Angola [Country Flag of Angola]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Angola]



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Current issues: Civil war has been the norm since independence from Portugal on 11 November 1975. A cease-fire between the government and the insurgent National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) lasted from 31 May 1991 until October 1992 when UNITA refused to accept its defeat in internationally monitored elections and fighting resumed throughout much of the country. The two sides signed another peace accord on 20 November 1994 and the cease-fire is generally holding, but military tensions and banditry persist. The peace accord provided for the integration of former UNITA insurgents into the Angolan armed forces and the government. A Government of National Unity and Reconciliation was installed in April 1997 and military integration was declared complete in June 1997, although UNITA filled fewer than half of the military positions allocated to the rebels. Efforts which began in May 1997 to extend government into UNITA-occupied areas are proceeding slowly. The original 7,200-man UN peacekeeping force began a phased drawdown in late 1996 and all UN military components are scheduled to depart by 30 June 1998 except for a small military observer force which will probably remain in Angola through 1998.


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

Geographic coordinates: 12 30 S, 18 30 E

Map references: Africa

total: 1,246,700 sq km
land: 1,246,700 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly less than twice the size of Texas

Land boundaries:
total: 5,198 km
border countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,511 km of which 220 km is the boundary of discontiguous Cabinda Province, Republic of the Congo 201 km, Namibia 1,376 km, Zambia 1,110 km

Coastline: 1,600 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 20 nm

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

Terrain: narrow coastal plain rises abruptly to vast interior plateau

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Morro de Moco 2,620 m

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

Land use:
arable land: 2%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 23%
forests and woodland: 43%
other: 32% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 750 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: locally heavy rainfall causes periodic flooding on the plateau

Environment—current issues: the 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

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Desertification, Law of the Sea
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change

Geography—note: Cabinda is separated from rest of country by the Democratic Republic of the Congo


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Population: 10,864,512 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 45% (male 2,471,108; female 2,401,631)
15-64 years: 52% (male 2,864,152; female 2,831,209)
65 years and over: 3% (male 137,432; female 158,980) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.84% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 43.58 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 16.79 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 1.65 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 132.44 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 47.86 years
male: 45.6 years
female: 50.23 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.2 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Angolan(s)
adjective: Angolan

Ethnic groups: Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, mestico (mixed European and Native African) 2%, European 1%, other 22%

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

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

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 42%
male: 56%
female: 28% (1998 est.)


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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

Data code: AO

Government type: transitional government, nominally a multiparty democracy with a strong presidential system

National capital: Luanda

Administrative divisions: 18 provinces (provincias, singular—provincia); Bengo, Benguela, Bie, Cabinda, Cuando Cubango, Cuanza Norte, Cuanza Sul, Cunene, Huambo, Huila, Luanda, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Malanje, Moxico, Namibe, Uige, Zaire

Independence: 11 November 1975 (from Portugal)

National holiday: Independence Day, 11 November (1975)

Constitution: 11 November 1975; revised 7 January 1978, 11 August 1980, 6 March 1991, and 26 August 1992

Legal system: based on Portuguese civil law system and customary law; recently modified to accommodate political pluralism and increased use of free markets

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS (since 21 September 1979)
head of government: Prime Minister Fernando Franca VAN DUNEM (since 8 June 1996)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: President DOS SANTOS originally elected without opposition under a one-party system and stood for reelection in Angola's first multiparty elections in 28-29 September 1992, the last elections to be held, (next to be held NA); prime minister appointed by the president and answerable to the Assembly
election results: DOS SANTOS received 49.6% of the total vote, making a run-off election necessary between him and second-place finisher Jonas SAVIMBI; the run-off was not held and SAVIMBI's National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) repudiated the results of the first election; the civil war was resumed

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional (220 seats; members elected by proportional vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 29-30 September 1992 (next to be held NA)
election results: percent of vote by party—MPLA 54%, UNITA 34%, others 12%; seats by party—NA

Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Tribunal da Relacao, judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the president

Political parties and leaders: Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola or MPLA [Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS], is the ruling party and has been in power since 1975; National Union for the Total Independence of Angola or UNITA [Jonas SAVIMBI], is the largest opposition party and engaged in years of armed resistance before joining the current unity government in April 1997
note: about a dozen minor parties participated in the 1992 elections but won few seats and have little influence in the National Assembly

Political pressure groups and leaders: Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda or FLEC
note: FLEC is waging a small-scale, highly factionalized, armed struggle for the independence of Cabinda Province

International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, CCC, CEEAC (observer), ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, NAM, OAS (observer), OAU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Antonio dos Santos FRANCA "N'dalu"
chancery: 1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 760, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 785-1156
FAX: [1] (202) 785-1258

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Donald K. STEINBERG
embassy: No. 32 Rua Houari Boumedienne, Miramar, Luanda
mailing address: International mail: Caixa Postal 6484, Luanda; Pouch: American Embassy Luanda, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2550
telephone: [244] (2) 345-481, 346-418
FAX: [244] (2) 346-924

Flag description: 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)


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Economy—overview: Angola is an economy in disarray because of more than 20 years of nearly continuous warfare. Despite its abundant natural resources, output per capita is among the world's lowest. Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for 85% of the population. Oil production and the supporting activities are vital to the economy, contributing about 50% to GDP. Notwithstanding the signing of a peace accord in November 1994, sporadic violence continues, millions of land mines remain, and many farmers are reluctant to return to their fields. As a result, much of the country's food must still be imported. To take advantage of its rich resources—gold, diamonds, extensive forests, Atlantic fisheries, arable land, and large oil deposits—Angola will need to implement the peace agreement and reform government policies. Despite the high inflation and political difficulties, total output grew an estimated 9% in 1996, largely due to increased oil production and higher oil prices.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$8.2 billion (1996 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 9% (1996 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$800 (1996 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 12%
industry: 56%
services: 32% (1994 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 92% (mid-1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 2.783 million economically active
by occupation: agriculture 85%, industry and services 15% (1997 est.)

Unemployment rate: extensive unemployment and underemployment affecting more than half the population (1997 est.)

revenues: $928 million
expenditures: $2.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $963 million (1992 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: 617,000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 18.62 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 185 kWh (1995)

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

total value: $4 billion (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
commodities: crude oil 90%, diamonds, refined petroleum products, gas, coffee, sisal, fish and fish products, timber, cotton
partners: US 70%, EU

total value: $1.7 billion (f.o.b., 1995 est.)
commodities: capital equipment (machinery and electrical equipment), vehicles and spare parts; medicines, food, textiles and clothing; substantial military supplies
partners: Portugal, Brazil, US, France, Spain

Debt—external: $12.5 billion (1996 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $451 million (1994)

Currency: 1 kwanza (NKz) = 100 lwei

Exchange rates: kwanza (NKz) per US$1—265,000 (August 1997), 201,994 (November 1996)
note: the exchange rate is set by the National Bank of Angola (BNA); adjusted by BNA on 19 July 1997 at 265,000 kwanzas per US$1; black market rate was then 360,000 kwanzas per US$1

Fiscal year: calendar year


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Telephones: 78,000 (1991 est.)

Telephone system: telephone service limited mostly to government and business use; HF radiotelephone used extensively for military links
domestic: limited system of wire, microwave radio relay, and tropospheric scatter
international: satellite earth stations—2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 17, FM 13, shortwave 0

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 6

Televisions: 50,000 (1993 est.)


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total: 2,952 km limited trackage in use because of land mines still in place from the civil war (1997 est.)
narrow gauge: 2,798 km 1.067-m gauge; 154 km 0.600-m gauge

total: 72,626 km
paved: 18,157 km
unpaved: 54,469 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 1,295 km navigable

Pipelines: crude oil 179 km

Ports and harbors: Ambriz, Cabinda, Lobito, Luanda, Malongo, Namibe, Porto Amboim, Soyo

Merchant marine:
total: 10 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 48,384 GRT/78,357 DWT
ships by type: cargo 9, oil tanker 1 (1997 est.)

Airports: 252 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 32
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 220
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 32
914 to 1,523 m: 101
under 914 m: 82 (1997 est.)


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Military branches: Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces, National Police Force

Military manpower—military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 2,476,766 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 1,246,349 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—reaching military age annually:
males: 105,283 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $1.2 billion (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: 31% (1993)

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: none

Illicit drugs: increasingly used as a transshipment point for cocaine and heroin destined for Western Europe and other African states