muslims in Angola, and the number was growing. Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 is at present developing an effort to enlarge their numbers, and intends to build an Islamic university in Luanda. The proportion of non-believers is significant, but impossible to be estimated. "Traditional African" religions exist only residually, in the main confined to some remote rural areas.

In a study assessing nations' levels of religious regulation and persecution with scores ranging from 0–10 where 0 represented low levels of regulation or persecution, Angola was scored 0.8 on Government Regulation of Religion, 4.0 on Social Regulation of Religion, 0 on Government Favoritism of Religion and 0 on Religious Persecution.

Foreign missionaries
Missionary
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism or ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin...

 were very active prior to independence in 1975, although since the beginning of the anti-colonial fight in 1961 the Portuguese colonial authorities expelled a series of Protestant missionaries and closed mission stations based on the belief that the missionaries were inciting pro-independence sentiments. Missionaries have been able to return to the country since the early 1990s, although security conditions due to the civil war have prevented them until 2002 from restoring many of their former inland mission stations.

The Roman Catholic and some major Protestant denominations mostly keep to themselves in contrast to the "New Churches" which actively proselytize. The Roman Catholic as well as some major Protestant denominations provide help for the poor in the form of crop seeds, farm animals, medical care and education.

Health

A 2007 survey concluded that low and deficient niacin
Niacin
"Niacin" redirects here. For the neo-fusion band, see Niacin .Niacin is an organic compound with the formula and, depending on the definition used, one of the forty to eighty essential human nutrients.Niacin is one of five vitamins associated with a pandemic deficiency disease: niacin deficiency...

 status was common in Angola. Epidemics of cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

, malaria
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

, rabies
Rabies
Rabies is a viral disease that causes acute encephalitis in warm-blooded animals. It is zoonotic , most commonly by a bite from an infected animal. For a human, rabies is almost invariably fatal if post-exposure prophylaxis is not administered prior to the onset of severe symptoms...

 and African hemorrhagic fevers like Marburg hemorrhagic fever
Marburg virus
Marburg virus disease is the name for the human disease caused by any of the two marburgviruses Marburg virus and Ravn virus...

, are common diseases in several parts of the country. Many regions in this country have high incidence rates of tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

 and high HIV
HIV
Human immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome , a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive...

 prevalence rates. Dengue, filariasis
Filariasis
Filariasis is a parasitic disease and is considered an infectious tropical disease, that is caused by thread-like nematodes belonging to the superfamily Filarioidea, also known as "filariae"....

, leishmaniasis
Leishmaniasis
Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by protozoan parasites that belong to the genus Leishmania and is transmitted by the bite of certain species of sand fly...

, and onchocerciasis
Onchocerciasis
Onchocerciasis , also known as river blindness and Robles' disease, is a parasitic disease caused by infection by Onchocerca volvulus, a nematode . Onchocerciasis is the world's second-leading infectious cause of blindness. It is not the nematode, but its endosymbiont, Wolbachia pipientis, that...

 (river blindness) are other diseases carried by insects that also occur in the region. Angola has one of the highest infant mortality rate in the world and one of the world's lowest life expectancy
Life expectancy
Life expectancy is the expected number of years of life remaining at a given age. It is denoted by ex, which means the average number of subsequent years of life for someone now aged x, according to a particular mortality experience...

. Demographic and Health Surveys
Demographic and Health Surveys
The MEASURE Demographic and Health Surveys Project is responsible for collecting and disseminating accurate, nationally representative data on health and population in developing countries. The project is implemented by Macro International, Inc...

 is currently conducting several surveys in Angola on Malaria
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

, Domestic Violence
Domestic violence
Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, and intimate partner violence , is broadly defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, or cohabitation...

 and more.

Education


Although by law, education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 in Angola is compulsory and free for eight years, the government reports that a certain percentage of students are not attending school due to a lack of school buildings and teachers. Students are often responsible for paying additional school-related expenses, including fees for books and supplies.

In 1999, the gross primary enrollment rate was 74 percent and in 1998, the most recent year for which data are available, the net primary enrollment rate was 61 percent. Gross and net enrollment ratios are based on the number of students formally registered in primary school and therefore do not necessarily reflect actual school attendance. There continue to be significant disparities in enrollment between rural and urban areas. In 1995, 71.2 percent of children ages 7 to 14 years were attending school. It is reported that higher percentages of boys attend school than girls. During the Angolan Civil War
Angolan Civil War
The Angolan Civil War was a major civil conflict in the Southern African state of Angola, beginning in 1975 and continuing, with some interludes, until 2002. The war began immediately after Angola became independent from Portugal in November 1975. Prior to this, a decolonisation conflict had taken...

 (1975–2002), nearly half of all schools were reportedly looted and destroyed, leading to current problems with overcrowding.

The Ministry of Education hired 20,000 new teachers in 2005, and continued to implement teacher trainings. Teachers tend to be underpaid, inadequately trained, and overworked (sometimes teaching two or three shifts a day). Some teachers may also reportedly demand payment or bribes directly from their students. Other factors, such as the presence of landmines, lack of resources and identity papers, and poor health also prevent children from regularly attending school. Although budgetary allocations for education were increased in 2004, the education system in Angola continues to be extremely under-funded.

Literacy
Literacy
Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

 is quite low, with 67.4% of the population over the age of 15 able to read and write in Portuguese. 82.9% of males and 54.2% of women are literate as of 2001. Since independence from Portugal in 1975, a number of Angolan students continued to be admitted every year at high schools, polytechnical institutes, and universities in Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 and Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 through bilateral agreements; in general, these students belong to the Angolan elites.

Culture

Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 has been present in Angola for 400 years, occupied the territory in the 19th and early 20th century, and ruled over it for about 50 years. As a consequence, both countries share cultural aspects: language (Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

) and main religion (Roman Catholic Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

). Of course, the "substrate
Substratum
In linguistics, a stratum or strate is a language that influences, or is influenced by another through contact. A substratum is a language which has lower power or prestige than another, while a superstratum is the language that has higher power or prestige. Both substratum and superstratum...

" of Angolan culture is African, mostly Bantu, while Portuguese culture
Culture of Portugal
The culture of Portugal is the result of a complex flow of different civilizations during the past Millennia. From prehistoric cultures, to its Pre-Roman civilizations , passing through its contacts with the Phoenician-Carthaginian world, the Roman period , the...

 has been imported. The diverse ethnic communities - the Ovimbundu
Ovimbundu
The Southern Mbundu, now generally called Ovimbundu , are an ethnic group who lives on the Bié Plateau of central Angola and in the coastal strip west of these highlands. As the largest ethnic group in Angola, they make up almost 40 percent of the country's population...

, Ambundu, Bakongo, Chokwe
Chokwe language
Chokwe is the Bantu language spoken by the Chokwe people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola and Zambia. It is recognized as a national language of Angola, where about 456,000 people spoke it as of 1991. Another half a million speakers lived in the Congo in 1990, and some 44,200 in...

, and other peoples - maintain to varying degrees their own cultural traits, traditions and languages, but in the cities, where slightly more than half of the population now lives, a mixed culture has been emerging since colonial times - in Luanda
Luanda
Luanda, formerly named São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda, is the capital and largest city of Angola. Located on Angola's coast with the Atlantic Ocean, Luanda is both Angola's chief seaport and its administrative center. It has a population of at least 5 million...

 since its foundation in the XVIth century. In this urban culture, the Portuguese heritage has become more and more dominant. An African influence is evident in music and dance, and is moulding the way in which Portuguese is spoken, but is almost disappearing from the vocabulary. This process is well reflected in contemporary Angolan literature, especially in the works of Pepetela
Pepetela
Artur Carlos Maurício Pestana dos Santos is a major Angolan writer of fiction. He writes under the name Pepetela....

 ans Ana Paula Ribeiro Tavares
Ana Paula Ribeiro Tavares
Ana Paula Ribeiro Tavares is a poet who began her undergraduate degree in History at the University of Lubango Ana Paula Ribeiro Tavares (Lubango, province of Huíla, Angola, 30 October 1952) is a poet who began her undergraduate degree in History at the University of Lubango Ana Paula Ribeiro...

.

Leila Lopes, Miss Angola
Miss Angola
-External links:*...

 2011, was crowned Miss Universe 2011
Miss Universe 2011
Miss Universe 2011, the 60th anniversary of the Miss Universe pageant, was held at the Credicard Hall in São Paulo, Brazil on September 12, 2011. Ximena Navarrete of Mexico crowned her successor, Leila Lopes of Angola, at the end of this event...

 in Brazil on September 12th, 2011 making her the first Angolan
Angolan
Angolan may refer to:* Something of, or related to Angola* A person from Angola, or of Angolan descent. For information about the Angolan people, see Demographics of Angola and Culture of Angola. For specific Angolans, see List of Angolans....

to win the pageant.

See also

External links

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