Angola By | Saturday, September 8   2012 at  14:00

Full Name
Republic of Angola (English)
República de Angola-portuguese (Portuguese)
Repubilika ya Ngola-Kongo (Kongo)
Former: People Republic of Angola
Origins: The region is named after King Ngola of Quimbudos

Current leader

José Eduardo dos Santos

AFP

Overview
Khoisan hunter-gatherers are some of the earliest known modern human inhabitants of the area. They were largely replaced by Bantus during the Bantu migrations, though small numbers of Khoisans remain in parts of southern Angola

The culture is mainly native Bantu mixed with Portuguese aspects

Former Portuguese colony

Achieved independence on November 11, 1975

Facts

Form of Government
Presidential republic
Head of State is the President

Government Structure
President, Prime Minister, Unicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional
Angola held legislative elections on September 5, 2008, Angola’s first since 1992

Military Statistics
Manpower fit for military service: 2,879,301 people
Expenditures: 5.7% of GDP (2006)
Branches: Angolan Armed Forces (FAA): Army, Navy (Marinha de Guerra Angola, MGA), Angolan National Air Force (Forca Aerea Nacional Angolana, FANA) (2009

Former Rulers
1975–1979 António Agostinho Neto
1979- José Eduardo dos Santos

Capital
Luanda
Altitude: 62m

Population: 2.776 million people

Population
Size: 17 million people
Life Expectancy: 38.2 years
Gender make-up: Female - 49.5%, Male –50.5%

GDP per capita
$ 6,000 (2011)

$ 5,900 (2010)

Geography
Area: 1,246,700sqkm
Land Boundaries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,511km (of which 225km is the boundary of discontiguous Cabinda Province), Republic of the Congo 201km, Namibia 1,376 km, Zambia 1,110km

A general view of Luanda Central Business District (AFP)

Major Languages
Portuguese (official), Bantu, other African languages

Religious Portfolio
Indigenous beliefs 47%, Christianity (Roman Catholic 38%, Protestant 15% )

National Make-up
African 75%, Mestico (mixed African and European) 2%, European 1%, other 22%

Natural Resources

Petroleum, Diamonds, Iron ore, Phosphates, Bauxite, Uranium, Gold, Granite, Copper, Feldspar

Main exports
Oil, Diamonds, Minerals, Coffee, Fish, Timber

Land Use
Arable land: 2.65%
Permanent crops: 0.23%
0ther: 97.12%

Currency
Kwanza

Dialling Code
+244

Internet Code
.ao

Transport
Main Airport: Quatro de Fevereiro International Airport which is located 4km south of the capital Luanda
Main Port: Port of Luanda

Modern issues

Environmental

Soil erosion
Desertification
Deforestation
Water pollution
Siltation of rivers and dams

Political

President Jose Eduardo dos Santos is one of Africa's longest-serving leaders having been in power for 32 years, this year he promised that he was ready to go on as the country's leader. This has led to rising tensions in the country ahead of elections due in 2012, with opposition groups calling for dos Santos to step down

Angola changed from a one-party Marxist-Leninist system ruled by the MPLA to a nominal multiparty democracy following the 1992 elections
The country is recovering from 27 years of civil war that engulfed it since independence

Economic

Currently the second largest sub-Saharan oil exporter, output of 1.7 billion barrels per day (2013 OPEC report)
Yearly production at 6 million carats of diamond boosts export
Has highest economic growth rate with GDP above 17%

During its 36th independence anniversary, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton congratulated the country and said it was on the right economic growth path.

Social issues

Devastating effects of the long civil war on people
Lack of equipment in hospitals

River blindness is a menace in about nine out of the country's 18 provinces

Internally displaced persons have not been fully settled

Foreign Policy issues

In 2011, Mr. Jose Eduardo dos Santos announced that his country was ready to help bail-out former colonial ruler Portugal

Cabindan separatists continue to return to the Angolan enclave from exile in neighbouring states and Europe since the 2006 ceasefire and peace agreement
Used as a transhipment point for cocaine destined for Western Europe and other African states, particularly South Africa

The Major Conflicts

Civil disobedience (Angola and Portuguese colonial war)
When: 1948-1959
Who: Portuguese vs Angolans
Angolan peasants in the region of Baixa de Cassanje, Malanje, boycotted the Cotonang’s cotton fields where they worked, demanding better working conditions and higher wages. Natives burned identity cards and attacked
Why: Portuguese Colonial act which discriminated against the natives
Outcome: Portuguese responded to the boycott by killing estimated 7,000 natives and a Revolutionary Government of Angola was established in exile

Angolan War of Independence
When: 1961–1974
Who: Portuguese vs Angolans
Why: Began as an uprising against forced cotton harvesting, and became a multi-faction struggle for control of Portugal's overseas Province of Angola
Outcome: Angolan Government, Unita, MPLA and FNLA signed the Alvor Agreement after a military coup in Lisbon in 1974, which overthrew Estado Novo. Angola got independence.

Angola civil war
When: 1975 -2002
Who: Three major political parties, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA) and the National Union for Total Independence of Angola (Unita).
Why: Tussle for power, territory of Cabinda, diamonds
Outcome: In 1976, the FNLA, a rebel group, was defeated by the Cuban forces, but the tussle for power continued between the MPLA and the Unita. Estimated 500,000 people had been killed. Declared a multiparty state, conducted its first democratic election in which dos Santos, emerged victorious. Jonas Savimbi, dos Santos' political rival and the founder of Unita, was killed in combat with government troops in 2002. Angolan Government and Unita signed the Luena Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which formalised the de facto ceasefire following Savimbi's death

What to see
Benguela coastal city
Museum of Slavery
Calandula Waterfalls
Fort Sao Miguel
Scenery of Palmeirinhas

Sports
Popular Sports;
Football, Basketball, Boxing, Athletics, Swimming

Famous Sportsmen and Sportswomen;
Jose Armando Sayovo: The first person to win a paralympic medal for Angola when he won three gold in the 100m, 200m and 400m sprints, at the 2004 Summer Paralympics Games in Athens.
Fabrice Akwa: Captain and star player for Angola at the 2006 soccer World Cup.
Teresa Nzola Meso Ba: Angolan born athlete, formerly represented her country but switched to France in 2003. Before this she set an Angolan triple jump record of 13.49m which still stands

Quirks
Part of Luanda population lives in informal settlement, called musseques, which is perched on mounds of hardened waste