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Angola

Angola, located in southern Africa, borders the South Atlantic Ocean, as well as Namibia, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was in the 15th century that the first Portuguese explorers reached Angola. Over the centuries, they established themselves and ruled Angola as its colony. In 1975, the Portuguese granted the Angolans their independence. Since gaining independence, Angola has experienced a 27-year civil war that destroyed the country. Since 2002, when the civil war ended, Angola has been working hard to regain its political, economical and social stability. Oil exports and some foreign loans have contributed to economic growth and the reconstruction process is well underway. Angola is known

for its numerous national parks, tropical rainforests, sandy beaches, mountains, waterfalls and deep gorges. These include the Kissama National Park, the Leba Mountain in the Huila province, the Tundavala Gorge and the Calendula waterfalls in the Malange province. The capital city of Angola, Luanda, has a lot to offer. Some impressive places to visit include the fortress, the National Museum of Anthropology and the Museum of Slavery. Dance and Music are some of the strongest elements in the Angolan culture. When the Portuguese settled in Angola, they imported their foods and cooking methods to Angola. Over the years, these methods have become part of Angolan cuisine. In fact, food from Angola is not very different from the food of other former colonies of Portugal, such as Brazil.
CATEGORIES: Demographics - Quick Facts - Economy - Communications - Health Issues
Demographics
Country Flag: Angola's Flag

Two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and black with a centered yellow emblem consisting of a five-pointed star within half a cogwheel crossed by a machete (in the style of a hammer and sickle)

Nationality: Angolan

Capital: Luanda

Population: 12,127,071 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

  • 0-14 years: 43.7%
  • 15-64 years: 53.5%
  • 65 years and over: 2.8% (2006 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.45% (2006 est.)

Literacy rate:

  • ages 15 and above can read and write.
  • 66.8% of the population is literate (male: 82.1%, female: 53.8%) (2001 est.)

Major religions: Indigenous beliefs 47%, Roman Catholic 38%, Protestant 15% (1998 est.)

Languages: Portuguese (official), Bantu and other African languages

Quick Facts
Area:
  • total:1,246,700 sq km
  • land:1,246,700 sq km
  • water: 0 sq km

Area comparative to Canadian province: slightly bigger than on Ontario

Natural resources: petroleum, diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, copper, feldspar, gold, bauxite, uranium.

Environmental Issues:desertification; deforestation of tropical rain forest, as a result of international demand for tropical timber and domestic use as fuel, leading to a loss of biodiversity; overuse of pastures and soil erosion due to population pressures; soil erosion contributing to water pollution of rivers and dams; inefficient supplies of potable water.

Economy

The high growth rate in Angola is a result of its oil sector and its rising petroleum production. Oil production and other supporting activities is 90% of Angola’s exports. Angola experiences high growth in agriculture and construction, although much of the country’s infrastructure remains damaged, as a result of the 27-year-long civil war. Subsistence agriculture is Angola’s main livelihood for half of the population. The government is currently using a $2 billion line of credit from China to rebuild their public infrastructure and various other large-scale projects, all to be completed in 2006.

Major industries:

  • 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

Agricultural products:

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

Oil production: 1.6 million bbl/day (2005 est.)

Railways: 2, 761 km

Road map: 51,429 km (paved: 5,349 km, unpaved: 46,080 km)

Currency: Kwanza

Communications

Telephone lines in use: 96,300 (2003)

Cellular lines in use: 940,000 (2004)

Television Stations: 6 (2000)

Radio Stations: AM 21, FM 6, shortwave 7 (2000)

Internet users: 172,000 (2005)

Health Issues

HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate: 3.9% (2003 est.)

People living with HIV/AIDS: 240,000 (2003 est.)

More Information

For more informaiton, please visit:
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ao.html