Angola officially the Republic of Angola is a country in south-central Africa bordering Namibia to the south, Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, and Zambia to the east, and with a west coast along the Atlantic Ocean. The exclave province Cabinda has a border with the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Background History

Angola is still rebuilding its country since the end of a 27-year civil war in 2002. Fighting between the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), led by Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS, and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas SAVIMBI, followed independence from Portugal in 1975. Peace seemed imminent in 1992 when Angola held national elections, but fighting picked up again in 1993. Up to 1.5 million lives may have been lost - and 4 million people displaced - during the more than a quarter century of fighting. SAVIMBI's death in 2002 ended UNITA's insurgency and cemented the MPLA's hold on power. President DOS SANTOS pushed through a new constitution in 2010; elections held in 2012 saw him installed as president.



Country Name:

  • conventional long form: Republic of Angola
  • conventional short form: Angola
  • local long form: Republica de Angola
  • local short form: Angola
  • former: People's Republic of Angola


  • name: Luanda
  • geographic coordinates: 8 50 S, 13 14 E
  • time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)


  • 11 November 1975 (from Portugal)

Government Type:

  • republic; multiparty presidential regime

Executive Branch:

  • chief of state: President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos(since 21 September 1979); Vice President Manuel Domingos Vicente (since 26 September 2012)
  • head of government: President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos(since 21 September 1979); Vice President Manuel Domingos Vicente (since 26 September 2012)
  • elections: president indirectly elected by National Assembly for a five-year term (eligible for a second consecutive or discontinuous term) under the 2010 constitution

Legislative Branch:

  • structure: unicameral National Assembly

Judicial Branch:

  • structure: Constitutional Court; Supreme Court; Court of Auditions; Supreme Military Court


People & Society


  • 19,088,106 (global rank: 59)
  • growth rate: 2.78% (global rank: 19)


  • noun: Angolan(s)
  • adjective: Angolan

Major Cities:

  • Luanda (capital): 5.068 million, Huambo: 1.098 million

Ethnic Groups:

  • Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, mestico (mixed European and native African) 2%, European 1%, other 22%


  • indigenous beliefs 47%, Roman Catholic 38%, Protestant 15% (1998 est.)


  • Portuguese (official), Bantu and other African languages

Life Expectancy at Birth:

  • total population: 55.29 years (global rank: 205)
  • male: 54.16 years
  • female: 56.47 years

Infant Mortality:

  • total population: 79.99 deaths/1,000 live births (global rank: 8)
  • male: 83.74 deaths/1,000 live births
  • female: 76.05 deaths/1,000 live births


  • adult prevalence rate: 2.3% (global rank: 26)
  • people living with AIDS: 248,800 (global rank: 24)


  • definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  • total population: 70.4%
  • male: 82.6%
  • female: 58.6%



Angola's high growth rate in recent years was driven by high international prices for its oil. Angola became a member of OPEC in late 2006 and its current assigned a production quota of 1.65 million barrels a day (bbl/day). Oil production and its supporting activities contribute about 85% of GDP. Diamond exports contribute an additional 5%. Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for most of the people, but half of the country's food is still imported. Increased oil production supported growth averaging more than 17% per year from 2004 to 2008. A postwar reconstruction boom and resettlement of displaced persons has led to high rates of growth in construction and agriculture as well. Much of the country's infrastructure is still damaged or undeveloped from the 27-year-long civil war. Land mines left from the war still mar the countryside, even though peace was established after the death of rebel leader Jonas SAVIMBI in February 2002. Since 2005, the government has used billions of dollars in credit lines from China, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Spain, and the EU to rebuild Angola's public infrastructure. The global recession that started in 2008 temporarily stalled economic growth. Lower prices for oil and diamonds during the global recession slowed GDP growth to 2.4% in 2009, and many construction projects stopped because Luanda accrued $9 billion in arrears to foreign construction companies when government revenue fell in 2008 and 2009. Angola abandoned its currency peg in 2009, and in November 2009 signed onto an IMF Stand-By Arrangement loan of $1.4 billion to rebuild international reserves. Consumer inflation declined from 325% in 2000 to about 10% in 2012. Higher oil prices have helped Angola turn a budget deficit of 8.6% of GDP in 2009 into an surplus of 12% of GDP in 2012. Corruption, especially in the extractive sectors, also is a major challenge.

Gross Domestic Product:

  • GDP (PPP): $131.8 billion billion (global rank: 67)
  • GDP per capita (PPP): $6,300 (global rank: 147)
  • real growth rate: 5.6% (global rank: 44)
  • composition by sector: agriculture: 10.2%, industry: 61.4%, services: 28.4%


  • currency: Kwanza (AOA)
  • exchange rate (per US Dollar): 95.97

Unemployment Rate

  • unemployment rate: NA

Agricultural Products:

  • bananas, sugarcane, coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, manioc (tapioca), tobacco, vegetables, plantains; livestock; forest products; fish


  • petroleum; diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, feldspar, bauxite, uranium, and gold; cement; basic metal products; fish processing; food processing, brewing, tobacco products, sugar; textiles; ship repair

Export Commodities:

  • crude oil, diamonds, refined petroleum products, coffee, sisal, fish and fish products, timber, cotton

Import Commodities:

  • machinery and electrical equipment, vehicles and spare parts; medicines, food, textiles, military goods




  • Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Namibia and Democratic Republic of the Congo


  • total: 1,246,700 sq km (global rank: 23)
  • land: 1,246,700 sq km
  • water: 0 sq km
  • comparative: slightly less than twice the size of Texas


  • semiarid in south and along coast to Luanda; north has cool, dry season (May to October) and hot, rainy season (November to April)

Land Use:

  • arable land: 2.65%
  • permanent crops: 0.23%
  • other: 97.12%

Natural Resources:

  • petroleum, diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, copper, feldspar, gold, bauxite, uranium

Current Environmental Issues:

  • overuse of pastures and subsequent soil erosion attributable to population pressures; desertification; deforestation of tropical rain forest, in response to both international demand for tropical timber and to domestic use as fuel, resulting in loss of biodiversity; soil erosion contributing to water pollution and siltation of rivers and dams; inadequate supplies of potable water


Transnational Issues

  • international disputes: DRC accuses Angola of shifting monuments
  • refugees (country of origin): 21,104 (Democratic Republic of Congo)
  • internally displaced peoples: 19,500 (27-year civil war ending in 2002; 4 million IDPs already have returned)
  • human trafficking: Angola is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor in agriculture, construction, domestic service, and diamond mines; some Angolan girls are forced into domestic prostitution, while some Angolan boys are taken to Namibia as forced laborers or are forced to be cross-border couriers; women and children are also forced into domestic service in South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, and European countries; Vietnamese, Brazilian, and Chinese women are trafficked to Angola for prostitution, while Chinese, Southeast Asian, Namibian, and possibly Congolese migrants are subjected to forced labor in Angola's construction industry.
  • illicit drugs: used as a transshipment point for cocaine destined for Western Europe and other African states, particularly South Africa

Published: Wednesday, February 11, 2015