OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Angola
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Multiparty Republic
AREA: 1,246 700 Sq Km (481,354 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION 12,897,000
LOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Angola is located on the western
coast of South Africa. It is bound by Namibia to the south,
Zambia to the east, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire)
to the north and northeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the
west. A separate province of Cabinda is enclosed by the
Congo. A sparsely watered coastal plain extends along the
coast and rises towards the interior which contains irregular
terraces that form sub-plateaux. The central plateau accounts
for around 66% of the land area and has numerous rivers
which run into basins of the Congo and Zambezi Rivers that
in turn flow to the Atlantic Ocean. The northwestern region
of the central plateau and the enclave of Cabinda are covered
by equatorial jungles while the southern regions and coastal
plain are semi-arid. The Namib Desert occupies the coastal
plain above Mocamedes. Major Cities (pop. est.); Luanda
1,000,000, Huambo 203,000, Beneguela 155,000, Lobito 150,000
(1983). Land Use; forested 42%, pastures 23%, agricultural-cultivated
3%, other 32% (1993).
CLIMATE: Angola has a tropical climate with regional variations
from a moderate tropical climate to a desert climate depending on the location.
The prevailing winds are predominantly from the west, southwest and south
southwest. Average temperature ranges in Luanda are from 18 to 23 degrees
Celsius (64 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit) in August to 24 to 30 degrees Celsius
(75 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit) in March.
PEOPLE: Almost the entire population is of Bantu origin with
various and numerous tribal groups. The principal ethnic majority are the
Ovimbundu who alone represent 37% of the population while the Mbundu, Lunda,
Chokwe, Nganguela, Ovambo, Herero, Kangala, Humbe, Luvale, Bunda, Luchazi,
Kwandare and Cuanhama account for 38% of the population. The Ovambo and
Herero are nomadic cattle herders that regularly migrate across the Angola-Namibia
DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 8 persons per sq km (21
persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 26.8% urban, 73.2% rural (1988).
Sex Distribution; 51.1% male, 48.9% female (1990). Life Expectancy at Birth;
42.9 years male, 46.1 years female (1990). Age Breakdown; 42% under 15,
28% 15 to 29, 17% 30 to 44, 10% 45 to 59, 3% 60 and over (1990). Birth
Rate; 47.2 per 1,000 (1990). Death Rate; 20.2 per 1,000 (1990). Increase
Rate; 27.0 per 1,000 (1990). Infant Mortality Rate; 137.0 per 1,000 live
RELIGIONS: Mostly Christians with around 70% of the population
Roman Catholic while 20% are Protestant. Although, a large number still
adhere to traditional tribal beliefs.
LANGUAGES: The official language is Portuguese, although the
national language is Bantu with the number of dialects spoken as varied
as the Bantu sub-tribes.
EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: N/A. Literacy;
literate population aged 15 or over 1,196,000 or 28% (1980).
MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: Although most of the countries
of Africa gained independence in the late 1950's to early 1960's, Portugal
refused to grant independence to Angola. The Portuguese treated Angola
as well as their other African territories as part of Portugal while the
Angolans wanted to join the rest of the African continent in gaining independence.
This led to armed revolts in 1961 in the northern part of the country with
Angolan guerrillas waging a long war against the Portuguese. In 1974 a
military coup in Portugal toppled it's government and armed conflict soon
escalated in Angola between the three nationalist movements. The Popular
Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), The National Front of Angolan
Liberation (FNA) and The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola
(UNITA). In 1975 the South African Republic invaded and occupied parts
of southern Angola to protect their nationals and to take military action
against the Namibian guerrilla camps located there. In 1985 South Africa
signed a formal withdrawal accord, although sporadic incursions over the
border continued until Aug. 1988. In the same year Cuba agreed to withdraw
its troops and the warring factions agreed to a ceasefire on June 22, 1989.
In Mar. 1991, the Angolan ruling party relinquished its commitment to Marxism,
opening the way for peace negotiations and at the end of May, the Cuban
troop withdrawal was completed. In June 1991 a peace treaty was signed
in Lisbon officially ending the civil war and internationally supervised
elections were held in Sept. 1992. In early Oct. 1992 the former rebel
movement UNITA led by Dr Jonas Savimbi withdrew from the Angola's new joint
armed forces in protest over alleged electoral fraud as another civil war
loomed. In late October UNITA and the ruling government (MPLA) led by Dos
Santos agreed to halt troop movements in an attempt to negotiate a power
sharing arrangement to avert further bloodshed, although fighting continued
to escalate. In Jan. 1993, a military offensive by government forces appeared
to gain the upper hand against UNITA rebels, but, on Jan. 20, 1993 UNITA
rebels seized control of the oil distribution center of Soyo in the northwest.
At the end of January both sides agreed to more talks, although fierce
fighting continued for the UNITA capital, Huambo, which fell to UNITA on
Mar. 7, 1993. Further talks in April also floundered and on May 19, 1993
the US officially recognized the MPLA government. A further ceasefire in
Sept. 1993 was rejected by UNITA and further talks in Nov.-Dec. 1993 were
also to no avail.
CURRENCY: The official currency is the New Kwanza (NKz) divided
into 100 Iwei.
ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $6,010,000,000 (1989). Public
Debt; USD $7,727,000,000 (1993). Imports; USD $1,347,000,000 (1991). Exports;
USD $3,427,000,000 (1991). Tourism Receipts; USD $20,000,000 (1993). Balance
of Trade; USD $1,565,000,000 (1994). Economically Active Population; 4,166,000
or 40.3% of total population (1991). Unemployed; N/A.
MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are Portugal,
Cuba, Germany, the US, the UK, Canada, Japan and the former USSR.
MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Asphalt, Bananas, Cassava, Citrus Fruits,
Coffee, Copper, Cotton, Diamonds, Fish, Gypsum, Iron Ore, Limestone, Maize,
Manganese, Oil, Palm Oil, Phosphates, Salt, Sisal, Sugar Beets, Sweet Potatoes,
MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Cement, Chemicals, Fishing, Food
Processing, Forestry, Mining, Oil Refining, Paper and Pulp, Textiles, Tobacco.
MAIN EXPORTS: Coffee, Crude Oil, Diamonds, Fish, Maize, Oil, Petroleum
Products, Sisal, Timber, Tobacco.
TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 2,789 km (1,733 mi) (1988),
passenger-km 326,000,000 (203,000,000 passenger-mi) (1988), cargo ton-km
1,720,000,000 (1,178,000,000 short ton-mi) (1988). Roads; length 73,830
km, (45,876 mi) (1986). Vehicles; cars 122,000 (1989), trucks and buses
44,000 (1989). Merchant Marine; vessels 111 (1990), deadweight tonnage
122,403 (1990). Air Transport; passenger-km 975,000,000 (606,000,000 passenger-mi)
(1985), cargo ton-km 33,900,000 (23,218,000 short ton-mi) (1985).
COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 4 with a total circulation
of 500,000 (1994). Radio; receivers 450,000 (1994). Television; receivers
50,500 (1994) Telephones; units 53,300 (1993).
MILITARY: 82,000 (1995) total active duty personnel with 91.5%
army, 1.8% navy and 6.7% air force while military expenditure accounts
for 23.9% (1986) of the Gross National Product (GNP).
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