State in Southwest Africa with 1 246 700 km²
(including Cabinda exclave) and 12.5 million residents,
capital Luanda .
The coastal lowlands of Angola are 70 to 150 km wide,
the plateaus in Central Angola sink to the southeast to
the Zambezi and Kalahari basins, to the north to the
Congo basin. The residents are mostly Bantus.
In 1483 the Portuguese discovered Angola. The
residents were brought to Brazil as slaves until 1869.
In 1951 Angola received the status of a Portuguese
overseas province. After military actions by the rival
liberation movements MPLA, FNLA and UNITA, Portugal
released Angola in 1975. The Marxist MPLA, supported by
Cuba and the Soviet Union, prevailed in the struggle for
power . In 1991 the groups made peace. A Joint Political
Military Commission (CCPM) took power until the
elections. Between 1998 and 2002 there was another civil
war between UNITA and government forces in the north of
the country. Parliamentary elections were held in
September 2008 for the first time since the end of the
|Rep®≤blica de Angola
|Form of government
||WAT (UTC + 1)
|Telephone area code
The Republic of Angola is located in south-west
Africa and, with a size of 1 246 700 km², is the seventh
largest country on the continent and about three and a
half times the size of Germany. The country borders the
Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Republic of Congo and
the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north,
Zambia to the east and Namibia to the south . The
northernmost province of Angola (Cabinda, around 7,000
km²) on the Atlantic coast is separated from the rest of
the country by a narrow strip of land (which belongs to
the Democratic Republic of the Congo).
The coast of Angola is divided by numerous bays and
estuaries. Inland there is the coastal lowland, which is
up to 150 km wide and is determined in the southern part
by the Namib Desert. The country rises in stages up to
the central inland highlands, which occupy the majority
of the country's area (on average 1,000 to 1,500 m above
sea level). Individual island mountains reach heights of
over 2,000 m. In the middle, the plateau is traversed by
the Lundaschwelle, a mountain range that runs in an
east-west direction and forms the watershed between the
Congo and Okavango river systems. The highest point in
Angola (Môcco, 2,620 m) is in the west of Angola.In the
north of the Lunda wave, the country gradually descends
to the Congo basin, to the south to the Kalahari basin
or to the Zambezi region.
Numerous rivers run through the highlands, the
longest within Angola are the Kunene (1,200 km) and the
Cuanza (960 km). Cuango and Cassai are tributaries of
the Congo, the Cubango, which flows through Angola for a
length of around 1,300 km, continues as the Okavango in
Luanda , the capital of Angola, is located on the
Angola's tropical climate is changeable. The annual
average temperatures on the coast are around 24 °„ C, in
the central highlands around 20 °„ C. In the highlands
there can be significant daily fluctuations (minimum 5 °„
C, maximum over 30 °„ C). The coastal lowlands are
influenced by the cool Benguela current. Here the
precipitation decreases from the north (600 mm) to the
south (50 mm). Average annual quantities of 300 mm are
measured in the capital Luanda. The greatest amounts of
precipitation are measured on the slopes that represent
the transition to the highlands (1,500 mm in the north,
750 mm in the south).While the rainy season in the north
of the country lasts approximately from October to May,
it shortens to the months of November to March in the
Flora and fauna
The flora of Angola is very diverse. In the southern
coastal area, Angola has a share in the Namib desert,
here the vegetation is extremely sparse, only very well
adapted plants can survive. To the north, the desert
merges into wet savannah, to the east into
Dornstrauchsavanne. In the center of Angola there are
dry forests with umbrella acacias and baobab trees, and
evergreen tropical mountain forests on the rainy slopes
of the highlands. In the country's northernmost
province, Cabinda, there are large stocks of tropical
The animal world in Angola is also shaped according
to the different vegetation. In the rainforests of
Cabindas, chimpanzees and gorillas live alongside other
species of monkeys, and leopards, antelopes, zebras,
ostriches, hippos and crocodiles are found in large
parts of the country. Some species, such as lions and
elephants, have been severely decimated by poaching.
According to COUNTRYAAH,
the population of Angola comprises a total of around
12.5 million people, about a third of whom live in
cities. The capital Luanda on the Atlantic coast has
around 3.8 million residents, the second largest city is Huambo with around 230,000 residents. With an average of
10 residents per square kilometer, the country has a low
A total of around 100 different ethnic groups live in
Angola. Most of the country's residents belong to the
Bantu peoples, the largest group are the Ovimbundu with
around 37% of the total population, followed by the
Kimbundu (23%) and the Bakongo (12%). Other people
include the Tschokwe, Humbe, Lunda, Luimbe-Nganguela and
Ovambo. Over 50% of the total population are Christians,
mostly Catholics. Natural religions are practiced by
around 12%. However, Christian and indigenous practices
are often mixed.
The long-lasting civil war and its consequences are a
heavy burden for the country and its population. Famine
is largely responsible for the very high infant and
child mortality rate (18%). Medical care is absolutely
inadequate due to the severely damaged infrastructure.
In general, life expectancy for women and men is around
38 years. Despite compulsory schooling, the literacy
rate is estimated at only 67%. Almost half of the
population is under the age of 15. A major problem is
the nine to 15 million suspected landmines, for which no
financial means are available to clear them.
Angola's official language is Portuguese, and various
Bantu and other African languages are also spoken.
Angola is a presidential republic, the constitution
was passed in 2010.
The President is the head of state as well as head of
government and commander-in-chief of the armed forces
(Jos®¶ Eduardo dos Santos, MLPA since 1979) and is
elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term.
The legislature lies with the National Assembly
(Assembleia Nacional), which consists of one chamber.
The 220 members are directly elected for four years.
Angola is divided into 18 provinces, each subordinate
to a provincial governor.
Angola has vast resources of oil, diamonds, gold and
fertile soils, but the civil war had almost ruined the
country's economy. Since 2002, the government has
started a variety of reforms (banking sector reform,
exchange rate freeze, liberalization of foreign trade by
abolishing import licenses and reducing tariffs, etc.).
Angola joined OPEC in 2007. Angola has experienced the
strongest economic growth among the world's economies
since the end of the Civil War in 2002. Nevertheless,
there is still bitter poverty, especially among the
rural population, unemployment is 40%.
90% of the export earnings are made up of oil, which
is mainly extracted off the coast of Cabinda. According
to forecasts, Angola will be one of the most important
oil-exporting countries worldwide by 2020. The main
focus of the industry is on petroleum processing and the
textile industry, as well as the processing of tobacco,
sugar and food. In addition to oil, diamonds and gold,
the country has deposits of iron ore, phosphate, bauxite
and uranium. The country's energy requirements are
largely covered by hydropower.
More than three quarters of Angola's workforce is
employed in agriculture, which, however, only generates
10% of the gross domestic product and is mostly a
subsistence economy. Coffee is mainly grown for export,
maize, cassava, sweet potatoes, legumes, sugar cane and
bananas for their own use. The population's own needs
cannot be met. Fishing plays an important role in
agriculture, and the government supports the expansion
of the fishing industry.
The poor state of agriculture can be explained, among
other things, by the high number of unsafe, ie mined
areas. A large percentage of the working-age population
was killed, maimed or displaced by the fighting.
Adolescents were recruited as child soldiers. These
demographic problems indicate that even the official end
of the war in 2002 will not lead to a rapid improvement
in the economic situation. Growing prosperity remains
extremely unevenly distributed.
The main trading partners of Angola are the PR China
and the USA in export, Portugal and the PR China in
import. In addition to fuels and technical oils,
diamonds in particular are exported. The main import
products include food and machinery.
The currency in Angola is the kwanza (= 100 lei).