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|Republic of Angola
RepÃºblica de Angola
|Anthem: Angola Avante! (Portuguese)
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(and largest city)
|Recognised regional languages||Kongo, Chokwe, South Mbundu (Umbundu), North Mbundu (Kimbundu)|
|-||President||JosÃ© Eduardo dos Santos|
|-||Date||November 11, 1975|
|-||Total||1,246,700 km2 (23rd)
481,354 sq mi
|-||Total||$115.078 billion (62nd)|
|-||Per capita||$6,251 (98th)|
|-||Total||$95.945 billion (62nd)|
|-||Per capita||$5,054 (82nd)|
|HDI||0.564 (medium) (143rd)|
|Time zone||WAT (UTC+1)|
|-||Summer (DST)||not observed (UTC+1)|
|Drives on the||right|
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola (Portuguese: RepÃºblica de Angola, pronounced [ÊÉ›ËˆpublikÉ dÉ¨ ÉÌƒËˆÉ¡É”lÉ]; Kongo: Repubilika ya Ngola), is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean. The exclave province of Cabinda has a border with the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Angola was a Portuguese overseas territory from the 16th century to 1975. After independence, Angola was the scene of an intense civil war from to. The country is the second-largest petroleum and diamond producer in sub-Saharan Africa; however, its life expectancy and infant mortality rates are both among the worst ranked in the world . In August a peace treaty was signed with a faction of the FLEC, a separatist guerrilla group from the Cabinda exclave in the North, which is still active. About 65% of Angola's oil comes from that region.
- 1 History
- 2 Politics
- 3 Administrative divisions
- 4 Military
- 5 Police
- 6 Geography
- 7 Economy
- 8 Transport
- 9 Demographics
- 10 Health
- 11 Education
- 12 Culture
- 13 International rankings
- 14 See also
- 15 Further reading
- 16 References
- 17 External links
Khoisan hunter-gatherers are some of the earliest known modern human inhabitants of the area. They were largely replaced by Bantu tribes during the Bantu migrations, though small numbers of Khoisans 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. When they reached what is now Angola, they encountered the Khoisans, 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 Bantus took many centuries and gave rise to various groups who took on different ethnic characteristics.
The BaKongo kingdoms of Angola established trade routes with other trading cities and civilizations up and down the coast of southwestern and West Africa but engaged in little or no transoceanic trade. This contrasts with the Great Zimbabwe Mutapa civilization which traded with India, the Persian Gulf civilizations and China. The BaKongo engaged in limited trading with Great Zimbabwe, exchanging copper and iron for salt, food and raffia textiles across the Kongo River.
The geographical areas now designated as Angola, first became subject to incursions by the Portuguese in the late 15th century. In 1483, when Portugal established relations with the Kongo State, Ndongo and Lunda existed. The Kongo State stretched from modern Gabon in the north to the Kwanza River in the south. Angola became a link in European trade with India and Southeast Asia. The Portuguese explorer Paulo Dias de Novais founded Luanda in 1575 as "SÃ£o Paulo de Loanda", with a hundred families of settlers and four hundred soldiers.
Benguela, 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, commerce in raw materials, and exchange of goods for survival. The African slave trade provided a large number of black slaves to Europeans and their African agents. For example, in what is now Angola, 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, 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 1800s.
The Portuguese gradually took control of the coastal strip during the sixteenth century by a series of treaties and wars forming the Portuguese colony of Angola. Taking advantage of the Portuguese Restoration War, the Dutch 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 SÃ¡ 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 Congo in 1649 and Njinga's Kingdom of Matamba and Ndongo in 1656. The conquest of Pungo Andongo in 1671 was the last great Portuguese expansion, as attempts to invade Congo in 1670 and Matamba in 1681 failed. Portugal expanded its territory behind the colony of Benguela in the eighteenth century, and began the attempt to occupy other regions in the mid-nineteenth century.
The process resulted in few gains until the 1880s. Development of the hinterland began after the Berlin Conference in 1885 fixed the colony's borders, and British and Portuguese investment fostered mining, railways, and agriculture. Full Portuguese administrative control of the hinterland did not occur until the beginning of the twentieth 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 mixed. More overtly political organisations first appeared in the 1950s, and began to make organised demands for their rights, especially in international forums such as the Non-Aligned Movement.
The Portuguese regime, meanwhile, refused to accede to the nationalists' demands of separatism, provoking an armed conflict that started in 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. In this struggle, the principal protagonists were the MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola), 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, Angola gained its independence on 11 November 1975, after the 1974 coup d'Ã©tat in the metropole's capital city of Lisbon which overthrew the Portuguese regime headed by Marcelo Caetano.
Portugal's new revolutionary leaders began a process of democratic change at home and acceptance of its former colonies' independence abroad. These events prompted a mass exodus of Portuguese citizens from Portugal's African territories (mostly from Portuguese Angola and Mozambique), creating over a million destitute Portuguese refugees â€” the retornados.
Independence and civil war
After independence in November 1975, Angola faced a devastating civil war which lasted several decades and claimed millions of lives and refugees. Following negotiations held in Portugal, itself under severe social and political turmoil and uncertainty due to the April revolution, Angola's three main guerrilla groups agreed to establish a transitional government in January 1975.
Within two months, however, the FNLA, MPLA and UNITA 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. The United States, Portugal, Brazil and South Africa supported the FNLA and UNITA. The Soviet Union and Cuba supported the MPLA.
Ceasefire with UNITA
On February 22, Jonas Savimbi, the leader of UNITA, was killed in combat with government troops, and a cease-fire was reached by the two factions. UNITA gave up its armed wing and assumed the role of major opposition party. Although the political situation of the country began to stabilize, President Dos Santos has so far refused to institute regular democratic processes. Among Angola's major problems are a serious humanitarian crisis (a result of the prolonged war), the abundance of minefields, and the actions of guerrilla movements fighting for the independence of the northern exclave of Cabinda (Frente para a LibertaÃ§Ã£o do Enclave de Cabinda). While most of the internally displaced have now returned home, the general situation for most Angolans remains desperate, and the development facing the government challenging as a consequence.
Angola's motto is Virtus Unita Fortior, a Latin phrase meaning "Virtue is stronger when united." The executive branch of the government is composed of the President, the Prime Minister (currently Paulo Kassoma) and the Council of Ministers. For decades, political power has been concentrated in the Presidency. The Council of Ministers, composed of all government ministers and vice ministers, meets regularly to discuss policy issues.
Governors of the 18 provinces are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the president. The Constitutional Law of 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 twelve of more than 140 municipalities. A Supreme Court serves as the appellate tribunal; a Constitutional Court with powers of judicial review has never been constituted despite statutory authorization.
Parliamentary elections held on 5 September announced MPLA as the winning party with 81% of votes. The closest opposition party was UNITA with 10%. These elections were the first since and were described as only partly free but certainly not as fair. A White Book on the elections in lists up all irregularities surrounding the Parliamentary elections of.
Angola scored poorly on the Ibrahim Index of African Governance. It was ranked 44 from 48 sub-Saharan African 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.
Exclave of Cabinda
With an area of approximately 7,283 square kilometres (2,812 sq mi), the Northern Angolan province of Cabinda is unique in being separated from the rest of the country by a strip, some 60 kilometres (37 mi) wide, of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) along the lower Congo river. 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 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 onwards.
Since Portugal handed over sovereignty of its former overseas province of Angola to the local independentist 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 â€“ ForÃ§as 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.
The Angolan Armed Forces (AAF) is headed by a Chief of Staff who reports to the Minister of Defense. There are three divisionsâ€”the Army (ExÃ©rcito), Navy (Marinha de Guerra, MGA), and National Air Force (ForÃ§a AÃ©rea Nacional, FAN). Total manpower is about 110,000. The army is by far the largest of the services with about 100,000 men and women. The Navy numbers about 3,000 and operates several small patrol craft and barges.
Air force personnel total about 7,000; its equipment includes Russian-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 FAA personnel are stationed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa) and the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville).
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.
At 481,321 square miles (1,246,620 square kilometres), Angola is the world's twenty-third largest country (after Niger). It is comparable in size to Mali and is nearly twice the size of the US state of Texas, or five times the area of the United Kingdom.
Angola is bordered by Namibia to the south, Zambia to the east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north-east, and the South Atlantic Ocean to the west. The exclave of Cabinda also borders the Republic of the Congo to the north. Angola's capital, Luanda, lies on the Atlantic coast in the north-west of the country. 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.
Angola's economy has undergone a period of transformation in recent years, moving from the disarray caused by a quarter century of civil war to being the fastest growing economy in Africa and one of the fastest in the world. In 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 in the country.
Growth is almost entirely driven by rising oil production which surpassed 1.4 million barrels per day (220,000 m3/d) in late-and was expected to grow to 2 million barrels per day (320,000 m3/d) by. Control of the oil industry is consolidated in Sonangol Group, a conglomerate which is owned by the Angolan government. In December Angola was admitted as a member of OPEC. The economy grew 18% in 26% in and 17.6% in and it's expected to stay above 10% for the rest of the decade. The security brought about by the peace settlement has led to the resettlement of 4 million displaced persons, thus resulting in large-scale increases in agriculture production.
The country's economy has grown since achieving political stability in. However, it faces huge social and economic problems as a result of the almost continual state of conflict from onwards, although the highest level of destruction and socio-economic damage took place after the independence, during the long years of civil war. The oil sector, with its fast-rising earnings has been the main driving force behind improvements in overall economic activity â€“ nevertheless, poverty remains widespread. Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International rated Angola one of the 10 most corrupt countries in the world in. The capital city is the most developed and the only large economic centre worth mentioning in the country, however, slums called musseques, stretch for miles beyond Luanda's former city limits.
Before independence in 1975, Angola was a breadbasket of southern Africa and a major exporter of bananas, coffee and sisal, but three decades of civil war (1975â€“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 and Portugal, while more than 90 percent of farming is done at family and subsistence level. Thousands of Angolan small-scale farmers are trapped in poverty.
Transport in Angola consists of:
- Three separate railway systems totalling 2,761 km
- 76,626 km (47,613 mi) of highway of which 19,156 km (11,903 mi) is paved
- 1,295 navigable inland waterways
- Eight major sea ports
- 243 airports, of which 32 are paved.
Angola is composed of Ovimbundu 37%, Mbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, mestiÃ§os (mixed European and native African) 2%, European 1%, and 22% 'other' ethnic groups. The two Mbundu and Ovimbundu nations combined form a majority of the population, at 62%.
It is estimated that Angola was host to 12,100 refugees and 2,900 asylum seekers by the end of. 11,400 of those refugees were originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo-Kinshasa) who arrived in the 1970s. As of there were an estimated 400,000 DRC migrant workers, at least 30,000 Portuguese, and 100,000+ Chinese living in Angola. Prior to independence in 1975, Angola had a community of approximately 500,000 Portuguese.
Portuguese is spoken as a first language by 80% of the population, and as a second language by another 20%.[cn] The dominance of Portuguese over the native Kimbundu and other African languages is due to a strong influence from Portugal, as opposed to in Mozambique, which being more remote from the Lusosphere, retained a majority of Bantu language speakers.
|Religion in Angola|
Christianity is the major religion in Angola. The World Christian Database states that the Angolan population is 93.5% Christian, 4.7% ethnoreligionist (indigenous), 0.6% Muslim, 0.9% Agnostic and 0.2% non-religious. However, other sources put the percent of Christians at 53% with the remaining population adhering to indigenous beliefs. According to these sources, of Christians in Angola, 72% are Roman Catholic, and 28% are Baptist, Presbyterian, Reformed Evangelical, Pentecostal, Methodists and a few small Christian sects.
In a study assessing nations' levels of religious regulation and persecution with scores ranging from 0â€“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.
The largest Protestant denominations include the Methodists, Baptists, Congregationalists (United Church of Christ), and Assemblies of God.[cn] The largest syncretic religious group is the Kimbanguist Church, whose followers believe that a mid-20th century Congolese pastor named Joseph Kimbangu was a prophet.[cn] A small portion of the country's rural population practices animism or traditional indigenous religions. There is a small Islamic community based around migrants from West Africa.
In colonial times, the country's coastal populations primarily were Catholic while the Protestant mission groups were active inland. With the massive social displacement caused by 26 years of civil war, this rough division is no longer valid.
Foreign missionaries were very active prior to independence in 1975, although the Portuguese colonial authorities expelled many 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 from restoring many of their former inland mission stations.
The Roman Catholic denomination mostly keeps to itself in contrast to the major Protestant denominations which are much more active in trying to win new members. The major Protestant denominations provide help for the poor in the form of crop seeds, farm animals, medical care and education in the English language, math, history and religion.
A survey concluded that low and deficient niacin status was common in Angola. Epidemics of cholera, malaria, rabies and African hemorrhagic fevers like Marburg hemorrhagic fever, are common diseases in several parts of the country. Many regions in this country have high incidence rates of tuberculosis and high HIV prevalence rates. Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and onchocerciasis (river blindness) are other diseases carried by insects that also occur in the region. Angola has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world and the world's 2nd lowest life expectancies.
Although by law, education in Angola is compulsory and free for 8 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 (1975â€“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 and continued to implement teacher trainings. Teachers tend to be underpaid, inadequately trained, and overworked (sometimes teaching two or three shifts a day). Teachers 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 the education system in Angola continues to be extremely under-funded.
Literacy is quite low, with 67.4% of the population over the age of 15 able to read and write in Portuguese.[cn] 82.9% of males and 54.2% of women are literate as of.[cn] Since independence from Portugal in 1975, a number of Angolan students continued to be admitted every year at high schools, polytechnical institutes, and universities Portuguese, Brazilian and Cuban through bilateral agreements; in general these students belong to the Angolan elites.
Portugal ruled over Angola for 400 years and both countries share cultural aspects: language (Portuguese) and main religion (Roman Catholic Christianity). The Angolan culture is mostly native Bantu which was mixed with Portuguese culture.
|Institute for Economics and Peace ||Global Peace Index||100 out of 144|
|United Nations Development Programme||Human Development Index||143 out of 182|
|Transparency International||Corruption Perceptions Index||162 out of 180|
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- BÃ¶sl, Anton. AngolaÂ´s Parliamentary Elections in. A Country on its Way to One-Party-Democracy, KAS Auslandsinformationen 10/2008.
- Cilliers, Jackie and Christian Dietrich, Eds.. Angola's War Economy: The Role of Oil and Diamonds. Pretoria, South Africa, Institute for Security Studies.
- Global Witness (1999). A Crude Awakening, The Role of Oil and Banking Industries in Angola's Civil War and the Plundering of State Assets. London, UK, Global Witness.
- Hodges, T.. Angola: The Anatomy of an Oil State. Oxford, UK and Indianapolis, US, The Fridtjol Nansen Institute & The International African Institute in association with James Currey and Indiana University Press.
- Human Rights Watch. Some Transparency, No Accountability: The Use of Oil Revenues in Angola and Its Impact on Human Rights. New York, Human Rights Watch.
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- Much of the material in these articles comes from the CIA World Factbook and the U.S. Department of State website.
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- Godfrey Mwakikagile, Nyerere and Africa: End of an Era, Third Edition, Pretoria, South Africa, on Angola in Chapter Eleven, "American Involvement in Angola and Southern Africa: Nyerere's Response," pp. 324 â€“ 346, ISBN 978-0980253412.
- "Angola". International Monetary Fund.
- (English) Life expectancy at birth, cia
- (Portuguese) Angola mantÃ©m presenÃ§a militar reforÃ§ada em Cabinda, UOL.br (4 June)
- The Story of Africa
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- Kwaku Person-Lynn. "Afrikan Involvement In Atlantic Slave Trade".
- Dismantling the Portuguese Empire, Time Magazine (Monday, July 07)
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- Lari, Human Rights Watch
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- "The Increasing Importance of African Oil". Power and Interest Report. March 20.
- "Angola: Country Admitted As Opec Member". Angola Press Agency.
- Into Africa: China's Grab for Influence and Oil
- Louise Redvers, POVERTY-ANGOLA: NGOs Sceptical of Govt's Rural Development Plans, [Inter Press Service News Agency] (June 6)
- CIA â€“ The World Factbook â€“ Angola
- World Refugee Survey â€“ Angola, UNHCR
- Angola, U.S. Department of State
- ANGOLA and reconstructing the country: Prevention made in China, PlusNews, November 12,
- Flight from Angola, The Economist , August 16,
- CIA World Factbook
- Angola: Adherents Profile at the Association of Religion Data Archives World Christian Database
- Angola: Religious Freedom Profile at the Association of Religion Data Archives Brian J Grim and Roger Finke. "International Religion Indexes: Government Regulation, Government Favoritism, and Social Regulation of Religion." Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion. 2 Article 1: religjournal.
- U.S. Department of State
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- "Vision of Humanity". Vision of Humanity.
- Republic of Angola official government portal (Portuguese only)
- National Assembly of Angola (Portuguese only)
- Chief of State and Cabinet Members
- General information
- Angola entry at The World Factbook
- Angola from UCB Libraries GovPubs
- Angola at the Open Directory Project
- Wikimedia Atlas of Angola
- Angola travel guide
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