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Angola

ANGOLA

LOCATION, SIZE, AND EXTENT
TOPOGRAPHY
CLIMATE
FLORA AND FAUNA
ENVIRONMENT
POPULATION
MIGRATION
ETHNIC GROUPS
LANGUAGES
RELIGIONS
TRANSPORTATION
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
POLITICAL PARTIES
LOCAL GOVERNMENT
JUDICIAL SYSTEM
ARMED FORCES
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
ECONOMY
INCOME
LABOR
AGRICULTURE
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
FISHING
FORESTRY
MINING
ENERGY AND POWER
INDUSTRY
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
DOMESTIC TRADE
FOREIGN TRADE
BALANCE OF PAYMENTS
BANKING AND SECURITIES
INSURANCE
PUBLIC FINANCE
TAXATION
CUSTOMS AND DUTIES
FOREIGN INVESTMENT
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
HEALTH
HOUSING
EDUCATION
LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS
MEDIA
ORGANIZATIONS
TOURISM, TRAVEL, AND RECREATION
FAMOUS ANGOLANS
DEPENDENCIES
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Republic of Angola

República de Angola

CAPITAL: Luanda

FLAG: The upper half is red, the lower half black; in the center, a five-pointed yellow star and half a yellow cogwheel are crossed by a yellow machete.

ANTHEM: Angola Avanti.

MONETARY UNIT: The Angolan escudo (ae) was the national currency until 1977, when the kwanza (Kw) of 100 lwei replaced it. There are coins of 50 lwei and 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 kwanza, and notes of 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 kwanza. Kw1 = $0.01129 (or $1 = Kw88.6) as of 2005.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: The metric system is used.

HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Anniversary of Outbreak of Anti-Portuguese Struggle, 4 February; Victory Day, 27 March; Youth Day, 14 April; Workers' Day, 1 May; Armed Forces Day, 1 August; National Heroes' Day, 17 September; Independence Day, 11 November; Pioneers' Day, 1 December; Anniversary of the Foundation of the MPLA, 10 December; Family Day, 25 December.

TIME: 1 pm = noon GMT.

LOCATION, SIZE, AND EXTENT

Angola is located on the west coast of Africa, south of the equator. Angola is slightly less than twice the size of Texas, with a total area of 1,246,700 sq km (481,353 sq mi), including the exclave of Cabinda (7,270 sq km/2,810 sq mi), which is surrounded by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROCformerly Zaire) and the Republic of the Congo (ROC). Angola proper extends 1,758 km (1,092 mi) se-nw and 1,491 km (926 mi) nesw; Cabinda extends 166 km (103 mi) nnessw and 62 km (39 mi) esewnw. Angola proper is bounded on the n and ne by the DROC, on the se by Zambia, on the s by Namibia (South West Africa), and on the w by the Atlantic Ocean. Its total boundary length, including Cabinda's, is 5,198 km (3,233 mi).

TOPOGRAPHY

Topographically, Angola consists mainly of broad tablelands above 1,000 m (3,300 ft) in altitude; a high plateau (planalto) in the center and south ranges up to 2,400 m (7,900 ft). The highest point in Angola is Mt. Moco, at 2,620 m (8,596 ft), in the Huambo region; other major peaks are Mt. Mejo (2,583 m/8,474 ft), in the Benguela region, and Mt. Vavéle (2,479 m/8,133 ft), in Cuanza Sul.

Rivers are numerous, but few are navigable. There are three types of rivers in Angola: constantly fed rivers (such as the Zaire River), seasonally fed rivers, and temporary rivers and streams. Only the Cuanza, in central Angola, and the Zaire, in the north, are navigable by boats of significant size.

CLIMATE

Angola's climate varies considerably from the coast to the central plateau and even between the north coast and the south coast. The north, from Cabinda to Ambriz, has a damp, tropical climate. The zone that begins a little to the north of Luanda and extends to Namibe, the Malanje region, and the eastern strip have a moderate tropical climate. Damp conditions prevail south of Namibe, dry conditions in the central plateau zone, and a desert climate in the southern strip between the plateau and the frontier with Namibia. There are two seasons: a dry, cool season from June to late September, and a rainy, hot season from October to April or May. The average temperature is 20°c (68°f); temperatures are warmer along the coast and cooler on the central plateau. The Benguela Current makes the coastal regions arid or semiarid. The annual rainfall is only 5 cm (2 in) at Namibe, 34 cm (13 in) at Luanda, and as high as 150 cm (59 in) in the northeast.

FLORA AND FAUNA

Thick forests (especially in Cabinda and in the Uíge area in the north) cover the wet regions, and in the drier areas there is a thinner savanna vegetation. Fauna includes the lion, impala, hyena, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, and elephant. There are thousands of types of birds and a wide variety of insects.

ENVIRONMENT

Long-standing environmental problems in Angola have been aggravated by a 30-year war. The main problems are land abuse, desertification, loss of forests, and impure water. The productivity of the land is continually threatened by drought and soil erosion, which contributes to water pollution and deposits silt in rivers and dams.

The cutting of tropical rain forests for international timber sale and domestic use as fuel contributes to the destruction of the land. Angola's forests and woodland declined 3.1% between 1983 and 1993. Between 19902000, a further decline of 0.2% was reported. In 2003, about 6.6% of the total land area was protected, including the Quicama National Park. In 2002, improved water sources were available to 70% of the urban population and 40% of rural dwellers.

Endangered species in Angola include the black-faced impala, three species of turtle (green, olive ridley, and leatherback), the giant sable antelope, the African slender-snouted (or long-snouted) crocodile, the African elephant, Vernay's climbing monkey, and the black rhinoceros. According to a 2006 report issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the number of threatened species included 11 types of mammals, 20 species of birds, 4 types of reptiles, 9 species of fish, 5 types of mollusks, and 26 species of plants.

POPULATION

The population of Angola in 2005 was estimated by the United Nations (UN) at 15,375,000, which placed it at number 61 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In 2005, approximately 2% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 46% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 97 males for every 100 females in the country. According to the UN, the annual population rate of change for 20052010 was expected to be 2.6%. This relatively high rate, which the government viewed as satisfactory, is due in part to the low rate of contraceptive use (about 4.5%) in country. The projected population for the year 2025 was 25,876,000. The population density was 12 per sq km (32 per sq mi).

The UN estimated that 33% of the population lived in urban areas in 2005, and that urban areas were growing at an annual rate of 4.92%. The capital city, Luanda, had a population of 2,623,000 in that year. Other principal cities are Huambo (population about 400,000), Benguela, Lobito, Cabinda, Malanje, and Lubango (population about 136,000).

The prevalence of HIV/AIDS has had a significant impact on the population of Angola. The UN estimated that 5.5% of adults between the ages of 1549 were living with HIV/AIDS in 2001, and that the number was increasing rapidly. In addition, years of civil conflict have had significant impact on the populace, including the creation of one million internally displaced persons and refugees. Life expectancy in Angola is an average of 41 years.

MIGRATION

From the 1960s until the mid-1990s, Angola was ravaged by civil war, with terrible effects on the Angolan population and social structure. Although fighting stopped in 1994, at the beginning of 1997 there were still an estimated 200,000 Angolan refugees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC); 96,000 Angolan refugees in Zambia; 12,000 refugees in the Republic of the Congo; 1,000 refugees in Namibia; and 15,000 Angolan refugees in 15 other countries. As of May 1997, there were still 1.2 million Angolans displaced within their country as a result of the civil war. By June 1996, 74,000 Angolan refugees had returned to their country. However, with an upsurge in the fighting again between May 1998 and June 1999, some 100,000 refugees fled the country once again. The Angolan repatriation operation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was suspended in September 1998. However, by June 2002 UNHCR had directly repatriated 45,000 Angolans and another 124,000 had returned on, their own. By October 2005 another 40,000 Angolans were repatriated from Zambia. This was more than half the total Angolan refugee population living in camps and settlements in Zambia and more than double the number that returned from Zambia in 2004, the UN reports. Besides Zambia major countries of asylum for Angolans in 2004 were the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, and South Africa.

In 2003, there were 450,000 internally displaced persons (IDP) within the country. Despite internal conflict, Angola still hosted some 105,145 refugees as of 2004. In 2005, the net migration rate was estimated as 0.28 migrants per 1,000 population. The government views the migration levels as satisfactory.

ETHNIC GROUPS

The overwhelming majority of the population is Bantu, divided into a number of ethnolinguistic groupings. The main ones are the Ovimbundu, constituting some 37% of the population in 2005, the Kimbundu, totaling 25% of the population, and the Bakongo with 13%.

The mestiço (mixed European and Native African) make up about 2% of the population. Since the mestiços are generally better educated than the black population, they exercise influence in government disproportionate to their numbers. Europeans, mostly of Portuguese extraction, constitute 1% of the population; other varied groups account for the remaining 22%.

LANGUAGES

Portuguese is the official language, although Bantu and other African languages (and their dialects) are used at the local level.

RELIGIONS

Christianity is the primary religion, with Roman Catholicism being the largest denomination. An estimated five million people are Roman Catholic. About 35 million people are of Protestant denominations; the largest of which include Methodists, Baptists, Congregationalists (United Church of Christ), and Assemblies of God. Almost half the population (47%) follow African traditional beliefs either exclusively or in conjunction with other faiths. The largest syncretic religious group is the Kimbanguist Church, whose followers believe that the mid-20th century Congolese pastor Joseph Kimbangu was a prophet. Communities in rural areas of the country practice animism and other indigenous religions. There is also a small Islamic community. There are very few declared atheists in the country.

The constitution provides for freedom of religion and this right is generally respected in practice. However, there is still a colonial-era law in effect banning non-Christian religions. Though this law has generally not been enforced, the minister of justice announced in 2004 that the law could be enforced against religious groups linked to public disturbances or acts of terrorism. Religious groups with a outreach for political and social change include the Inter-Church Committee for Peace in Angola and the Catholic Pro-Peace movement.

TRANSPORTATION

According to Portuguese estimates, there were 72,323 km (44,939 mi) of roads at the time of independence (1975), of which only 8,371 km (5,201 mi) were paved, all-weather highways. In the mid-1980s, these figures had increased to perhaps 80,000 km (50,000 mi), but by 2002 had fallen back to 76,626 km (47,615 mi), of which 19,156 km (11,904 mi) were paved. In 2003, there were 40,000 passenger cars and 63,400 commercial vehicles.

The rail network had a total extension in 2004 of 2,761 km (1,717 mi), of which 2,638 km (1,641 mi) were 1.067-m and 123 km (76.5 mi) were 0.600-m (narrow) gauge track. There was limited trackage in use because land mines were still in place from the civil war. There are three main railway lines, the Luando, Namibe, and Benguela railways, all of which experienced service disruptions as a result of the civil war. The Luanda railway connects the national capital with the provincial capital of Malanje in the north. The Namibe railway, which theoretically runs from Angola's port of Namibe to the provincial capital of Menongue in the south, formerly hauled an average of six million tons of iron ore a year from the Kassinga mines. The Benguela railway was formerly the main exit route for DROC and Zambian copper, extending through the country from the port of Benguela to the border with the DROC. As of 1991, service had resumed between Lobito and Huambo. By mid-1992, normal passenger traffic resumed from Lobito to Ganda. East of Ganda, however, the route was still severely damaged, with at least 75 bridges in serious disrepair. The Southern African Development Coordination Conference could not obtain the estimated $600 million in funds needed to repair the entire line, so a modest partial repair of the section from Lobito to Kuito was approved, for an estimated cost of $17 million. Angola has 1,300 km of navigable waterways. The merchant marine had 4 ships of 1,000 GRT or over in 2005, totaling 26,123 GRT.

Angola had an estimated total of 43 airports as of 2004, of which 31 had paved runways as of 2005. There is an international airport at Luanda. International and domestic services are maintained by Transportes Aéreos de Angola (TAAG), Air France, Air Namibe, Sabena, South African Airways, TAP (Portugal) and several regional carriers. In 2003, domestic and international carriers carried 198,000 passengers. There are airstrips for domestic transport at Benguela, Cabinda, Huambo, Namibe, and Catumbela (near Lobito).

HISTORY

Angola was inhabited first by people of the Khoisan group (Bushmen), and then by various Bantu peoples from farther north as well as east between 1300 and 1600. By the 15th century, several African kingdoms had developed in the area; the most notable included the kingdoms of the Kongo and Mbundu peoples. The Portuguese arrived on the coast in the late 15th century, and Luanda was founded as a trading settlement in 1575. The Portuguese developed trade with African nations, particularly with the Mbundu, whose ruler was called the ngola (from which the name of Angola comes). The slave trade assumed paramount importance during the 17th century, when slaves were carried to Portuguese plantations in Brazil. From the late 16th through the mid-19th century, Angola may have provided the New World with as many as two million slaves.

Slavery was formally abolished (with a 20-year grace period) in 1836, although under Portuguese rule forced labor was common until the early 1950s. Trade in other commodities was needed to replace the slave trade; hence, between 1870 and 1903 the Portuguese claimed control over more and more of the interior of the country. To strengthen their control, the Portuguese began building the Benguela railway in 1902. European domination continued until 1951, when Angola's status changed into an overseas province of Portugal. Increasing numbers of Portuguese settlers came to Angola, and by 1960 there were about 160,000 Europeans in the country.

Organized armed resistance to Portuguese rule began on 4 February 1961, when urban partisans of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) attacked the São Paulo fortress and police headquarters in Luanda. Within six weeks, the war had been extended to the north by the rural guerrillas of another organization, the Union of Angolan Peoples, which later became the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA). The FNLA, headed by Holden Roberto, set up a revolutionary government-in-exile in Zaire on 3 April 1962. A third movement, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), headed by Jonas Savimbi, came into being as the consequence of a split in the government-in-exile, of which Savimbi had been foreign minister. All three movements were divided by ideology, ethnic considerations, and personal rivalries; they were also active militarily in 1974 when the Portuguese decided to put an end to their African empire after the coup in Portugal on 25 April. After negotiations with FNLA, MPLA, and UNITA leaders, the Portuguese agreed on 15 January 1975 to grant complete independence to Angola on 11 November 1975. The agreement also established a coalition government headed by a three-man presidential council including MPLA leader António Agostinho Neto, Roberto, and Savimbi. As independence day approached, however, the coalition government fell apart; mediation attempts by other African countries failed.

Thus, at the dawn of Angola's independence, each of three rival organizations had its own army and sphere of influence. The FNLA primarily represented the Kongo people; it was based in Zaire and it received financial support mainly from China and the United States. Together UNITA and the FNLA established the Popular Democratic Republic of Angola (with its capital at Huambo); this was sustained with US funds, South African troops, and some white mercenaries (mostly former commandos in the Portuguese armed forces). UNITA had the support of the Ovimbundu, the largest ethnic group in Angola. The MPLA, a Marxist-oriented party, drew social support from mestiços in Luanda and other urban areas and from the Mbundu people. It received military as well as financial assistance from the USSR and from some 15,000 Cuban soldiers. The MPLA and Cuban forces soon seized the initiative, and by mid-February 1976 the FNLA and UNITA strongholds had fallen. On 11 February, the OAU formally recognized the MPLA government in Luanda as the legitimate government of Angola. South African troops subsequently withdrew, but the Cuban forces remained to consolidate the MPLA's control over the country and provide technical assistance. By 1982 there were 18,000 Cuban troops in Angola, with the number reportedly rising to 25,000 during the first half of 1983 and to 30,000 in late 1986.

A coup attempt on 27 May 1977 by an MPLA faction opposed to the Cuban involvement was suppressed and followed by a massive purge of the party. Activist groups were reined in, and the organization became more centralized. Meanwhile, UNITA, which had never been rooted out of southern Angola, began to regroup. Despite the Cuban troops and Soviet-bloc military assistance, the MPLA government remained vulnerable to the UNITA insurgency, operating from the southern Angolan countryside and from Namibia. Implicated in this conflict was the government of South Africa, whose continual incursions into southern Angola in the late 1970s and early 1980s were aimed chiefly at the forces of the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO), who were using Angola as a base in their bid to force South Africa to give up Namibia. By 1983, South African soldiers were said to be permanently stationed in southern Angola; in December, South Africa launched a major offensive in the region. In addition to harassing SWAPO, South Africa was continuing to provide supplies to UNITA. The Angolan government resisted efforts by the United States to secure the withdrawal of Cuban troops in return for Namibian independence and a South African pullback.

Under an agreement brokered by the United States, South African troops withdrew from southern Angola in 1985 but continued to raid SWAPO bases there and to supply military aid to UNITA, including air support. In 1986, the United States sent about $15 million in military aid to UNITA, reportedly through Zaire.

Fighting escalated in 1987 and 1988 even as negotiations for a settlement progressed. An Angolan settlement became entangled with the resolution of civil war in and the independence of Namibia. A controversial battle at Cuito Cuanavale in 1988, at which South African and Angolan/Cuban forces were stalemated, led to a South African willingness to agree to end its involvement in Angola and eventually to withdraw from Namibia. Included in the settlement was the Cuban commitment to a phased withdrawal of its military forces from Angola by mid-1991.

Those two agreements, signed on 22 December 1988 in New York by Angola, South Africa, and Cuba, also included a pledge that the signatories would not permit their territories to be used "by any state, organization, or person in connection with any acts of war, aggression, or violence against the territorial integrityof any state of southwestern Africa." This meant that South Africa would be prohibited from aiding UNITA and Angola would remove the ANC's training bases.

All the major parties had been brought to the conclusion that a settlement was better than a prolongation of the fighting. The Soviet Union wanted to disentangle itself from Angola. The administration of US president Ronald Reagan wanted to take the lead in a successful resolution, and its Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Chester A. Crocker, took the lead in the negotiations.

But as settlement in Namibia was moving forward, it proved much harder to bring the Angolan government and UNITA to terms. At a summit at Gbadolite involving 19 African leaders, MPLA Leader José Edvardo dos Santos and Savimbi shook hands publicly and endorsed the "Gbadolite Declaration" (cease-fire and reconciliation plan) on 22 June 1989. But from the start, the terms were disputed and swiftly unraveled. The parties returned to the battlefield.

Yet, the powers began to scale back their support. The relaxation of cold war tensions provided the basis for contacts between the warring parties. Progress moved in fits and starts and in April 1991, Savimbi and dos Santos initialed an agreement that led to the establishment of a UN-supervised cease-fire and a process of national reconciliation.

Tension increased when UNITA took de facto control of several provinces, and its generals were withdrawn from the officially "merged" national army. Fighting broke out in Luanda in October and more than 1,000 were killed in a week. UNITA gained control of 75% of the country. Its refusal to accept UN-brokered cease-fire terms agreed to by the government in May led to a Security Council resolution on 1 June 1993, condemning unanimously UNITA for endangering the peace process and to US recognition of the Angolan government on 19 May. In 1994, it was estimated that 1,000 were dying every day in the fighting.

On 20 November 1994, the Lusaka Protocol was signed, promising a new, if tenuous, era of peace in Angola. The third peace effort between the opposing groups, it was the first to guarantee a share of power to UNITA and the first to be supported by over 6,000 armed UN peacekeepers. Demobilizations of fighters were suspended and renewed as new offensives broke out and were halted. In 1995, the international community imposed sanctions against UNITA, though several governments have violated them, including African countries serving as arms transshipment points. In September 1995, the United States pledged $190 million to support Angolan reconstruction and development at the Brussels Roundtable.

In June 1997, the government and UNITA found themselves involved on opposite sides of the Zaire civil war (now the Democratic Republic of the CongoDROC). UNITA supported its ally, President Mobutu Sese Seko, while the government backed Laurent Kabila. Following Kabila's victory in May 1997, and subsequent to the 1998 invasion of DROC by Rwanda and Uganda, dos Santos joined other SADC leaders in providing military support to the Kabila government. By July 1999, all sides at war had signed the Lusaka Accords leading to an eventual withdrawal of most foreign troops by 2003.

In Angola, full-scale war resumed as the government launched offensives in December 1998, and again in March 1999. In February 1999, the UN Security Council voted to end its peacekeeping operations after Secretary-General Kofi Annan declared there was no longer any hope of carrying out the 1994 Lusaka peace agreement. In August 1999, the Office for Coordination of Human Affairs estimated 2.6 million persons were internally displaced in Angola. The following month, Human Rights Watch released a 200-page report detailing how the UN deliberately overlooked evidence showing rearmament and retraining of soldiers by both sides in breach of the 1994 accords. In October 1999, UNITA's main headquarters at Bailundo and Andulo had fallen, and in February 2000, the Fowler report was issued on strengthening UN sanctions against UNITA.

In February 2002, prospects for peace changed dramatically when the army announced that it had killed Savimbi in an attack in southeastern Angola. In addition, the death from illness of Savimbi's second-in-command, General Antonio, further weakened UNITA's military capacity. In March 2002 UNITA commanders issued a joint communiqué with the Angolan army (FAA) confirming a cessation of hostilities and reiterating unequivocal support for a political settlement based on the 1994 Lusaka Peace Accord. A peace accord between the government and UNITA followed in April.

As disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of the armed forces, the repatriation of refugees, and the arduous task of rebuilding the country got underway, dos Santos said he would not seek reelection in the elections scheduled for late 2003early 2004. However, his departure depended on a successor who could be trusted not to prosecute him for human rights abuses and large-scale diversion of state funds. He may choose a hardliner to succeed him, who will permit dos Santos to run a shadow government. Yet another option for dos Santos would be to remain in powerfor one extra term, or for as long as possible. To seek either option, he could cite difficulties arising from Angola's tortuous postwar reconstruction, the demilitarization of society, and the integration of former militias into the national army. The next elections were scheduled for September 2006.

GOVERNMENT

The constitution of 1975, amended in 1976 and 1980, was promulgated and revised by the MPLA. The president of the republic is both chief of state and head of government. He appoints and leads the council of ministers. In 1980, a 223-member National People's Assembly, indirectly elected, replaced the Council of the Revolution as the supreme organ of the state. In January 1987, the Assembly was enlarged to 289 members, and later reduced to 220. In 2006, there were 220 members elected by proportional vote to four-year terms.

A transitional government was established in December 1992 dominated by the MPLA. UNITA held six cabinet posts, and four other parties were also represented. In 1997, the MPLA and UNITA reached an agreement that allowed UNITA to participate in a Government of National Unity and Reconciliation. With the ruling party's approval, UNITA would nominate candidates for four ministerial positions: Trade, Geology and Mines, Health, and Hotels and Tourism. UNITA members would also occupy a number of deputy ministerial, governor, deputy governor, and ambassadorial posts. In early 1997, 70 elected UNITA deputies assumed their seats in the National Assembly, and Jonas Savimbi assumed the role of special advisor to President José Eduardo dos Santos.

The resumption of war in 1998 all but doomed this arrangement, and rendered the National Assembly nominally functional. In reality, it had little independence and did not have oversight over presidential appointments or the ability to initiate legislation. In 1999, dos Santos abolished the post of prime minister, vesting these powers in the director of his own office. He also created a parallel ministry of defense within the presidency.

The civil war officially ended in August 2002, after Jonas Savimbi died in a gun duel with government forces in February and UNITA signed a cease-fire agreement in April. In December 2002, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos Nando was appointed prime minister, though the position had very little real power. Elections were slated for 2006, but they were likely to be constrained by the poor state of roads and railways. A postponement was likely to allow more progress on the clearing of land mines, infrastructure development, and the return and resettlement of refugees.

POLITICAL PARTIES

Until 1974, the Portuguese suppressed movements and political parties that stood for self-determination and independence. The three leading political organizations at independence were the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (Movimento Popular de Libertação de AngolaMPLA), founded in 1956; the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (Frente Nacional de Libertação de AngolaFNLA), founded in 1962; and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (União Nacional para a Indepêndencia Total de AngolaUNITA), founded in 1966. The victory of the MPLA and Cuban forces brought recognition to the MPLA government by the OAU and by most non-African countries. The MPLA-Workers' Party (MPLAPartido de Trabalho, or MPLAPT), a Marxist-Leninist vanguard party, was created in December 1977. UNITA remained in de facto control of part of the country, while the remnants of the FNLA continued low-level guerrilla activity in the northwest, as did the Front for the Liberation of the Cabinda Enclave.

Some 18 parties and 11 presidential candidates contested the 1992 elections. In the presidential contest, the MPLA's Dos Santos won 49.6% of the presidential vote and UNITA's Savimbi got 40.1%, requiring a runoff. Though international observers considered the elections reasonably free and fair, Savimbi repudiated the results and refused to participate in a second round. The contest was regarded as generally free and fair however; the MPLA won 54% of the votes and 129 seats, while UNITA took 34% of the votes and 70 seats. Also represented were the Angolan Democratic Forum (FDA), the Democratic Renewal Party (PRD), and the Angola Youth Worker, Peasant Alliance Party (PAJOCA). Separatist groups in Cabinda, such as the Frente Nacional de Libertação do Enclave de Cabinda (FLEC) and the National Union for the Liberation of Cabinda (UNLC) did not take part in the national elections. They continue to wage a low-level armed struggle for the independence of oil-rich Cabinda province.

Opposition parties are extremely weak and fractured, many with little apparent influence in the National Assembly. Somethe UNITA Renovada is one examplehave formed working relationships with the MPLA. Such arrangements could well strengthen the ruling party's hands vis-a-vis small splinter groups; but they could also create opportunities for new opposition parties to spring up and find their feet. New elections were expected in September 2006.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Angola consists of 18 provinces. Cabinda is separated from the others. The provinces are divided into districts and communes. The communes are led by commissioners who are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the MPLA-PT.

Provincial legislatures consisting of 5585 members were created in 1980. In 1986, these legislatures were expanded up to 100 members each. In the 1992 elections, MPLA carried 14 of the provinces to UNITA's four. The civil war severely disrupted the performance of local government, and for many years, severed ties between Luanda and the outlying provinces.

JUDICIAL SYSTEM

The legal system is based on Portuguese civil law system and customary law, recently modified to accommodate political pluralism and increased use of free markets. Prior to independence, Portuguese civil and military law was applied by municipal courts, labor courts, ordinary courts, and administrative tribunals; final appeal was to the Metropolitan High Court in Lisbon. A 1978 law declared that people's courts with working class representatives would be courts of first instance. It also made provisions for criminal, police, and labor courts with lay judges whose voices would be equal to those of professional judges.

The judicial system includes municipal and provincial courts at the trial level and a Supreme Court at the appellate level. Municipal court judges are usually laymen. In theory, the Ministry of Justice administers provincial courts located in each of the 18 provincial capitals. The Supreme Court nominates provincial court judges. The judge of the provincial court, along with two laymen, acts as a jury.

In 1991, the constitution was amended to guarantee an independent judiciary. In practice, however, the president appoints the 16 Supreme Court judges for life upon recommendation of an association of magistrates, and he appoints the attorney general. Confirmation by the General Assembly is not required.

Several issues confront the legal system. Many of the seats on the Supreme Court remain vacant, and a Constitutional Court, authorized by law in 1992, has not yet been established. In addition, the courts were crippled by the war and are perceived as ineffective and untrustworthy by the few who have access to it. The system lacks the resources and independence to play an effective role and the legal framework is obsolete. Much of the criminal and commercial code reflects the colonial era with modifications from the Marxist era.

ARMED FORCES

Defense responsibilities are vested in the Armed Popular Forces for the Liberation of Angola (Forças Amadas Populares de Libertação de AngolaFAPLA), which as of 2005, had 108,400 active personnel, divided into the Army, Navy, Air Force/Air Defense Force, and territorial troops (a militia). In 2005, FAPLA had a total of 90,000 active personnel of which the Army had 100,000 members, whose major equipment included over 300 main battle tanks, 600 reconnaissance vehicles, over 250 armored infantry fighting vehicles, 170 armored personnel carriers and more than 1,396 artillery pieces. The Navy had an estimated 2,400 personnel whose major naval units consisted of nine patrol/coastal vessels. The Air Force/Air Defense Forces had 6,000 personnel and 90 combat capable aircraft, including 22 fighters, 59 fighter ground attack aircraft and 16 attack helicopters. The defense budget in 2005 totaled $1.16 billion.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Angola, a United Nations member since 1 December 1976, participates in ECA and all the nonregional specialized agencies such as FAO, IAEA, IMF, ILO, UNESCO, UNIDO, WHO, and IFC; the nation is a member of the WTO (1996) and the World Bank. Angola also participates in the African Development Bank, G-77, the ACP Group, Interpol, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), and the African Union. It is one of 14 countries in the SADC. Angola has observer status in the OAS and CEMA. It is also a participant of COMESA. As a result of offshore oil discoveries in the Gulf of Guinea, Angola has recently strengthened cooperation with Equatorial Guinea and São Tomé and Principe. Angola promotes the revival of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP). Angola is part of the Nonaligned Movement. In environmental cooperation, Angola is part of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Montréal Protocol, MARPOL, and the UN conventions on the Law of the Sea, Climate Change, and Desertification.

ECONOMY

Angola is a potentially rich country of abundant natural resources, a surplus-producing agricultural sector, and a sizable manufacturing potential. This promise has remained unfulfilled due to the effects of the war for independence and a 27-year-long civil war that only ended in April 2002 when the army signed a peace agreement with the UNITA rebels. With the end of the war Angola has began to score astounding economic growth rates. In 2004 Angola's GDP grew by 12.2% and in 2005 the growth rate was 19.1%. This growth is expected to continue with heavy flow of foreign direct investments into the oil and mining sectors.

Having both temperate and tropical zones, Angola had the potential for producing a wide variety of agricultural products. Prior to the outbreak of hostilities, Angola produced major surpluses of coffee, sisal, cotton, and maize. Cassava was the staple food crop and the leader, though consumed almost entirely domestically, in terms of volume of agricultural output. The civil war resulted in famine conditions in many parts of Angola, especially during the 1990s. Although the civil war ended in 2002, farmers have been reluctant to return to their farms, and the country is littered with land mines. As such, food must be imported.

Petroleum production and diamond mining have led Angola's industrial sector. Economists estimated that Angola's alluvial reserves of diamonds totaled between 40 and 130 million carats. In addition, there were untapped diamond reserves in volcanic pipes called kimberlites. Angola's six known kimberlite pipes, among the ten largest on earth, held an estimated 180 million carats worth several billion dollars. Diamond production (official and unofficial) was estimated to be worth $1 billion per year in 2002.

The petroleum sector benefited from major investments, totaling over $2 billion since 1987, and from a relative immunity from the civil war. Producing around 980,000 barrels a day in 2004, up from 950,000 barrels a day in 2002, Angola was the second-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa. Crude oil accounted for 90% of total exports, more than 80% of government revenues, and 45% of the country's GDP. Known recoverable reserves were estimated to total several billion barrels, but Angola was not a member of OPEC at the time. In 2000, Angola was one of three countries to receive the largest amount of global and US foreign investment to the sub-Saharan region (the other two were Nigeria and South Africa). Inflation, always a problem, ran at approximately 44% in 2004 down from a high of 150% in 2001. The IMF was critical of the government's economic policy on a number of aspects, such as persistent opacity and uncertainty in the government's accounts, lack of progress on structural reforms, failure to implement policies to deal with systematically with poverty, and corruption in the management of oil revenues. The IMF recommended a slate of reforms, such as increasing foreign exchange reserves and encouraging a more transparent accounting of government spending. In 2005 the IMF gave some credit to the government's handling of the economy, particularly the sustained progress in lowering inflation and improved transparency in government financial accounting.

INCOME

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 2005 Angola's gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at $27.7 billion. The CIA defines GDP as the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year and computed on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP) rather than value as measured on the basis of the rate of exchange based on current dollars. The per capita GDP was estimated at $2,500. The annual growth rate of GDP was estimated at 14.1%. It was estimated that agriculture accounted for 8% of GDP, industry 67%, and services 25%.

Foreign aid receipts amounted to $499 million or about $37 per capita and accounted for approximately 4.6% of the gross national income (GNI).

The World Bank reports that in 1990 household consumption in Angola totaled $3.67 billion or about $272 per capita based on a GDP of $13.8 billion, measured in current dollars rather than PPP. Household consumption includes expenditures of individuals, households, and nongovernmental organizations on goods and services, excluding purchases of dwellings. It was estimated that for the period 1980 to 1990 household consumption grew at an average annual rate of -0.1%. It was estimated that in 2003 about 70% of the population had incomes below the poverty line.

LABOR

In 2005, the Angolan workforce was estimated at 5.58 million. As of 2003, around 85% of the workforce was still engaged in agriculture, while the industry and services sectors together accounted for the remaining 15%. More recent employment figures are not currently available. In 2001, it was estimated that more than half of the population was unemployed or underemployed.

The 1991 constitution recognizes the right for Angolans to form unions, bargain collectively, and to strike. However, these rights are not respected in practice. While strikes are permitted by law, lockouts and the occupation of places of employment by workers are prohibited. Non-striking workers are also protected under the law. Armed forces personnel, firefighters, prison workers and police are prohibited from striking. Compulsory labor by children is also prohibited.

The government has established a 40-hour workweek, along with minimum health and safety standards, including 26 hours of rest per week. However, inadequate resources have prevented the government from enforcing these standards. The minimum working age is 14, but the government has been unable to enforce this standard. Although the legal minimum wage in 2005 was $60 per month, most wage earners must hold a second job, or rely on the informal economy, subsistance agriculture, or income from abroad in order to survive.

AGRICULTURE

Agriculture has long been the backbone of the Angolan economy. Even though an abundance of arable land is available, only about 2.6% is cultivated. Agriculture engages about 85% of the population but accounts for 9% of GDP. Diverse climatic conditions favor a wide variety of crops, and there is also considerable irrigation potential. Coffee, primarily of the robust variety, at one time made Angola the world's fourth-largest producer, but during the civil war almost all the main plantations were abandoned, and crop disease set in. Moreover, the widespread use of landmines has discouraged farmers from venturing into their fields.

Marketed cash crops in 2004 included 1,250 tons of coffee (down from 225,000 tons in 1972), 4,400 tons of cotton (48,000 in 1972), and 500 tons of sisal. The principal food crops are cassava, with an estimated 5,600,000 tons in 2004, corn, 510,000 tons, and sweet potatoes, 430,000 tons. Other 2004 estimated yields included bananas, 300,000 tons; citrus fruits, 78,000 tons; millet, 96,000 tons; dry beans, 66,000 tons; potatoes, 27,000 tons; sugar cane, 360,000 tons; rice, 16,000 tons; and peanuts (in shell), 30,000 tons.

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY

Lack of a pastoral tradition among northern Angolans, abundance of the tsetse fly in many regions, and the poor quality of natural pastures are some of the factors most frequently cited to explain the lag in animal husbandry in Portuguese Angola. What little there was of the livestock industry was virtually destroyed in the 197576 civil war.

Estimated livestock in 2004 included cattle, 4,150,000 head; goats, 2,050,000; hogs, 780,000; and sheep, 340,000. There were 6.8 million chickens. Livestock products included an estimated 85,000 tons of beef and veal and 195,000 tons of milk in 2004. Honey production totaled 23,000 tons in 2004 from 1.1 million beehives.

FISHING

Fresh fish, fishmeal, dried fish, and fish oil are produced for the domestic market and for export. During 197576, some of the processing plants were destroyed, and most of the modern fishing boats departed with refugees. In 2003, the Angolan catch was 211,539 tons (up from 122,781 tons in 1995), 95% from marine fishing. Exports of fish products in 2003 totaled $8.9 million. Some of the Spanish, Japanese, and Italian vessels fishing under license also pay in kind. About 13% of the 2003 catch consisted of cunene horse mackerel.

FORESTRY

About 18.4% of the country is classified as forest and woodland. Angola's large timber resources include the great Maiombe tropical rain forest in Cabinda. In addition, eucalyptus, pine, and cypress plantations cover 140,000 hectares (346,000 acres). In 2003, roundwood production was estimated at 4,518,000 cu m, and exports amounted to 1,000 cu m.

MINING

Diamonds are an important source of revenues to Angola, and are only second to petroleum. Petroleum accounted for more than 90% of exports by value ($7.56 billion) while diamonds followed at $638 million or 7.6% of the value of exports in 2002. Official reported diamond production in 2003 was 5 million carats, up from 5.022 million carats in 2002. However, that total does not include smuggled production. Sociedade Miniera de Catoca Ltd (SMC) is Angola's leading producer of diamonds, with an annual production of around 2.8 million carats from its Catoca kimberlite pipe. Reserves in the Catoca kimberlite were estimated to be at 189.3 million carats. SMC is a joint venture of Empressa Nacional de Diamantes de Angola (Endiama), the state-owned diamond mining company and the Joint Stock Company Almazy Rossii-Sakha (Russia), Odebrecht Mining Services Inc. (Brazil), and the Leviev Group (Israel).

Large iron ore deposits have been discovered in many areas. The deposits at Kassinga, with an estimated reserve of one billion tons of high-grade hematite iron ore, annually yielded millions of tons of ore exports before the civil war halted mining in 1975. Ferrangol, the state iron ore mining company, produced a slight quantity of ore in 1988; it has shown no output since. The mines in Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul provinces, previously controlled by UNITA rebel forces, were opened to foreign companies for exploration and development in 1996, and an Endiama-De Beers venture announced the discovery of 17 new kimberlites there in 2000. These areas contributed about $400 million to the annual $1.1 billion value of diamond production. SDM, an Endiama-Australian-Odebrecht venture formed in 1995 to mine alluvial diamonds in the Cuango River Valley, near Luzamba, produced 210,000 carats of high-quality diamonds in 2000 and 185,000 carats in 1999. Other such ventures saw their operations frequently suspended because of security problems. A feasibility study of the proposed Camafuca kimberlite estimated 23.24 million carats of diamonds valued at $109 per carat.

Salt production has remained steady at an estimated 30,000 metric tons annually from 1999 through 2003. Clay, granite, marble, and crushed stone were also reportedly mined throughout the country. The country is also rich in nickel, platinum-group metals, magnetite, copper, phosphates, gypsum, uranium, gold, asphalt, and feldspar, but areas have been off-limits to exploration during the civil war.

ENERGY AND POWER

Angola has extensive hydroelectric power resources that far exceed its present needs. The Cambambe Dam, on the Cuanza River, provides Luanda's industries with cheap power. Two dams on the Catumbela River produce power for the Lobito and Benguela areas. Matala Dam in southern Cunene provides power to Lubango and Namibe. The Ruacaná Falls Dam, near the Namibian border, was completed in the late 1970s, but the power station is in Namibia. A 52 million kW hydroelectric station on the Cuanza River at Kapanda was tentatively scheduled to have begun production in early 2003. As of late 2002, only three of the country's six dams (Cambambe, Biopo, and Matala) were operational; $200 million has been allocated to repair the remaining dams, which suffered major damage in the civil war. In 2002, electricity generation was 1.728 billion kWh, of which 34.5% came from fossil fuels and 65.5% from hydropower. In the same year, consumption of electricity totaled 1.607 billion kWh. Total capacity in 2002 was 0.635 million kW.

Crude oil, in the production of which Angola ranks second in sub-Saharan Africa, has been Angola's chief export since 1973; it is also the leading source of government revenue, accounting for $2.9 billion in exports in 1994, or 95% of the total. As of end 2004, Angola had proven oil reserves of 8.8 billion barrels. Oil reserves are along the Atlantic coast, mostly offshore Cabinda and the northern border area between Quinzau and Soyo. In 1999, several oil companies were engaged in production, of which the largest was a subsidiary of Chevron, Cabinda Gulf Oil Company. This firm has a 49/51% participation agreement with Sonangol, the state oil company. Other firms included Fina Petróleos de Angola (a Belgian subsidiary), Elf Aquitaine, and Texaco. In 2004, crude oil production averaged 991,000 barrels per day. ExxonMobil subsidiary Esso began development of a section of the Xikomba offshore oilfield in August 2002. Development was planned for a new 200,000 barrel per day refinery in the city of Lobito, on the coast.

Gross natural gas production totaled 296.65 billion cu ft in 2002. Total natural gas reserves were estimated at 45 billion cu m (1.6 trillion cu ft) as of 2002. Domestic demand for refined petroleum products is expected to increase as the economy gradually rebuilds following the end of the civil war. As of 2002, Sonangol and Chevron Texaco had joined forces in a $2 billion project to develop liquefied natural gas from natural gas in Angola's offshore fields. Production was slated to begin in 2007.

INDUSTRY

In its pre-1975 prime, the Angolan industrial sector centered on petroleum refining and machinery, construction inputs, food processing, electrical products, chemicals, steel, and vehicle assembly. As a consequence of the civil war, Angola's industrial sector started operating at a fraction of prewar levels.

Industrial production during the 1990s included food processing and the production of textiles, soap, shoes, matches, paint, plastic bottles, and glues. In 1993, industrial production also included 9,000 tons of crude steel, 250,000 tons of cement, and 9 million barrels of refined petroleum products. Heavy industry for that year (cement, steel, oil refining, vehicle assembly, and tire production) accounted for about 15% of Angola's manufacturing output. Angola is now an importer of machinery, vehicles, and spare parts.

Angola is the second-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, behind Nigeria. In 2004, the petroleum industry accounted for about half of the GDP and over 90% of export revenues. Sonangol is the state-owned oil company, which controls exploration and production, although foreign companies participate in joint ventures and production sharing agreements. Oil production was expected to surpass 1 million barrels per day in 2003 but this target had not been achieved by 2004. However, with the coming online of new oil drilling platforms such as the Kizomba B platform owned by ExxonMobil and the Dalia platform owned by Total, the 1 million barrels per day should be surpassed in 2006. It is expected that by 2007 Angola will be producing 2 million barrels per day. Angola has one oil refinery in Luanda, with a crude oil processing capacity of 39,000 barrels per day, but is planning to build a 200,000-barrels per day refinery in Lobito. Angolan oil exports to Asia are growing, and China's oil imports from Angola grew by more than 400% in 2001. The government stated in 2003 that foreign oil companies would invest $25 billion in Angola over a five-year period, by building offshore production ships and a liquefied natural gas plant, among other projects. Many of these investments, such as ExxonMobil's Kizomba B have already begun to produce oil.

The diamond mining industry also plays an important role in Angola's economy, but during the 27-year-old civil war, many of the gemstones had been sold on the black market and were referred to as "conflict diamonds" because the parties in the civil war used the sale of them to fund their military campaigns. Since the civil war ended in 2002, Angola began to restructure its diamond sector. The government in 2003 ended the four-year-old monopoly of the state-controlled diamond marketing company, Ascorp, which was controlled by the state diamond company Endiama. Ascorp now competes with other private companies to buy diamonds from miners and small producers. The government also planned to build a new diamond cutting factory, to create an industry of diamond cutting in Angola.

The Economist Intelligence Unit, quoting a new report published in June 2005 by a Canadian nongovernmental group, Partnership Africa Canada, highlighted the fact that, although some $900 million-worth of diamonds will be mined in 2005, relatively little of the revenue will be spent on development in the diamond areas or will benefit the poor. The report said that 145 diamond licenses had been granted in 2004, often through nontransparent processes, of which nine were already operational, around ten were in the process of starting up and the remainder were vacant and were steadily being recolonised by garimpeiros (artisanal miners). The report also highlighted a number of problem areas in the sector, saying that transparency is lacking not only in published tax data but also in the 10% revenue allocation due to the diamond-producing provinces.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Security considerations and a severe shortage of skilled personnel have limited Angola's development of its extensive mineral reserves and abundant fertile land. Angola's research institutes include the Cotton Scientific Research Center in Catete, the Agronomic Research Institute in Huambo (founded in 1962), the Institute for Veterinary Research in Lubango (founded in 1965), the Angola Medical Research Institute in Luanda (Founded in 1955), and the Angolan Directorate of Geological and Mining Services in Luanda (founded in 1914). The University Agostinho Neto (founded in 1963) has faculties of sciences, agriculture, medicine, and engineering, and the National Center of Scientific Investigation. In 198797, science and engineering students accounted for 24% of college and university enrollments. The National Museum of Natural History and the National Anthropology Museum are located in Luanda.

DOMESTIC TRADE

Practically all domestic trade was in Portuguese hands before independence, when state people's stores and consumer cooperatives were established in the cities. Over half of Angolan consumer goods were still imported from Portugal in 1998. The Angolan domestic economy faced sporadic fighting during the late 1990s despite the 1994 peace accord, inhibiting domestic commerce. The rural population was displacedfirst by the war for independence that started in 1961, and then by the civil war that started after independence was gained in 1975and has not been able to fully return to agricultural production. Imports were strictly controlled due to a lack of foreign exchange, and barter was common. Though a privatization program has been in effect, there are very few groups or individuals in the private sector with the finances and/or administrative abilities to purchase and effectively run larger public corporations.

FOREIGN TRADE

Crude petroleum and products top the commodities export list for Angola (89%), while only accounting for a small percentage of the world's exportation. Diamonds and other precious and semiprecious stones are the second-largest export, and shellfish exports follow. A small amount of natural and manufactured gas is also exported from Angola. As of 1999, the United States was buying up to 75% of Angola's crude oil production. Since then China has entered the picture as a second major trading partner for Angola.

Current Account -150.1
    Balance on goods 4,567.8
        Imports -3,760.1
        Exports 8,327.9
    Balance on services -3,115.2
    Balance on income -1,634.6
    Current transfers 32.0
Capital Account 18.3
Financial Account -356.7
    Direct investment abroad -28.7
    Direct investment in Angola 1,672.1
    Portfolio investment assets
    Portfolio investment liabilities
    Financial derivatives
    Other investment assets -1,321.0
    Other investment liabilities -679.1
Net Errors and Omissions 150.5
Reserves and Related Items 356.3
() data not available or not significant.

In 2004, the United States bought 40% of Angola's crude oil while China bought 30%, Taiwan 8%, and France 7%.

BALANCE OF PAYMENTS

Oil exports produced substantial trade surpluses during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Despite this positive cash flow, Angola in 1979 began to request lines of credit in order to finance its reconstruction projects. By 1991 the government's economic policies encouraged neither private investment or non-oil exports. Furthermore, poor monetary policy created price distortions, which exacerbated a trade deficit and rapidly diminished agricultural exports. The results of the end of the 27-year-old civil war in 2002 on trade had yet to be assessed as of 2005.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reported that in 2004 the purchasing power parity of Angola's exports was $12.8 billion while imports totaled $4.9 billion resulting in a trade surplus of $7.9 billion. With high prices of crude oil, the Economist Intelligence Unit predicts sustained trade surpluses in the near future.

BANKING AND SECURITIES

In 1976, the government nationalized the two major banks, the Bank of Angola and the Commercial Bank of Angola (renamed the People's Bank of Angola). The Bank of Angola became the central bank, renamed the National Bank of Angola (Banco National de Angola-BNA). In 1996, this bank transferred its commercial accounts to the Caixa de Credito Agro-Pecuaria e Pescas (CAP) in order to function more as a regulatory organization for other state-owned banks. CAP, established in 1991, was owned by the Ministry of Finance and used to finance government activities. It has had liquidity problems in recent years, making it unable to clear checks at times, so some businesses refuse to accept CAP checks.

Banco de Comercio e Industria (The Bank of Commercial and Industrial Commerce-BCI) was a semiprivate bank, but was occasionally restricted to government financing. The government owns about 40% of the BCI's shares.

The opening in mid-November 1996 of the Banco Africano de Investimento (BAI) was Angola's first private bank launched since it gained independence in 1975, and Angola's only investment bank. Other major banks included Banco de Poupanca e Credito (BPC), serving primarily the trade sector and construction; and Banco Fomento Exterior and Banco Totta e Azores, both Portuguese commercial banks.

The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2001, currency and demand depositsan aggregate commonly known as M1were equal to $648.2 million. In that same year, M2an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual fundswas $1.9 billion. The discount rate, the interest rate at which the central bank lends to financial institutions in the short term, was 150%.

There were no securities exchanges in 2000.

INSURANCE

The conflicts that began in the mid-1970s greatly shook the insurance industry, which was nationalized in 1978. At that time, the National Insurance and Reinsurance Co. of Angola was created. All private company policies were declared null and void except for life insurance.

PUBLIC FINANCE

Liberal monetary policies financed large public sector deficits, which led to high inflation and price distortions. Military expenditures consumed an enormous portion of the national budget. Since the 1970s, Angola has relied heavily on oil exports for revenue. However, revenues from oil sales went down as the result of a fall in the international price of oil in the late 1990s. Until 1991, Angola had a Soviet-style, centrally planned economy. The government planned privatization for the 1990s, but most companies remain state-run as of 2000, including the major energy companies and the diamond distributor.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimated that in 2005 Angola's central government took in revenues of approximately $8.5 billion and had expenditures of $10 billion. Revenues minus expenditures totaled approximately -$1.5 billion. Public debt in 2005 amounted to 40.9% of GDP. Total external debt was $9.879 billion.

TAXATION

The ordinary corporate tax is 35%, with a reduced rate of 20% for agricultural and forestry enterprises. Various corporate tax exemptions and reductions, and exemptions from real estate taxes on land and buildings are offered by the government as investment incentives.

Income tax for individuals ranges from 140% for employees, and 360% for self-employed professionals. Also levied are inheritance and gift taxes, and a payroll tax for social security.

The main indirect tax is a manufacturer's sales tax with rates ranging from 550% on 100 listed products.

CUSTOMS AND DUTIES

Both specific and ad valorem duties are levied; but, as a member of the World Trade Organization, Angola is reviewing the need for reductions in tariffs and nontariff barriers. Specific duties are assessed by weight. Additional taxes are levied on luxury items and preferential treatment is accorded to goods from Portugal, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, and São Tomé and Princípe. All imports require a license and are handled by one of several state companies. Most exports are similarly handled by state agencies.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT

In spite of the civil war and the socialist legacy, sizable investments in the petroleum sector were made during the 1990s. In 1994, Texaco announced plans for a five-year, $600 million investment in its Angolan oil exploration and production efforts aimed at increasing the company's Angolan oil output by 50%. Approximately 15 foreign companies, including Chevron, Texaco, ExxonMobil, and Occidental, had invested more than $8 billion in Angola as of 1997. Elf Oil and Chevron both had major investments underway. In 1999, the Angolan government issued three new licenses to oil drilling companies in order to conduct exploration in ultra-deep water. By 2005, ExxonMobil's Kizomba B deep water platform had begun the production of oil. Total was also in the process of completing its Dalia platform and other oil companies were in the process of construction of new platforms.

Countering the illegal trade in diamonds, De Beers, in a 1991 agreement with the government diamond company Endiama, invested in new diamond exploration. A UN sanction on the purchase of black market diamonds has been hard to enforce and corruption in the diamond business continued as of 2005.

In spite of a 27-year civil war (1975 to 2002), an investment climate characterized by corruption, ineffective governance, arbitrary decision making, a deteriorating infrastructure, kidnappings for ransom targeted at foreigners in the Cabinda enclave, socialist suspicions about free markets, openly solicited bribes, no capital market or stock exchange, scarce skilled labor, and scarcer foreign exchange, Angola ranked second in the world in 2000 (after Lesotho) in foreign investment as a percent of GDP. The statistic is a result of both Angola's small economy and substantial investments in its oil sector that continued despite the civil war. With the war over and a semblance of peace and normalcy back to Angola, more investments should be forthcoming both in the oil and gas industries as well as the diamond mining sector.

On the basis of joint ventures (JVs) or production sharing contracts (PSCs), at least $8 billion ($1 billion a year average) was invested by foreign oil companies from 1990 to 1997 with the state oil company, Sonangol, which dominates both upstream and downstream operations. The main foreign operators upstream were Energy Africa (South Africa), Agip (Italy; now ENI-Agip), Elf (France; now TotalFinaElf), Chevron and Texaco (United States; now ChevronTexaco). About 30 other foreign companies have substantial interests in upstream enterprises. Petrofina of Belgium is both a major producer and a major downstream partner with Sonangol. Downstream operations are hampered by poor infrastructure and a small domestic market.

From 1998 to 2001, reported foreign direct investment (FDI) totaled about $5.6 billion, averaging about $1.2 billion a year from 1997 to 2001. This performance was driven by giant class offshore discoveries, particularly in 1999 when FDI peaked at close to $2.5 billion. Between 2000 and 2004 annual FDI flows averaged $2.05 billion with a peak in 2003 of $3.5 billion. With a combination of Diamond and oil reserves, Angola is expected to become one of the largest destination for FDI inflows in Africa.

FDI outflows are insignificant. FDI inward stock grew steadily from $1 billion in 1990 to $2.9 billion in 1995, and in 2002 it rose to $11.4 billion. In 1999, the Angolan government issued three new licenses to oil drilling companies in order to conduct exploration in deep-water, including ExxonMobil, the major investor in the offshore Kizomba field that began operations in August 2002. The only substantial FDI outside the oil sector before 2002 was a $36 million Coca-Cola bottling plant in 2000, 45% of which was bought in 2001 by SAB Miller of South Africa, which in 2003 was considering adding a brewery.

Before the peace accords of April 2002, there had been three other peace agreements, starting with the Lusaka Protocol of 1994, which had had virtually no effect. However, with the death of UNITA leader, Jonas Savimbi, in February 2002, Angola finally seemed to be able to move past the civil war. In September 2002, IDAS Resources, a subsidiary of London-based American Mineral Fields, Ltd., was granted the first clearance for diamond mining in 27 years. Under the contract, IDAS holds 51%; the state diamond company Endiama, 36%; and private investors 13%.

A 1991 agreement between Endiama and De Beers for diamond exploration was moribund because the territory was under the control of UNITA, which used smuggled diamonds to finance its operations. In 1998 the UN Security Council imposed an embargo on diamonds from areas controlled by UNITA. A report in 2000 implicated De Beers in the purchase of "blood diamonds," prompting the company to alter its policy of buying up diamonds to uphold the world price to a world certification system. In 2000, Angola set up ASCORP, a state-controlled company in partnership with Lev Leviev (Russian/Israeli diamond manufacturer), and established a monopoly on certified diamond buying. De Beers' plans to build a $30 million diamond processing facility in Luanda did not come to fruition, but in April 2003 the newly established National Private Investment Agency (ANIP) announced it was seeking funding for a diamond cutting and polishing factory in Luanda.

Before peace in 2002, the foreign investment regime as laid out in the foreign investment law of 1994 and administered by the Foreign Investment Institute (IIE) stood little chance of implementation. In February 2003, a new law on private investment and a companion law on tax incentives for private capital were passed, forming a new agency, the National Private Investment Agency (ANIP), for their implementation. As under the old regime, foreign companies are guaranteed national treatment, the right to repatriate profits, and the right to indemnification for property nationalized or expropriated. Added are incentives for private investment and provisions for streamlining the approval process. New investments receive up to 15 years exemption from industrial taxes and smaller investments, $50,000 to $250,000, are exempted from all customs duties. By law, approval requests for investments less than $5 million must be processed in 15 days and requests for larger investments, in 30 days. Despite the reforms, serious obstacles remain: poor infrastructure, a small market, single-entry visas, and registration costs that range from $20,000 to $60,000 for foreign corporations.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

In March 2003, the South Africa-Angola Chamber of Commerce (SAACC) was established with the potential of channeling considerable investment from South Africa. In 2003, major South African investors included the construction company Grinaker-LTA, Investec Bank, Securicor Gray and the Shoprite Supermarket chain. In May 2003, TotalFinaElf announced a major offshore oil discovery and awarded contracts totaling $780 million to the French oil services company, Technip, for its development. Since then to 2005, a number of other partnerships have also been announced, which should see a large increase in diamond prospecting. For example in 2005 De Beers signed a prospecting agreement. On 22 June 2005, Russia's Technopromexport signed a $112 million contract to build a new, 260-MW generating unit at the Capanda dam near the northern town of Malange. The project will be financed with a ten-year, $225 million loan from a consortium of Russian banks, led by the Russian Regional Unified Bank. As well as this contract, two other contracts relating to the supply of equipment and the completion of civil engineering works have been signed with Brazil's Odebrecht. By 2005 the government of Angola was involved in diversifying the economy by continued attraction of foreign investors to partner with local private firms and government owned companies.

With the exception of the petroleum industry and possibly the fishing industry, economic development in Angola depended upon a political settlement of the civil war, which came in 2002. The diamond industry was no exception to this rule. In 1997, the Angolan state diamond enterprise, Endiama, provided for the establishment of a UNITA-backed mining company, SGM. Although the government initially granted SGM the right to prospect, UNITA claimed that the government was attempting to gain control over its mining operations. The continuation of the Angolan civil war began shortly thereafter (1998), with diamonds acting as the UNITA rebels' main source of income. The termination of the UN mission to Angola in early 1999 spelled disaster for any form of economic growth during the following years.

In 2000, Angola entered into a Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Although the program lapsed in 2001, the IMF remained engaged in the country. The World Bank prepared a Transitional Support Strategy (TSS) as a short- to medium-term plan for involvement in Angola. In 2002, the IMF reported that $900 million had disappeared from government finances in 2001. That amount was greater than the value of humanitarian assistance sent to Angola in 2002. In all, over $4 billion was unaccounted for from 19972005. These difficulties notwithstanding, the IMF in 2005 concluded that oil and diamonds will continue to form the backbone of Angola's economy for the unforeseeable future.

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Until recently, social services for Africans were almost entirely the responsibility of the various tribal groups. The Roman Catholic Church also played an integral part in the administration of welfare, health, and educational programs. A number of international nongovernmental organizations have also gotten involved, particularly in the provision of health care.

Although women's rights are protected in the constitution, in practice there is discrimination in the workplace and in the home, and most women hold low-paid jobs. Spousal abuse against women is widespread. Credible evidence suggests that the majority of homicides against women were a result of a domestic dispute. Women and children are also at high risk for mutilation from land mines, due to foraging in the fields for food and firewood. Children are recruited to fight in both the government and UNITA forces. There were an estimated 1,500 children living on the street in Luanda in 2004, many of them engaging in prostitution. Angola's government has a poor human rights record. Security forces have reportedly been responsible for torture, beatings, rapes, and disappearances and prison conditions are life-threatening.

HEALTH

Angola lies in the yellow fever endemic zone. Cholera incidence is high. Only a small fraction of the population receives even rudimentary medical attention. As of 2004, the ratio of physicians per population was estimated at 7.7 per 100,000 people. In 2005, average life expectancy was estimated at only 38.43 years, one of the lowest in the world. That year infant mortality was estimated at 187.49 per 1,000 live births, the highest in the world. The incidence of tuberculosis in 1999 was 271 per 100,000 people. Immunization rates for one-year-old children in 1999 were estimated at 22% for diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus and 46% for measles. Malnutrition affected an estimated 53% of children under five years of age as of 1999. From 1975 to 1992, there were 300,000 civil war-related deaths. The overall death rate was estimated at 24 per 1,000 in 2002. The HIV/AIDS prevalence was 3.90 per 100 adults in 2003. As of 2004, there were approximately 240,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the country. There were an estimated 21,000 deaths from AIDS in 2003.

In 2000, 38% of the population had access to safe drinking water and 44% had adequate sanitation.

HOUSING

Decades of war and lack of appropriate economic and legal reforms have posed a serious housing problem in Angola. During the war for independence, a majority of the Portuguese residents abandoned homes that were then confiscated by the government. In fact, all urban land is considered to be property of the State. But management and administration of dwellings is under the control of provincial governments and leasing or other housing and property regulations are ambiguous or nonexistent. As a result, a UN report indicated that about 90% of urban residents live in settlements without a clearly defined legal status.

Most people live in multi-family dwellings that were constructed in the 1960s and have since deteriorated to the point that basic utilities are limited or unavailable. Housing shortages have led to urban slum developments. These are most prominent in Luanda, where about four million people are living in a city designed for about 700,000.

Over the years, the government has made some efforts to ease the situation. The most recent has included government-sponsored housing construction projects. In April 2003, 331 houses were completed in Kilamba-Kiaxi. At least 65 of them were given to government employees and other civil servants.

EDUCATION

In 1999 the adult illiteracy rate was estimated at 42%. Education is compulsory for children between the ages of six and ten. As of 2001, the basic educational program consisted of a primary education system lasting for six years and a secondary education system divided into two cycles of three years each. There are also three-year vocational and four-year technical programs available for secondary students. In 2000, about 61% of eligible children were enrolled in primary school. Similar figures for secondary students were unavailable. The pupil to teacher ratio for primary school was at about 42:1 in 2003. The ratio for secondary school was about 18:1.

While Portuguese was the language of instruction in earlier times, the vernacular is more commonly used now. The academic year runs from October to July. The Ministry of Education oversees the national public programs. The government spends and estimated 2.8% of the GDP on education.

The University Agostinho Neto in Luanda was established in 1963 and has a faculty for science, engineering, law, medicine, economics, and agriculture. In 2001, all higher-level institutions had about 8,000 students and 800 faculty members.

LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS

The National Library of Angola, founded in Luanda in 1969, had 84,000 volumes in 2002 and the library of the University of Luanda (1963) had 75,000 volumes. The Municipal Library in Luanda has more than 30,000 volumes. Additional libraries of note are the Geological and Mining Services Directorate Library (1914) in Luanda (40,000 volumes) and the National Historical Center Library (1982) with 12,000 volumes located in Luanda.

The Angola Museum (which contains Angola's historical archives), the Coffee Museum, Museum of Geology, National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of Archaeology, Central Museum of the Armed Forces, and National Museum of Anthropology are all located in Luanda. There are regional museums in Namibe, Huambo, Lobito, Lumbango, and Uíge. The Museum of Chitato, located in Dundo, houses a distinctive ethnographic collection featuring the art of the local Chokue people, recordings of local folk music, and a photographic collection dating to the 1880s. The Municipal Museum of New Lisbon houses a collection of traditional and modern African sculpture. Elinga Teatro is gaining popularity as a modern urban art gallery and theater in Mutamba.

MEDIA

Telephone service is primarily limited to government and business use. In 2003, there were an estimated seven mainline telephones for every 1,000 people; about 240,300 people were on a waiting list for telephone service installation. The same year, there were approximately nine mobile phones in use for every 1,000 people.

Most of the media is controlled by the state. Rádio Nacional de Angola broadcasts in Portuguese, English, French, Spanish, and major local languages; government-owned, it is the only station with the capacity to broadcast nationwide. In 2004, there were five commercial radio stations, including the Catholic Church's Radio Ecclesia and Radio Lac Luanda. The primary news agency is the Angola Press. The only television station was the government Angola Public Television (TPA), which broadcasts in Luanda and most provincial capitals. In 2003, there were an estimated 78 radios and 52 television sets for every 1,000 people.

In 2005, the only national daily newspaper was the government-owned Jornal de Angola (circulation in 2000 was 41,000). There were at least seven private weekly publications with circulation in the low thousands.

In 2003 the country had about 17 Internet hosts. The same year, there were 1.9 personal computers for every 1,000 people and 3 of every 1,000 people had access to the Internet.

Though a constitution provides for basic freedom of speech and press, the government is said to restrict these freedoms in practice. Journalists are intimidated into practicing self-censorship, and the government tightly restricts the main newspapers, television stations, and radio broadcasts.

ORGANIZATIONS

Organizations established by the MPLA include the Organization of Angolan Women, the Medical Assistance Service, and the Centers for Revolutionary Instruction. There are professional associations for a variety of fields.

The Angolan National Youth Council, founded in 1991, serves as a major nongovernmental organization representing the opinions and concerns of the nation's youth. The Association of Students of Higher Education (AEES: Associazao dos Estudiantes de Educacao Superior) and the National Union of Angolan Students (UNEA) have been major student movements. A scouting organization (Associação de Escuteros de Angola) is also present. There are branches of the YMCA and YWCA present. There are a few sports associations.

Angolan Action For Development (A.A.D.), the Angolan Women's Organization, and the League Of Angolan Women (LIMA) are groups focusing on the political, social, and developmental issues and concerns of women. There are associations for professional women in the fields of journalism, law, and law enforcement.

AfricareAngola provides aid to the rural population. The ACM - YMCA of Kuanza Sul offers assistance to displaced persons within the country. There are active chapters of the Red Cross, Caritas, and UNICEF.

TOURISM, TRAVEL, AND RECREATION

Tourism was an important activity until 1972, when the guerrilla war and the subsequent civil war led to a precipitous drop in the number of tourists and hence of tourist revenues. Throughout the late 1990s, a yo-yo effect seemed to hit the tourist industry. In 1996, only about 21,000 visitors came to the country. In 1997, the number jumped to 45,000 and increased to 52,000 the following year. In 2003, the number of visitors again jumped to 106,625. Tourism receipts totaled approximately $71 million. A valid passport, visa, and International Certificate of Vaccination against yellow fever and cholera are required.

The US Department of State estimated the daily cost of staying in Luanda at $289 in 2005. Staying in rural areas would cost much less.

FAMOUS ANGOLANS

António Agostinho Neto (192279), a poet and physician who served as the president of MPLA (196279) and president of Angola (197579), was Angola's dominant political figure. José Eduardo dos Santos (b.1942) succeeded Neto in both these posts. Jonas Malheiro Savimbi (19342002), the son of a pastor, founded UNITA in 1966.

DEPENDENCIES

Angola has no territories or colonies.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Brittain, Victoria. The Death of Dignity: Angola's Civil War. Chicago: Pluto Press, 1998.

Ciment, James. Angola and Mozambique: Postcolonial Wars in Southern Africa. New York: Facts on File, 1997.

Hodges, Tony. Angola: Anatomy of an Oil State. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004.

James, W. Martin. Historical Dictionary of Angola. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2004.

. Historical Dictionary of Angola [computer file], 2nd ed. Boulder, Colo.: netLibrary, Inc., 2000.

Kreike, Emmanuel. Re-creating Eden: Land Use, Environment, and Society in Southern Angola and Northern Namibia. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann, 2004.

McElrath, Karen (ed.). HIV and AIDS: A Global View. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002.

Rotberg, Robert I. Ending Autocracy, Enabling Democracy: The Tribulations of Southern Africa, 19602000. Cambridge, Mass.: World Peace Foundation, 2002.

Zeilig, Leo and David Seddon. A Political and Economic Dictionary of Africa. Philadelphia: Routledge/Taylor and Francis, 2005.

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Angola

ANGOLA

People's Republic of Angola

Major Cities:
Luanda, Huambo, Lobito, Benguela

Other Cities:
Cabinda, Namibe

EDITOR'S NOTE

This chapter was adapted from the Department of State Post Report 2001 for Angola. Supplemental material has been added to increase coverage of minor cities, facts have been updated, and some material has been condensed. Readers are encouraged to visit the Department of State's web site at http://travel.state.gov/ for the most recent information available on travel to this country.

INTRODUCTION

The name "Angola" comes from the Mbundu word for "king"-ngola. Few African countries have seen their natural and human potential as underutilized and thoroughly ravaged by violence as Angola.

In precolonial southern Africa, the area was home to some of the continent's richest kingdoms, which welcomed European merchants and missionaries in the 15th century, only to be corrupted and ultimately destroyed by the transatlantic slave trade in the 16th century. The abolition of the trade-a politically and economically destabilizing event-was followed by the repressive taxation and forced labor regimes of Portuguese colonialism. Although much of the rest of the continent underwent rapid decolonization in the 1960s, the armed struggle for independence in Angola took nearly 15 years and perpetuated internal divisions that turned into a decades-long, ongoing civil war.

Small groups of hunter-gatherers were the first to inhabit the region of present-day Angola, but late in the first millennium Bantu-speaking people migrated to the area from the north. They brought with them iron-smelting skills, agricultural practices, and cattle, all of which they used to establish some of the largest and most centralized kingdoms in Central Africa. In the mid-13th or 14th century, Congo kings organized agricultural settlements surrounding the mouth of the Congo River into provinces, collected taxes, and established an official currency of shells.

Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão sailed into the mouth of the Congo River in 1482. The Portuguese initially maintained peaceful relations with the Congo, trading goods in exchange for slaves. But the slave-traders became more intrusive and violent. When they began to meet resistance, the Portuguese monarchy sent troops to Angola.

Slavery existed in some form in most of Angola's kingdoms. It is estimated that between the late 16th century and 1836, when Portugal officially abolished slave trafficking, 4 million people from the region were captured for the slave trade. Slave trading agents, or pombeiros-some Portuguese, most African, or Afro Portuguese (mestiços)-bought slaves from local chiefs in exchange for cloth, guns, and other European goods.

Throughout the 19th century and until the military campaigns ended in 1930, many sectors of Angolan society resisted domination by the Portuguese monarchy. Kings, especially the well educated leaders of the Congo, invoked historical treaties to resist Portuguese dictates.

The country has been engulfed in war and civil strife since its independence from Portugal in 1975. A peace accord, signed in 1994, brought a temporary halt to the civil war, but war erupted again in 1998.

However, despite these grave difficulties, Angola is not without its share of intrigues. Numerous beautiful beaches surrounding Luanda-such as the Palmeirinhas, Ilha, and Ramiros-are popular places for water sports enthusiasts. Three museums include a Museum of Anthropology, with an excellent collection of African arts, and several discos and clubs are dotted throughout the city. Angolans are also known for their hospitality; it is not uncommon for visitors to be invited into their homes for a traditional meal.

MAJOR CITIES

Luanda

Luanda, Angola's capital and largest city, lies less that 9 degrees south of the equator. It was established in 1576, and by 1627, the city had become the headquarters for the Portuguese colonial administration and the main outlet for slave traffic to Brazil. Luanda experienced a dramatic population increase after 1940 as thousands of Portuguese immigrants and rural Angolans flocked to the city. This population explosion ceased shortly after Angola's independence from Portugal in 1975, when Portuguese nationals returned en masse to Portugal. By 1976, Luanda's large white population had dwindled from 150,000 to 30,000. The city's population increased again during the Angolan civil war as an influx of Cuban soldiers and civilians settled in Luanda. Luanda has an estimated population of 3 million.

Today, Luanda is a city of contrasts. The lower part of the city serves as Luanda's commercial and industrial center. Skyscrapers and wide avenues give the city a modern appearance. However, vast poverty-ridden shanty-towns are prevalent in other parts of the city. These neighborhoods are filled with sun-dried, mud brick shacks known as "musseques."

Luanda is the site of the University of Luanda, the seat of the Roman Catholic archdiocese, and the location of 4 de Fevereiro, Angola's international airport. Luanda is a busy international port. Coffee, cotton, iron, salt, and diamonds are chief exports. Products are also transported by rail link to Malanje, a city located 200 miles east of Luanda.

Utilities

Running water is available throughout much of the city, though outages do' occur. Electricity is 220 volts, 50-cycle electrical power. Power outlets are the standard European two round prong. Persons planning to bring sensitive electronic equipment should also bring a voltage regulator, UPS, and/or surge protector, as voltage may fluctuate as much as 10%. It is also advisable to bring only battery-operated clocks.

Food

Most basic items (dairy products, eggs, butter, bread, sugar, flour, beans, rice, fresh and frozen meats, and limited amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables) can be purchased locally in open-air markets and supermarkets (Jumbo, Afri-Belg, and Intermarket) or in hard currency stores (ES-KO and Cantina Palança Items in the hard-currency stores are expensive compared to Washington, D.C. prices, but not prohibitive.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are grown locally or imported from South Africa with a moderate amount of variety (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, onions, lettuce, apples, oranges, mangos, papayas, bananas, etc.). Items purchased in the open-air markets are sold "as is." Care must be taken with these items, especially in the proper cleaning of all fresh produce. Fresh local fish is also abundant and reasonable. Alcoholic beverages are also found in a wide variety, such as wines from South Africa and Europe, beers from Angola, South Africa, Namibia, and hard liquors. Food stuffs, including perishables, can also be ordered on a bimonthly basis from South Africa. Due to the cost of air shipment, prices are high.

Clothing

Locally available clothing is unacceptable by American standards. Size, selection, and availability are extremely limited. It is advisable to bring all clothing items and shoes with you. There are no local taboos regarding clothing, and the majority of people in Luanda dress in the "Western" style. As Luanda has a tropical climate, any type of washable cotton/linen tropical wear would be well suited for day and nighttime use. Replenishment of clothing items is done most often by catalog purchase through the pouch system. Clothes can also be bought in South Africa at reasonable prices and are of good quality.

Luanda's year-round climate is generally sunny, hot, and humid. Washable 100% cotton clothing is recommended, as dry cleaning facilities are unreliable. Comfortable, durable walking shoes are also recommended. Life, in general, and social functions, in particular, tend to be casual in the expatriate community. Angolans, on the other hand, always dress well for functions.

Supplies and Services

Luanda has one drycleaner shop that is considered adequate, plus a few well regarded, reasonably priced barbershops and beauty salons. There are auto repair shops in town that have received mixed reviews and are not inexpensive.

Domestic Help

Domestic help is readily available at reasonable rates, usually payable in U.S. dollars. However, those employed who have not worked before for Americans may need training, and most speak only Portuguese. Currently, there is no requirement for pension, social security, or retirement payments for domestic help. All household help should have a medical exam and routine security background check prior to beginning work.

Religious Activities

There are missionaries of all faiths living in Angola. Although their principal role is humanitarian assistance, many do hold religious services for their individual faiths. There is a large number of Catholic, Baptist, and Methodist churches in Luanda. The Catholic church has a resident cardinal, and the Methodist church has a resident bishop. Church facilities are simple; most services are conducted in Portuguese, and attendance by Angolans is normally high. An English nondenominational church group meets every Sunday morning and is open to everyone.

Education

The International School of Luanda (LIS) instructs in English as a first language and has a preschool and kindergarten, as well as grades 1-8. It is a member of the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA) and is listed in the worldwide International Education Handbook. The school is working in conjunction with the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) and their Primary Years Program and is also seeking US. accreditation. There are also French and Portuguese schools in Luanda.

Sports

The national sports of Angola are soccer and basketball. Local games are held regularly. Angola also sponsors tennis, European hand-ball, basketball, and field hockey teams. Dance, aerobics, karate, and "capoeira" lessons are available, located at several different fitness gyms and at reasonable prices. Runners can participate in the Hash House Harriers, a weekly "Fun Run" sponsored by the British Embassy, and more informal events.

The city has a tennis club; court rental is $10 per hour for nonmembers. Bring shoes, rackets, and balls sufficient to last a tour. Reasonably priced tennis lessons are available through private arrangement.

Entertainment

Entertainment in Luanda is limited. Alliance Française and the Portuguese Cultural Center will have special cultural programs to which all are invited. There is a small theater with local groups performing. Most people dine out for entertainment. Nightclubs, jazz clubs, and many relatively good restaurants serve Angolan, Portuguese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, and Cuban cuisine. Restaurants in Angola are expensive by U. S. standards.

Special Information

The security situation in Luanda requires caution. Civil war, banditry and landmines make travel throughout Angola unsafe. Street crime, sometimes violent, is common in Luanda and in other urban centers. Police, who often carry automatic weapons, patrol city streets. They are unpredictable, and their authority should not be challenged. Travel in many parts of Luanda is relatively safe by day, but doors must be locked, windows rolled up, and packages stored out of sight. Police checkpoints contribute to unsafe travel on roads leading out of the city. Visitors are strongly advised to avoid unnecessary travel after dark. All visitors are required at the earliest opportunity to contact the U.S. Embassy security officer for a briefing.

Huambo

Located in west-central Angola, Huambo (formerly Nova Lisboa) was founded in 1912 and quickly became a major transportation center. The city is built on Angola's main railway, the Benguela Railway. The railway, which extends from Lobito on Angola's Atlantic coast to Zaire, was used extensively to transport coffee, wheat, and corn grown near Huambo. As a result of this activity, Huambo became a very prosperous city. Huambo's fortunes plummeted during the civil war when the Benguela Railway was severely damaged. The city itself has suffered severe damage. Most of Huambo's residents fled and the city was looted. Huambo faces hardship and years of rebuilding. The city's estimated population in 2000 was 400,000.

Lobito

Lobito is Angola's third largest city and was founded in 1843. The completion of the Benguela Railway served as a stimulus for Lobito's growth into a major city. Lobito is Angola's largest and busiest port. Because of its extensive rail links with Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa, Lobito was once a leading transport center for Southern Africa's mineral wealth. However, damage to the Benguela Railway has severely disrupted Lobito's trade with other African countries. Several industries are located in the city, among them food processing, shipbuilding, and metalworking. The French built a new textile complex at Lobito in 1979 and a second textile mill is planned for the future. Grains, fruits, sisal, coconuts, and peanuts are grown near the city. Plans to rehabilitate Lobito and the surrounding area were in progress in mid-1991. Lobito's population is roughly 75,000.

Benguela

The city of Benguela is an historic trading, fishing, and administrative center. Benguela was founded in 1617 by Portuguese traders seeking to open new ports and trade markets in Angola. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Benguela served as a major transport point for Portugal's lucrative slave trade. The city currently serves as a trading center for the coffee, corn, tobacco, sugarcane, and sisal grown near Benguela. Industry in the city consists of fish processing, sugar milling, and soap manufacturing. Manganese deposits have been discovered south of the city, but were not developed extensively because of Angola's civil war. Benguela has an estimated population of over 50,000.

OTHER CITIES

The port city of CABINDA , situated in the Angolan enclave of Cabinda, was once a transportation point for West African slaves. Today, Cabinda province contains rich crude oil deposits and the city is a major port of Angolan oil exports. Timber, cocoa, coffee, phosphates, and potassium are also transported through Cabinda. Manganese and gold deposits have been discovered near the city, but have not been fully exploited. Cabinda has been able to escape damage during the civil war because it is geographically separated from Angola. Cabinda's status as a free port has made it attractive to foreign businesses and investors.

Cabinda is a small city located 200 miles east of Luanda. It developed in the mid-19th century as an important open-air market. Today, the city is the center of an important cotton-and coffee-growing area. The prosperity of the town was hampered by the exodus of skilled Portuguese workers following Angola's independence. In addition, the city was partially destroyed during the civil war. Malanje is linked by rail and road with Luanda. Several interesting attractions are located near the city. These attractions include the Luando Game Reserve, Milando Animal Reserve, and the 350-ft. high Duque de Breganca Falls. The city's population is estimated at 31,600.

The port of NAMIBE (formerly Moçamedes) was founded by Brazilians in the mid-19th century. Namibe is a city of small houses and administrative buildings crowded together along a low inland cliff with commercial buildings nestled along the Atlantic coast. The city was solely dependent on fishing until the discovery of iron ore near Namibe. A lucrative iron ore mine was opened at Cassinga, but operations were disrupted during the civil war. Fishing remains an important activity for Namibe's residents. Namibe has an estimated population of 77,000.

COUNTRY PROFILE

Geography and Climate

Angola is located on the western coast of central/southern Africa. It is bordered by Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) on the north and northeast, Zambia on the east, Namibia on the south and by the Atlantic Ocean on the west. Its coastline extends from the oil-rich enclave of Cabinda (north of the mouth of the Zaire River) to the northern border of Namibia, a distance of nearly 1,000 miles. Angola comprises a total area of approximately 481,354 square miles, larger than Texas and California combined.

The Atlantic coast of Angola is narrow and flat. Most of the country is comprised of a vast plateau elevated 3,000 to 7,000 feet above sea level. Northern and western portions of Angola have mountains, thick vegetation and fertile soil. The majority of Angolans live in the north and west. Many of the country's rivers originate in central Angola. However, only the Cuanza River is navigable. The eastern half of Angola consists of relatively flat, open plateau and sandy soil. Angola's southern areas are dominated by the Namib Desert. Population in southern and eastern regions is very sparse. The Cabinda province is covered by tropical rain forest.

Angola has a tropical climate. The hot season runs from January to April, with high temperatures and high humidity. There are light rains in November and December with rains falling in March & April.

Population

With only about 12 million people, Angola is lightly populated. As a result for three decades of conflict, an estimated 80% of the population is now concentrated in 20% of the national territory closest to the coast, and nearly 30% of the total population now resides in the capital, Luanda. The rest of the population is spread over the central highlands.

Angolans are mostly of Bantu ethnic heritage. About 75% of Angola's people are members of Angola's four largest ethnic groups. The Ovimbundu, normally resident in the central highlands and southeastern parts of Angola, are the largest group, comprising about 37% of the population. The Ovimbundu were traditionally farmers and traders.

The Kimbundu, approximately 25% of Angola's population, live in and around Luanda and to the east. Prolonged contact with Portuguese colonial rulers has given the Kimbundu the highest proportion of Angolans assimilated into European culture.

The Bakongo, usually concentrated in the northwest, and areas adjacent to the Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cabinda Province, constitute 13% of the population. The Bakongo at one time formed a loose federation known as the Kingdom of the Kongo with whom the Europeans made initial contact in the 15th century when the Portuguese first landed at the mouth of the Congo River.

The Lunda and Chokwe occupy the northeastern sector of Angola, with branches also in Democratic Republic of Congo, and make up 10% of the population. These two ethnic groups once comprised a great kingdom in the Angolan interior and were barely touched by Portuguese influence.

Other relatively minor ethnic groups include the Nganguela in the southeast and the Ovambo and Herero in the southwest (about 7%). The Ovambo and Herero are migratory cattle herders, who maintain close ties to kinsmen in Namibia, and regularly migrate across the Angolan-Namibian border. The rest of the population is made up of mulatto or mestizo (mixed European and African, 2%), Europeans (1%), and others (5%).

Before the 1975 civil war, approximately 750,000 non-Africans, primarily Portuguese citizens, lived in Angola. About 500,000 fled to Portugal because of the war. Today, about 40,000 Portuguese live in Angola, constituting the largest foreign population. The mulatto/mestizo are influential politically and economically beyond their numbers.

The diverse ethnic backgrounds of the population suggest the wide range of languages spoken. No one African language is widely used beyond its ethnic area. Portuguese is Angola's official language and is used by the government, in schools, and by people throughout the country.

The last official Angolan census was taken in 1970. Since then, because the war has made accurate demography impossible, population figures have only been given as estimates. The Angolan Government estimated the 1988 population at almost 9.5 million. Today's best estimate is about 12 million inhabitants, with about 3 million of those residing in Luanda.

History

Modern-day Angola was first discovered in 1483 by the Portuguese explorer Diego Cao. Although the Portuguese government sent a small group of settlers to Angola in 1491, the establishment of large permanent settlements was not their primary objective. Rather, Angola was to serve as an ample source of slave labor for Portugal's profitable coffee plantations in Brazil. By the mid-nineteenth century, the Portuguese had established a lucrative slave trade in Angola. It is estimated that nearly three million Angolans were eventually sent to South America as slaves. More Portuguese flocked to Angola as the slave trade grew. In 1575, the Portuguese established their first permanent settlement at Luanda.

Angola's lucrative slave trade quickly captured the attention of Portugal's colonial rivals. In 1641, the Dutch invaded and occupied Luanda. For seven years, Portugal's Angolan slave trade was controlled by the Dutch. The Portuguese eventually wrested control of Angola from the Dutch in 1648.

Angola's boundaries were formally established by the Berlin West Africa Congress in 1884-1885 in which France, Germany and Portugal won international recognition of the borders of their African colonies. During the early 20th century, Angola was wracked by a series of tribal uprisings against Portuguese rule. All of these uprisings were ruthlessly crushed. By 1922, the Portuguese government claimed that all resistance against colonial rule in Angola had been silenced.

The years following World War II brought an influx of new Portuguese settlers. Beginning in 1950, the Portuguese government initiated a campaign to entice new settlers to Angola with a promise of free farmland. The plan was highly successful. By the end of 1950, there were 80,000 Portuguese living in Angola, compared with fewer than 10,000 in 1900. The Portuguese promises of free land created a series of hardships for native Angolans, however. Most of the free farmland was confiscated from traditional African farming areas. Many African farmers, displaced from their land, were forced to take menial jobs in Angola or work outside the country. The Portuguese settlement practices, coupled with harsh repression of dissent, led to deep bitterness and discontent among the Angolan people. The seeds of violent revolution had been sown.

In 1961, Angola was shaken by two separate uprisings. The first revolt was conducted by a political group known as the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). Shortly thereafter, the FNLA (National Front for the Liberation of Angola) launched their own military campaign. Initially, both uprisings made impressive gains against Portuguese troops. However, the Portuguese eventually gained the upper hand and crushed the revolts. Members of the MPLA and FNLA were forced to flee to remote parts of the country. In 1966, after a series of disagreements, several members of the FNLA left the party and formed the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). UNITA began its own revolt against the Portuguese in late 1966. It was quickly defeated. Eventually, tribal rivalries, personality conflicts and ideological differences erupted between members of the MPLA, FNLA and UNITA. Relations between the three groups became so hostile at one point that they began murdering and imprisoning each others officials. Although the MPLA, FNLA and UNITA were equally committed to driving the Portuguese from Angolan soil, the bitter rivalries and hostilities between them and within their own parties severely hampered these efforts.

In 1974, the Portuguese government at home was overthrown. Weary of Portugal's prolonged involvement in Angola, the new government decided to grant independence. Representatives of the Portuguese government and the three opposition parties met in January 1975 to plan an orderly transition from colonial rule. At this meeting, the MPLA, UNITA and FNLA agreed to form a transitional government and to hold free elections. All Portuguese troops were to be removed from Angola. Complete independence was scheduled for 1975. Unfortunately, Angola's journey to independence would be marred by warfare and hardship.

Within a matter of months, the shaky coalition government collapsed. By mid-1975, the MPLA, FNLA and UNITA were engaged in open civil warfare.

On November 11, 1975, Portugal declared Angola independent. Because Luanda was in MPLA hands at the time of independence, the Portuguese handed control of the government to the MPLA.

Although the MPLA controlled Angola, they were faced with a host of internal and external problems. Years of civil warfare had decimated Angola's economy. Many Portuguese settlers fled the country after 1975, taking with them the expertise needed to rebuild the economy. Although substantially weakened, UNITA and the FNLA still posed a major threat to the MPLA. Foreign powers, such as South Africa, wanted to destroy the MPLA. Finally, the MPLA suffered from dissent within its own ranks.

In 1991, the MPLA and UNITA signed a formal peace agreement, effectively ending 16 years of civil war. However, the peace lasted only until October 1992, when the civil war resumed. The Lusaka Protocol of 1994, supported by armed UN peacekeepers, promised peace by guaranteeing UNITA a voice in the government. In spite of recurrent episodes of violence, some 100,000 troops had been demobilized by 1996.

Public Institutions

Angola changed from a one-party Marxist/Leninist system ruled by the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) to a multiparty democracy following the September 1992 elections. Since then, political power is increasingly concentrated in the Presidency. The political power of the MPLA Central Committee Political Bureau has diminished. Currently, the MPLA and eight other political parties are represented in the National Assembly, including the largest opposition party, UNITA, made up of former fighters who have abandoned the armed struggle.

In late 1999, a major Government offensive succeeded in destroying Jonas Savimbi's conventional military capacity and driving him to guerrilla tactics. Currently, the Government controls 90%-95% of the national territory, and a similar share of the population, with Savimbi's forces reduced to scattered, but sometimes effective, raids against civilian as often as military targets. As the UNITA military threat abated, the Government has slowly allowed for greater public dissent, a freer press, considerable leverage for opposition parties, and a proposal to hold national elections in 2002. Some of this public debate has increased and strengthened civil society, in the process helping to make the country a more dynamic and interesting place to work in international affairs.

The executive branch of the government is composed of the Chief of State, President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, Prime Minister (a position which, since the early 1999 government reorganization, is also held by the President), and the Council of Ministers.

The Constitution establishes the broad outlines of the government structure and delineates the rights and duties of citizens. The legal system is based on the Portuguese civil and customary law system. It was recently modified to accommodate a multi-party political system and increased use of free-market concepts and is again under revision in the National Assembly. The legal voting age for Angolans is 18.

Military and civilian courts exist, but the judicial system is precarious. There have been reports of prolonged detention without trial, unfair trials, and arbitrary executions.

The country is divided into 18 provinces, each with its own provincial government, but the governors are appointed by and under direct authority of the central government.

Angola has been ravaged by warfare since initiation of the struggle for independence from the Portuguese in 1961. An estimated 450,000 people have been killed; 100,000 maimed; and 3.7 million people were orphaned or forced from their homes since the wars began. The war has severely damaged the country's social institutions and infrastructure. The millions of dislocated people, orphaned children, and the lack of communications and transport between cities and the interior have all taken their toll. Daily conditions within the country, and in the capital city, Luanda, are difficult for most Angolans. Hospitals are without medicines or basic equipment; schools are without books; and public servants often lack the basic supplies for their day-today work.

An ally of the Socialist Block during the Cold War, Angola has increasingly drawn closer to Western nations, including the U.S. Angola's vast petroleum resources and its role as a regional power give it high importance.

The flag of Angola consists of 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

Arts, Science, Education

The arts and crafts market may not be as prolific in Angola as in some African countries, but there are beautiful artifacts. There is a trade in antique masks and fabrics. Ivory engraving is said to be the most intricate and detailed work found in Angola. Some craftsmen in Luanda market in woodcarvings for the expatriate community, and there are a few good painters as well, painting from traditional landscape and portrait to abstract art.

Angola is predominantly Roman Catholic (60%). Protestants (15%) and various indigenous beliefs that may also be nominally Christian (25%) fill out the pattern of religious affiliation. Catholic churches are found in most towns, and' their religious workers have played an important role in keeping education and food distribution programs going in the war-torn country.

The Portuguese brought the Catholic religion with them, and toward the end of the 19th century Protestant missionaries arrived from the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Catholic and Protestant missionaries have played a significant role in Angola education. At the time of independence the leaders of Angola's three major liberation movements had been educated a Protestant missions. Literacy, less than 10% at independence, has increased, despite the onset of the civil war, and is estimated at 45% of the total population. Currently, only 40% of Angolan children attend school for the first three grades, after which attendance declines severely. Also, the quality of education is poor, and most of the children of parents with money are sent overseas to Portugal or other countries.

Commerce and Industry

The continuing civil war has devastated Angola's postindependence economy and has created wide-ranging humanitarian and social problems and diverted resources that otherwise might have been used for the maintenance and improvement of infrastructure. The war has caused serious disruptions in the transportation of people and goods, and in agricultural production.

Angola is resources-rich, with abundant offshore oil reserves, high-quality diamond deposits, numerous other minerals, rich agricultural lands, and many rivers, which serve as a source of water and power supply. Prior to independence Angola was a net food exporter, and one of the largest coffee and cotton producer in the world. Other main crops included bananas, sugarcane, sisal, corn, manioc, tobacco, forest products, fish, and livestock. Now Angola buys almost all of its food, as well as most consumer products. Coca-Cola invested $35 million in a bottling plant located 60 kilometers outside of Luanda. The plant opened in early 2000 and added a second production line in November 2000. Coca-Cola's investment is the largest single non-mineral investment in Angola's history.

The oil sector dominates the economy. Petroleum exports account for about 90% of total exports annually, and oil revenue makes up almost half of the country's Gross Domestic Product, which reached $5.6 billion in 1999. This strong reliance on a single commodity makes Angola very vulnerable to fluctuations in oil prices. Weak oil prices in 1998 and part of 1999, combined with increased arms purchases in response to an escalation of hostilities, led to a heavy external debt burden. Angola's external debt amounted to almost $10 billion at the end of 1999, and $4.4 billion of this amount was in arrears. Higher oil prices in late 1999 and 2000 and the intake of signing bonuses for new oil concessions helped to keep the debt from growing further.

Angola is the third largest trading partner of the U.S. in sub-Saharan Africa, mainly because of significant petroleum exports. Between 1997-99, Angolan crude oil accounted for about 5% of U.S. total imports of crude. The U.S. imported $2.4 billion of crude oil from Angola in 1999 and exported $252 million of goods to Angola, primarily machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, and food products.

After 1975, Angola's Soviet-influenced economy was highly centralized and state-dominated. The Government has very slowly introduced reforms and liberalizations since the early 1990s. The government enacted its most significant reforms to date in 1999, when it unified official and parallel market exchange rates and liberalized interest rates. In April 2000, the Government reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a Staff-Monitored Program (a precursor to receiving loans from the IMF and other concessionary lenders). Progress on economic reforms, such as privatization and improved accountability and transparency, continues-but at a slow pace.

Transportation

Automobiles

A 2000 law requiring that all cars brought into the country be no more than 3 years of age has been informally relaxed for non-commercial users. The only safe means of traveling in the city is by automobile. As with all other types of infrastructure in Angola, roads have been poorly or infrequently maintained in the past 20 years. Potholes are typically deep and numerous. High-clearance, heavy duty suspension vehicles are recommended. Cars brought into Angola by nonresidents are considered in transit, and no taxes are levied. Only leaded fuel is available, and although the lines are long at peak hours, there is no widespread shortage of fuel. Fuel prices have risen considerably over the last year. Rental vehicles are available, but are very costly.

There are no vehicle inspections required for registration or licensing purposes. Vehicle traffic moves on the right as in the U.S. A valid U.S. driver's license is needed to apply for an Angolan driver's license, but recently the Angolan Government has been slow in issuing licenses despite charging a fee. Local third party insurance is available and required by law. Full coverage purchased locally is expensive and not reliable when paying for damages. Vehicle owners may wish to obtain hard-currency insurance from outside Angola.

There are repair facilities in the city for GM, Dodge, Jeep, Ford, Toyota, and Nissan vehicles. However, it is helpful to bring basic items such as air and oil filters, fan belts, spark plugs, etc., with you. A heavy-duty battery is required, and air conditioning is a must year round. The poor road conditions also cause suspension systems and tires to wear rapidly. Any vehicle shipped to Angola should have heavy-duty suspension, radial tires, and undercoating. Carburetors should be adjusted to low-octane leaded gas and catalytic converters removed, since locally available gasoline is of poor quality. Because of the extremely high rate of pilferage from the Luanda port, do not ship car radios, stereos, or other removable items with the vehicle. Shipping time for vehicles averages about 4 months with some time in port. It will take about a month to receive plates before the vehicle can be driven.

Local

Local public transportation is limited and deemed unsafe. The public buses and collective taxis (mini-buses or "candongueiros") are not safe; no individual taxi service exists. Reliable railroad transportation is not available. Roads to the interior are not deemed safe for general travel. The best method of reaching other areas is by air. Air transport to major interior cities is available on the Angolan national airline TAAG; however, security conditions and equipment problems regularly interrupt service.

Regional

The following airlines provide service to/from Europe on a weekly or more frequent basis: Sabena (Belgium), Air France, TAP (Portugal), and TAAG (Angola). Air Namibia, Air Zimbabwe, Air Ethiopia, Air Gabon, and South African Airlines offer regional service.

Communications

Telephone and Telegraph

Angola's telephone system is poor. Local and international telephone connections can be difficult to make and can be extremely frustrating and expensive. Luanda's cellular telephone system is estimated to be 400% oversubscribed, and connections, particularly during business hours, are difficult to make. The telephone system is slowly being changed to digital but problems are still rampant.

Radio and TV

Luanda's local radio stations broadcast on AM, FM, and SW Programs concentrate on popular music and local news, with programs from 6 am until midnight daily. Shortwave broadcasts from Europe, North America, and Africa are the best source for international news and can be received without much difficulty.

Angolan television (TPA) transmits daily in color, with programming consisting of news, sports, cartoons, soap operas, cultural programs, and movies from the U.S., Europe, and Brazil. International programs are usually telecast in original languages with Portuguese subtitles. A multi-system 120/220v television, video, or stereo system is required; local television transmissions are in PAL-1.

Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals

Almost all publications in Angola are in Portuguese; a few French books are also available. The main local newspaper, the state-run Jornal de Angola, is published daily. Several independent newspapers (also in Portuguese) are published weekly or biweekly. English-language publications are difficult to obtain in Angola. It is advisable to receive magazines, newspapers, and books by pouch mail or subscribe to an internet service.

Health and Medicine

Medical Facilities

The government-run hospitals are substandard by Western criteria and lack such basics as medicines, supplies, or trained staff, and are often without water, electricity, and sanitary facilities. There is one dental office.

Community Health

Because of the poor living and health conditions within the capital city's neighborhoods, disease, illness, and malnutrition are commonplace among the majority of Luanda's population. Warm weather and standing water from rains create a rampant breeding area for mosquitoes, and malaria is a common and dangerous threat to the population throughout Angola. Dust is also a continuous problem, and many people suffer from allergies and sinus trouble.

Recently a beautification project called Urbana 2000 was begun to try to beautify and clean up the city's image. Though Luanda's garbage collection system operates regularly, garbage and trash still ends up in the streets. Air pollution from dust, automobile exhaust, and burning garbage is heavy. City water is badly contaminated by raw sewage, human waste, and other toxic substances. Because of the poor living conditions, the average life expectancy for local citizens is only 45 years.

Preventive Measures

Luanda is afflicted with virtually every disease known to mankind. There are incidents of the following illnesses: hepatitis types A, B, C, measles, typhoid fever, polio, leprosy, amoebic infestations (whip-worm, roundworm, amebiasis, and giardia lambia), cholera, yellow fever; filaria, tetanus, meningitis, trypanosomisis, rabies, tuberculosis, syphilis, and varieties of AIDS. HIV and hepatitis ontaminate the local blood supply. HIV/AIDS precautions are strongly recommended. Malaria is a serious continuing health risk because of the warm climate and a lack of community programs to combat it. Luanda is normally dry and dusty for 9 months of the year; as a result. some individuals are troubled with sinus, allergy, and respiratory problems.

It is recommended that vaccinations. including yellow fever, typhoid, rabies; hepatitis A, B, C, and meningitis, be updated prior to coming.

Antimalarial precautions are a must, with Mefloquine Doxycycline being the prophylaxis of choice. It is recommended that malaria prophylaxis begin a week prior to arrival.

Drinking local tap water is very hazardous. Care must be taken when dining out, as food poisoning is common, although not necessarily in restaurants frequented by expatriates. All locally grown produce should be soaked in iodine or bleach solution before consuming, and care should be taken with the purchase and cooking of local meats and fish.

In sum, Angola, and Luanda in particular, is a place for the relatively healthy who are free of any major or continuing health problems.

NOTES FOR TRAVELERS

Passage, Customs and Duties

A passport and visa, which must be obtained in advance, and an International Certificate of Vaccination, are required. Persons arriving without visas are subject to possible arrest and/or deportation. Travelers whose international immunization cards do not show inoculations against yellow fever and cholera may be subject to involuntary vacci-nations and/or heavy fines. Visitors remaining in Angola beyond their authorized visa duration are subject to fines and possible arrest. Current information on entry requirements may be obtained from the Embassy of Angola at 1615 M Street, N.W., Suite 900, Washington, D.C. 20036, tel. (202) 785-1156, fax (202) 785-1258.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to register with and obtain updated information on travel and security from the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Luanda located at the Casa Inglesa Complex, Rua Major Kanhangula No. 132/135, tel. 244-2-396-727; fax 244-2-390-515. The Embassy is located on Rua Houari Boumedienne in the Miramar area of Luanda, P.O. Box 6468, tel. 244-2-447-028/(445-481)/(446-224); (24-hour duty officer tel. 244-9-501-343); fax 244-2-446-924. The Consulate may be contacted by e-mail at [email protected].

Pets

Quarantine is not required for pets brought to Angola. Dogs and cats must have rabies shots within 6 months, but not less than 30 days prior to arrival. Heartworm medication is also advised. Limited pet food is available locally, and what is available is very expensive. The mange parasite is prevalent in Angola; infection may occur if a pet comes in contact with infected animals. There are several private practice veterinarians in Luanda. No kennel facilities are available.

Firearms and Ammunition

The Government of Angola prohibits the importation of any type of personal firearms or ammunition.

Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures

Angola's currency is the kwanza. The exchange rate is market-deter-mined. US. paper currency (no coins) is widely accepted in Angola. Angolan kwanzas are not convertible outside of Angola. U.S. dollars can be converted to local currency at exchange houses authorized by the Angolan government. Rapid fluctuations in the value of the Angolan Kwanza and shortages of U.S. dollars are widespread. Currency conversions on the parallel market are illegal, and participants are subject to arrest. In general, only the newer series 100 (US) dollar bills are accepted due to widespread counterfeiting of the older style.

Banking practices are unreliable. It is advisable to use your stateside bank, with direct deposit for all payroll or voucher transactions. Traveler checks are not generally accepted outside the Mission. Credit cards are accepted at major hotels and by a few businesses that cater to the expatriate communities. Otherwise, credit cards are not accepted.

Angola uses the metric system of weights and measures.

LOCAL HOLIDAYS

Jan. 1 New Year's Day

Feb. 4 Commencement of the Armed Struggle

Feb/Mar. Carnival*

Mar. 8 Women's Day

Mar. 27 Victory Day

Mar/Apr. Good Friday*

Mar/Apr. Easter*

Apr. 14 Youth Day

May 1 Labor Day

June 1 Children's Day

Aug. 1 Armed Forces Day

Sept. 17 Heroes' Day

Nov. 2 Remembrance Day

Nov. 11 Independence Day

Dec. 1 Pioneer's Day

Dec. 10 Worker's Party Foundation Day

Dec. 25 Christmas

Dec. 25 Family Day

*variable

RECOMMENDED READING

The following titles are provided as a general indication of the material published on this country:

Web Sites

Angolan Embassy in Washington, D.C. http://209.183.193.172

Angola's Official Web Site http://www.angola.org

Angola Business and Economics http://www.angola.org/business Angola Press

http://www.angolapress-angop.ao UNITA's Homepage http://www.kwacha.org

Radio Ecclksia-Catholic Emissary in Angola

http://ecclesia.snet.co.ao Lusofone Web Site-gossip (chat room), information, and other links. http://www.portugalnet.pt

Books

Abbot, Peter. et al. Modern African Wars: Angola and Mozambique 1961-1974. Men-At-Arms Series, 1994.

Angola Unravels: The Rise and Fall of the Lusaka Peace Process. Mass market paperback, 1999.

Antsee, Margaret. Orphan of the Cold War.

Ayo, Yvonne. Eyewitness Africa. London: Dorling Kindersley, 1995.

Bender, Gerald 1. Angola Under the Portuguese. University of California Press: Berkley, 1980.

Birmingham, David. Frontline Nationalism in Angola and Mozambique. 1993.

Birmingham, David. Portugal and Africa. 1999.

Bredin, Miles, and Harriet Logan (photographer). Blood on the Tracks: A Rail Journey from Angola to Mozambique. 1995.

Britten, Victoria. The Death of Dignity: Angola's Civil War 1998.

Bowdich. Account of the Discoveries of the Portuguese in the Interior of Angola and Mozambique. 1974.

Ciment, James. Angola and Mozambique: Post Colonial Wars in Southern Africa (Conflict and Crisis in the Post-Cold War World). 1997.

Collelo, Thomas, ed. Angola: A Country Study. Third edition. Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, 1990.

Crocker, Chester. High Noon in Southern Africa.

Hare, Paul J. Angola's Last Best Chance for Peace: An Insider's Account of the Peace Process, U.S. Institute of Peace Press: Washington, D.C., 1998.

Henderson, Lawrence. Angola: Five Centuries of Conflict.

Hothschild, Adam. King Leopold's Ghost.

Jolicoeur, Suzanne. The Arc of Socialist Revolutions: Angola to Afghanistan. 1982.

Kapuscinski, Ryszaro. Another Day of Life.

Kelly, Robert C., et al. Angola Country Review 1999/2000. 1999.

Laure, Jason. Angola (Enchantment of the World). Library series, 1990.

Maier, Karl, and Serif Lies. Angola Promises (paperback): London, 1996.

Marcum, John. The Angolan Revolution.

Matloff, Judith. Fragments of a Forgotten War. 1997.

Minter, William. Apartheid's Contras: An Inquiry into the Roots of War in Angola and Mozambique. 1994. Okuma, Thomas. Angola in Ferment. 1974.

Sean Sheehan, Angola: Cultures of the World. 18 Marshall Cavendish Corporation. 1999.

Somerville, Keith. Angola: Politics, Economics, and Society (Marxist Regimes Series). 1986.

Spikes, Daniel. Angola and the Politics of Intervention.

Tvedten, Inge, et al. Angola: Struggle for Peace and Reconstruction (Nations of the Modern World. Africa). 1997.

Van der Winden, Bob, ed. A Family of the Musseque. Oxford, England: World View Publishing, 1996.

Warner, Rachel. Refugees. Hove, England: Wayland Ltd., 1996.

Watson, James. No Surrender: A Story of Angola. London: Lions Tracks, 1992.

Wilson, T. Ernest. Angola Beloved. 1998.

Wright, George. The Destruction of a Nation: United States Policy Toward Angola Since 1945. 1997.

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Angola

ANGOLA

Republic of Angola
República de Angola

COUNTRY OVERVIEW

LOCATION AND SIZE.

Angola is located in southern Africa, and borders the South Atlantic Ocean, Namibia, Zambia, and both Congosthe Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of the Congo. Angola has a total area of 1,246,700 square kilometers (481,351 square miles). It has a coastline of 1,610 kilometers (1,000 miles) on the South Atlantic Ocean. Comparatively, the area is slightly less than twice the size of Texas. The capital of Angola, Luanda, is located on the north-central coastline. The highest point in Angola is Morro de Moco at 2,620 meters (8,596 feet). Angola also includes the exclave of Cabinda (an exclave is an area of land that is part of another country but separated physically from that country). A province of Angola, Cabinda's size is roughly 7,300 square kilometers (2,800 square miles), and it lies south of the Republic of Congo on the Atlantic coast.

POPULATION.

The population of Angola was estimated by the CIA to be a little over 10 million in July 2000, although the World Bank put the figure at 12.4 million for 1999. These organizations also believe that the annual population growth rate decreased from 3.2 percent in 1995 to 2.9 percent in 1999. The growth rate for the year 2000 was estimated at 2.15 percent. In 2000 the birth rate stood at 46.89 births per 1,000, while the death rate was 25.01 per 1,000.

The population of Angola is very young. Only 3 percent of the population is over 65 years of age. About 54 percent of the population is between 15-64 years old, and 43 percent is below the age of 15. The life expectancy at birth for women is about 39 years and about 37 years for men.

The population density in 1995 was 8.8 people per square kilometer (18.1 people per square mile). The urban population has increased slowly but steadily from 31 percent in 1995 to 33.6 percent in 1999. The illiteracy rate in Angola is very high; only 42 percent of people over the age of 15 can read and write. There is a significantly higher number of men who are literate than women (56 percent versus 28 percent).

OVERVIEW OF ECONOMY

Angola's economy is in disarray due to the near-continuous warfare that has been ongoing in the country since independence in 1975. The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) have struggled for control of Angola and its abundance of natural resources since Portugal relinquished its control of the nation in 1975. Although the MPLA has managed to stay in power for most of Angola's history, the effort it expends in fighting UNITA and other hostile forces prevents it from developing Angola's economy. The government is likewise hindered by the fact that UNITA controls much of Angola, including its valuable diamond mines, the profits of which go towards UNITA's military efforts rather than the development of a stable economy. The result is that Angola is among those nations with the lowest output per capita in the world. GDP per capita in 1999 was estimated by the CIA World Factbook at US$1030, figured according to purchasing power parity .

The dominant force shaping Angola's economy today is oil and oil-related activities. These are essential to the economy of the country and contribute about 45 percent to GDP and 90 percent of exports. Thanks to oil production, the economy grew by 4 percent from 1998 to 1999. U.S. oil companies have invested heavily in Angola's oil production. In 1997, the United States bought 70-80 percent of all Angola's oil. In 2000, 7 percent of all U.S. petroleum came from Angola. This is expected to rise to 10 percent within 8 years. Unfortunately, the continual warfare has stifled investment in all other sectors. Diamonds are an important export product, but UNITA's control of this valuable resource limits its positive impact on the nation's economy.

Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for 85 percent of the population, but larger-scale farming is difficult in Angola's landmine-ridden countryside. These mines remain throughout the country and hamper any development of the agricultural sector, even though the country itself is fertile. As a result, much of Angola's food must be imported. Coffee is one product that could be a large export opportunity, but the presence of so many minefields makes this development problematic.

Angola is severely indebted. The burden of debt on each Angolan is 3 times higher than the average for Africa. In 1999 the total outstanding debt was US$10.5 billion, more than two-thirds of which was owed to private creditors. In 1995 international donors (the World Bank, the European Union, and the United Nations' specialized agencies are the leading multilateral donors) pledged over US$1.0 billion in assistance to Angola. However, these funds have been held back because of the stalemated peace process between the MPLA and UNITA.

POLITICS, GOVERNMENT, AND TAXATION

MPLA and UNITA began by fighting a common enemyPortugalfor Angola's independence in 1961. They formed a coalition government along with the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FLNA) following Portugal's decision to grant Angola independence on 11 November 1975, but the differences between the groups resulted in the coalition's disintegration before independence was achieved. The failure of the coalition government set the stage for a civil war that continued to plague the nation into the 21st century. UNITA, backed by the United States and South Africa, fought MPLA, backed by the Soviet Union and Cuba in a Cold-War showdown. However, the MPLA forces gained the victory when they overpowered major UNITA strongholds, and earned recognition from the Organization of African Unity (OAU) as the official government of Angola in 1976.

However, MPLA's hold on the government was far from secure. UNITA continued operating from southern Angola and from Namibia to topple MPLA; both South Africa and Cuba remained involved in Angola's war-battered landscape as military presences. With so many countries and factions involved in the war, a peace agreement seemed impossible until the thawing of the Cold War in 1988 resulted in the withdrawal of South African and Cuban troops from Angola. The first free elections in 1992 gave a narrow victory to the MPLA (which then became the Government of the Republic of Angola, GRA), but UNITA alleged voter fraud and did not accept the results. Fighting broke out once more and UNITA gained control of 75 percent of the country. However, the international community condemned UNITA's failure to honor the election results and recognized the MPLA government as the legitimate power. The 1994 Lusaka Protocol attempted to broker a peace agreement between UNITA and MPLA, but not even the 6,000 peacekeeping troops installed in Angola by the United Nations in 1995 could stop continued fighting. By 1999 the United Nations withdrew its peacekeeping force and acknowledged the failure of the Lusaka Protocol.

The governmental structure of Angola is considered to be in transition pending the settlement of the civil war. In the country's first elections following independence, Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, the head of the MPLA, was elected under a one-party system. The 1992 elections were designed to elect the president by popular vote and the 220-seat National Assembly by proportional vote, with both president and legislators to serve 4-year terms. UNITA, led by presidential candidate Jonas Savimbi, contested the 1992 elections after winning 40.1 percent of the vote. Since that time the official government has been led by the MPLA with no new elections.

INFRASTRUCTURE, POWER, AND COMMUNICATIONS

Due to the extensive warfare, most of Angola's infrastructure has been destroyed. Millions of land mines were laid, and efforts to remove them have so far made little progress. Not only do these vast numbers of mines hamper the building of an infrastructure of extensive road networks, but they continue to maim and kill civilians. There are 19,156 kilometers (11,903.5 miles) of paved roads and a total of 2,952 kilometers (1,834.4 miles) of rail tracks. There are 32 airports with paved runways and 217 with unpaved runways. However, the condition of these airfields varies, and mines are a problem here as well.

Transportation in general is a problem in Angola. Perhaps no sector has suffered more than transportation from the war. Roads, railways, and bridges have been severely damaged. Ports are run-down and antiquated. More than 60 percent of the paved road network needs repair. The estimation of the Angolan government is that it will take 10-15 years to restore the road network to the status prior to the war. However, this presumes an end to the fighting, without which the road infrastructure will take considerably longer to recreate. The road, railway, and bridge networks are essential for the other economic sectors to grow. They will link the main cities in the country and get the products from one end of the country to the next.

The continued political violence and fighting is the reason for the lack of external investment in Angola. However, when stability returns, the lack of an infrastructure

Communications
Country Newspapers Radios TV Sets a Cable subscribers a Mobile Phones a Fax Machines a Personal Computers a Internet Hosts b Internet Users b
1996 1997 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1999 1999
Angola 11 54 14 N/A 1 N/A 0.8 0.00 10
United States 215 2,146 847 244.3 256 78.4 458.6 1,508.77 74,100
South Africa 32 317 125 N/A 56 3.5 47.4 33.36 1,820
Dem. Rep. of Congo 3 375 135 N/A 0 N/A N/A 0.00 1
a Data are from International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication Development Report 1999and are per 1,000 people.
b Data are from the Internet Software Consortium (http://www.isc.org) and are per 10,000 people.
SOURCE : World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.

will be a major factor hindering economic development. Building an infrastructure is essential for the country's further development of other economic areas such as agricultural products, of which Angola used to be a net exporter.

There are about 60,000 telephone main lines in use (1995). The telephone system is limited mostly to government and business use. Radio telephones are used extensively by the military. There are 2 Internet service providers in the country (1999), but the level of personal computer ownership is very low (0.8 per 1,000 in 1998). There are also very few televisions in Angola, with only 14 sets per 1,000 people in 1998.

ECONOMIC SECTORS

Angola's total labor force for 1997 was estimated at 5 million, with 85 percent of the workforce engaged in agriculture, and industry and services with 15 percent. Despite the large segment of the population in agriculture, it contributed only 13 percent to GDP in 1998. Industry contributed 53 percent, and services provided 34 percent of GDP in the same year, according to the CIA World Factbook.

The most important industries are petroleum, diamonds, fish, and fish processing. Other significant industries are iron ore, phosphates, feldspar, bauxite, uranium, gold, cement, basic metal products, food processing, brewing, tobacco products, and sugar textiles.

Agricultural products include bananas, sugarcane, coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, manioc, tobacco, vegetables, plaintains, livestock, forest products, and fish. The most important of these agricultural products for export are coffee, sisal, timber, and cotton. However, agricultural production in Angola has been severely reduced by the civil war. The majority of agriculture is now subsistence farming . The industrial sector has likewise been reduced, with oil as the sector's only growing industry. This is important for the economic development of Angola, but is not enough to create sustainable development, and leaves Angola's economy vulnerable to fluctuating oil prices.

AGRICULTURE

Agricultural production is the sector that contributes the least to Angola's economy, a mere 13 percent of the GDP. Prior to the civil war in 1975 Angola was self-sufficient in food production and was a major exporter of agricultural products. The two most important products for export prior to the war were coffee and sisal. Angola was the second-largest producer of coffee in Africa and the fourth-largest in the world in 1974. Today only 3 percent of all arable land is being cultivated. There are two crucial reasons for this. First, large numbers of refugees have fled the country due to constant fighting, leaving the land uncultivated. Secondly, the vast amounts of anti-personnel mines that have been buried throughout the countryside make it difficult to cultivate the land again. This is unfortunate because Angola has the potential to grow a huge range of both semi-tropical and tropical crops. With continued fighting, Angola cannot fulfill its promise as a major agricultural producer.

COFFEE.

There have been attempts at coffee production during the conflict, but continued fighting has made the sector's recovery impossible. There are several advantages to focusing on coffee production in Angola. First, it is an area where Angola can compete in the global market, hence supplementing oil as a major income generator. Second, Angolans have a lot of experience in the production of coffee. Third, the fertile land is well disposed to the cultivation of coffee. Today, the coffee industry is moribund. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates Angola's total coffee production for 2001 will be 65,000 bags of coffee (each weighing 60 kilograms). This is up slightly from 55,000 bags for the previous year. In contrast, Mexico was expected to produce 5.8 million bags, and Kenya's production was estimated at 1.1 million for 2001. Angola is not even on the list of the top 35 suppliers of coffee to the United States.

FISH AND FISH PRODUCTS.

The fishing industry in Angola prior to the war was very important, and annual catches were about 600,000 tons. This shrank to only 35,000 tons during the war, but began to rise from 1993, when the catch was 122,000 tons, and this trend has continued. Angola has been building up its fishing fleet with the support of Spain, Italy, Portugal, and the Arab Bank for African Economic Development (BADEA). The World Bank helped the Angolan government set up the Angolan Support Fund for Fisheries Development. Angola has a long coastline which is especially rich with sardines, tuna, and mackerel. There is great potential for continued expansion in this sector.

INDUSTRY

Industry is the most important sector in Angola's economy, accounting for 53 percent of the GDP. The 3 important industrial sectors are mineral resources, energy, and manufacturing, the former two being by far the most significant. All of these were severely affected by the war, but since 1994 have increased significantly.

MINERAL RESOURCES.

Angola has vast deposits of a large variety of mineral resources including diamonds, gold, iron ore, phosphates, copper, lead, and zinc. However, the most important mineral with respect to export is diamonds. Prior to 1975 Angola was the fourth-largest diamond producer in the world, but this dropped during the war because of large-scale theft, smuggling, and transportation problems. UNITA controls the majority of the diamond-producing land, which has added to the government's problems in controlling the diamond trade. In 1992 Angola exported diamonds worth $250 million. While diamond exports are increasing, they have not reached pre-war levels. With a stable peace agreement there should be no obstacles keeping Angola from reaching and exceeding former export levels.

Apart from diamonds, Angola's resources are vast, but largely untapped. The Angolan government's efforts to promote private investment led it to abolish the previously state-held monopoly of mineral rights. (This began on a small scale in 1986 in relation to diamonds). Mining ventures can consequently be privately held. However, the continued conflict makes it difficult to attract private investment, and these resources remain untapped.

ENERGY.

Angola is a regional player in energy production. Angola co-ordinates the energy policy for the Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference (SADCC), and its energy secretariat is based in Luanda. Energy production is essential for Angola, with 90 percent of the country's total exports coming from oil. In 2000 oil contributed 45 percent to the GDP of the country. Energy is the only sector that expanded throughout the 1980s, during the war. The oil industry is run by the Angolan state oil firm Sonangol, in conjunction with foreign oil companies. Angola is the second-largest producer of oil in sub-Saharan Africa and provides 7 percent of all U.S. oil imports. The United States is the main purchaser of Angolan oil, buying some 70-80 percent of all oil exports.

New oil reserves are being discovered regularly, and faster than the country's reserves can be depleted. Foreign companies have not been deterred from investing in Angola's oil industry irrespective of the warfare. The oil industry is viewed as an attractive investment opportunity that offers the oil companies favorable geological conditions, low operating costs, and co-operation from the Angolan government. The total foreign investment in oil production in the 1980-86 period was US$2.7 billion. The investment level in the next 3 years was US$2 billion, with US$4 billion invested between 1993 and 1997.

Hydroelectric power has been a priority of the Angolan government. In 2000 75.03 percent of the electricity produced was hydro-generated. Several large rivers flow through the country and give an enormous potential for hydroelectricity. The current generating capacity exceeds demand locally and output is increasing. This makes Angola a potential regional exporter of hydroelectric energy. However the power supply has been irregular, partially due to sabotage by the warring factions, and a deteriorating infrastructure due to poor maintenance and lack of investment. However, the potential for regional export is vast when stability returns, even though Angola exported no electricity as of 1998.

MANUFACTURING.

Angola had about 4,000 manufacturing enterprises before the civil war, which employed 200,000 people. However, this was significantly reduced by the onset of the war. The only products that are manufactured and exported from Angola today are cement and refined petroleum products. There is potential for establishing the pre-war levels of production, but this will require stability and outside investment. It would also necessitate the creation of an infrastructure. Hence, investment in oil and diamonds will for a long time be more interesting to outside investors than Angola's manufacturing sector.

SERVICES

Services in Angola are not very developed, again a direct consequence of the war. The government has begun to encourage investment in tourism. However, with the continued strife and breached peace agreements it is doubtful whether such projects will take place. Foreign investors will shy away from investing in tourism in such a volatile society. Not only will it take substantial time before there will be investors in tourism, but the entire infrastructure to support such an expansion is at present lacking. The willingness of tourists to go to such an area is also in doubt. Financial and human services are in a similar state of disarray.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

In 1999 Angola exported a total of US$5 billion worth of goods and services and imported US$3 billion worth. Due to Angola's colonial past, its primary trading partner has historically been Portugal. Today, Portugal is still a primary trading partner from which 20 percent of Angola's commodities are imported. The United States and South Africa are other major sources of imports for Angola, providing 17 percent and 10 percent, respectively. However, the United States is the major source of Angolan exports with 63 percent of all exports; 9 percent of exports going to the Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg), and China, Chile, and France are also important sources of exports.

MONEY

In 1990 the Angolan government changed the currency from the kwanza to the nova kwanza. This was done to reduce the money supply and force prices down in the informal sector , which operated parallel to the more regulated conventional market. This measure was taken to satisfy requirements of the World Bank, the IMF, and other financial institutions as part of the reforms that these institutions see as essential to higher growth and poverty reduction in Angola. A devaluation followed in which the official value of the kwanza was cut in half. In order to control the foreign exchange in circulation, 4 different exchange rates were applied in the banking system. Privatization was also introduced gradually because of pressure from international financial institutions. This liberalization process was stopped in 1992 due to resumption of the war.

Angola's financial woes heightened in 1994 and the government renewed its reform efforts. Since 1993 there has been a 25 percent decline in real GDP . In 1994 the government's budget deficit was US$872 million. The central bank attempted to address these deficits by increasing the money supply, but this raised inflation to 1,838 percent in Luanda in 1993, in 1995 inflation had reached 3,700 percent. In 1994 another adjustment program was attempted. However, this was made more difficult by the development of a robust informal sector with

Exchange rates: Angola
kwanza per US$1
Jan 2001 17,910,800
2000 10,041,000
1999 2,790,706
1998 392,824
1997 229,040
1996 128,029
Note: In December 1999 the kwanza was revalued with six zeroes dropped off the old value.
SOURCE : CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].

its own credits and expenditures which were outside the control of the Ministry of Finance. In 1994 as much as 60 percent of the income of the state was outside treasury accounts.

There has yet to be any economic stabilization in Angola. There are 2 reasons why it might continue to be difficult to obtain even with a peace process. First, military expenditures will remain high because of the previous history of broken peace processes, in addition to the involvement of other countries in the conflict. Second, strong adjustment policies may antagonize the population, because they may want to see change come about quicker than is practically feasible.

The nova kwanza has dropped in value against the U.S. dollar for several years. In 1995, the official rate was Kzr2,750 to the dollar, and by January 2000, the rate had risen to Kzr577,304 to the US$1.

POVERTY AND WEALTH

The vast majority of Angolans live in poverty, while the political elites are very wealthy. Access to goods for the poor and the rich is very different. For years there has been a shortage of consumer goods , and the government sought to obtain fair distribution via lojas do povo (people's stores). However, only about 15 basic commodities were available, and in practice the shelves were often empty. The elites on the other hand had access to lojas de responsaveis (stores for high-ranking people) and lojas francas (free shops) where they could buy goods with foreign currency only. Economic policies were faltering and this made it more difficult for people to make ends meet both in rural and urban areas. Therefore, a parallel economy grew rapidly after independence.

An estimated three-quarters of economically active people have been involved in the informal economy. There are 2 main elements of the informal economy: rural, subsistence agricultural production (which occupies 85 percent of the population) and the urban parallel market, a system of exchange outside regulated channels. However, due to the lack of infrastructure and war conditions, there has been little integration of these two aspects

GDP per Capita (US$)
Country 1975 1980 1985 1990 1998
Angola N/A 698 655 667 527
United States 19,364 21,529 23,200 25,363 29,683
South Africa 4,574 4,620 4,229 4,113 3,918
Dem. Rep. of Congo 392 313 293 247 127
SOURCE : United Nations. Human Development Report 2000; Trends in human development and per capita income.

of the informal sector. Therefore, the urban markets tend to rely on imports.

WORKING CONDITIONS

The working conditions in Angola are tightly connected with the war and the development of dual economies. Wages were nominal after the war began and therefore could not serve to ensure access to consumer goods. There is also vast unemployment, which affects more than half of the population. In addition, 25 percent of the population depended upon humanitarian aid for survival in 1996.

Most Angolans are active in the informal sector. This mainly consists of subsistence farming and urban markets. Since this economy is informal there are no laws to protect the workers or unions. The effect of the war has resulted in 1.5 million internal refugees. Workers in the mines in UNITA-held territories extract diamonds to sell in support of their cause.

COUNTRY HISTORY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

1575. Portuguese settlement established at Luanda.

17TH CENTURY. Portugal controls the slave trade from its base in Angola, though the Dutch, French, and British began to establish a presence on the African continent.

1836. The export of slaves is banned.

1850s. Angola's exports are dominated by ivory, wax, and rubber.

1912. Alluvial diamond mining becomes an important industry in northeast Angola.

1930. With the Colonial Act of 1930, Portugal modernizes Angola's economy and binds it to that of Portugal by a system of protective tariffs .

1956. The Popular Liberation Movement of Angola (MPLA) is founded. It is supported by the Soviet Union.

1957. The National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) is founded. It is supported by the United States.

1961. A major revolt against Portuguese rule erupts in northern Angola, followed by a long guerrilla war.

1966. Political leader Jonas Savimbi breaks from the FNLA and sets up the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). UNITA, FNLA, and MPLA all fight a guerrilla war against Portuguese forces.

1975. Portugal releases its claim to Angola, and independence is declared. A government is established, consisting of the 3 nationalist groups and a Portuguese representative. However, this government collapses and civil war ensues. Over the next 25 years the MPLA acts as official government, and the coalition of UNITA/FNLA has been in rebellion. The MPLA is backed by the U.S.S.R. and Cuba, while UNITA and the FNLA are backed by the United States, the United Kingdom, and South Africa. The civil war claims a total of 500,000 lives by 2000.

1981. An undeclared war with South Africa begins. Its origins lie in the refusal of South Africa to grant independence to Namibia and South Africa's struggle against the nationalist groups in Namibia fighting against South African rule.

1989. The United Nations monitors the withdrawal of Cuban troops.

1991. The government and UNITA conclude a peace agreement.

1992. The Forcas Armadas Populares de Libertacao de Angola (FAPLA) and UNITA forces are disbanded and a new national army established. Elections are held, and the MPLA wins a narrow majority. Refusing to accept the results of the elections, UNITA forces resume fighting.

1993. The UN sponsors peace talks amidst continued fighting.

1999. It is estimated that there are 1.5 million refugees inside Angola displaced by the civil war.

FUTURE TRENDS

The future of Angola's economy depends entirely upon a cessation of hostilities and the creation of a stable and secure environment. If this does not happen, Angola will continue to have a low GDP regardless of the vast resources it possesses. However, due to the destruction of the infrastructure and the immense problem with land mines, there will be huge problems to overcome even if the war is ended. Infrastructure is necessary for expansion of the mining industry and agricultural production. The removal of mine fields will take huge resources. Both of these objectives will take a long time to achieve and have a high cost. Therefore, even with the creation of a stable and secure society it will take a long time before Angola can begin to tap its vast resources. An additional problem is that Angola is one of the most indebted countries in the world. Unless there is a substantial debt reduction the possibilities of rebuilding Angola's economy are slim, irrespective of cessation of hostilities.

DEPENDENCIES

Angola has no territories or colonies.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

"Angola History." Newafrica.com. <http://www.newafrica.com/history/country.asp?CountryID=5>. Accessed January 2001.

"Angola." Jubilee 2000: Profile: Angola. <http://www.jubileeplus.org/databank/profiles/angola.htm>. Accessed January 2001.

"Countries: Angola." The World Bank Group. <http://www.worldbank.org/afr/ao2.htm>. Accessed January 2001.

Economist Intelligence Unit. Country Profile: Angola. London: Economist Intelligence Unit, 2001.

Embassy of the Republic of Angola. "Business & Economics." Angola. <http://www.angola.org/business/index.htm>. Accessed January 2001.

Hodges, Tony. "Looking to Angola's Future: Rebuilding the Economy." Africa Insight. Vol. 23, No. 3, 1993.

James, W. Martin. A Political History of the Civil War in Angola, 1974-1990. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1992.

Moura Roque, Fatima. "Economic Transformation in Angola." South African Journal of Economics. Vol. 62, No. 2, June 1994.

Tvedten, Inge. Angola's Struggle for Peace and Reconciliation .Oxford, England: Westview Press, 1997.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook 2000. <http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html>. Accessed July 2001.

Eirin Mobekk

CAPITAL:

Luanda.

MONETARY UNIT:

The currency of Angola is the nova kwanza (Kzr). One Kzr equals 100 centimos. Notes are in denominations of Kzr5, 10, 50, and 100. Coins are in denominations of Kzr1, 2, 5, and 100, as well as 10, 20, and 50 centimos.

CHIEF EXPORTS:

Crude oil, diamonds, refined petroleum products, gas, coffee, sisal, fish and fish products, timber, cotton.

CHIEF IMPORTS:

Machinery and electrical equipment, vehicles and spare parts, medicines, food, textiles, military goods.

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT:

US$11.6 billion (purchasing power parity, 1999 est.).

BALANCE OF TRADE:

Exports: US$5 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.). Imports: US$3 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.).

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Angola

Angola

Basic Data
Official Country Name: Republic of Angola
Region: Africa
Population: 10,145,267
Language(s): Portuguese, Bantu, Kikongo, Kimbundo, Umbundo, Chokwe, Mbunda, Oxikuanyama
Literacy Rate: 56%
Academic Year: January-November
Compulsory Schooling: 8 years
Educational Enrollment: Primary: 989,443
  Secondary: 218,987
  Higher: 6,331
Teachers: Higher: 787



History & Background

Angola is located in southwestern Africa, bordered by the South Atlantic Coast to the west, Namibia to the south, Zambia to the east, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the north and northeast. The Cabinda Province is separated from the rest of Angola by the Democratic Republic of Congo. Angola boasts 1,600 km of coastline with four major ports and rich natural resources. It is potentially one of Africa's richest countries with impressive oil reserves and gem-quality diamond deposits.

Recorded history of the people of Angola dates back to 6000 B.C., with indications that the Khoi and San peoples populated the area as far back as 25,000 B.C. The Bantu arrived from the north from 800 A.D., but their main influx occurred during the fourteenth century, preceding the arrival of the first Portuguese in 1483. The Bantu established kingdoms and absorbed much of the Khoisan-speaking population, and by the fifteenth century, native Africans numbered close to four million in Angola. The major kingdoms were the Kongo, Loango, Mbundo, with smaller kingdoms such as the Lunda and Ovimbundu. The leader of the most important Kongo kingdom, mani-kongo or King Nzinga Nkuwu, converted to Christianity during early Portuguese contact, and his successor, King Afonso, was also a Christian. Early relationships were mutually beneficial for the Kongo king and the Portuguese, who were also ruled by a monarchy and had a similar social structure from nobility to slaves.


Colonial Rule: The Portuguese colonial period in Angola lasted almost five hundred years, but the Portuguese population itself was quite small for most of the period. In 1845 there were only two thousand Portuguese living in Angola, increasing to forty thousand by 1940. The last twenty years of colonial rule, from 1955-1975, saw the major influx of Portuguese who totaled 340,000 at independence in November 1975. Despite their relatively small numbers, the Portuguese had a tremendous effect on native Angolans and their education. For four hundred years, the Portuguese were heavily involved in the slave trade, and perhaps eight million Angolans were lost to slavery. Economically, the Portuguese developed Angola within separate colonial sectors far removed from most of Angolan society. Initially through slave trade and later through production and exportation of rubber, diamonds, coffee and then oil, the Portuguese developed an economy that used natural resources of the country but did little to include Angolans other than through forced labor even after slavery was abolished in 1878.

Socially the Portuguese also had a great impact on the native population. They reorganized villages and established transportation routes that facilitated exportation while at the same time dividing native groups. Colonial rule allowed and at times encouraged interracial marriage, but there was a distinct separation of population groups according to racial background. Mestiços of mixed European and African ancestry were allowed access to more education and other opportunities than indígenas Africans, but in the last fifty years of colonial rule, official policies were strictly racially divided and even mestiços were denied access to or greatly restricted from holding jobs in the public and private sectors. Despite official statements to the contrary, education of the native Africans from the beginning of colonization was discouraged.

Officially Portuguese colonization valued education within its civilizing mission, but little was accomplished, especially outside of urban centers. Natives who were educated were considered assimilados or assimilated into the Portuguese culture and values, and during the later years of colonial rule, the brightest were often sent to Portugal for secondary and/or higher education. Many of these, however, were exposed to "progressive" ideas in Europe and were prevented from returning to Africa for fear of political unrest. The most accurate census figures from 1950 estimated that there were fewer than thirty-one thousand assimilados in the entire Angolan population of four million.

Although Portuguese was the language of instruction from the first primary school established by the Jesuits in 1605, in 1921 the Portuguese forbade by decree the use of African languages in the schools. In 1940, the Portuguese ruler Salazar signed the Missionary Accord with the Vatican that made the Roman Catholic missions and their schools the official representatives of the state in Africa. Most students in the early mission schools came from traditional African ruling families, thus creating a small but important educated elite in the country. But until the 1960s, the Catholic missions had limited financial backing, and education declined in Angola. In addition, the Portuguese created the Department of Native Affairs, and they officially separated state-run education of the assimilados and the Portuguese from that of rural native Africans, run by Catholic missionaries and called ensino de adaptação (adaptation school). A great majority of Africans remained uneducated even after the 1960s when a new emphasis was placed on education by the colonial rulers. During the 1960s many new schools were established, but by some estimates, just slightly more than 2 percent of the Angolan school-age children were admitted. Other figures state that enrollment in primary school rose from 6.3 percent in 1960 to 32 percent in 1970, and secondary-school enrollment rose from 0.6 percent in 1960 to 4.3 percent in 1970, but these figures include both state- and missionary-run schools.

Those students who were in schools followed an educational system similar to that in Portugal with a preprimary year stressing language, and then four years of primary school of two two-year cycles. Secondary school consisted of a two-year cycle and a final three-year cycle. Most students who began schooling, however, did not complete even the primary school cycles. Adaptation schools run by the missionaries had especially high dropout rates, with 1967-1970 figures showing 95.6 percent of the students not continuing. One of the significant reasons for this was that the majority of teachers at all primary schools had very few qualifications. Secondary schools had many Portuguese teachers, but they, too, had limited success in part because they needed to spend the first years teaching material from the primary level.

As part of the Portuguese university system, the University of General Studies was established in Angola in 1962. English and medical studies took place in Luanda, educational studies were given in Sá da Bandeira, and agronomy and veterinary medicine were at Nova Lisboa. Within ten years, close to three thousand students attended the university, but only a very small percentage of these students were African.


Independence: The first national movement against colonial power took place in 1961; Portugal sent in thousands of army troops and tens of thousands of native Angolans were killed. Many nationalists fled to surrounding countries and in time organized into three main guerilla groups: the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). Although each group fought Portuguese colonial rule, they also fought each other and were already close to civil war by November 1975 when Portugal granted independence to the colony. The MPLA, backed by Cuba and the Soviet Union, gained control of Angola after independence. Civil war ensued and eventually the FNLA, supported by China and the United States, dissolved, leaving UNITA with support from South Africa as the primary opposition to the ruling MPLA. Cuba sent in troops in 1975 in response to South African troops crossing the border at Namibia, and over the next fifteen years hundreds of thousands of Angolans lost their lives to civil war. In 1986 the United States backed UNITA against the Marxist MPLA governing party, but in 1991 it was influential in negotiating an eventual peace agreement between UNITA and the MPLA, and Cuba withdrew its troops.

This brief period of peace was shattered in September 1992 when UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi refused to accept MPLA leader José Eduardo dos Santos as president of Angola following elections. Armed conflict resumed, and in May 1993 the United States officially recognized the dos Santos government, removing all support of UNITA. A new peace agreement was signed between dos Santos and Savimbi on November 20, 1994, but sporadic fighting continued until a new national unity government was installed in April 1997. However, in late 1998, UNITA refused to give up territory and resumed fighting against the government. Civil war continued into the new millennium. By March 2001, dos Santos' government had control over most of the country, but fighting continued and civilian lives continued to be lost, notably from the estimated seven million landmines scattered across the countryside.

Constitutional & Legal Foundations

Angola's 1975 Constitution, revised in 1976 and 1980, guarantees access to education for all. It prohibits discrimination based on color, race, ethnic identity, sex, place of birth, religion, level of education, and economic and social status. It also outlines social goals of combating illiteracy, developing education and a national culture, and respecting all religions while maintaining a clear separation of church and state. National defense requires mandatory military service of men and women over the age of eighteen, which has significant effects on enrollment in higher education.

By all accounts, literacy in Angola was only 10-15 percent at the time of independence. The government initiated a literacy drive in November 1976, giving priority to rural Africans who had been virtually ignored under colonial rule. The National Literacy Commission under the Minister of Education was created to administer the literacy campaign.

The civil war that ensued after independence destroyed much of the country's infrastructure, including the educational system. Most Portuguese instructors left the country, many buildings were destroyed or badly damaged, and instructional materials were scarce. The shortage of qualified teachers was especially pronounced: of the twenty-five thousand primary school teachers in Angola, only two thousand were considered even minimally qualified. At the secondary level, there were only six hundred teachers. To improve these conditions, the First Party Congress in 1977 resolved to institute an eight-year compulsory system of free, basic education for children between the ages of seven and fifteen. Other important educational goals in the early years of independence included, in order of importance, primary education, secondary education, and intermediate and university education.


Educational SystemOverview

Marxism-Leninism was declared the basis of Angola's new educational system by the ruling MPLA, but a respect for traditional African values was also retained. Four years of compulsory, free primary education began at age seven, and secondary education began at age eleven, lasting eight years. Missionary schools were nationalized and private or religious organizations were not allowed to conduct schools.

Considerable efforts were made by the government in the first five years of independence to improve the accessibility of education, especially for primary-school aged children. There were fewer than 500,000 students in Angola in 1974, but by 1980 at least 1.6 million children were studying. Enrollment of the relevant age group was up to 80 percent in 1980, but by 1984, it had fallen to 49 percent due to austerity measures and population increases. Government statistics from 1990 show 1,180,008 students enrolled at the primary level, but only 148,137 at the middle and secondary level, with no indication as to the percentage of relevant age group. President dos Santos stated that by January 2000 school equipment had been acquired to meet 42 percent of the country's needs, demonstrating that 1,040,000 children between the ages of six and fourteen were without a school. However, the Ministry of Justice estimates that only about 5 percent of children have had their births registered. Unregistered children do not legally exist and therefore cannot enroll in schools.

Since 1980, education funding has been low, and all areas of education are in dire need of facilities, materials, and teachers. In 1994, for example, 4.4 percent of public expenditure was allocated for education. Civil war has consumed most of the country's financial gains. Of the US$2 billion the government earned in oil and diamond revenues in 1996, US$1.5 billion was spent on arms and military equipment.

During the early 1990s, Angola began gradually moving to a free-market economy, pursuing a policy of liberalization and privatization in industrial economic sectors. The effects could be seen within the educational system as well. Sixteen years after independence, major changes were made in Angola's educational system with Law N.18 that institutionalized private teaching in 1991. In 2001, the Ministry of Education announced that it would require a "symbolic payment" for public education,changing the free education policy that had been in effect since independence.

Basic adult literacy continues to be extremely low, but there are conflicting figures from government and other sources. No reliable census has been taken since 1970 which makes it difficult to assess not only literacy but also other educational needs. Statistics available in 2001 from UNICEF estimate the total population of Angola to be 12.5 million and adult literacy to be 56 percent for males and 29 percent for women. It is unlikely that these figures include population in UNITA-claimed territory. During the mid-1980s, Savimbi established a state-within-a-state with its own educational system that closely resembled that of Portugal. UNITA territory was much smaller but still in existence in 2001.

Preprimary & Primary Education


Of the estimated 2.5 million Angolan children of preschool age, fewer than twenty thousand attend preschools or day care centers. Preschools were established in 1977 and the government considers them important to compensate for home environments not conducive to early learning. Primary education is made up of three levels; the first is theoretically compulsory and lasts four years. The second and third levels last two years each. There continues to be a severe shortage of schools for Angolan youth, and the government estimates that 60 percent of the school facilities have been destroyed or are in disrepair. Most primary school students can only receive three hours of instruction a day because the schools operate two or three shifts daily. Lack of qualified teachers continues to be an acute problem, as well as high dropout rates, low attendance rates, and promotion rates below 50 percent. Instructional materials, equipment, and even desks and chairs are limited in many areas. Most schooling is only available in provincial capitals because rural areas have been especially hard hit by intense fighting. But even in the nation's capital, Luanda, schools cannot keep up with demand. On February 7, 2001, the start of the new school year in Angola, 45,000 students were to enroll in Luandan schools. The city could only accept 5,000 of them. As many as 100,000 students (primary and secondary) study at private schools in Luanda, but the cost is crippling for most residents.


Secondary Education


For those students who complete the third level of primary education (eighth grade), two alternatives of secondary education are available. Students may follow a three-year course required to enter universities, or they may follow a four-year technical education course. Technical education includes either teacher training for primary teachers or specialized education in areas including business, health, agriculture, fisheries, and mechanics. Secondary education enrollment increased from 105,000 students in 1977 to 151,759 in 1984, but accurate figures for later years have not been available. In 1990, 3.3 percent of boys and 1.7 percent of girls in Luanda were enrolled in secondary education. The percentages in rural areas of the country were estimated to be 0.4 percent for boys and 0.2 percent for girls.


Higher Education


Universidade de Agostinho Neto was established in 1976 in Luanda with affiliated institutions in Huambo (formerly Nova Lisboa) and Lubango (formerly Sá da Bandeira). University enrollment has varied from three thousand to over seven thousand. There are departments of law, education, medicine, economics, science, and civil engineering in Luanda; economics, educational science and law in Lubango; and agronomy, medicine, economics and law in Huambo. Schools have been destroyed in Lubango and Huambo, and those in Luanda have been prone to closure for political reasons and teacher shortages. There is also a severe shortage of laboratory equipment in medical and science schools, affecting teaching and research.

In 1992, the Council of Ministers declared Decree 38-A, extending rights to the Catholic Church to administer a non-profit university. Angola was "open to fruitful co-operation initiatives that safeguard the full autonomy and identity of the State and the peoples" and therefore authorized The Episcopal Conference of Angola and São Tomé to create Universidade Católica de Angola. It further acknowledged the university as a corporate public service entity with statutory, scientific, pedagogic, patrimonial, administrative, financial, and disciplinary autonomy. The Catholic University of Angola opened on February 22, 1999 in Luanda with initial funding from Citizens Energy in the United States, Energy Africa, SAGA Petroleum, and Mobil. Initial enrollment was 320 students. The university offers five-year courses in law, economics, management, and computer science. A state-of-the-art computer and Internet center offers computer training for faculty and students with plans for distance learning.

Finally, there are plans underway for the Universidade Nova de Angola with funding from the Eduardo dos Santos Foundation. This new university will emphasize high-tech training and education and will complement coursework at the Universidade de Agostinho Neto. Correspondence courses and distance learning will make courses available to more students in the country. At its foundation is a network of Brazilian universities that will assist in planning, developing curriculum, and continuing student exchanges already in progress.


Administration, Finance, & Educational Research


The Ministry of Education has control over primary and secondary education. It shares responsibility for vocational education with numerous other ministries. The Adult Education Department of the Ministry of Education administers national literacy programs. Accurate financial budgets concerning education expenses are not available; however, from 1980-1994, education was allotted less than 5 percent of public expenditure of the annual budget. Many educational improvement projects, particularly those targeting primary school needs, have been financed through international humanitarian aid.

UNICEF's US$18,848,700 appeal for Angola for 2001 included US$2,464,000 allocated for education. The bulk of the appeal, over $US10 million, was for health and nutrition.

Nonformal Education

Nonformal education is greatly needed in Angola, and it is one area where substantial innovation is occurring. As in all other areas of education, nonformal education lacks financial backing and sufficient teachers, materials, and facilities, but it has continued because of humanitarian aid such as that given by UNICEF and national and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Among important efforts in rural areas have been education projects such as landmine awareness and vocational training for war-injured and landmine victims in tailoring, metalwork, carpentry, and business administration. Urban and rural education projects include literacy education as well as vocational training for targeted populations such as child soldiers (5,000 soldiers in 1997, half of which were demobilized in 1996), street children in Luanda (estimated at 5,000 in 1996), amputees (70,000 in 1996), and internally displaced persons (3.8 million estimated in 2001) who have fled their home areas due to fighting.

The Ministry of Education employs distance learning in two remote education projects to reach students in seven of Angola's eighteen provinces. The initial project in banking served 221 students. Plans have begun to launch a television education network that eventually could be used nationwide. The Adult Education Department initiated a new literacy program in 1999 that hopes to eradicate illiteracy in the country by 2007. Greater effort will be directed to the countryside and particularly to women who have had limited access to education. The literacy program also teaches adults in local vernaculars. Angola has six national languages: Kikongo, Kimbundo, Umbundo, Chokwe, Mbunda and Oxikuanyama. Although Portuguese is the official language and that of instruction, only 27 percent of adult men and 10 percent of women speak the language, greatly limiting their educational and occupational opportunities.


Teaching Profession

A shortage of qualified teachers has always limited the educational system in Angola, even during colonial days. When the Portuguese left in 1975, other teachers arrived, notably from the Soviet Union and Cuba, but language differences hampered their success. Most native Angolan teachers (75 percent) are only minimally qualified to teach at the primary level having completed only four to six years of school themselves.

Much has been attempted to improve teacher training since independence; however, the teaching profession is in such shambles that it is difficult to retain even poor teachers. Teaching conditions are very difficult, and especially outside of Luanda, it is not uncommon to see many students crammed into a small classroom without books, desks, or even chairs. The government reports an average of thirty-six students per teacher, but tremendous variation exists among provinces, and there are reports of as few as thirty to as many as one hundred primary school students per teacher and classroom in some areas. One of the most challenging aspects of the teaching profession is that teachers are often not paid for up to six months at a time. Not surprisingly, teacher absenteeism is high. Some teachers charge fees directly to families, but few can pay.

A few promising teacher-training programs have been developed by international humanitarian organizations with plans to expand across the country. Future Teachers in central Angola requires one and one-half years of training, a one-year internship, and a commitment to teach in a rural school. The teacher college has 30 networked computers with CD instructional material, especially important because printed material is difficult to obtain.


Summary


The government of Angola has outlined excellent priorities in its efforts to improve the country's extremely poor educational system. But unless armed combat comes to a complete halt, little can be done to improve conditions nationwide. At the very minimum, financial resources must be committed to rehabilitation and construction of schools, acquiring instructional materials and equipment, and in greatly increasing teacher training and pay. Without tremendously improving literacy, Angola can never develop much beyond the limits of a separate, educated, elite class. However, even more pressing concerns than education compete for government funding. In a nation where half of the population is under 15 years of age and where only one in four children makes it to his or her fifth birthday, basic health and safety of the nation's youth must be improved before education can be given the priority it deserves.

Bibliography

The Embassy of the Republic of Angola, Washington, D.C. O Pensador. Angolan Mission to the United Nations, March 2001. Available from http://www.angola.org/.

The International Rescue Committee. Recovering From Thirty Years of War: Refugee Women and Children in Angola. Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, December 1996. Available from http://www.intrescom.org.

Tvedten, Inge. Angola: Struggle for Peace and Reconstruction. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997.

United Nations. Relief Web. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 201. Available from http://reliefweb.int/.

United States Committee for Refugees. Country Report: Angola. Worldwide Refugee Information, 2000. Available from http://www.refugees.org/.

United States Library of Congress. Angola: A Country Study. Federal Research Division, February 1989. Available from http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/.


Michèle Moragné e Silva

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Angolans

Angolans

PRONUNCIATION: an-GOH-luhns

LOCATION: Angola

POPULATION: 11 million

LANGUAGE: Portuguese; Ovimbundu; Mbundu, Kongo; Chokwe; other Bantu languages

RELIGION: Christianity (Roman Catholicism and Protestantism); indigenous religious beliefs

1 INTRODUCTION

In 1482 the Portuguese established forts and missions along the west coast of the Republic of Angola. King Alphonso of the Kongo converted to Christianity and established friendly relations with Portugal. In 1575, the Portuguese sent convicted criminals to Angola, where they founded a settlement at Luanda, the present-day capital of Angola.

In 1483, slave trading began and continued for almost 400 years, even though there were many attempts to ban it. The Portuguese formally abolished slavery in 1875, but it was not until 1911 that the slave trade really ended.

In 1900 the Portuguese settlers began cacao and palm oil plantations. Diamond mining began in 1912. In 1951 the Portuguese made Angola an overseas territory and an integral part of Portugal. A year later, the first colonatos (planned settlements) were settled by Portuguese immigrants. The Portuguese had a policy known as assimilado. This policy permitted only culturally assimilated Angolans (those who had adopted European ways) to enjoy the privileges of Portuguese citizenship. As of 1960, only about 80,000 of 4.5 million people in Angola qualified as citizens.

Many in Angola were not happy with the Portuguese control of their country. These Angolans organized resistance movements. After years of struggle, Angola gained its independence from Portugal on November 11, 1975. With independence came conflict between different factions of society. There has been constant civil unrest in Angola since 1975, and hundreds have lost their lives in the conflict. In 1995, the United Nations sent peacekeepers to monitor an agreement among rival leaders to try to end twenty years of fighting.

The largest ethnic group is the Ovimbundu, comprising 37 percent of the population. The Mbundu are second at 22 percent. These two groups adapted well to European ways introduced by the Portuguese, and are successful traders. The third largest group is the Bakongo at 13 percent, followed by the Luimbe-Nganguela and the Nyaneka-Humbe at a little over 5 percent each. Scattered in the arid (hot and dry) southern third of Angola are seminomadic peoples (people who move often during part of the year, transporting their households with them). Until around 1900, these people hunted and gathered, but now they herd animals and grow food crops.

2 LOCATION

The population of Angola is estimated to be more than 11 million people; it is projected to reach over 20 million people by the year 2015.

Angola is bordered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Zambia to the east, and Namibia to the south. To the west lies the Atlantic Ocean. The total area is 481,354 square miles (1,246,700 square kilometers). The capital is Luanda.

The Bié Plateau lies in the center of the country. This plateau is the source of several major rivers, including the Cunene River, flowing to the south and west; the Kuanza River, flowing northwest to the Atlantic; the Kwango River, flowing northward; and the Zambezi River, flowing to the east.

The tallest mountains (serra) are found in the region of the Bié Plateau. In the southwest, in the mountain range known as Serra Xilengue, Mt. Moco rises to 8,594 feet (2,578 meters).

3 LANGUAGE

Portuguese is the official language, although 95 percent of Angolans speak Ovimbundu, Mbundu, Kongo, Chokwe, and other languages. Portuguese remains important because it is the language of government, national media, and international relations. Since Angola became independent in 1975, African languages have been taught in school.

4 FOLKLORE

The first president of Angola, Antonio Agostinho Neto, is a national hero. His birthday, September 17, is celebrated as National Hero's Day. He belonged to a group responsible for shaping Angola when it became independent from Portugal. His group's battle cry in the early 1950s was "Let us discover Angola." The group also coined the term angolidade (Angolinity), to describe national identity.

5 RELIGION

About 90 percent of Angolans are Christian, with Catholics representing 70 percent, and Protestants, 20 percent. Traditional religion is practiced by about 10 percent of Angolans.

6 MAJOR HOLIDAYS

Public holidays include Inicio de Luta Armada (Commencement of Armed Struggle Day) on February 4; Victory Day on March 27; Youth Day on April 14; Armed Forces Day on August 1; National Hero's Day (anniversary of the birth of Antonio Agostinho Neto, first Angolan president) on September 17; Independence Day on November 11; Pioneers' Day on December 1; and Foundation of the MPLA Workers' Party Day on December 10.

On Christmas and New Year's Day, friends assume godmother (madrinha) and godfather (padrinho) relationships. They take turns giving gifts to each other; one offers the other a gift on Christmas and the other returns the gesture on New Year's Day. In the capital, young people are likely to spend New Year's Eve with their families until midnight, just long enough to taste some champagne. Then they head for the discos with friends until early morning. Angolans celebrate carnival (Mardi Gras) on the Tuesday preceding the Christian holiday of Ash Wednesday, which begins the period of Lent leading up to Easter.

7 RITES OF PASSAGE

Many of the rites of passage are marked by Christian ceremonies. Birth, baptism, marriage, and funeral ceremonies are all celebrated by church rites. To celebrate a birth, people drink champagne and give gifts. To mark a death, friends and relatives join the family of the person who has died for a meal after the burial ceremony. A widow often wears black for a month, and stays inside for a week after the funeral.

8 RELATIONSHIPS

The most common greeting is the Portuguese Ola (OH-lah, Hello), followed by Como esta? (ko-mo ess-TAH) or Como vai? (ko-mo VA-ee), both of which translate to "How are you?" Depending on the time of the day, one might hear Bom dia (bone JEE-ah, Good morning), Boa tarde (bow-ah TAR-day, Good afternoon), or Boa noite (bow-ah NWAH-tay, Good night). Shaking hands is common. A kiss on each cheek is becoming an accepted greeting among friends in urban life, although older people prefer to shake hands. Pointing is considered rude.

Dating rules depend on the family. Young people usually choose their own spouses. Dating in the cities is common and usually involves going out to a movie, eating in a restaurant, or attending parties. When a couple becomes engaged to be married, a ring is offered by the young man. The two families then meet to discuss matters such as bride price. Bride price, which is paid to the father of the bride, may involve gifts of clothing, perfume, and jewelry. The custom of payment of bride price is more common in the rural areas, where traditional practices are more common in all aspects of life. In towns and cities, social customs have changed more rapidly to reflect Western ways.

9 LIVING CONDITIONS

Living conditions have worsened as a result of the civil war that has been going on since 1975. Health care and medical facilities have gotten worse, especially in those parts of the country where neither the government nor the rebels are in control.

The civil unrest has forced people to leave their homes to search for safe places to live. Millions of these refugees cannot find adequate food, water, and sanitary services. They are at risk of infectious and parasitic diseases and starvation. Land mines are buried all over Angola, and as many as 50,000 peopleincluding women and children have lost arms or legs in land-mine explosions. There are not enough doctors to care for the population. It is estimated that there is only one doctor per 10,000 people, a low ratio even for Africa. Private medical facilities exist, providing a higher standard of medical care. But the refugees who are in the greatest need of food, water, and medical care cannot afford to go to private hospitals or clinics.

Houses are typically made out of local materials, with mud or cinderblock walls and thatched or galvanized iron roofs. In Luanda, where space is limited, apartment living is becoming more common. Electricity in Luanda is fairly dependable. However, water is irregular in some zones, and families who can afford it install their own reserve water tanks.

10 FAMILY LIFE

In rural Angola, women till the fields, gather wood and water, and do domestic chores. Polygyny (when a husband has more than one wife) is practiced in both rural and urban areas, but men must have enough wealth to support more than one wife. Co-wives live separately from each other in their own houses. Abortion is legal only to save a woman's life.

In Angolan villages, women typically raise between six and twelve children. However, women's rights groups such as the Organization of Angolan Women are helping to establish literacy programs and health units.

In larger towns, women have fewer children and compete for male-dominated jobs. Women drive cars, study at universities, vote, occupy non-combat positions in the army, and serve as traffic policewomen. As of the late 1990s, five women ministers held government cabinet posts in such areas as oil, fisheries, and culture. Five women were Public Ministry magistrates, and there were three women judges. One woman headed a political party and was a candidate in the 1992 elections.

In traditional families, extended kin relationships are common. Ovimbundu children inherit from both their mother and their father. In most other ethnic groups boys inherit from their mother's brother. In the Mbundu ethnic group, a daughter joins her husband in his village, and a son joins his uncle's (mother's brother's) village.

11 CLOTHING

In the towns and cities, Western-style clothing is common, though some people still wear traditional clothing. The villages remain more traditional, where women wear panos, African wraparound batik garments. Dressing up for parties and special occasions in the cities almost certainly means wearing Western-style outfits. Angolan youth prefer casual jeans and T-shirts, except for special occasions. There are a few groups, such as the Mukubao in the southern Angolan province of Kuando Kubango, who do not wear any clothing.

12 FOOD

Whenever possible, Angolans eat three meals a day. A breakfast consists of bread, eggs, and tea or coffee. Sometimes mothers may prepare a special breakfast treat of sweet rice (arroz doce).

The staple foods include cassava (a plant with an edible root), corn, millet (a small-seeded grain), sorghum (a grassy plant that yields a grain used alone or to make syrup), beans, sweet potatoes, rice, wheat, and bananas. Typical midday meals consist of a ball of manioc dough (cassava flour mixed with boiling water), with fish, chicken, or meat. People in the north and in the capital enjoy pounded cassava leaves (kisaka). Specialty dishes include mwamba de galinha, a palm-nut paste sauce in which chicken, spices, and peanut butter are cooked, creating a delightful aroma. A recipe adapted for Western cooks follows. Angolans make use of their abundant fresh and saltwater fish. One dish, calulu, combines fresh and dried fish. A favorite dish among Angolans is cabidela, chicken's blood eaten with rice and cassava dough.

13 EDUCATION

When Angola was a colony of Portugal, all schools were operated by the Catholic Church. High schools were for a small number of students from elite (wealthy and powerful) families. Only a few of those who attended high school actually completed their studies and graduated. Education at the primary level was of low quality, and only about 10 percent of the population could read and write when Angola won independence from Portugal in 1975.

Since then, the civil war has made improving the education system difficult, but the government has worked to improve the literacy rate. By the late 1990s, 42 percent of Angolans could read and write, but males still have far greater educational opportunity. Overall, 56 percent of males are literate, compared with only 28 percent of females. About three times as many men as women continue their studies beyond the tenth grade. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) was providing funding in the late 1990s to support education for poor and rural children. It is difficult for Angolan schools to operate in a society that is constantly at war, and where there are not enough funds or teachers to meet the students' needs. Private schooling exists but is costly.

The Agostinho Neto University, the public university in Luanda, has three campuses but has been devastated by poor economic conditions resulting from the war. Many students decide to go to college outside Angola. Many go to Cuba or Russia. Some even travel to study in the United States.

14 CULTURAL HERITAGE

Percussion, wind, and string instruments are found throughout Angola. Maracas (saxi) are made by drilling a few small holes in dried gourds and placing dried seeds or glass beads inside. The box lute (chilhumba) is played during long journeys by nomads in southern Angola. Musical performances often include dancing. Members of the Luimbe-Ngangela ethnic group in eastern Angola wear masks when they dance.

Recipe

Mwamba de Galinha
(Chicken Mwamba)

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter (natural style works best); in Angola, palm hash, made from palm oil, would be used
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 to 10 chicken breasts (may use skinless and boneless if preferred; other chicken parts, such as drumsticks, wings, and thighs, may also be substituted)

Directions

  1. Prepare marinade. Combine all ingredients except chicken in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Place chicken in a single layer in a casserole dish. Pour marinade over chicken, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
  3. Remove chicken from marinade. Pour off the marinade and save it. Pat the chicken dry.
  4. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, and brown on all sides. Return the browned pieces to the casserole.
  5. Pour the marinade from step 3 over the chicken, cover with a lid or foil, and bake at 350°f for 30 to 40 minutes.

Serve with rice.

Traditional music has strongly influenced popular music. Young people prefer to dance, holding each other close, to kizumba, a style of upbeat rhythmic music. The discos play imports such as the samba from Brazil, and popular music from the United States and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Storytelling is an important foundation of Angolan literature. It is generally agreed that written literature began in 1850 with a book of verse by José de Silva Maia Ferreira. Since 1945 the liberation struggle has developed strong links between literature and political activism. Many MPLA (Worker's Party) leaders and members, including Agostinho Neto, took part in this movement. From 1975 until the early 1990s, Angolan writers had to be affiliated with some kind of governmental organization in order to be published.

Angola's cultural heritage also is tied to the Portuguese language. Angola shares its past as a Portuguese colony with four other African countriesMozambique, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tomé and Principe, and Cape Verde.

15 EMPLOYMENT

Angola is recovering from a severe reduction in its work force, which began in 1975 with the abrupt departure of more than 90 percent of the white settlers. Many of the 300,000 departing Portuguese took their skills with them, and deliberately destroyed factories, plantations, roads, and transportation systems. The prolonged civil war chased away skilled Angolans and foreign money. Angolans currently are undertaking a national recovery program to rebuild and diversify their economy and to retrain their people.

16 SPORTS

Soccer is the most popular participant and spectator sport, played by both girls and boys. The "Citadel" in Luanda is one of Africa's largest stadiums.

In the 1990s, basketball gained popularity in Angola after the Angolan men's national basketball team won three consecutive All-African championships. Backboards and baskets are now seen on street corners in most villages, towns, and cities. Handball, volleyball, and track and field round out the most popular sports.

Chess is a popular pursuit in Angola. The country has nearly a dozen international chess masters. Children enjoy a traditional game, ware, which is a mancala game. Mancala games, played in many variations throughout Africa, involve two players who move stones around a playing surface. The surface may be a board with carved indentations or a patch of ground with indentations dug out of the soil.

Ware

Equipment

  • Playing board with two rows of six small pits or indentations. (An empty styrofoam egg carton works well.)
  • 48 seeds, small shells, or pebbles
  • Players face each other with the board between them.

Directions

  1. Distribute 48 seeds, small shells, or pebbles by placing them randomly into each receptable on the playing board.
  2. Players decide who will take the first turn. The first player picks up all the seeds from one receptacle on his side of the board and distributes them ("sows"), one at a time, in a counterclockwise direction, into the receptacles. If the last seed falls into an empty receptacle, his turn is over. If the last seed falls into a receptacle occupied by one or three seeds, he captures those seeds. If the last seed falls into a receptacle that contains an even number of seeds, he must continue playing by lifting out all the pebbles and sowing them.
  3. He continues in this way until he "captures" an odd number of seeds or sows a seed into an empty receptacle.
  4. The other player now repeats this procedure. For their second turns, the players must begin by emptying the receptacle immediately to the right of the one used for the previous turn. If there are only two seeds left on the board, the first player to have them both on his side of the board may claim them.
  5. When all the seeds have been captured and none remains on the board, the player who has won the most seeds subtracts his opponent's winnings from his own.
  6. The winner records the difference between his/her winnings and his/her opponent's, and another round is played.
  7. The game continues until one player reaches a total of sixty.

17 RECREATION

The advent of the satellite dish has made television an increasingly popular form of entertainment in Luanda and other urban centers. The dishes are status symbols and allow Angolans to increase their options from the one government-run station to an array of channels from all over the world. Angolans connect with the world's popular culture by watching Brazilian shows (in Portuguese), MTV, and American movies with Portuguese subtitles. Residents in apartment buildings lower their costs by sharing the same satellite dish. While movie theatres remain popular, video rental stores are growing in popularity in Luanda, and videos are part of an urban trend toward home entertainment.

18 CRAFTS AND HOBBIES

Luanda's three museums, including the Museum of Anthropology, contain a fine collection of African art and handicrafts. Noncommercial masks and sculptures vary according to ethnic group. They symbolize rites of passage or changes in seasons, and play important roles in cultural rituals. Artisans work with wood, bronze, ivory, malachite, and ceramics.

In the 1980s, the Ministry of Culture stifled art by controlling all art production and marketing. Recent deregulation (the removal of government restrictions) has made handicraft production a blossoming cottage industry (small business often operated from the home). Stylized masks, statuettes, and trinkets ("airport art") now flood the popular Futungo tourist market on the outskirts of Luanda. This art may not reflect the deep cultural beliefs of the people, but it provides work and a source of income for people with artistic skills. Shoppers at the Futungo market are treated to musicians playing traditional instruments such as marimbas (xylophones), xingufos (big antelope horns), and drums, giving the feeling of a village festival.

19 SOCIAL PROBLEMS

An underdeveloped economy resulting from thirty years of civil war is the cause of much social upheaval. The refugee squatter settlements on Luanda's outskirts have created new urban problems and changed family structure. Despite the significant income from the sale of oil products to foreign countries, political instability has slowed economic growth in Angola. Jobs that pay adequate salaries require a diploma from a foreign university and are hard to find without special connections. Low salaries discourage Angolans with technical skills from staying in their country.

Drug addiction is not widespread, though cigarette smoking is. No age limit exists on the purchase or consumption of alcohol, but social mores (customs or values) discourage alcohol abuse. Burglary and petty thievery, however, are common. Minor crimes are often punishable on the streets. For example, thieves in the public market are immediately identified by a shout of ladron! (thief!) and are then chased and punished on the spot if caught.

20 BIBLIOGRAPHY

Africa on File. New York: Facts on File, 1995.

Africa South of the Sahara. London, Eng.: Europa Publishers, 1997.

Broadhead, Susan H. Historical Dictionary of Angola. Metuchen, N.J., and London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1992.

Sommerville, Keith. Angola: Politics, Economics, and Society. Marxist Regimes Series. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner, 1986.

WEBSITES

Internet Africa Ltd. Angola. [Online] Available http://www.africanet.com/africanet/country/angola/, 1998.

Republic of Angola. [Online] Available http://www.angola.org, 1998.

World Travel Guide. [Online] Available http://www.wtgonline.com/country/ao/gen.html, 1998.

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Angola

Angola (ăng-gō´lə), officially Republic of Angola (2005 est. pop. 11,191,000), including the exclave of Cabinda, 481,351 sq mi (1,246,700 sq km), SW Africa. Angola is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, by Congo (Kinshasa) on the north and northeast, by Zambia on the east, and by Namibia on the south. Luanda is the capital, largest city, and chief port.

Land and People

The Bié Plateau, which forms the central region of the territory, has an average altitude of 6,000 ft (1,830 m). Rising abruptly from the coastal lowland, the plateau slopes gently eastward toward the Congo and Zambezi basins and forms one of Africa's major watersheds. The uneven topography of the plateau has resulted in the formation of numerous rapids and waterfalls, which are used for the production of hydroelectric power. The territory's principal rivers are the Cuanza and the Cunene. Rainfall in the south and along the coast north to Luanda is generally low. In northern Angola it is usually dry and cool from May to October and wet and hot from November to April. The characteristic landscape is savanna woodlands and grasslands. The northeast, however, has densely forested valleys that yield hardwoods, and palm trees are cultivated along a narrow coastal strip.

In addition to Luanda, other important cities are Huambo, Lobito, Benguela, and Namibe. The overwhelming majority of Angola's population is of African descent, and most of the people speak Bantu and other African languages. The official language, however, is Portuguese, though French is the predominate European language in Cabinda. The Ovimbundu, Kimbundu, and Bakongo are the largest ethnic groups. After Angola secured its independence from Portugal, many Europeans left the country. Traditional indigenous religions prevail, but there is a large Roman Catholic minority and a smaller Protestant minority.

Economy

Angola's rich agricultural sector was formerly the mainstay of the economy and currently provides employment for the majority of the people. Food must be imported in large quantities, however, because of the disruption caused by the country's protracted civil war. All areas of production suffered during the fighting that began in 1975. Coffee and sugarcane are the most important cash crops. Sisal, corn, cotton, manioc, tobacco, and bananas are raised, and fishing is also important. Livestock, notably cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs, is raised in much of the savanna region.

Angola has substantial mineral resources and hydroelectric power. Most large-scale industries are nationalized. Oil, chiefly from reserves offshore, is the most lucrative product, providing about 50% of the country's GDP and 90% of its exports. Oil revenues have not done much to improve the economy at large or the everyday lives of Angolans, especially in the interior, because huge sums have been spent on the armed forces and lost due to government corruption; unaccounted losses to government funds were estimated at $32 billion in 2011. Diamond mining is also a principal industry; for many years in the late 20th cent. revenue from the mines supported UNITA rebels (see under Postcolonial History). Natural gas is produced, and Angola has deposits of iron ore, phosphates, copper, feldspar, gold, bauxite, and uranium. Industries include metals processing, meat and fish processing, brewing, and the manufacture of cement, tobacco products, and textiles.

The Benguela railroad, which carries metals from the mines of Congo (Kinshasa) and the Zambian Copperbelt, was an important source of revenue, but much of the line fell into disrepair during the civil war. Angola's road network and communications system have also been affected by civil strife. In 2005, the government began using a line of credit from China to help rebuild the country's infrastructure; rail lines began resuming service in 2010. Luanda and Lobito are Angola's main shipping ports. The country's main trading partners are the United States, China, South Korea, Portugal, and France. Angola is a member of the Southern African Development Community.

Government

Angola is governed under the constitution of 2010. The executive branch is headed by the president; the leader of the party or coalition that receives the most votes in the National Assembly elections is elected to the office. The president, who serves as both head of state and head of government, may serve two five-year terms. The unicameral National Assembly has 220 members who are elected by proportional vote on a national (130) or provincial (90) basis for four-year terms. Adminstratively, the country is divided into 18 provinces.

History

History until Independence

The first inhabitants of the area that is now Angola are thought to have been members of the hunter-gatherer Khoisan group. Bantu-speaking peoples from West Africa arrived in the region in the 13th cent., partially displacing the Khoisan and establishing a number of powerful kingdoms. The Portuguese first explored coastal Angola in the late 15th cent., and except for a short occupation (1641–48) by the Dutch, it was under Portugal's control until they left the country late in the 20th cent.

Although they failed to discover the gold and other precious metals they were seeking, the Portuguese found in Angola an excellent source of slaves for their colony in Brazil. Portuguese colonization of Angola began in 1575, when a permanent base was established at Luanda. By this time the Mbundu kingdom had established itself in central Angola. After several attempts at subjugation, Portuguese troops finally broke the back of the kingdom in 1902, when the Bié Plateau was captured. Construction of the Benguela railroad followed, and white settlers arrived in the Angolan highlands.

The modern development of Angola began only after World War II. In 1951 the colony was designated an overseas province, and Portugal initiated plans to develop industries and hydroelectric power. Although the Portuguese professed the aim of a multiracial society of equals in Angola, most Africans still suffered repression. Inspired by nationalist movements elsewhere, the native Angolans rose in revolt in 1961. When the uprising was quelled by the Portuguese army, many fled to Congo (Kinshasa) and other neighboring countries.

In 1962 a group of refugees in the Congo, led by Holden Roberto, organized the Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA). It maintained supply and training bases in the Congo, waged guerrilla warfare in Angola, and, while developing contacts with both Western and Communist nations, obtained its chief support from the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Angola's liberation movement comprised two other guerrilla groups as well. The Marxist-influenced Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA), founded in 1956, had its headquarters in Zambia and was most active among educated Angolan Africans and mestiços living abroad. The MPLA led the struggle for Angolan independence. The third rival group was the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA), which was established in 1966 under the leadership of Jonas Savimbi. As a result of the guerrilla warfare, Portugal was forced to keep more than 50,000 troops in Angola by the early 1970s.

In 1972 the heads of the FNLA and MPLA assumed joint leadership of a newly formed Supreme Council for the Liberation of Angola, but their military forces did not merge. That same year the Portuguese national assembly changed Angola's status from an overseas province to an "autonomous state" with authority over internal affairs; Portugal was to retain responsibility for defense and foreign relations. Elections were held for a legislative assembly in 1973.

In Apr., 1974, the Portuguese government was overthrown in a military uprising. In May of that year the new government proclaimed a truce with the guerrillas in an effort to promote peace talks. Later in the year Portugal seemed intent on granting Angola independence; however, the situation was complicated by the large number of Portuguese and other Europeans (estimated at 500,000) resident there, by continued conflict among the African liberation movements, and by the desire of some Cabindans for their oil-rich region to become independent as a separate.

Postcolonial History

Portugal granted Angola independence in 1975 and the MPLA assumed control of the government in Luanda; Agostinho Neto became president. The FNLA and UNITA, however, proclaimed a coaliton government in Nova Lisboa (now Huambo), but by early 1976 the MPLA had gained control of the whole country. Most of the European population fled the political and economic upheaval that followed independence, taking their investments and technical expertise with them. When Neto died in 1979, José Eduardo dos Santos succeeded him as president. In the 1970s and 80s the MPLA government received large amounts of aid from Cuba and the Soviet Union, while the United States supported first the FNLA and then UNITA. In Cabinda, independence forces that had fought against the Portuguese now fought against the Angolan government. Although the FNLA faded in importance, UNITA obtained the support of South Africa, which was mounting its own campaigns against the Southwest Africa People's Organization (SWAPO), a Namibian liberation group based in Angola.

In the late 1980s the United States provided military aid to UNITA and demanded the withdrawal of Cuban troops and an end to Soviet assistance. As a result of negotiations among Angola, South Africa, Cuba, and the United States, the withdrawal of Cuban troops began in 1989. Also in the late 1980s, Marxist Angola implemented programs of privatization under President dos Santos. A cease-fire between the ruling MPLA and UNITA was reached in 1991, and the government agreed to make Angola a multiparty state. However, when dos Santos won UN-supervised elections held in Sept., 1992, UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi charged fraud and refused to accept the results. In Nov., 1992, bitter fighting broke out between rebel UNITA troops and government forces, destroying many cities and much of the country's infrastructure. Despite initial victories that gave UNITA control of some two thirds of Angola, the MPLA eventually gained the upper hand in the renewed warfare.

In Nov., 1994, with UNITA on the verge of defeat, dos Santos and Savimbi signed the Lusaka protocol, a new agreement on ending the conflict. The two sides committed to the integration of several thousand UNITA troops into the government armed forces as well as the demobilization of thousands more from both sides. UN peacekeeping troops began arriving in June, 1995, to supervise the process. Troop integration, however, was suspended in 1996, and UNITA's demobilization efforts lagged. A new government of national unity was formed in 1997, including several UNITA deputies; Savimbi had declined a vice presidency in 1996.

With renewed fighting in 1998, Angola's ruling MPLA put the country's coalition government on hold, saying that UNITA had failed to meet its peace-treaty obligations. It suspended all UNITA representatives from parliament and declared that it would no longer deal with Savimbi, instead recognizing a splinter group, UNITA Renovada. In 1999 the United Nations voted to pull out all remaining troops stationed in the country, while continuing humanitarian relief work with over a million refugees.

UNITA was able to finance its activities, including an estimated 30,000 troops stationed in neighboring Zambia and Congo (Kinshasa), with some $500 million a year in diamond revenues from mines it controlled in the country's northeast. Fighting continued, with Angola's army inflicting several defeats on UNITA beginning in late 1999, weakening UNITA's still sizable forces. International restrictions (2001) on sales of diamonds not certfied as coming from legitimate sources also hurt UNITA, and the death of Savimbi in battle in 2002 was a severe blow to the rebels, who subsequently signed a cease-fire agreement and demobilized. UNITA subsequently reconstituted itself as a political party. Also in 2002 Angolan government forces gained the upper hand against Cabindan separatists; a peace agreement for the province was signed in 2006. As many as one million people died in the Angolan civil war, and the country's infrastructure was slow to recover from the effects of the fighting.

Parliamentary elections scheduled for 2007 were postponed late in 2006 until mid-2008, and the presidential election was then set for 2009. In Mar., 2007, there was an apparent attack on the leader of UNITA, Isaias Samakuva; UNITA accused the government of trying to assassinate him. When the parliamentary elections were finally held in Sept., 2008, they were marred by procedural irregulaties and difficulties but were otherwise generally transparent, and the MPLA won a landslide victory, with more than 80% of the vote.

In 2009 the presidential election (scheduled for Sept., 2009) was again postponed; a new constitution approved by the National Assembly in Jan., 2010, abolished direct election for the president. In the legislative elections of Aug., 2012, the MPLA won 72% of the vote, which thus resulted in the election of dos Santos as president. UNITA and other opposition parties unsuccessfully challenged the result in the courts.

Bibliography

See B. Davidson, In the Eye of the Storm (1972); G. J. Bender, Angola Under the Portuguese (1978); P. M. Martin, Historical Dictionary of Angola (1980); K. Akpau et al., Alvor and Beyond: Political Trends and Legal Issues in Angola (1988); J. C. Miller, Angola: A Way of Death (1988).

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Angola

Angola

Official name : Republic of Angola

Area: 1,246,700 square kilometers (481,226 square miles)

Highest point on mainland: Mount Moco (Morro de Moco) (2,620 meters/8,596 feet)

Lowest point on land: Sea level

Hemispheres: Southern and Eastern

Time zone: 1 p.m. = noon GMT

Longest distances: 1,758 kilometers (1,092 miles) from southeast to northwest; 1,491 kilometers (926 miles) from northeast to southwest; the Cabinda Province extends 166 kilometers (103 miles) north-northeast to south-southwest and 62 kilometers (39 miles) east-southeast to west-northwest

Land boundaries: Total land boundaries 5,198 kilometers (4,812 miles); Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2,511 kilometers (1,557 miles), of which 220 kilometers (85 miles) is the boundary of the discontiguous Cabinda Province; Republic of the Congo, 201 kilometers (77.5 miles); Namibia, 1,376 kilometers (531 miles); and Zambia, 1,110 kilometers (428.5 miles)

Coastline: 1,600 kilometers (992 miles)

Territorial sea limits: 22 kilometers (12 nautical miles)

1 LOCATION AND SIZE

Angola is located on the west coast of the African continent, south of the equator. Angola is south and southeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DROC), northwest of Zambia, north of Namibia, and east of the Atlantic Ocean. Cabinda Province is separated from the rest of Angola by the DROC and is completely surrounded by that country and the Republic of the Congo. With a total land area of 1,246,700 square kilometers (481,226 square miles), including the exclave (area separate from the main part of a country) of Cabinda, Angola is slightly less than twice the size of Texas. Angola is divided into eighteen provinces.

2 TERRITORIES AND DEPENDENCIES

Angola has no territories or dependencies.

3 CLIMATE

Angola's temperatures and climates vary from region to region. The north has a wet, tropical (supports plant growth year round) climate; the east has a moderate tropical climate; and the southern central strip near the border with Namibia has hot, dry desert conditions. There are two seasons in Angola: a dry, cool winter and a hot, rainy summer. The average temperature is about 20°C (68°F); however, temperatures are warmer along the coast and cooler on the central plateau. The annual average rainfall is 5 centimeters (2 inches) near the southern coast (Namibe); 34 centimeters (13 inches) at the northern coast (Luanda); and as high as 150 centimeters (59 inches) in the northeast. Regions of Angola do suffer from occasional drought.

4 TOPOGRAPHIC REGIONS

Most of Angola is covered with broad table-lands (broad areas that are higher in elevation than their surroundings) that are greater than 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) high. Angola also has high plateaus in the central and southern regions as high as 2,400 meters (7,920 feet). There are many rivers in Angola, but only a few of them are navigable (suitable for boating). The Cabinda region, which lies between DROC and Republic of the Congo just north of the Angolan mainland, is also a part of Angola. The wet regions of the north and northwest, including Cabinda, are covered with thick forests, while the drier areas in the center of the country support sparse savanna-like grassy vegetation. Land abuse, such as desertification (land losing its ability to support plant life), forest loss, and water impurity are significant environmental problems.

5 OCEANS AND SEAS

Seacoast and Undersea Features

Angola's western coast borders on the Atlantic Ocean. The waters off the coast support a fishing industry that contributes to export income.

Coastal Features

The Atlantic coastland is an arid (almost no annual rainfall) strip that is well irrigated by the western-flowing rivers. The coastal lowlands vary in width from approximately 25 kilometers (15 miles) to more than 150 kilometers (93 miles).

6 INLAND LAKES

There are no major lakes within Angola.

7 RIVERS AND WATERFALLS

Most rivers originate in central Angola. Several rivers flow toward the Atlantic coast and provide both hydroelectric power and irrigation for the normally dry coastal strip. Only two rivers are navigable by any but the very smallest boats.

The Cuanza (Kuanza or Kwanza) River, located in the central portion of the country, is the longest river at 966 kilometers (600 miles), but only 200 kilometers (126 miles) of its length is navigable. The Cuanza drains into the Atlantic Ocean. The Cuango (Kwango) River, located in the northern region, is a fairly navigable waterway that drains into the Congo River system. The Cuando (Kwando) and Cubango Rivers both drain southeast to the Okavango (Cubango) Swamp.

The southernmost rivers in Angola, which flow to the Atlantic, are seasonal and thus are completely dry during much of the year.

8 DESERTS

The southern desert-steppe is sandy and dry and has sparse vegetation, except along the major rivers. Inconsistent precipitation keeps the far south somewhat dry. The area is marked by sand dunes, which give way to dry scrub (low shrubby plants) in the central portions.

9 FLAT AND ROLLING TERRAIN

The coastal grasslands are well irrigated because of the drainage of the rivers from the higher central plateaus. Elephant grass and scrubby forest cover the surface of the sandy floodplains. Meadows and pastures constitute about 23 percent of the total land area.

The Mayombé Hills in northeast Cabinda were once covered by rain forest. As of 2002, much of the rain forest trees had been cut down.

10 MOUNTAINS AND VOLCANOES

The highest peak in Angola is Mount Moco (Morro de Moco) with an elevation of 2,620 meters (8,596 feet). It is located just northwest of Huambo.

Other major peaks rising from the coastal lowlands are Mount Mejo (Morro de Mejo) at 2,583 meters (8,474 feet) in the Benguela region and Mount Vavéle (Morro de Vavéle) at 2,479 meters (8,133 feet) in Kuanza Sul. Running through the center of the country (and into Zambia) is the Lunda Divide, a set of low ridges marking the divisions between west-and east-flowing rivers.

11 CANYONS AND CAVES

There are no significant caves or canyons in Angola.

12 PLATEAUS AND MONOLITHS

The Bié Plateau, also known as the Great Central Plateau, covers most of Angola. Precipitation at the highest points in the central plateau permits the growth of deciduous forest (trees that lose their leaves), although much of the forest has been cut down for timber and fuel. The climate and soils of these central plateaus support a variety of vegetation. Most of the eastern half of Angola is a relatively flat and open plateau characterized by sandy soils.

13 MAN-MADE FEATURES

The country has six dams, but as of 2002, only three were functioning. The Cambembe Dam on the Cuanza River provides power to Luanda.

14 FURTHER READING

Books

Black, Richard. Angola. Santa Barbara, CA: Clio Press, 1992.

Broadhead, Susan H. Historical Dictionary of Angola. 2nd ed. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1992.

Cushman, Mary Floyd. Missionary Doctor, The Story of Twenty Years in Africa. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1944.

Laurè, J. Angola. Chicago: Children's Press, 1990.

U.S. Department of State. Angola, 1996 Post Report. Washington, DC: The Department of State, 1996.

Web Sites

Welcome to the Republic of Angola. http://www.angola.org/ (accessed June 17, 2003).

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Angola

Angola

Basic Data

Official Country Name: Republic of Angola
Region (Map name): Africa
Population: 10,145,267
Language(s): Portuguese, Bantu, Kikongo, Kimbundo, Umbundo, Chokwe, Mbunda, Oxikuanyama
Literacy rate: 56%

Angola was the location of the world's perhaps most prolonged and severe civil war in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Upon independence from Portugal in November 1975, the country was plunged into civil war with the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) fighting a rebel movement, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), for control of the country. Democratic elections were held in 1991, but UNITA disputed the result. Despite a peace accord in 1994, civil war raged until the death of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi in February 2002, when prospects for peace seemed the best since Angolan independence. In the first 16 years of the civil war it was estimated that 300,000 people had been killed out of a total population of 12 million.

Angola possesses significant petroleum resources, in some years supplying 5 percent of the U.S. international supply, and is the location of significant diamond deposits, although the national economy remains one of the worst performers in the world and the living standards of the Angolan people is one of the lowest. Throughout the civil war both sides distrusted the media and neither side was prepared for media coverage of their activities, a situation that made journalism in Angola one of the most hazardous occupations in the world. The ascendancy of the MPLA as the governing party has not made the situation for journalists any more secure; the government feels even freer to stifle independent opinion and restrain any free press.

The press, television and radio were nationalized in 1976 and thus the government dominates the media. The government controls the only news agency (ANGOP), the only daily paper (Jornal de Angola, with a circulation estimated at 40,000 but a readership of probably more than 100,000), the national television network (Televisao Popular de Angola) and the national radio station (Radio National de Angola). The national radio broadcasts in Portuguese, English, French and Spanish as well as nine local indigenous African languages. There is an independent press, namely Folha 8, a Luanda-based weekly, andActual and Agora two other independent weeklies. WT Mundovideo is a local television broadcaster in Luanda, and Radio Morena and Radio Lac Luanda are independent radio stations in Benguela and Luanda, respectively. Luanda-Antena is an independent commercial radio station. Radio Ecclesia is a Roman Catholic FM station generally agreed to be the most vociferous critic of the government and it has been the target of much state-sponsored criticism and pressure to modify coverage. It has suspended daily broadcasts on occasion as a protest against government pressure and hate campaigns. Both government and private sector advertising is discouraged in independent newspapers, and hence, financial viability of the independent media is always in question.

The constitution of the Republic of Angola specifically codifies freedom of expression and of the press, but often this is not respected. During the civil war a number of journalists were killed or imprisoned and this has continued into the twenty-first century. Journalists from the government news agency and from Folha 8, and Agora, as well as BBC, Voice of America and Portuguese television correspondents have been singled out for attack, threats and harassment. One figure stands out in this regard, Rafael Marques, a local freelance journalist and human rights activist, who repeatedly has been detained and interrogated for articles he has written and jailed for defamation of the president. As a result, the combination of government censorship and fear of government reprisals has meant most journalists practice self-censorship. A new draft media law was introduced in 2000 but was withdrawn later that year after much criticism.

There is a Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an Angolan media Women's Association and a Union of Angola Journalists (UAJ), the latter formed primarily of government-employed journalists and with little credibility outside Angola. However, UAJ is leading the way in providing education and training for journalists and in providing the first school of journalism in the country's advanced education system. Foreign news agencies cover Angola from Johannesburg (Reuters and AP), while the BBC and Portuguese media have a greater presence in Angola owing to their former colonial role in the region. While their entry into the country is not restricted, some restrictions have been placed on their movement inside the countryostensibly for their safetyand on rebroadcast of transmissions.

Angola faces an uncertain future. In practice the civil war ended with the death of Jonas Savimbi, but media freedom has not followed. A 25-year legacy of distrust and disrespect is not easily removed. At the same time, Angola remains one of the world's poorest nations with poorly developed infrastructure, including Internet communications, and a desperately poor people. The prospect of greater wealth arising from petroleum and diamonds is present, but much will have to change in the form of removal of corruption, economic mismanagement and political power arising from resource control. These are explosive issues the media must confront in order to fulfill a role in national developmentand it can expect much opposition.

Bibliography

"Angola." BBC News Country Profile. Available fromhttp://news.bbc.uk.

"Crackdown on Angola's Independent Media Condemned." Human Rights Watch, 2000. Available from http://wwwhrw.org/press/2000.

"Media Outlets in Angola." Available from http://www.Angola.org.

"Media Situation deteriorates in Angola" Digital Freedom Network. Available from http://www.dfn.org/focus/angola/media-deterioration.htm.

U.S Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2001. Available from http://www.state.gov.

Richard W. Benfield

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Angola

Angola

area:

1,246,700sq km (481,351sq mi)

population:

12,781,000

capital (population):

Luanda (2,080,000)

government:

Multiparty republic

ethnic groups:

Ovimbundu 37%, Mbundu 22%, Kongo 13%, Luimbe-Nganguela 5%, Nyaneka-Humbe 5%, Chokwe, Luvale, Luchazi

languages:

Portuguese (official)

religions:

Christianity (Roman Catholic 69%, Protestant 20%), traditional beliefs 10%

currency:

Kwanza = 100 lwe

Republic in sw Africa. Angola is more than twice the size of France. Most of the country, besides a narrow coastal plain in the w, is part of a huge plateau which makes up the interior of s Africa. In the ne, several rivers flow n into the River Congo. In the s some rivers, including the Cubango (or Okavango) and the Cuanda, flow se into the interior of Africa.

Climate

Angola has a tropical climate with temperatures of more than 20°C (68°F) throughout the year, though the higher areas are cooler. Rainfall is minimal along the coast s of Luanda, but increases to the n and e. The rainy season is between November and April.

Vegetation

Grassland covers much of Angola. The coastal plain has little vegetation and the s coast is a desert region that merges into the bleak Namib Desert. Some rainforest grows in n Angola towards Congo.

History and Politics

Bantu-speaking people from the n settled in Angola c.2000 years ago. In the later part of the 15th century, Portuguese navigators, seeking a route to Asia round Africa, explored the coast and, in the early 1600s, the Portuguese set up supply bases. Angola became important as a source of slaves for the Portuguese colony of Brazil. After the decline of the slave trade, Portuguese settlers began to develop the land, and the Portuguese population increased dramatically in the early 20th century. In the 1950s, nationalists began to demand independence. In 1956 the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) was founded, drawing support from the Mbundu tribe and mestizos (people of African and European descent). The MPLA led a revolt in Luanda in 1961, but it was put down by Portuguese troops. Other opposition movements developed among different ethnic groups. In the n, the Kongo set up the FNLA (Front for the Liberation of Angola), and in 1966 southern peoples, including many of the Ovimbundu, formed the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). Portugal granted independence in 1975, but a power struggle developed among rival nationalist forces. The MPLA formed a government, but UNITA troops (supported by South Africa) launched a civil war. After 16 years of war, a treaty was signed (1991) and multiparty elections were held in 1992.

The MPLA, which renounced its Marxist ideology, won a resounding victory, but civil strife resumed as UNITA refused to accept the result. In 1994, the Lusaka Protocol provided for the formation of a government of national unity, composed of both UNITA and MPLA leaders. In April 1997, the new government took office. Dos Santos remained president, but UNITA leader, Jonas Savimbi, rejected the vice presidency. UNITA retained control of c.50% of Angola. Fighting continued between government and UNITA forces. In September 1997, the UN imposed sanctions on UNITA for failing to comply with the 1994 agreement. In 1999 civil war resumed, and UN peacekeeping forces withdrew. In 2002, government forces killed Savimbi and UNITA agreed to a ceasefire.

Economy

Angola is a poor developing country (2000 GDP per capita US$1000). More than 70% of the workforce is engaged in subsistence agriculture. The main food crops are cassava and maize, and coffee is exported. Angola has large oil reserves near Luanda and in the Cabinda enclave (separated by a strip of land belonging to Congo). Oil is the leading export. Angola is a major diamond producer, and the unregulated trade in diamonds fuels the civil war. It also has reserves of copper, manganese, and phosphates. Angola has a growing manufacturing sector, much of it based on hydroelectric power.

Political map

Physical map

Websites

http://www.angola.org

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Angola

Angola

Culture Name

Angolan

Orientation

Identification. The word "Angola" derives from the title used by the rulers of the Ndongo state. The title ngola was first mentioned in Portuguese writings in the sixteenth century. A Portuguese colony founded on the coast in 1575 also came to be known as Angola. At the end of the nineteenth century, the name was given to a much larger territory that was envisaged to come under Portuguese influence. These plans materialized slowly; not until the beginning of the twentieth century did Portuguese colonialism reach the borders of present-day Angola. In 1975, this area became an independent country under the name República Popular de Angola (People's Republic of Angola). Later the "Popular" was dropped.

Angola may not classify as either a country or a culture. Since 1961, war has destroyed cultural institutions, forced people to flee, and divided the territory between the belligerent. Thus one cannot speak of a single national culture. It is difficult to obtain reliable information because the war precludes research in many areas.

Location and Geography. Angola is a country of 482,625 square miles (approximately 1.25 million square kilometers) in western Africa, south of the Equator. There are great variations in climate and geography, including rain forests in the north, drier coastal lands, the fertile central highlands, sandy soils in the east, and desert zones in the Kunene (Cuene) and Kuando Kubango provinces. Apart from large rivers such as the Zaire, Kwanza (Cuanza), Kunene, Kubango (Cubango), Zambezi, and Kuando, there are many smaller rivers, some of which are not perennial. The climate is characterized by a rainy season and a dry season whose timing and intensity differ in the various regions. Angola borders Namibia to the south, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Zambia to the east, and the Republic of Congo to the north. The oil-rich enclave of Cabinda lies north of the Zaire river.

Demography. Because of the ongoing war, it is difficult to obtain reliable population figures. Also, the numbers fluctuate as people attempt to flee when the fighting is intense and return when the fighting has calmed down. It is estimated that in May 2000, 350,700 Angolans lived outside the country and another 2.5 million to 4 million were displaced within the national borders. About a million residents have died because of the war. Nonetheless the population has increased considerably. In 1973 there were 5.6 million residents; by 1992 that number had risen to 12.7 million. Despite a high annual growth rate, in the beginning of 2000 the population was estimated at 12.6 million. Since a census has not been held since 1970, the figures are difficult to evaluate. Angola has a young population, over 45 percent of which is below fifteen years of age. The population density varies greatly by region. Over the years, the urban population has grown strongly and more than half the people now live in towns. The capital, Luanda, has drawn in many immigrantsa quarter of all residents now live there.

Linguistic Affiliation. The official language is Portuguese. Many Angolans are bilingual, speaking Portuguese and one or several African languages. In nearly all cases this is a Bantu language; those speaking a Khoisan language number less than 6,000. Six of the Bantu languages were selected as national languages: Chokwe, Kikongo, Kimbundo, Mbunda, Oxikuanyama, and Umbundu. Many people are able to understand one or more of the national languages, but some forty languages are spoken.

Symbolism. The political culture is highly militarized, and in both the National Union for the Total Liberation of Angola (UNITA) and the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) many symbols stem from the military tradition. Parades, uniforms, and flags are prominent during many political meetings. The national flag is red and black with a yellow machete, a star, and a cogwheel segment. UNITA is symbolized by a crowing cockerel.

History and Ethnic Relations

Emergence of the Nation. Present-day Angola is a construct designed by European politicians at the Conference of Berlin in 1885. Before that time, the area was inhabited by people with different political traditions, ranging from decentralized mobile groups to autocratic kingdoms. The Kongo, Ndongo, and Ovimbundu kingdoms had early contact with the Portuguese, who in the sixteenth century created colonies on the coast. Wars fought against the immigrant Portuguese, such as that waged by Queen Njinga of the Ndongo kingdom, often have been interpreted in a nationalistic framework. For centuries the communities in this area were affected by the Atlantic slave trade. Portuguese, mestiço, (person of mixed descent) and African merchants and middle men sold millions of slaves who were transported to the Americas on Dutch and Portuguese vessels. Although the slave trade was stopped in the 1880s, internal slavery continued into the twentieth century. After the Conference of Berlin, Portuguese colonialism took on a very different character. Through a slow and halting process that met with much local resistance, the Portuguese attempted to expand their control over the interior of the country and enforce a colonial system with taxation and forced labor. After the installation of autocratic rule in Portugal, repression in the colonies became even worse than in the past. The legacy of the colonial divide-and-rule tactics is still felt.

The war for liberation started in 1961 with rebellions in Luanda and the northern region. The anticolonial war ended after Portuguese soldiers, tired of war in the colonial territories, staged a coup in Portugal in 1974. On 11 November 1975, Angola became an independent country. Before that date, fighting had broken out between the three major nationalist parties: the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), MPLA, and UNITA. After independence, UNITA received support from South African troops and was later backed by the United States, while the MPLA came to depend largely on Russian and Cuban aid. This division runs through the country's recent history. With Angola's involvement in the war in the Congo and with that war spilling into Namibia and Zambia, the war has taken on international dimensions.

National Identity. There is no single national identity. The country is divided along many lines: Ethnic, religious, regional, racial, and other factors interact in the conflict. However, the notion of being Angolan is strong. The Portuguese language sets Angola apart from its neighboring countries and has created long-standing ties not only with Portugal but also with Brazil, Mozambique, and other Portuguese-speaking countries.

Ethnic Relations. The civil war is often explained in ethnic terms, with the FNLA considered a Kongo party, the MPLA predominantly Mbundu, and UNITA dependent on Ovimbundu support. The stress on ethnicity is growing in intensity, and ethnic differences have become more important. However, many other factors play a role, and ethnicity is only one aspect of identity for Angolan people. Differences between rural and urban populations, regions, religions, and races are some of the criteria on which people classify themselves or are classified by others. The importance of clan as a factor in the construction of identity is disappearing rapidly. Although the small Khoisan-speaking minority is not discriminated against by law, its position is extremely difficult and these people are marginalized in many respects. The closely interlinked political, military and economic elites may be seen as a distinct cultural group. The elites have a number of common characteristics but remain strongly divided and have profoundly different histories. Thus during the colonial era a northern Baptist network came into existence that consisted mainly of Kongo traders with strong ties to French-speaking Zaire. Methodists and Catholics from the central region formed the core of the MPLA and include a relatively high number of mestiços and whites, who now make up 2 percent of the population. In the southern elite, Congregationalists from the central plateau are important. This southern elite became prominent in the UNITA leadership.

Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space

Angola is relatively urbanized because in the 1980s many people sought refuge in the safer urban areas. The musseques, informal settlements around Luanda that are home to nearly a quarter of the population stand in sharp contrast to the modern city center. For people in the countryside, living conditions are very different, although rectangular houses with corrugated iron roofs and zinc are replacing the traditional round wattle-and-daub (straw and mud) houses. Some urban areas are overcrowded, while other regions are almost uninhabited. As it is often dangerous to travel by road or railway, transportation and mobility are a problem. In the 1980s cheap airfares even led to regional trading networks based on transport by air.

Food and Economy

Food in Daily Life. Over half of the population is unemployed, and it is estimated that 70 percent of the people live below the poverty line. Hunger is a threat in many areas. As the usual economic activities are impossible in many regions, local food habits are hardly distinguishable. Coastal people include much seafood in their diet, herders in the southwest rely mostly on dairy products and meat, and farmers eat maize, sorghum, cassava and other agricultural crops. Especially in urban areas but also in the drier rural areas, gathering water and firewood is often time-consuming. Salt is a highly prized product in many areas.

Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Many traditional ceremonies and celebrations have disappeared or are held infrequently. If circumstances allow, at a party or ceremony, grilled chicken, soft drinks, and bottled beer are served and consumed in liberal amounts. As these items are costly, most people can only afford local beverages such as maize beer and palm wine.

Basic Economy. The farming sector has been neglected by the government. The war has made agriculture impossible in many areas, and transport is often a dangerous undertaking. Although 70 percent of the people engage in agriculture to sustain themselves, over 50 percent of the food supply has to be imported. Farmers plant gardens in which subsistence crops are grown.

Land Tenure and Property. Access to land is difficult. There is not a land shortage, but not all arable land is under cultivation. This problem is caused by the fact that war prevents farmers from going to their fields and often forces people to flee before the harvest. In times of relative calm, land mines render traveling to and working on the land dangerous. Both the MPLA and UNITA have restricted the freedom of movement of the population and imposed rules to curb mobility in specific areas or during certain parts of the day.

Commercial Activities. Small retail trade is very important in people's survival strategies. Women are especially important in selling food and firewood, and men predominate in trade in arms, diamonds, and spare parts. Most of the people who work in the transport and building sectors are men. Local commercial activities are largely situated in the extensive candonga system, the name for the second economy. The new kwanza, the national currency, is subject to high inflation rates. As the war often makes transport impossible, crafts and repair have become increasingly important again.

Major Industries. Angola is a potentially rich country. Petroleum in the Cabinda enclave; diamonds in Lunda; and iron, phosphates, copper, gold, bauxite, and uranium in the other provinces are some of the natural resources. In comparison with other sub-Saharan countries, Angola is industrialized to a considerable degree and has a relatively high income per capita. Oil (90 percent of exports) is especially important. Most of these resources are used to finance the military, however, as Angola has a war economy. Only those who have a stake in the war benefit from this system; for most people it means hunger. UNTA (National Union of Angolan Workers), for a long time the only effective labor organization, has been important in the redirection of the economy but rarely manages to represent workers' interests adequately and is strongly connected with the government party. A rival labor organization was established in 1996.

Trade. Seventy percent of exports go to the United States, mainly crude oil, diamonds, and other natural resources. Some commercial agricultural products, such as sisal, coffee, and cotton, are sold. The fishing industry also is important. Imports come from Portugal, Brazil, the United States and the European countries and consist mainly of war equipment (50 percent) and food (20 percent). The international drug trade is growing in volume, and UNITA depends largely on the illegal diamond and arms trade.

Division of Labor. Most residents take every opportunity to make ends meet, and many historical divisions of labor have been overturned. Thus, women may clear strips of land to prepare the soil for agriculture, while men may collect and sell firewood. Generally, women are important in farming and the local food trade, while cattle herders and wage laborers are usually men.

Social Stratification

Classes and Castes. The country is divided along many lines. Before twentieth-century colonialism, the rich trading families formed a local elite that looked down on the gentio ("pagans" or "crowd"). During the colonial era, an extremely hierarchical society was created in which Portuguese rulers gave some advantages to African assimilados (assimilated people) over the great majority of indigenas (indigenous people). Although the number of assimilados was never high, they were sharply divided, mainly on regional and religious lines. These divisions are reflected in the founding of political parties and are used for propaganda purposes. Thus, UNITA has tried to denounce the MPLA as 'foreign' because of the continuing importance of whites and mestiços in the party. The UNITA leadership is often regarded as populist and opportunistic, and the northern FNLA leadership as capitalist and conservative. However, the various elites have a number of common characteristics, such as regarding wealth and expenditure as the most important indicator of class.

Symbols of Social Stratification. The display of wealth is the most important way to show a superior position in society. This display may take the form of individual material possessions such as cars, yachts, and clothing. It also is manifested in the activities people undertake: Flashy rich youths go to Luanda's expensive discos and nightclubs. Material wealth also may be expressed by acting as a patron, for example, by holding lavish parties for large groups of people and distributing gifts.

Political Life

Government. Angola is a presidential republic. Until the 1990s, the MPLA monopolized the central state, and, despite the existence of government institutions, presidential powers were extensive. The MPLA leader, Agostinho Neto, was president until his death in September 1979, after which Eduardo dos Santos took over. Since independence, the power center has been rivaled by Jonas Savimbi, the leader of UNITA. The formal government changed in 1992 from a socialist, one-party system to a multiparty, free market system. Many parties have been founded since then, apart from the MPLA and UNITA, but only the revived FNLA continues to have an impact. In April 1997, UNITA joined the government, but it was suspended in August 1998 for failing to observe the peace agreements signed in Lusaka. The parties began fighting again, and the government won considerable terrain from UNITA. UNITA has become internationally isolated, and the whereabouts of Savimbi is unclear, although UNITA continues to buy weapons through the illegal diamond trade. A number of UNITA defectors, including some in leadership functions, have formed a group called UNITA-renovada and are calling for adherence to the Lusaka protocols. The government announced elections for late 2001, but there is no guarantee that they will be held, or will be free and fair.

Leadership and Political Officials. Both in UNITA-held and government areas, political rallies are an important aspect of the political culture. These meetings usually include songs, dances, speeches, and parades. Often they show conflicting tendencies: Although they are used by politicians to bolster their position, many people criticize their leaders during these gatherings. For people from Luanda and the surrounding area, the yearly carnival in Luanda has become a political arena. For a long time, the MPLA government regarded the continuing importance of traditional leaders in local political life with suspicion, while in UNITA the role of chiefs in political life was more widely accepted. Many nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and aid organizations rely on traditional leaders for information and channel aid through them.

Social Problems and Control. Administrative and political life is corrupt, and the bureaucracy often borders on the absurd. "Disappearance" has been the fate of many people suspected of political opposition. The armies have been accused of misbehavior, extrajudicial executions, forced enlistment, and child soldiering. The government has acted against freedom of expression and an independent press, while the Ninjas, a special police force, spread terror among the population. In UNITA areas, reports have confirmed extreme human rights abuses, such as torture, kangaroo courts, and unlawful executions. Civilians regard politics with extreme suspicion, and the continuation of the war is widely regarded as resulting from greed for power among the political leaders. It is remarkable how many people find the courage and creativity to continue living in a context of extreme violence and poverty. Nonetheless, some people do not manage: alcoholism and theft are increasing. Witchcraft is perceived by a great number of people as a problem that is not adequately addressed by politicians, the police, and the judiciary.

Military Activity. Political life is centered on the military. After independence, UNITA held the southeast and continued to hold a sway over the central highlands and Lunda Norte. Despite the ongoing war, there have been intervals of negotiation and peace. Between May 1991 and October 1992 a cease-fire was respected by both parties. After UNITA refused to accept the results of the elections held in September 1992, intense fighting broke out again. It is estimated that in the town Huambo alone, 300,000 people died during this phase of the war. In 1994 the Lusaka Protocol was signed by both parties, and in April 1997 a government of national unity and reconciliation was installed that included representatives of UNITA and MPLA. However fighting began again in 1998. Control over the diamond areas in Lunda Norte became an important war aim. The forces of the MPLA have pushed UNITA out of its former capital, Jamba, in the southeast, but fighting along the Zambian and Namibian borders has remained intense. The same situation exists in the Central Highlands, where UNITA is conducting a guerrilla war. In Cabinda, various factions of the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) have fought for secession for a long time.

Social Welfare and Change Programs

There have been attempts to implement long-term social welfare programs. In 2000, the UNDP (UN Development Program) initiated projects focusing on poverty eradication and good governance. Renewed accords with the International Monetary Fund aimed at decreasing the large national debt and reducing the inflation rate. Most of these programs focus on emergency relief. Apart from a host of NGOs, international aid organizations such as the World Food Programme, World Health Organization, UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees), UNICEF and other UN-related donors are active. With the exacerbating fighting, many people cannot be reached by these organizations, and occasionally the organizations have pulled out all their personnel as the security situation has become problematic. The rural population is hard to reach.

Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations

A wide range of NGOs have been active. Apart from large international emergency relief organizations, such as the Red Cross, Doctors without Borders, and CARE, a host of smaller NGOs have organized campaigns around varying issues, with varying degrees of success.

Gender Roles and Statuses

Division of Labor by Gender. The war is primarily a male affair, and few women go off to fight. Many young men have died in the war. As a consequence, a growing number of households are headed by women, and polygamy has not decreased as it has in most other African countries. The fact that the majority of the urban population is male, while women make up the larger part of the rural population, has strengthened these trends. As women are important in agriculture and the regional food trade, they run a higher risk of being hit by land mines than do civilian men. Some 80 percent of land mine victims are women and children. Rape and violence against women continue to rank as important social problems.

The Relative Status of Women and Men. Despite the MPLA's advocacy of gender equality, there are clear discrepancies between the status of women and men. The literacy rate for men is 56 percent, while only 28 percent of women were literate in 1998. Few women are in top positions in political, economic, and military affairs. Often women are paid less than men for the same jobs. The largest women's organization, the Angolan Women's Association (OMA), is strongly tied to the MPLA party. Many smaller women's organizations have been formed, often along professional lines.

Marriage, Family, and Kinship

Marriage. Marriage and cohabitation take many forms. Some couples are wed in church or by the state, others have their wedding blessed by their parents, and others do not formalize their cohabitation with a ceremony. In most cultures a couple find a home of their own or live with their husband's parents. In some areas there is a high divorce rate that not only is due to the war but also conforms to older patterns of marriage and separation. Many spouses live apart for considerable periods of time; often the economic situation is so desperate that they have to look for means of subsistence on their own. Women often are widowed and as there are more women than men of marriageable age, there is a relatively high number of polygamous households. The age gap between spouses is growing, especially in rural areas.

Domestic Unit. Many households have been disrupted by the war; a considerable number of people have seen relatives die, and communities have been destroyed by the ongoing fighting. People may have relatives in different fighting camps and often live very far from each other, and many Angolans are looking for lost relatives. Especially in rural areas, the extended family remains important: An income may be shared with one or more unemployed relatives; immigrants look for housing, land, and basic assistance from their relatives; and several generations and nuclear families may form a single household. In towns, the importance of the extended family is diminishing.

Inheritance. In most Angolan societies, inheritance is patrilineal, with children inheriting from the father. In quite a few communities among the Umbundu, Ngangela, and Ambo, property traditionally was passed to the children of the deceased's wife's brother. This matrilineal system has decreased in importance under the influence of colonialism and the war.

Kin Groups. Kinship terminology in many communities is difficult to translate. The children of uncles and aunts may be addressed with the same term used for brothers and sisters. However, there is a sharp distinction between senior and junior "brothers" and "sisters" and uncles and aunts may be differentiated in the maternal and paternal lines. In some cultures a village consists of matrilineal kin and their dependents. As many communities have been torn apart by the war, these structures have often disappeared.

Socialization

Infant Care. Young children are most likely to be taken care of by the mother and may be strapped into a cloth on her back while she engages in household chores, agricultural work, or selling at the local market. Other relatives may be equally important in a child's upbringing. Thus, children may stay with their grandparents for considerable periods of time and, especially when they are older, spend a great deal of time with the father or mother's brother's family.

Child Rearing and Education. Many children are unable to attend school because of the war, but there has been growth in the literacy rate. In 1970, 12 percent of the population was literate, while the literacy rate currently is approaching 50 percent. The majority of these people are young, reflecting government efforts to develop free educational facilities for all children. There is a lack of educational materials, qualified teachers, and school buildings. In some cultures children are initiated. Sometimes these puberty rites concern only boys, but in groups such as the Nyanyeka, girls are also initiated. In most communities, the rites have shortened considerably or disappeared. Poverty and the war have caused the number of street children and orphans to grow.

Higher Education. There are two universities. The older university, named after the country's first president, is in Luanda, with branches in Huambo and Lubango. As a result of the war, the Huambo branch has been closed down repeatedly, and the university is poorly equipped, badly housed, and overcrowded. A Catholic university opened in 1999 in Luanda.

Etiquette

In general, dress codes are not strict. In some areas, women are supposed to wear long-hemmed skirts, but this rule is not strictly applied. In many communities, people do not look each other in the eye while speaking. Younger people are expected to address elders politely. The ability to speak well is a highly admired trait, in both men and women. In some communities, men do not eat with women and children.

Religion

Religious Beliefs. Especially in the coastal regions, Christianity dates back a long time. A Christian church was established in the Kongo region by the end of the fifteenth century. It is unclear how many residents are Christian; the Roman Catholic Church figures range from 38 percent to 68 percent. Another 15 to 20 percent belong to Protestant denominations, such as Methodist, Baptist, and African churches. For many people there is no contradiction between Christian faith and aspects of African religions. Thus, religious specialists such as diviners and healers hold an important position in society. The government, with its socialist outlook, has been in frequent conflict with religious leaders. Because the Roman Catholic Church has great influence and was associated with Portuguese colonialism, relations with that faith have been especially tense. Since the move toward a more liberal political system, relations with the established churches have eased considerably, although troubling incidents continue to occur. An unknown number of residents do not profess any religion.

Religious Practitioners. Traditional healers and diviners have been disregarded by the socialist government. Although the role of these religious practitioners in the community often increased during the war, the MPLA refused to recognize their function, and at times they were hindered in the execution of their profession. In UNITA areas, the function of healers and diviners has been acknowledged to a far greater extent. There are widespread accusations, however, that UNITA has used healers and diviners to intimidate civilians under their control.

Rituals and Holy Places. Because of the war, many religious practices have been discontinued and cultural institutions are no longer in use. Amid the chaos of the war, many formerly meaningful places and activities have lost their function. Under the influence of the churches, a number of traditional African religious practices have disappeared. In the war context, people attempt to find new ways to address the critical situation. Thus, malign spirits are exorcised in newly established independent churches, children wear amulets to prevent being forced into the army during round-ups, and soldiers strictly follow all the rules given them to make a magic potion against bullets.

Death and the Afterlife. In many Angolan societies, a funeral is an extremely important event; mourning rituals often are regarded as essential for the peace of the deceased's soul. Because of the war, there is often no opportunity to carry out the appropriate rituals for the dead. Although people have sought alternative forms of mourning, war victims sometimes are left unburied. Apart from the personal trauma this may involve, many people fear that restless spirits will further disrupt social life.

Medicine and Health Care

Despite government efforts to extend basic health care services, most people do not have access to medical assistance. Many hospitals face an extreme lack of personnel and do not have the most basic equipment. Only a tiny minority of the population can afford good medical care. For the majority of people, life expectancy is below fifty years. Poverty-related diseases such as cholera, tuberculosis, and measles are a problem in overcrowded urban areas and refugee camps. Many deaths are a direct consequence of malnutrition and undernourishment. The number of people with AIDS is increasing; malaria is common in some areas, especially during the rainy season. One in three children dies before reaching his or her fifth birthday. Angola is one of the few countries where maternal mortality is increasing. A number of health problems are a direct consequence of the war. Over 10 million land mines have resulted in the highest number of amputees in the world, mental illnesses are often related to war trauma, and many children and elderly people have been left without support. With basic health care in disarray, many people seek help from traditional healers. These medical-religious specialists often deal with psychological problems, and many have extensive knowledge of herbal remedies.

Secular Celebrations

On 11 November 1975 Angola became an independent country. This day is celebrated every year. Apart from Christian holidays, a wide range of occasions are commemorated, such as the founding of the MPLA, the beginning of the armed struggle, and the anniversary of Neto.

The Arts and Humanities

Literature. Angola has an outstanding literary tradition. An important genre has been political poetry, of which the former president Agostinho Neto was a significant representative. The arts, relatively free from censorship, have been an important way to express criticism of the political system. Oral literature is important in many communities, including mermaids in Luandan lore, Ovimbundu trickster tales, and sand graphs and their explication in the east.

The press has been largely controlled by the MPLA and UNITA. Journalists who express alternative views have been curbed in the exercise of their profession: Murder, censorship, and accusations of defamation have been used to suppress an independent press. Radio constitutes an important source of information, but has been dominated by belligerent parties for a long time; although, a Catholic radio station, Rádio Ecclésia, has been established.

Graphic Arts. Crafts such as wood carving and pottery are sold in neighboring countries. Luanda has a number of museums, including the Museum of Anthropology.

Performance Arts. Angolan music, with its ties to Brazil, has received international attention. The most popular spectator sports are soccer and basketball.

The State of the Physical and Social Sciences

Academics face many problems, and the state university is short on staff and teaching materials. As a result of the war, Angola is severely underrepresented in research: Many themes cannot be addressed, many sources have been destroyed, and many areas cannot be reached by researchers. There are well-stocked libraries in Luanda as well as a national archive.

Bibliography

Birmingham, David. Frontline Nationalism in Angola and Mozambique, 1992.

Bridgland, Fred. Jonas Savimbi: A Key to Africa, 1987.

Davidson, Basil. In the Eye of the Storm: Angola's People, 1972.

Hare, Paul. Angola's Last Best Chance for Peace: An Insider's Account of the Peace Process, 1998.

Hart, Keith, and Joanna Lewis, eds. Why Angola Matters, 1995.

Heywood, Linda. Contested Power in Angola, 1840s to the Present, 2000.

Kapuscinski, Ryszard. Another Day of Life, 1988.

Maier, Karl. Angola: Promises and Lies, 1996.

Marcum, John A. The Angolan Revolution, Vols. I and II, 1969, 1978.

Miller, Joseph C. Way of Death: Merchant Capitalism and the Angolan Slave Trade, 17301830, 1988.

Neto, Agostinho. Sacred Hope, 1974.

Pepetela. Yaka, 1996.

Wheeler, Douglas L., and René Pélissier. Angola, 1971.

Wolfers, Michael, and Jane Bergerol. Angola in the Frontline, 1983.

Web Sites

Angola Reference Centre. http://www.angola.org/referenc/index.htm

Inge Brinkman

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Angola

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Angola

Angola

ANGOLANS 39

The people of Angola are called Angolans. More than 95 percent of the population of Angola speaks one of the many Bantu languages. The largest Bantu-speaking groups are the Ovimbundu (37 percent), the Mbundu (22 percent), and the Bakongo (13 percent). To learn more about Bakongo, see the chapter on the Republic of Congo in Volume 2. The mestizo (mixed-heritage) population is about 200,000, and there are about 10,000 whites, mostly of Portuguese descent.

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Angola

Angola

PROFILE
GEOGRAPHY
PEOPLE
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
ECONOMY
DEFENSE
FOREIGN RELATIONS
U.S.-ANGOLAN RELATIONS
TRAVEL

Compiled from the January 2008 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name

Republic of Angola (Republica de Angola)

PROFILE

Geography

Area: 1,246,700 sq. km. (481,400 sq. mi), about twice the size of Texas.

Cities: Capital—Luanda (est. pop. 5.0 million); Huambo (750,000); Benguela (600,000).

Terrain: A narrow, dry coastal strip extending from the far north (Luanda) to Namibia in the south; well-watered agricultural highlands; savanna in the far east and south; and rain forest in the north and the enclave of Cabinda.

Climate: Tropical and tropical highland.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Angolan(s).

Population: (2005 est.) 15,500,000.

Annual population growth rate: (2004) 2.8%.

Ethnic groups: Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, mixed racial 2%, European 1%.

Religions: 2001 official est.) Roman Catholic 68%, various Protestant 20%; indigenous beliefs 12%.

Languages: Portuguese (official), Ovimbundu, Kimbundu, Bakongo, and others.

Education: Years compulsory—8. Enrollment (combined gross enrollment for primary, secondary, and tertiary schools, 2004 est.)—26%. Literacy (total population over 15 that can read and write, 2004 est.)— 67.4% (female 54.2%, male 82.9%).

Health: Life expectancy (2004 est.)— total population 40.7 years. Infant mortality rate (2004 est.)—154/1,000.

Work force: (2003 est. 5.6 million) Agriculture—85%; industry and commerce—15%; services—6%.

Government

Type: Republic.

Independence: November 11, 1975.

Government branches: Executive—elected president (chief of state), appointed prime minister, and 31 appointed civilian ministers and 55 vice ministers. Legislative—elected National Assembly (223 seats). Judicial—Supreme Court (also functions as Constitutional Court).

Political subdivisions: Province, municipality, commune.

Political parties: 111 with legal status; in 1992, 12 won seats in the National Assembly. Ruling party—Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). Opposition—National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), Social Renewal Party (PRS), National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), Party for Democratic Progress—Angola National Alliance (PDP-ANA), Democratic Renewal Party (PRD), Party of the Alliance of Youth, Workers, and Peasants (PAJOCA), Liberal Democratic Party (PLD), Democratic Alliance (AD), Angolan Democratic Forum (FDA), Social Democratic Party (PSD), Front for Democracy (FPD), and the Angolan National Democratic Party (PNDA). Suffrage: Universal age 18 and over.

Economy

GDP: (2006 est. using purchasing power parity) $53.9 billion.

Annual real GDP growth rate: (2006 est.) 15.3%.

Per capita GDP: (2006 est. using purchasing power parity) $3,399.

Avg. inflation rate: (2006) 12.3%.

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

Agriculture: Products—bananas, sugarcane, coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, manioc, tobacco, vegetables, plantains; livestock; forest products; fisheries products.

Industry: Types—petroleum drilling and refining, mining, cement, basic metal products, fish processing, food processing, brewing, tobacco products, sugar refining, textiles.

Trade: Exports (2007 projected)— petroleum $35.6 billion. 2006 exports consisted of petroleum and derivatives (94%), diamonds (3.5%), other (2.2%), coffee, sisal, timber, cotton, fish, scrap metal. Major markets (2004)—U.S. (37.70%), China (35.6%), France (6.4%), South Korea (2.95%). Imports (2006)—$10.7 billion: machinery, electrical equipment, vehicles and spare parts, medicines, food, textiles. Major sources (2006)—Portugal (17.1%), U.S. (9.8%), South Africa (8.0%), China (8.5%), Brazil (8.6%).

GEOGRAPHY

Angola is located on the South Atlantic Coast of West Africa between Namibia and the Republic of the Congo. It also is bordered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north and east and Zambia to the east. The country is divided into an arid coastal strip stretching from Namibia to Luanda; a wet, interior highland; a dry savanna in the interior south and southeast; and rain forest in the north and in Cabinda. The upper reaches of the Zambezi River pass through Angola, and several tributaries of the Congo River have their sources in Angola. The coastal strip is tempered by the cool Benguela current, resulting in a climate similar to coastal Baja California. There is a short rainy season lasting from February to April. Summers are hot and dry, while winters are mild. The interior highlands have a mild climate with a rainy season from November through April followed by a cool dry season from May to October when overnight temperatures can fall to freezing. Elevations generally range from 3,000 to 6,000 feet. The far north and Cabinda enjoy rain throughout much of the year.

PEOPLE

Estimates of Angola's population vary widely, as there has been no census since 1970, but it is estimated at no less than 15.5 million. Angola has three main ethnic groups, each speaking a Bantu language: Ovim-bundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, and Bakongo 13%. Other groups include Chokwe, Lunda, Ganguela, Nhaneca-Humbe, Ambo, Herero, and Xind-unga. In addition, mixed racial (European and African) people amount to about 2%, with a small (1%) population of whites, mainly ethnically Portuguese. Portuguese make up the largest non-Angolan population, with at least 30,000 (though many native-born Angolans can claim Portuguese nationality under Portuguese law). Portuguese is both the official and predominant language.

HISTORY

In 1482, when the Portuguese first landed in what is now northern Angola, they encountered the Kingdom of the Congo, which stretched from modern Gabon in the north to the Kwanza River in the south. Mbanza Congo, the capital, had a population of 50,000 people. South of this kingdom were various important states, of which the Kingdom of Ndongo, ruled by the ngola (king), was most significant. Modern Angola derives its name from the king of Ndongo. The Portuguese gradually took control of the coastal strip throughout the 16th century by a series of treaties and wars. The Dutch occupied Luanda from 1641-48, providing a boost for anti-Portuguese states. In 1648, Brazilian-based Portuguese forces re-took Luanda and initiated a process of military conquest of the Congo and Ndongo states that ended with Portuguese victory in 1671. Full Portuguese administrative control of the interior did not occur until the beginning of the 20th century.

Portugal's primary interest in Angola quickly turned to slavery. The slaving system began early in the 16th century with the purchase from African chiefs of people to work on sugar plantations in São Tomé, Principé, and Brazil. Many scholars agree that by the 19th century, Angola was the largest source of slaves not only for Brazil, but also for the Americas, including the United States. By the end of the 19th century, a massive forced labor system had replaced formal slavery and would continue until outlawed in 1961. It was this forced labor that provided the basis for development of a plantation economy and, by the mid-20th century, a major mining sector. Forced labor combined with British financing to construct three railroads from the coast to the interior, the most important of which was the transcontinental Benguela railroad that linked the port of Lobito with the copper zones of the Belgian Congo and what is now Zambia, through which it connects to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

Colonial economic development did not translate into social development for native Angolans. The Portuguese regime encouraged white immigration, especially after 1950, which intensified racial antagonisms. As decolonization progressed elsewhere in Africa, Portugal, under the Salazar and Caetano dictatorships, rejected independence and treated its African colonies as overseas provinces. Consequently, three independence movements emerged: the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) led by Agostinho Neto, with a base among Kimbundu and the mixed-race intelligentsia of Luanda, and links to communist parties in Portugal and the East Bloc; the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), led by Holden Roberto with an ethnic base in the Bakongo region of the north and links to the United States and the Mobutu regime in Kinshasa; and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas Malheiro Savimbi with an ethnic and regional base in the Ovimbundu heartland in the center of the country and links to the People's Republic of China and apartheid South Africa.

From the early 1960s, elements of these movements fought against the Portuguese. A 1974 coup d′etat in Portugal established a military government that promptly ceased the war and agreed, in the Alvor Accords, to hand over power to a coalition of the three movements. The ideological differences between the three movements eventually led to armed conflict, with FNLA and UNITA forces, encouraged by their respective international supporters, attempting to wrest control of Luanda from the MPLA. The intervention of troops from South Africa on behalf of UNITA and Zaire on behalf of the FNLA in September and October

1975 and the MPLA’ importation of Cuban troops in November effectively internationalized the conflict. Retaining control of Luanda, the coastal strip, and increasingly lucrative oil fields in Cabinda, the MPLA declared independence on November 11, 1975, the day the Portuguese abandoned the capital. UNITA and the FNLA formed a rival coalition government based in the interior city of Huambo. Agostinho Neto became the first president of the MPLA government that was recognized by the United Nations in 1976. Upon Neto's death from cancer in 1979, then-Planning Minister Jose Eduardo dos Santos ascended to the presidency.

The FNLA's military failures led to its increasing marginalization, internal divisions, and abandonment by international supporters. An internationalized conventional civil war between UNITA and the MPLA continued until 1989. For much of this time, UNITA controlled vast swaths of the interior and was backed by U.S. resources and South African troops. Similarly, tens of thousands of Cuban troops remained in support of the MPLA, often fighting South Africans on the front lines. A U.S.-brokered agreement resulted in withdrawal of foreign troops in 1989 and led to the Bicesse Accord in 1991, which spelled out an electoral process for a democratic Angola under the supervision of the United Nations. When UNITA's Jonas Savimbi failed to win the first round of the presidential election in 1992 (he won 40% to dos Santos's 49%, which required a runoff), he called the election fraudulent and returned to war.

Another peace accord, known as the Lusaka Protocol, was brokered in Lusaka, Zambia, and signed in 1994. This agreement, too, collapsed into renewed conflict. The UN Security Council voted on August 28, 1997 to impose sanctions on UNITA. The Angolan military launched a massive offensive in 1999, which destroyed UNITA's conventional capacity and recaptured all major cities previously held by Savimbi's forces. Savimbi then declared a return to guerrilla tactics, which continued until his death in combat in February 2002.

On April 4, 2002, the Angolan Government and UNITA signed the Luena Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which formalized the de facto cease-fire that prevailed following Savimbi's death. In accordance with the MOU, UNITA recommitted to the peace framework in the 1994 Lusaka Protocol, returned all remaining territory to Angolan Government control, quartered all military personnel in predetermined locations, and relinquished all arms. In August 2002, UNITA demobilized all military personnel. UN Security Council sanctions on UNITA were lifted on December 9, 2002. UNITA and the MPLA held their first postwar party congresses in 2003. The UNITA Congress saw the democratic transfer of power from interim leader General Paulo Lukumba "Gato" to former UNITA representative in Paris Isaias Henriqué Samakuva, while the MPLA Congress reaffirmed President dos Santos’ leadership of party structures. Samakuva was reelected to a second 4-year term as UNITA party president at a UNITA party congress in July 2007.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Peace and Reconciliation in Cabinda on August 1, 2006, was intended as a step toward ending conflict in Cabinda and in bringing about greater representation for the people of Cabinda. It followed a successful counterinsurgency campaign by the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA), who still maintain a strong troop presence there. The MOU rejects the notion of Cabin-dan independence, calls for the demobilization and reintegration of former Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) fighters into various governmental positions, and creates a special political and economic status for the province of Cabinda. Many FLEC military combatants have now been integrated into the Angolan Armed Forces, including into some command positions. In addition, Cabindans will be given designated numbers of vice ministerial and other positions in the Angolan Government. Some FLEC members, who did not sign onto the peace memorandum, continue their independence efforts through public outreach and infrequent low-level attacks against FAA convoys and outposts.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Angola changed from a one-party Marxist-Leninist system ruled by the MPLA to a nominal multiparty democracy following the 1992 elections, in which President dos Santos won the first-round election with 49% of the vote to Jonas Savimbi's 40%; a runoff never took place. The Constitutional Law of 1992 establishes the broad outlines of government structure and delineates the rights and duties of citizens. The government is based on ordinances, decrees, and decisions issued by a president and his ministers or through legislation produced by the National Assembly and approved by the president. The parliament is generally subordinate to the executive.

Angola is governed by a president who is assisted by a prime minister and 31 cabinet ministers, all appointed by the president. Political power is concentrated in the presidency. The executive branch of the government is composed of the president (head of state and government), the prime minister, and the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers, composed of all government ministers and vice ministers, meets regularly to discuss policy issues. The president, the Council of Ministers, and individual ministers in their areas of competence have the ability to legislate by decree.

Of the 220 deputies in the National Assembly, 130 are elected at large, and 5 are elected to represent each of the 18 provinces. The Electoral Law also calls for the election of three additional deputies to represent citizens living abroad; however, those positions were not filled in the 1992 elections. The ruling MPLA controls 59% of the seats. On December 27, 2007, President dos Santos announced Angola will hold legislative elections on September 5-6, 2008, its first since 1992. The announcement follows a voter registration process that registered over 8 million Angolans. Presidential elections are planned for 2009, with municipal elections to follow. A parliamentary constitutional reform process will likely resume following elections.

The central government administers the country through 18 provinces. Governors of the provinces are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the president. The government has embarked on a program of decentralization, and in August 2007 the Council of Ministers passed a resolution to grant 50 municipalities control of their own budgets.

The legal system is based on Portuguese and customary law but is weak and fragmented. Courts operate in only a fraction of the 164 municipalities. A Supreme Court serves as the appellate tribunal; a Constitutional Court with powers of judicial review has never been constituted despite statutory authorization. Recently, the Supreme Court has acted as a Constitutional Court.

The 27-year-long civil war ravaged the country's political and social institutions. The government estimates that 4.7 million people were internally displaced by the civil war. In March 2007, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Angola jointly celebrated the end of a 5-year organized voluntary repatriation program that returned home more than 400,000 Angolan refugees. The Angolan Government estimates as many as 100,000 refugees remain outside Angola, and it is working to help those who wish to return. Daily conditions of life throughout the country mirror the inadequate administrative infrastructure as well as weak social institutions. Government support for social institutions is often inadequate. Many hospitals are without medicines or basic equipment, schools are without books, and public employees often lack the basic supplies for their day-to-day work.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 2/1/2008

President: Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS

Prime Minister: Fernando “Nando” da Piedade Dias DOS SANTOS

Min. of Agriculture & Rural Development Gilberto LUTUKUTA

Min. of Commerce: Joaquim Ekuma MUAFUMUA

Min. of Culture: Boaventura CARDOSO

Min. of Defense: Kundi PAIHAMA

Min. of Education: Antonio Burity DA SILVA

Min. of Energy & Water: Jose Botelho DE VASCONCELOS

Min. of Environment & Urban Development: Diakunpuna Sita JOSE

Min. of External Relations: Joao Bernardo DE MIRANDA

Min. of Finance: Jose Pedro DE MORAIS

Min. of Fisheries: Salamao XIRIMBIMBI

Min. of Geology & Mines: Manuel Antonio AFRICANO

Min. of Health: Sebastiao Sapuile VELSOS

Min. of Industry: Joaquim Duarte da Costa DAVID

Min. of Interior: Roberto Leal Monteiro NGONGO

Min. of Justice: Manuel ARAGAO

Min. of Petroleum: Desiderio DA COSTA

Min. of Planning: Ana Dias LOURENCO

Min. of Public Administration & Employment: Antonio Pitra NETO

Min. of Public Works: Francisco Higino CARNEIRO

Min. of Science & Technology: Joao Baptista NGANDAGINA

Min. of Social Communication: Pedro Henrick Vaal NETO

Min. of Social Reintegration: Joao Baptista KUSSUMUA

Min. of Telecommunications: Licinio Tavares RIBEIRO

Min. of Territorial Administration: Virgilio Fontes PEREIRA

Min. of Tourism & Hotels: Eduardo Jonatao CHINGUNJI

Min. of Transport: Andre Luis BRANDAO

Min. of Veterans & Ex-Combatants: Pedro Jose VAN DUNEM

Min. of Women & Family Affairs: Candida Celeste DA SILVA

Min. of Youth & Sports: Jose Marcos BARRICA

Min. in the Office of the Presidency, Civil Affairs: Jose da Costa e Silva LEITAO

Min. in the Office of the Presidency, General Secretariat: Jose Mateus de Adelino PEIXOTO

Min. in the Office of the Presidency, Military Affairs: Manuel Helder DIAS

Governor, National Bank of Angola: Amadeu MAURICIO

Ambassador to the US: Josefina Perpetua Pitra DIAKITE

Permanent Representative to the UN, NewYork: Ismael Abraao GASPAR MARTINS

Angola maintains an embassy in the United States at 2100-2108 16th St., NW, Washington, DC 20009 (tel. 202-785-1156; fax 202-822-9049; web: www.angola.org). Angola also maintains consulates in New York City (attached to its Permanent Mission to the United Nations) at 866 UN Plaza, 48th St., Suite 552, New York, NY 10017 (tel. 212-233-3588, ext. 15; fax 212-980-9606; web: http://www2.un.int/public/Angola/) and in Houston at 3040 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 708, Houston, TX 77056 (tel. 713-212-3840; fax 713-212-3841).

ECONOMY

Angola has a fast-growing economy largely due to a major oil boom, but it also ranks in the bottom 10% of most socioeconomic indicators. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects that Angola's real GDP increased by 23.4% in 2007. Aside from the oil sector and diamonds, Angola is recovering from 27 years of nearly continuous warfare, corruption, and economic mismanagement. Despite abundant natural resources, and rising per capita GDP, it was ranked 161 out of 177 countries on the 2006 UN Development Program's (UNDP) Human Development Index. Subsistence agriculture sustains one-third of the population.

By contrast, the rapidly expanding petroleum industry—now producing approximately 1.7 million barrels per day (bpd), behind only Nigeria in Africa—accounts for 51.7% of GNP, 95% of exports, and 80% of government revenues. Production was expected to exceed 2 million bpd in early 2008; however, Angola joined the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in December 2006 and in November 2007 was given a quota limit of 1.9 million bpd. Angola also produces 40,000 bpd of locally refined oil. Oil production remains largely offshore and has few linkages with other sectors of the economy, though a local content initiative promulgated by the Angolan Government is pressuring oil companies to source from local businesses.

Block 15, located offshore of the enclave of Cabinda, currently provides 40% of Angola's crude oil production. ExxonMobil, through its subsidiary Esso, is the operator with a 40% share. In 2005, Block 15's second major sub-field, Kizomba B, came online producing at about 250,000 bpd. BP, ENI-Agip, and Statoil are partners in the concession. Chevron operates Block 0, also in offshore Cabinda, which provides one-quarter of Angola's crude oil production. Its partners in Block 0 are Sonangol (the Angolan state oil company), TotalFinaElf, and ENI-Agip. In 2006, Block 0 had a total production of 400,000 bpd, and drilling activity continues at a high level. Chevron also operates Angola's first producing deepwater section, Block 14, which started pumping in January 2000 and produced 105,000 bpd in 2006.

TotalFinaElf brought the first Kwanza Basin deepwater blocks online with production from its Block 17 concession that began in February 2002. Inauguration of the Dalia oilfield in December 2006 combined with the Girassol field already in operation brought Block 17's total production to approximately 500,000 bpd as of July 2007. Total expects to begin drilling in new oilfield Pazflor in 2009, bringing production in Block 17 to a peak 700,000 bpd by 2011. Exploration is ongoing in ultra-deep water concessions and in deepwater and shallow concessions in the Namibe Basin. BP made the first significant ultra-deepwater find in its Block 31 concession in 2002 and had reached nine significant discoveries by the end of 2005. BP expected to ship its first crude from the Plutonio oilfield in Block 18 in September 2007 and expects Plutonio to average 200,000 bpd in full production. Marathon also drilled a successful well in its Block 32 ultra-deep water concession. TotalFinaElf operates Angola's one refinery (in Luanda) as a joint venture with Sonangol; plans for a second refinery in Lobito with projected production of 200,000 bpd are moving forward. There are plans to increase capacity of the Luanda refinery from 40,000 bpd to 100,000 bpd. Chevron, Sonangol, BP, Total, and Eni are developing a $4-5 billion liquefied natural gas plant at Soyo, expected to start production in 2011.

Exports to Asian countries have grown rapidly in recent years, particularly to China. In late 2004, China's state oil company Sinopec bought into Block 18, securing the deal by offering a $2 billion signing bonus to Sonangol, the national oil company. Sinopec has also formed a partnership with Sonangol to operate Block 3/05 (formerly Block 3/80), whose operation was transferred from Total to Sonangol. Sonangol will seek to expand its operation of onshore and shallow water blocks. This includes the northern block of Cabinda's onshore concessions, which since the reduction in hostilities with separatist forces is now open to exploration. Sonangol and Sinopec will also be eyeing future concession rounds, particularly for 23 blocks in the Kwanza Basin onshore area and the relinquished parts of Blocks 15, 17, and 18, currently operated by Exxon, Total, and BP. During 2006, Angola was the leading source country in terms of dollar value for the crude oil China imported, importing U.S. $10.928 billion, up 16.5% year on year.

Diamonds make up most of Angola's remaining exports, with yearly production at 6 million carats. Diamond sales reached approximately $1.1 billion in 2006. Despite increased corporate ownership of diamond fields, much production is currently in the hands of small-scale prospectors, often operating illegally. Only eight formal sector mines are operating out of a total of 145 concessions. In June 2005, De Beers signed a $10 million prospecting contract with the government's diamond parastatal, ending a 4-year investment dispute between De Beers and the government. The government is making an increased effort to register and license prospectors. Legal sales of rough diamonds may occur only through the government's diamond-buying parastatal, although many producers continue to bypass the system to obtain higher prices. The government has established an export certification scheme consistent with the “Kimberley Process” to identify legitimate production and sales. Other mineral resources, including gold, remain largely undeveloped, though granite and marble quarrying have begun

In the last decade of the colonial period, Angola was a major African agricultural exporter. Because of severe wartime conditions, including extensive laying of landmines throughout the countryside, agricultural activities were brought to a near standstill, and the country now imports about half of its food. Small-scale agricultural production has increased dramatically over the last 3 years as internally displaced persons (IDPs) are returning to the land. Some efforts at commercial agricultural recovery have gone forward, notably in fisheries and tropical fruits, but most of the country's vast potential remains untapped. Coffee production, though a fraction of its pre-1975 level, is sufficient for domestic needs and some exports. Recently passed land reform laws will attempt to reconcile overlapping traditional land use rights, colonialera land claims, and recent land grants to facilitate significant commercial agricultural development

An economic reform effort launched in 1998 was only marginally successful in addressing persistent fiscal mismanagement and corruption. In April 2000, Angola started an IMF staff-monitored program (SMP). The program lapsed in June 2001 over IMF concerns about lack of adequate Angolan progress. Under the program, the Government of Angola did succeed in unifying exchange rates and moving fuel, electricity, and water prices closer to market rates. In March 2007, the government announced it was not interested in a formally-structured IMF program, but would continue to participate in Article IV consultations and other technical assistance on an ad hoc basis.

In December 2002, President dos Santos named a new economic team to oversee homegrown reform efforts. The new team succeeded in decreasing overall government spending, rationalizing the Kwanza exchange rate, closing regulatory loopholes allowing off-budget expenditures, and capturing all revenues in the state budget. New procedures were implemented to track the flow of funds between the Treasury, Banco Nacional de Angola (the central bank), and the state-owned Banco de Poupanca e Credito, which operates the budget. The Angolan Government adopted a new investment code. Concerns remain about quasi-fiscal operations by the state oil company Sonangol, continued oil-backed commercial borrowing by the Angolan Government, and inadequate transparency and oversight in the management of public accounts. The Angolan commercial code, financial sector law, and telecommunications law all require substantial revision.

Angola is the second-largest trading partner of the United States in sub-Saharan Africa, largely because of its petroleum exports. U.S. exports to Angola primarily consist of industrial goods and services—such as oilfield equipment, mining equipment, chemicals, aircraft, and food. On December 30, 2003, President Bush approved the designation of Angola as eligible for tariff preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

DEFENSE

The Angolan Armed Forces, known by its Portuguese acronym FAA, are headed by a chief of staff who reports to the civilian minister of defense. There are three services—the army, navy, and air force. Total manpower is about 140,000. The army is by far the largest of the services with about 130,000 personnel. The navy numbers about 3,000 and operates several small patrol craft and barges. Air force personnel total about 7,000; its equipment includes Russian-manufactured fighters and transport planes, Bell helicopters, and Italian trainers. The “Casa Militar,” or presidential guard, answers directly to the Office of the President and is separate from FAA command and control structures.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

From 1975 to 1989, Angola was aligned with the Soviet Union and Cuba. Since then, it has focused on improving relationships with Western countries, cultivating links with other Portuguese-speaking countries, and asserting its own national interests in Central Africa through military and diplomatic intervention. In 1993, it established formal diplomatic relations with the United States. It has entered the Southern African Development Community as a vehicle for improving ties with its largely anglophone neighbors to the south. In 1997, Zimbabwe and Namibia joined Angola in its military intervention in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where Angolan troops fought in support of the Laurent and Joseph Kabila governments. It also has intervened in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) in support of President Sassou-Nguesso. Angola has also engaged in a more robust economic relationship with the People's Republic of China. The P.R.C. has extended over U.S. $7 billion in credit to Angola.

Multilaterally, Angola has promoted the revival of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) as a forum for cultural exchange and a means of expanding ties with Portugal and Brazil. During the peace process, the government fully cooperated with the UN Mission in Angola (UNMA), which concluded its mandate in mid-February 2003. Angola concluded a 2-year term on the UN Security Council in December 2004. In June 2007, it began a 3-year term on the Human Rights Council.

U.S.-ANGOLAN RELATIONS

The United States established formal diplomatic relations with the Government of Angola in 1993. Before 1989, U.S.-Angolan relations were defined by the Cold War. The United States initially supported Holden Roberto's FNLA and later Jonas Savimbi's UNITA against the pro-Soviet and pro-Cuban MPLA government in Luanda. Since 1992, the bilateral relationship has steadily improved. In May 2004, President dos Santos met with President Bush during an official visit to Washington. Dos Santos attended the opening of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2007.

The U.S. Mission in Angola consists of four agencies—the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Defense, and the Department of Health and Huma Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (HHS/CDC). In addition, a variety of federal agencies maintain relationships with the Angolan Government through ongoing projects, including the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Energy. In FY 2005, U.S. Government assistance amounted to roughly $62.8 million.

In FY 2006, USAID's Food for Peace office provided $3.5 million in food inputs that were made available to the World Food Program for nutrition support to populations in the most food insecure and vulnerable provinces, and for returning refugees. This level of support continued a phased reduction, which as recently as FY 2005 amounted to $30.7 million, consistent with Angola's rapidly improving ability to produce its own food through improved access to land and markets as well as the settlement of formerly displaced people. Food for Peace assistance was to be discontinued in FY 2007.

USAID's development program in Angola in FY 2007 was consistent with the country's status as a developing country at a pivotal juncture in its development and reconstruction. In FY 2006, the program budget was $25.5 million and focused on: civil society strengthening, improved governance, and democratization; market-oriented economic analysis and economic reform policy; agricultural sector productivity; maternal and child health; HIV/AIDS prevention, education and voluntary counseling'; and workforce development. Angola also launched a major program to fight malaria through the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI). The Governing Justly and Democratically objective strengthens constituencies and institutions required for democratic governance by strengthening civil society organizations and promoting local government decentralization; fostering an independent media, government transparency, accountability, and capability, and improved dialogue between citizens and government; and laying the groundwork for free and fair elections. The Investing in People objective aims to improve maternal and child health and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases by helping communities and institutions to provide necessary health services and to conduct HIV/ AIDS prevention programs. The PMI is the largest health program and expands efforts to scale up proven preventive and treatment interventions toward achievement of 85% coverage among vulnerable groups and 50% reduction in morbidity due to malaria. The Economic Growth objective fosters economic policy and financial sector reform; credit access for micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises; and expanded trade and investment.

Emergency support from HHS/CDC was provided to address the 2005 Marburg virus outbreak in northern Angola, with assistance from the USAID Mission. CDC personnel joined with the World Health Organization (WHO) as part of the international response to assist with epidemiologic investigation, infection control, and laboratory diagnosis. CDC personnel in Atlanta provided laboratory and scientific support to Angola's Ministry of Health and to countries bordering Angola, establishing a field laboratory in Luanda, Angola to provide prompt laboratory confirmation of suspect Marburg cases in Angola and neighboring countries. Additional HIV/AIDS funding for the country of just over $2 million from HHS/CDC is also available, and helped expand surveillance, information systems, laboratory, and blood bank quality control.

On February 19, 2006, the Provincial Government of Luanda declared a cholera outbreak, in coordination with the WHO. What began as a localized outbreak of cholera in Luanda rapidly spread around Angola, with cases detected in seven provinces and mortality rates as high as 15% in certain areas. Causes of this rapid expansion included poor sanitation and a lack of potable water (70% of the country was without access), which were compounded by a series of heavy rains in March 2006 and April 2006. Limited stocks of available medical supplies were rapidly depleted, and the UN stressed the need for immediate, widespread assistance. The U.S. Ambassador determined April 19, 2006 that an adequate response was beyond the capacity of the Angolan Government, and through this disaster declaration requested U.S. Government assistance to support the international response and contain the spread of the outbreak. USAID's response was to provide $50,000 for immediate relief needs. As of January 23, 2007, a total number of 70,396 cumulative cases and 2,799 deaths were reported in 16 out of the 18 provinces, since the beginning of the outbreak. Following torrential rains in January 2007, the Chief of Mission, in response to an emergency declared by the Government of Angola, determined that U.S. Government assistance was needed to support the government and efforts of international agencies to mitigate the effects of flooding in the capital, Luanda. As a result, USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance released $70,000 to provide emergency relief for families displaced by the floods.

To assist with economic reform, in FY 2007 the State Department provided $2.2 million to work on land tenure, economic policy, and the financial sector. An additional $143,000 in grants was provided to community development projects and non-governmental organization (NGO)-sponsored democracy and human rights projects. $152,000 in International Military Education and Training (IMET) funds was provided for English language training to the Angolan Armed Forces. Professional training for law enforcement personnel at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Gaborone, Botswana continued. The Safe Skies for Africa program provided around $800,000 in equipment and training to the Angolan civil aviation authority. As part of its public diplomacy program, the Embassy provided nearly $434,000 in English language training, educational exchanges and fellowships, and information resource services. The State Department provided $6 million for ongoing landmine, small arms, and munitions destruction projects throughout the country. These projects have played a major role in clearing agricultural land and opening critical road networks and increasing access in those areas of the country most impacted by landmines.

At the same time, the energy-based U.S. trading relationship continues to expand and spark other ties. One offshoot has been the development of a Sister City relationship between Lafayette, Louisiana and Cabinda and between Houston, Texas and Luanda. The Catholic University of Luanda has close links with a number of American institutions and has received support from the Angola Educational Assistance Fund, a U.S. non-profit organization organized by Citizens Energy of Boston. Sonangol has a longstanding program of educating its professionals in U.S. universities, complementing Chevron's policy of U.S. training for its own growing pool of Angolan professionals. Long before oil was discovered, American missionary efforts from the early 19th century established several Protestant churches in the interior, which also provided much of the schooling that was available in rural colonial Angola; those historical links now are being revived with exchanges in both directions.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

Last Updated: 2/19/2008

LUANDA (E) Rua Houari Boumedienne #32, 011-244-222-641-000, Fax 011-244-222-641-232, INMARSAT Tel 011-871-683-133-246, Workweek: Monday thru Thursday, 8:00 am–6:00 pm; Fridays 8:00 am till 12 Noon, Website: http://Luanda.usembassy.gov.

DCM OMS:Bo-Me Kim
AMB OMS:Robin Welker
ECO/COM:Mark Schall
FM:Larry Ragan
MGT:Margaret R. Hartley
POL ECO:Mitchell Ferguson
AMB:Dan W. Mozena
CON:Falashade O. Robinson
DCM:Francisco Fernandez
PAO:Abigail Gonzalez
GSO:Frieda Martin
RSO:Keith Larochelle
AFSA:Joshua Kim
AID:Susan Brems
CLO:Nadege Mathieu
DAO:Christopher Grieg
ICASS:Chair Chris Grieg
IMO:Ruthann Kleinfelt
ISO:Veronica Johnson
ISSO:Ruthann Kleinfelt
POL:Doreen Bailey
State ICASS:Mitchell Ferguson

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

August 23, 2007

Country Description: Angola is a large, developing country in southern Africa. After gaining independence from Portugal in 1975, Angola was engulfed in a civil conflict that lasted for more than a quarter century. In April 2002, the Government of Angola and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), signed the Luena Memorandum of Understanding, which formalized the cease fire that had prevailed following the death of UNITA Leader Jonas Savimbi. On November 21, 2002, the government and former rebels declared that outstanding issues under the 1994 Lusaka Protocol were fully resolved. On August 1, 2006, the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for Peace and Reconciliation in Cabinda Province, largely brought to an end the low level guerilla insurgency conducted by the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC). Unconfirmed infrequent low-level attacks against Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) convoys and outposts continue to be reported. FLEC had been pressing for an independent Cabindan state since Angola's independence from Portugal in 1975.

Throughout Angola there are growing signs of economic recovery. Nevertheless, major problems remain with infrastructure and government services, especially in communications and basic social services. Travel by road is often difficult and can be dangerous due to large potholes, particularly during the rainy season (October to December). Land mines exist in many areas. However, the Angolan Government and international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) continue to conduct extensive landmine clearances. In many provinces, primary roads are considered to be landmine free. Facilities for tourism, particularly outside the capital of Luanda, are often rudimentary. Adequate hotels are found in most provincial capitals, but some provide limited amenities.

Entry Requirements: Passport and visa (must be obtained in advance), along with an International Certificate of Vaccination, are required. Persons arriving without visas are subject to arrest or exclusion. Travelers may also encounter delays if they do not have at least one completely blank visa page in their passports for entry and exit stamps. Travelers whose international immunization cards do not show inoculations against yellow fever within the past ten years may be subject to exclusion, on-the-spot vaccination, and heavy fines. Visitors remaining in Angola beyond their authorized visa duration are subject to fines and arrest. It is illegal to attempt to carry local currency out of Angola and persons found attempting to carry local currency out of Angola are subject to having this currency confiscated by customs officers. Current information on entry requirements may be obtained from the Embassy of Angola at 2100-2108 16th Street NW, Washington, DC, tel. (202) 785-1156, fax (202) 785-1258.

Safety and Security: The security situation in Angola has improved markedly since the end of the civil war; however, Americans should still exercise caution when traveling in Angola. Although the war has ended, ground travel throughout Angola is occasionally problematic due to land mines, which were used extensively during the war. Travelers should not touch anything that resembles a mine or unexploded ordinance. Frequent checkpoints and poor infrastructure contribute to unsafe travel on roads outside of the city of Luanda. Police and military officials are sometimes undisciplined, but their authority should not be challenged. Travel in many parts of Luanda is relatively safe by day, but car doors should be locked, windows rolled up, and packages stored out of sight. Visitors should avoid travel after dark, and no travel should be undertaken on roads outside of cities after nightfall.

Visitors to Angola are advised not to take photographs of sites and installations of military or security interest, including government buildings, since this can result in fines and possibly to one's arrest.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site, where the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, including the Worldwide Caution Travel Alert, can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or, for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except on U.S. federal holidays).

Crime: Crime is a serious problem throughout the country. While most violent crime occurs between Angolans, foreigners have occasionally been attacked as well. Street crime is a regular occurrence in Luanda. The most common crimes are pick-pocketing, purse-snatching, vehicle theft, and vehicle break-ins. Armed muggings, robberies, and carjacking involving foreigners are not frequent but do occur. Police and military officials are sometimes undisciplined, but their authority should not be challenged. In general, movement around Luanda is safer by day than by night. Air travelers arriving in Luanda are strongly advised to arrange reliable and secure ground transportation in advance. Use only regulated taxi services since unregulated taxis are unsafe and can present a crime risk.

Motorists should stop at all police checkpoints if so directed. Police officers may solicit bribes or request immediate payment of “fines” for alleged minor infractions. American citizens asked for bribes by the police should politely ask the traffic police to write them a ticket if the police is alleging a moving violation. If the police officer writes the ticket, then the motorist would pay the fine at the place indicated on the ticket. If no moving violation is alleged and the officer is asking for a bribe, the motorist should, without actually challenging the officer's authority, politely ask the officer for his/her name and badge number. Officers thus engaged will frequently let motorists go with no bribe paid if motorists follow this advice. Motorists are reminded to have all proper documents in the vehicle at all times (i.e. vehicle registration, proof of insurance, and driver's license), as the lack of documents is a violation and can also be a reason an officer would solicit a bribe. Police are not always responsive to reports of crime or requests for assistance. Most police are on foot and are assigned to designated stationary posts. The Rapid Intervention Police (PIR) unit is frequently seen patrolling various areas of the city. This unit, which is well trained and organized, will respond to major criminal incidents.

There have been police operations against illegal aliens and private companies resulting in deportation of illegal resident foreign nationals and loss of personal and company property. Independent entrepreneurs in Angola should carry relevant immigration and business documents at all times.

Travelers should be alert to fraud occasionally perpetrated by Luanda airport personnel. Immigration and customs officials sometimes detain foreigners without cause, demanding gratuities before allowing them to enter or depart Angola. Airport health officials sometimes demand that passengers arriving without proof of current yellow fever vaccination accept and pay for a vaccination at the airport. Travelers are advised to be sure to carry their yellow fever vaccination card and make sure their yellow fever vaccine is up-to-date. If travelers forget to bring their yellow fever vaccination card and do not wish to receive the vaccine offered at the airport, they should be prepared to depart the country on the next available flight. Searches of travelers’ checked baggage is common; travelers are advised to take precautions against this possibility. Travelers should also be aware that criminals sometimes attempt to insert items into baggage at the airport, particularly for flights from Luanda to South Africa. Travelers should maintain control of their carry-on baggage at all times, and if they believe something has been inserted into their baggage, they should report the incident immediately to airport authorities.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while over-seas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends, and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of crimes are solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

In addition to reporting crime to local police and the U.S. Embassy in Angola, victims of crime who are residing in Angola are also encouraged to report the crime to the security department of their employer. Short-term visitors are encouraged to report the crime to the management of the hotel where they are staying if the crime occurred in or near the hotel.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Medical facilities and services in Angola do not generally meet international standards. Adequate care for medical emergencies is limited to Luanda, where there are some good private clinics that usually have a 24-hour service provided by a general practice physician and with specialists on call. The U.S. Embassy in Luanda can provide a list of such facilities. Routine operations such as appendectomies can be performed. Local pharmacies provide a limited supply of prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines/drugs. Travelers are therefore urged to carry with them an adequate supply which is properly labeled of any medications they routinely require for the duration of their projected stay in Angola. Malaria is endemic in most areas of Angola.

An outbreak of Marburg hemorrhagic fever, a severe and often fatal disease, occurred in Uige province in the spring of 2005; however, on November 7, 2005, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Angola and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Marburg outbreak in Angola ended. This announcement came after 45 consecutive days without a new case of the illness.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's Internet site at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) web site at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith/en.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Angola is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Since the end of the civil war in 2002, overland access to the interior has increased. However, fighting in most of the country damaged or destroyed many roads and bridges, and services for motorists outside urban areas cannot be counted on. Road travel can be dangerous, due especially to landmines in some areas. Areas with suspected landmines are generally clearly marked and travelers should heed these warnings. Road conditions vary widely outside the capital, from acceptable paved surfaces to virtually impassable dirt roads, particularly secondary routes. Many secondary roads are impassable during the rainy season. Overloaded, poorly marked, and disabled vehicles, as well as pedestrians and livestock, pose hazards for motorists. Ground travel in rural areas should be undertaken during daylight hours only.

Traffic in Luanda is heavy and often chaotic, and roads are often in poor condition. Few intersections have traffic lights or police to direct vehicles. Drivers often fail to obey traffic signals and signs, and there are frequent vehicle breakdowns. Itinerant vendors and pedestrians often weave in and out of traffic, posing a danger to themselves and to drivers. Most public transportation, including buses and van taxis, should be avoided as the vehicles are generally crowded and may be unreliable.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Angola, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Angola's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's Internet web site at www.faa.gov.

Special Circumstances: Angolan customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Angola of sensitive items including firearms, antiquities, and currency. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Angola in Washington or one of Angola's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Financial Transactions: Angola is generally a cash-only economy; neither travelers’ checks nor credit cards are used outside the capital of Luanda. In Luanda, credit cards can be used in extremely limited circumstances, although in April 2007 a major campaign was launched to expand credit card acceptance. ATM machines are only accessible to those individuals who hold accounts with local banks. Travelers should carry a sufficient supply of U.S. dollars with them. Only the newer series U.S. dollar bills (with large faces) are accepted. U.S. dollars can be converted to local currency at exchange businesses authorized by the Angolan government. Angolan currency (the Kwanza) may not be taken out of the country and travelers, who attempt to carry currency out of Angola, are subject to having the currency confiscated at the airport.

Personal Identification: U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passports with them at all times so that, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship is readily available. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Luanda can prepare copies of American passports at no charge for individuals who register with the Embassy. To avoid the risk of theft of or confiscation of original documentation, the U.S. Embassy recommends that Americans keep their passport in a secure place and carry a copy to avoid the possibility of authorities confiscating identity and travel documents.

Labor Disputes: American performers traveling to Angola to perform in concerts and/or other events should be aware that there have been several serious allegations made against talent agencies making arrangements for foreign performers. Thes allegations include, among other things, several charges of breach of contract and the forcible retention of passports and persons. Some of these incidents are currently under investigation by the Angolan police. Performers should assure themselves of the reputation of any agency they may contract with before traveling. Many find it useful to contact performers who have previously worked in Angola and are familiar with agencies in that country. Persons experiencing any incidents of this nature in Angola should report these to the local Angolan police and the U.S. Embassy.

Long Delays in Renewal of Visas: U.S. citizens who opt to renew their work or other visa while in Angola should expect delays of 2-10 weeks or more, during which time the Angolan immigration authorities will retain one's passport and one will not be able to travel. U.S. citizens are advised to plan accordingly, and if travel during this time cannot be avoided, one should apply for a second U.S. passport PRIOR to turning over the primary passport to Angolan authorities for visa renewal. To apply for a second US passport, you must write a letter explaining the need for the second passport, as well as meet all the requirements for a normal application for passport renewal, including being able to show a current valid passport. Receiving a second passport will take 7-10 business days. Once a second passport is obtained, one may not depart Angola on it without first obtaining an exit visa from the Angolan immigration authorities, a process which can take from 1-8 business days.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Angolan laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Angola are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sex with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Registration and Embassy Locations: Americans living or traveling in Angola are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration web site, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Angola. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

The Consular Section is located at the American Embassy Complex, Rua Houari Boumedienne #32, in the Miramar area of Luanda, P.O. Box 6468, tel. (244)-222-641-000, (244)-222-447-028, (244)-222-445-481, 244-222-446-224; 24-hour duty officer (244)-923-404-209; fax (244)-222-641-259. The Consular Section may be contacted by e-mail at [email protected] Further information on travel to Angola is also available at the Embassy web site at http://usembassy.state.gov/angola.

International Adoption

March 2007

The information in this section has been edited from a report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Adoption section of this book and review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Disclaimer: The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is based on public sources and current understanding. Questions involving foreign and U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel.

Please Note: While adopting in Angola is not a complex process, it can take years to identify a child for adoption and to complete all of the required paperwork due to the inefficiencies of the Angolan beaurcracy and the fact that it takes an Act of the National Assembly to approve a foreign adoption. Prospective adoptive parents should note that Angolan adoption laws are being revised and they are very strict. To ensure that the adoption process is completed successfully and in a timely manner, the U.S. Embassy in Angola strongly suggests that adoptive parents consult an Angolan attorney.

Patterns of Immigration: Please review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Adoption Authorities:
Ministry of Justice,
Family Court Room.
Sala da Familia,
Tribunal Provincial de Luanda
Rua Amilcar Cabral
No. 17, 5th and 7th Floor
Luanda, Angola
No telephone numbers for the public are available

INAC—National Institute of the Child
Rua N'Gola M'Bambi
Luanda, Angola
Telephone: 244-222 322 611; 222 323 683; 222 322 753

Note: After identifying a child, a document requiring permission to adopt the child should be submitted to the National Assembly (Parliament) for discussion and approval. The identification of the child is done privately. There are orphanages run by the government and others run by NGOs. After the identification of the child the orphanage or NGO contacts INAC (National Institute of the Child) for their opinion. INAC then must issue a document giving permission for the child to be adopted. Once INAC issues permission for the child to be adopted, a request for approval must then be sent to the National Assembly. There is no specific form to be submitted to the National Assembly. This process may take six to twelve months.

Eligibility Requirements for Adoptive Parents: Prospective adoptive parents may be married, single or common-law spouses. They must be at least 25 years old and at least 16 years older than the adopted child.

Prospective adoptive parent(s) must be in full possession of his or her civil rights, in good physical and mental health, and financially capable of supporting and providing an education for the adopted child.

Residency Requirements: There are no residency requirements for prospective adoptive parents.

Time Frame: An intercountry adoption in Angola can take anywhere from two to three years to complete from the time the child is identified.

Adoption Agencies and Attorneys: There are no adoption agencies in Angola. Adoptions are handled exclusively by the Ministry of Justice. A list of adoption attorneys in Angola may be found at the web site of the U.S. Embassy in Luanda, Angola (http://luanda.usembassy.gov/wwwhlawyers.html) or may be picked up in person at the U.S. Embassy's consular section.

Adoption Fees: Prospective adopting parents can expect to pay as much as $3,000.00 USD for government fees to complete the adoption. Attorney's fees are estimated to be an additional $10, 000 USD.

Adoption Procedures: The following sections outline the major provisions of the law that apply to adoptions:

  • Adoption by proxy is prohibited.
  • Adoption requires the consent of the parents or the legal representative of the prospective adoptive child. Consent will be waived with regard to a child or adolescent whose parents are unknown or who have been stripped of their parental rights.
  • A home study is required and will be evaluated by a Judge of the Family Court Room from the Provincial Court after the approval of the Parliament (National Assembly).

Prospective adoptive parent(s) should contact a local orphanage to identify a child. After the identification of the child, the orphanage contacts the INAC (National Institute of the Child) for their opinion. INAC issues a document giving permission for the child to be adopted. The process of identifying the child for adoption and receiving approval from INAC can take 6-12 months. The adoptive parent's) then submit a request to the Parliament (National Assembly) requesting the approval to adopt the child. Along with this request the adoptive parent attaches the following:

  • A copy of the INAC document giving permission for the child to be adopted.
  • Birth certificates of the adoptive parent(s).
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable).
  • Police clearance.
  • Medical exam attesting good physical and mental health.
  • Proof of financial support.

The process of approval from the Parliament might take between twelve and eighteen months.

In the meantime the adoptive parent(s) can submit a separate reques to the Family Court Room requesting guardianship of the child. A hearing will be scheduled at which the adoptive parent(s) must be present. If the child is 10 years old or more, he/she will also be heard by the Trustee at the Family Court Room. This process might take three to six months. Once the National Assembly (Parliament) approves the adoption, the adoptive parent(s) receives the determination. That document must be submitted to the Family Court Room and the Family Court Judge gives final approval of the adoption.

A new birth certificate will be issued after the judge's final approval. The judge orders the issuance of a new birth certificate with the adoptive parent(s) name(s) if they desire. To apply for an Angolan passport the adoptive parents have to contact Serviços de Migração e Estrangeiros (SME) in Luanda.

Required Documents:

  • Initial application can be made by a letter and should include the personal data of the prospective adoptive parents and the personal data of the prospective adoptive child. It does not need to be notarized.
  • Criminal background check and clearance. The USCIS FBI background check is sufficient.
  • Medical Evaluation can be conducted in the U.S. or Angola.
  • Proof of income.
  • Birth certificate of the prospective adoptive parent(s).
  • Birth certificate (if available) for the prospective adoptive child or a statement from the institution where the child has been cared for.
  • Marriage certificate and divorce decree(s) of prospective adoptive parent (s), if applicable.
  • Consent from any living biological parent(s) of the child to adopt.

All documents must be translated into Portuguese. The translation needs to be done in Angola. A list of translators is available from the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy. The court will ask the translator to swear in court that the translation is correct.

Embassy of the Republic of Angola
2100-2108 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
Tel: 202-785-1156
Fax: 202-785-1258
http://www.angola.org

U.S. Immigration Requirements: Prospective adoptive parents are strongly encouraged to consult the USCIS publication M-249, The Immigration of Adopted and Prospective Adoptive Children, as well as the Department of State publication, International Adoptions. Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family

American Embassy
Rua Houari Boumedienne #32,
Miramar
Luanda, Angola
C.P. 6468
Consular Tel: (244)(222) 641-000
Fax: (244)(222)641-259
Email: [email protected]

Additional Information: Specific questions about adoption in Angola may be addressed to the U.S. Embassy in Luanda. General questions regarding intercountry adoption may be addressed to the Office of Children's Issues, U.S. Department of State, CA/OCS/CI, SA-29, 4th Floor, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818, toll-free Tel: 1-888-404-4747.

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Angola

ANGOLA

Compiled from the January 2006 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name
Republic of Angola (Republica de Angola)


PROFILE

Geography

Area:

1,246,700 sq. km. (481,400 sq. mi), about twice the size of Texas.

Cities:

Capital—Luanda (pop. 4.0 million); Huambo (750,000); Benguela (600,000).

Terrain:

A narrow, dry coastal strip extending from the far north (Luanda) to Namibia in the south; well-watered agricultural highlands; savanna in the far east and south; and rain forest in the north and the enclave of Cabinda.

Climate:

Tropical and tropical highland.

People

Nationality:

Noun and adjective—Angolan(s).

Population (December 2004 est.):

14,600,000.

Annual population growth rate (2003):

2.8%.

Ethnic groups:

Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, mixed racial 2%, European 1%.

Religions (2001 official est.):

Roman Catholic 68%, various Protestant 20%; indigenous beliefs 12%.

Language:

Portuguese (official), Ovimbundu, Kimbundu, Bakongo, and others.

Education:

Years compulsory—8. Enrollment (2003 est.)—primary school 55%, secondary 30%, and post-secondary 3%. Literacy (total population over 15 that can read and write, 2002 est.)—42% (male 56%, female 28%).

Health:

Life expectancy (2002 est.)—total population 46.7 years. Infant mortality rate (2003 est.)—154/1,000.

Work force (2003 est. 5.6 million):

Agriculture—85%; industry and commerce—15%; services—6%.

Government

Type:

Republic.

Independence:

November 11, 1975.

Branches:

Executive—elected president (chief of state), appointed prime minister, and 40 appointed civilian ministers. Legislative—elected National Assembly (233 seats). Judicial—Supreme Court (also functions as Constitutional Court).

Administrative subdivisions:

Province, municipality, commune.

Political parties:

123 with legal status; in 1992, 12 won seats in the National Assembly. Pro-government—Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). Opposition—National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), Social Renewal Party (PRS), National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), Party for Democratic Progress - Angola National Alliance (PDP-ANA), Democratic Renewal Party (PRD), Party of the Alliance of Youth, Workers, and Peasants (PAJOCA), Liberal Democratic Party (PLD), Democratic Alliance (AD), Angolan Democratic Forum (FDA), Social Democratic Party (PSD), and the Angolan National Democratic Party (PNDA).

Suffrage:

Universal age 18 and over.

Economy

GDP (2005 est. using purchasing power parity):

$45.6 billion.

GDP (2005 est. using Atlas method):

$21.6 billion.

Annual real GDP growth rate (2005 est.):

13.8%.

Per capita GDP (2004 est. using purchasing power parity):

$2,525.

Per capita GDP (2004 est. using Atlas method):

$951.

Avg. inflation rate (2004):

40.4%.

Natural resources:

Petroleum, diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, bauxite, uranium, gold, granite, copper, feldspar.

Agriculture:

Products—bananas, sugarcane, coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, manioc, tobacco, vegetables, plantains; livestock; forest products; fisheries products.

Industry:

Types—petroleum drilling and refining, mining, cement, basic metal products, fish processing, food processing, brewing, tobacco products, sugar refining, textiles.

Trade:

Exports (2004)—$9.8 billion: petroleum and derivatives (91.92%), diamonds (7.45%), fish (0.11%), scrap metal (0.05%), coffee, sisal, timber, cotton. Major markets (2003)—U.S. (47.74%), China (23.37%), France (7.35%), South Korea (2.84%). Imports (2003 est.)—$4.1 billion, machinery, electrical equipment, vehicles and spare parts, medicines, food, textiles. Major sources (2003)—Portugal (18.2%), U.S. (12.1%), South Africa (11.0%), Japan (1.3%), South Korea, Brazil.


GEOGRAPHY

Angola is located on the South Atlantic Coast of West Africa between Namibia and the Republic of the Congo. It also is bordered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia to the east. The country is divided into an arid coastal strip stretching from Namibia to Luanda; a wet, interior highland; a dry savanna in the interior south and southeast; and rain forest in the north and in Cabinda. The Zambezi River and several tributaries of the Congo River have their sources in Angola. The coastal strip is tempered by the cool Benguela current, resulting in a climate similar to coastal Baja California. There is a short rainy season lasting from February to April. Summers are hot and dry, while winters are mild. The interior highlands have a mild climate with a rainy season from November through April followed by a cool dry season from May to October when overnight temperatures can fall to freezing. Elevations generally range from 3,000 to 6,000 feet. The far north and Cabinda enjoy rain throughout much of the year.


PEOPLE

Estimates of Angola's population vary widely, as there has been no census for many years. Angola has three main ethnic groups, each speaking a Bantu language: Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, and Bakongo 13%. Other groups include Chokwe, Lunda, Ganguela, Nhaneca-Humbe, Ambo, Herero, and Xindunga. In addition, mixed racial (European and African) people amount to about 2%, with a small (1%) population of whites, mainly ethnically Portuguese. Portuguese make up the largest non-Angolan population, with at least 30,000 (though many native-born Angolans can claim Portuguese nationality under Portuguese law). Portuguese is both the official and predominant language.


HISTORY

In 1482, when the Portuguese first landed in what is now northern Angola, they encountered the Kingdom of the Congo, which stretched from modern Gabon in the north to the Kwanza River in the south. Mbanza Congo, the capital, had a population of 50,000 people. South of this kingdom were various important states, of which the Kingdom of Ndongo, ruled by the ngola (king), was most significant. Modern Angola derives its name from the king of Ndongo. The Portuguese gradually took control of the coastal strip throughout the 16th century by a series of treaties and wars. The Dutch occupied Luanda from 1641-48, providing a boost for anti-Portuguese states. In 1648, Brazilian-based Portuguese forces re-took Luanda and initiated a process of military conquest of the Congo and Ndongo states that ended with Portuguese victory in 1671. Full Portuguese administrative control of the interior did not occur until the beginning of the 20th century.

Portugal's primary interest in Angola quickly turned to slavery. The slaving system began early in the 16th century with the purchase from African chiefs of people to work on sugar plantations in São Tomé, Principé, and Brazil. Many scholars agree that by the 19th century, Angola was the largest source of slaves not only for Brazil, but also for the Americas, including the United States. By the end of the 19th century, a massive forced labor system had replaced formal slavery and would continue until outlawed in 1961. It was this forced labor that provided the basis for development of a plantation economy and, by the mid-20th century, a major mining sector. Forced labor combined with British financing to construct three railroads from the coast to the interior, the most important of which was the transcontinental Benguela railroad that linked the port of Lobito with the copper zones of the Belgian Congo and what is now Zambia, through which it connects to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

Colonial economic development did not translate into social development for native Angolans. The Portuguese regime encouraged white immigration, especially after 1950, which intensified racial antagonisms. As decolonization progressed elsewhere in Africa, Portugal, under the Salazar and Caetano dictatorships, rejected independence and treated its African colonies as overseas provinces. Consequently, three independence movements emerged: the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) led by Agostinho Neto, with a base among Kimbundu and the mixed-race intelligentsia of Luanda, and links to communist parties in Portugal and the East Bloc; the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), led by Holden Roberto with an ethnic base in the Bakongo region of the north and links to the United States and the Mobutu regime in Kinshasa; and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas Malheiro Savimbi with an ethnic and regional base in the Ovimbundu heartland in the center of the country and links to the People's Republic of China and apartheid South Africa.

From the early 1960s, elements of these movements fought against the Portuguese. A 1974 coup d'etat in Portugal established a military government that promptly ceased the war and agreed, in the Alvor Accords, to hand over power to a coalition of the three movements. The ideological differences between the three movements eventually led to armed conflict, with FNLA and UNITA forces, encouraged by their respective international supporters, attempting to wrest control of Luanda from the MPLA. The intervention of troops from South Africa on behalf of UNITA and Zaire on behalf of the FNLA in September and October

1975 and the MPLA's importation of Cuban troops in November effectively internationalized the conflict. Retaining control of Luanda, the coastal strip, and increasingly lucrative oil fields in Cabinda, the MPLA declared independence on November 11, 1975, the day the Portuguese abandoned the capital. UNITA and the FNLA formed a rival coalition government based in the interior city of Huambo. Agostinho Neto became the first president of the MPLA government that was recognized by the United Nations in 1976. Upon Neto's death from cancer in 1979, then-Planning Minister José Eduardo dos Santos ascended to the presidency.

The FNLA's military failures led to its increasing marginalization, internal divisions, and abandonment by international supporters. An internationalized conventional civil war between UNITA and the MPLA continued until 1989. For much of this time, UNITA controlled vast swaths of the interior and was backed by U.S. resources and South African troops. Similarly, tens of thousands of Cuban troops remained in support of the MPLA, often fighting South Africans on the front lines. A U.S.-brokered agreement resulted in withdrawal of foreign troops in 1989 and led to the Bicesse Accord in 1991, which spelled out an electoral process for a democratic Angola under the supervision of the United Nations. When UNITA's Jonas Savimbi failed to win the first round of the presidential election in 1992 (he won 40% to dos Santos's 49%, which meant a runoff), he called the election fraudulent and returned to war. Another peace accord, known as the Lusaka Protocol, was brokered in Lusaka, Zambia, and signed in 1994. This agreement, too, collapsed into renewed conflict. The UN Security Council voted on August 28, 1997 to impose sanctions on UNITA. The Angolan military launched a massive offensive in 1999, which destroyed UNITA's conventional capacity and recaptured all major cities previously held by Savimbi's forces. Savimbi then declared a return to guerrilla tactics, which continued until his death in combat in February 2002.

On April 4, 2002, the Angolan Government and UNITA signed the Luena Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which formalized the de facto cease-fire that prevailed following Savimbi's death. In accordance with the MOU, UNITA recommitted to the peace framework in the 1994 Lusaka Protocol, returned all remaining territory to Angolan Government control, quartered all military personnel in predetermined locations, and relinquished all arms. In August 2002, UNITA demobilized all military personnel and in September 2002, together with the government, reconstituted the UN-sponsored Joint Commission to resolve all outstanding political issues under the Lusaka Protocol. On November 21, 2002, UNITA and the government declared all outstanding issues resolved and the Lusaka Protocol fully implemented. UN Security Council sanctions on UNITA were lifted on December 9, 2002. In advance of national elections projected for 2006, UNITA and the MPLA held their first post-war party congresses in June and December 2003, respectively. The UNITA Congress saw the democratic transfer of power from interim leader General Paulo Lukumba "Gato" to former UNITA representative in Paris Isaias Henriqué Samakuva, while the MPLA Congress reaffirmed President dos Santos' leadership of party structures.

The Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC), formed in 1974, rejects the Alvor Accords that included Cabinda as part of Angolan territory at independence. Since 1975, FLEC has engaged in low-level guerilla attacks against government targets and has periodically kidnapped foreigners in an effort to press for an independent Cabindan state. Leadership struggles within FLEC have led to its breakup into various splinter factions, two of which continue the movement's armed insurgency. The international community has rejected the notion of Cabindan independence. The Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) launched a major offensive against FLEC in November 2002. While the offensive was moderately successful, at least one of the FLEC factions retains a guerilla capability. Periodic, separate negotiations between the leadership of the two armed FLEC factions and the Angolan Government have failed to produce a settlement to the conflict.


GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Angola changed from a one-party Marxist-Leninist system ruled by the MPLA to a nominal multiparty democracy following the 1992 elections, in which President dos Santos won the first-round election with more than 49% of the vote to Jonas Savimbi's 40%; a runoff never took place. The Constitutional Law of 1992 establishes the broad outlines of government structure and delineates the rights and duties of citizens. The government is based on ordinances, decrees, and decisions issued by a president and his ministers or through legislation produced by the National Assembly and approved by the president. The parliament is generally subordinate to the executive.

Few opportunities exist for opposition parties to challenge MPLA dominance. President dos Santos has proposed that general elections be held in 2006. A multi-party constitutional reform process will resume following elections.

Angola is governed by a president who is assisted by a prime minister and 30 cabinet ministers, all appointed by the president. Political power is concentrated in the presidency. The executive branch of the government is composed of the president (head of state and government), the prime minister, and the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers, composed of all government ministers and vice ministers, meets regularly to discuss policy issues. The President, the Council of Ministers, and individual ministers in their areas of competence have the ability to legislate by decree.

The National Assembly has 220 members elected in 1992 (three seats for Angolans living abroad have never been filled). They represent parties whose weight is determined by a formula that takes into account national tickets and provincial voting. The ruling MPLA controls 59% of the seats.

The central government administers the country through 18 provinces. Governors of the provinces are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the president.

The legal system is based on Portuguese and customary law but is weak and fragmented. Courts operate in only a fraction of the 164 municipalities. A Supreme Court serves as the appellate tribunal; a Constitutional Court with powers of judicial review has never been constituted despite statutory authorization. Recently, the Supreme Court has acted as a Constitutional Court.

The 27-year-long civil war ravaged the country's political and social institutions. The government estimates that 4.7 million people were internally displaced by the civil war. Since 2002, more than 300,000 of Angola's original 450,000 refugees have returned home. In 2005, the anticipated final year for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) organized return program, an anticipated 53,000 refugees will be assisted in returning to Angola. Daily conditions of life throughout the country mirror the inadequate administrative infrastructure as well as weak social institutions. Government support for social institutions is often inadequate. Many hospitals are without medicines or basic equipment, schools are without books, and public employees often lack the basic supplies for their day-to-day work.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 12/17/2004

President: Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS
Prime Minister: Fernando "Nando" da Piedade Dias DOS SANTOS
Min. of Agriculture & Rural Development: Gilberto LUTUKUTA
Min. of Commerce: Joaquim Ekuma MUAFUMUA
Min. of Culture: Boaventura CARDOSO
Min. of Defense: Kundi PAIHAMA
Min. of Education: Antonio Burity DA SILVA
Min. of Energy & Water: Jose Botelho DE VASCONCELOS
Min. of Environment & Urban Development: Diakunpuna Sita JOSE
Min. of External Relations: Joao Bernardo DE MIRANDA
Min. of Finance: Jose Pedro DE MORAIS
Min. of Fisheries: Salamao XIRIMBIMBI
Min. of Geology & Mines: Manuel Antonio AFRICANO
Min. of Health: Sebastiao Sapuile VELSOS
Min. of Industry: Joaquim Duarte da Costa DAVID
Min. of Interior: Oswaldo de Jesus Serra VAN DUNEM
Min. of Justice: Manuel ARAGAO
Min. of Petroleum: Desiderio DA COSTA
Min. of Planning: Ana Dias LOURENCO
Min. of Public Administration & Employment: Antonio Pitra NETO
Min. of Public Works: Francisco Higino CARNEIRO
Min. of Science & Technology: Joao Baptista NGANDAGINA
Min. of Social Communication: Pedro Henrick Vaal NETO
Min. of Social Reintegration: Joao Baptista KUSSUMUA
Min. of Telecommunications: Licinio Tavares RIBEIRO
Min. of Territorial Administration: Virgilio Fontes PEREIRA
Min. of Tourism & Hotels: Eduardo Jonatao CHINGUNJI
Min. of Transport: Andre Luis BRANDAO
Min. of Veterans & Ex-Combatants: Pedro Jose VAN DUNEM
Min. of Women & Family Affairs: Candida Celeste DA SILVA
Min. of Youth & Sports: Jose Marcos BARRICA
Min. in the Office of the Presidency, Civil Affairs: Jose da Costa e Silva LEITAO
Min. in the Office of the Presidency, General Secretariat: Jose Mateus de Adelino PEIXOTO
Min. in the Office of the Presidency, Military Affairs: Manuel Helder DIAS
Governor, National Bank of Angola: Amadeu MAURICIO
Ambassador to the US: Josefina Perpetua Pitra DIAKITE
Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Ismael Abraao GASPAR MARTINS

Angola maintains an embassy in the United States at 2100-2108 16th St., NW, Washington, DC 20009 (tel. 202-785-1156; fax 202-822-9049; web: www.angola.org). Angola also maintains consulates in New York City (attached to its Permanent Mission to the United Nations) at 866 UN Plaza, 48th St., Suite 552, New York, NY 10017 (tel. 212-233-3588, ext. 15; fax 212-980-9606; web: www.un.int/angola) and in Houston at 3040 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 708, Houston, TX 77056 (tel. 713-212-3840; fax 713-212-3841).


ECONOMY

Angola has a fast-growing economy largely due to a major oil boom, but it also ranks in the bottom 10 of almost every socioeconomic indicator. Aside from the oil sector and diamonds, it is recovering from 27 years of nearly continuous warfare, corruption, and economic mismanagement. Despite abundant natural resources, and rising per capita GDP, Angola was ranked 166 out of 177 countries on the UNDP's Human Development Index Subsistence agriculture sustains two-thirds of the population.

By contrast, the rapidly expanding petroleum industry—now producing approximately 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd), behind only Nigeria in Africa—accounts for 51.7% of GNP, 92% of exports, and 90% of government revenues. Production is expected to reach 2 million barrels per day by 2008. Oil production remains largely offshore and has few linkages with other sectors of the economy, though a local content initiative promulgated by the Angolan Government is pressuring oil companies to source from local businesses.

Block Zero, located in the enclave of Cabinda, currently provides one-third of Angola's crude oil production. Chevron, through its subsidiary Cabinda Gulf Oil Company, is the operator with a 39.2% share. Sonangol (the Angolan state oil company), TotalFinaElf, and ENI-Agip are partners in the concession. Chevron also operates Angola's first producing deepwater section, Block 14, which started pumping in January 2000 at the rate of 80,000 bpd and is scheduled to add 180,000 bpd in production by 2006. Production from these Cabinda fields will be eclipsed by deepwater production further south in the Kwanza Basin scheduled to come on-line between 2002 and 2010.

TotalFinaElf brought the first Kwanza Basin deepwater blocks online with production from its Block 17 concession that began in February 2002 and now produces up to 300,000 bpd. Additional sub-fields will begin production in 2006 at the rate of 200,000 bpd. ExxonMobil brought the first of its Block 15 sub-fields on-line in 2003 at the rate of 70,000 bpd. Two additional discoveries of 3 billion barrels in reserves are producing at a rate of 250,000 bpd each. Both ExxonMobil and TotalFinaElf made new discoveries in these blocks in 2003. Exploration is ongoing in recently awarded ultra-deep water concessions and in deep water and shallow concessions in the Namibe Basin. BP made the first significant ultra-deep water find in its Block 31 concession in 2002 and followed up with two more in 2003. Marathon also drilled a successful well in its Block 32 ultra-deep water concession. In August 2005, BP made its 8th discovery in Block 31. BP, which currently does not produce oil in Angola as an operator, expects to have production of 600,000 bpd by 2007. TotalFinaElf operates Angola's one refinery (in Luanda) as a joint venture with Sonangol; plans for a second refinery in Lobito with projected production of 200,000 bpd are moving forward. There are plans to increase capacity of the Luanda refinery from 40,000 bpd to 100,000 bpd. Chevron, Sonangol, and other partners are developing a liquefied natural gas plant at Soyo.

Exports to Asian countries have grown rapidly in recent years, particularly China. In late 2004, China's state oil company Sinopec bought into Block 18, securing the deal by offering a $2 billion credit line to the Angolan Government. Sinopec has also formed a partnership with Sonangol to operate Block 3/05 (formerly Block 3/80), whose operation was transferred from Total to Sonangol recently. Sonangol will seek to expand its operation of onshore and shallow water blocks. This may include the northern block of Cabinda's onshore concessions, which since the halt in hostilities with separatist forces is now open to exploration. Sonangol and Sinopec will also be eyeing future concession rounds, particularly for 23 blocks in the Kwanza Basin onshore area and the relinquished parts of Blocks 15, 17, and 18, currently operated by Exxon, Total, and BP.

Diamonds make up most of Angola's remaining exports. Diamond sales may reach $900 million in 2005. Despite increased corporate ownership of diamond fields, much production is currently in the hands of small-scale prospectors, often operating illegally. Only eight formal sector mines are operating out of a total of 145 concessions. In June 2005, De Beers signed a $10 million prospecting contract with the government's diamond parastatal, ending a 4-year investment dispute between De Beers and the government. The government is making an increased effort to register and license prospectors. Legal sales of rough diamonds may occur only through the government's diamond-buying parastatal, although many producers continue to bypass the system to obtain higher prices. The government has established an export certification scheme consistent with the "Kimberley Process" to identify legitimate production and sales. Other mineral resources, including gold, remain largely undeveloped, though granite and marble mining has begun.

In the last decade of the colonial period, Angola was a major African agricultural exporter. Because of severe wartime conditions, including extensive laying of landmines throughout the countryside, agricultural activities were brought to a near standstill, and the country now imports about half of its food. Small-scale agricultural production has increased dramatically over the last three years as internally displaced persons (IDPs) are returning to the land. Some efforts at commercial agricultural recovery have gone forward, notably in fisheries and tropical fruits, but most of the country's vast potential remains untapped. Coffee production, though a fraction of its pre-1975 level, is sufficient for domestic needs and some exports. Recently passed land reform laws will attempt to reconcile overlapping traditional land use rights, colonialera land claims, and recent land grants to facilitate significant commercial agricultural development.

An economic reform effort launched in 1998 was only marginally successful in addressing persistent fiscal mismanagement and corruption. In April 2000, Angola started an International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff-monitored program (SMP). The program lapsed in June 2001 over IMF concerns about lack of adequate Angolan progress. Under the program, the Government of Angola did succeed in unifying exchange rates and moving fuel, electricity, and water prices closer to market rates.

In December 2002 President dos Santos named a new economic team to oversee homegrown reform efforts. The new team has succeeded in decreasing overall government spending, rationalizing the Kwanza exchange rate, closing regulatory loopholes allowing off-budget expenditures, and capturing all revenues in the state budget. New procedures have been implemented to track the flow of funds between the Treasury, Banco Nacional de Angola (the central bank), and the state-owned Banco de Poupanca e Credito, which operates the budget. The Angolan Government has adopted a new investment code. Concerns remain about quasi-fiscal operations by the state oil company Sonangol, continued oil-backed commercial borrowing by the Angolan Government, and inadequate transparency and over-sight in the management of public accounts. The Angolan commercial code, financial sector law, and telecommunications law all require substantial revision.

The Angolan Government remains in dialogue with the IMF. In its published July 2003 Article IV report, the IMF endorsed four prerequisites to proceeding with formal negotiations: (1) disclosure of foreign debt data; (2) timely provision of macroeconomic statistics; (3) full implementation of the single government account at the Central Bank, and (4) additional dialogue on oil revenue management. A December 2003 IMF staff mission to Angola found some progress in these areas. In February 2004, the Angolan Government and the IMF reached agreement on the steps necessary to conclude SMP negotiations. As of September 2005, Angola and the IMF remained in discussion on an IMF program.

Angola is the second-largest trading partner of the United States in sub-Saharan Africa, largely because of its petroleum exports. U.S. exports to Angola primarily consist of industrial goods and services—such as oilfield equipment, mining equipment, chemicals, aircraft, and food. On December 30, 2003, President Bush approved the designation of Angola as eligible for tariff preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for 2004.


DEFENSE

The Angolan Armed Forces, known by its Portuguese acronym FAA, are headed by a chief of staff who reports to the civilian minister of defense. There are three services—the army, navy, and air force. Total manpower is about 140,000. The army is by far the largest of the services with about 130,000 personnel. The navy numbers about 3,000 and operates several small patrol craft and barges. Air force personnel total about 7,000; its equipment includes Russian-manufactured fighters and transport planes. The "Casa Militar," or presidential guard, answers directly to the Office of the President and is separate from FAA command and control structures.


FOREIGN RELATIONS

From 1975 to 1989, Angola was aligned with the Soviet Union and Cuba. Since then, it has focused on improving relationships with Western countries, cultivating links with other Portuguese-speaking countries, and asserting its own national interests in Central Africa through military and diplomatic intervention. In 1993, it established formal diplomatic relations with the United States. It has entered the Southern African Development Community as a vehicle for improving ties with it's largely Anglophone neighbors to the south. In 1997, Zimbabwe and Namibia joined Angola in its military intervention in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where Angolan troops fought in support of the Laurent and Joseph Kabila governments. It also has intervened in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) in support of President Sassou-Nguesso.

Multilaterally, Angola has promoted the revival of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) as a forum for cultural exchange and a means of expanding ties with Portugal and Brazil. During the peace process, the government fully cooperated with the UN Mission in Angola (UNMA), which concluded its mandate in mid-February 2003. Angola concluded a 2-year term on the Security Council in December 2004.


U.S.-ANGOLAN RELATIONS

The United States established formal diplomatic relations with the Government of Angola in 1993. Before 1989, U.S.-Angolan relations were defined by the Cold War. The United States initially supported Holden Roberto's FNLA and later Jonas Savimbi's UNITA against the pro-Soviet and pro-Cuban MPLA government in Luanda. Since 1992, the bilateral relationship has steadily improved. In May 2004, President dos Santos met with President Bush during an official visit to Washington.

The U.S. Mission in Angola consists of four agencies—the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Defense, and the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (HHS/CDC). In addition, a variety of federal agencies maintain relationships with the Angolan Government through ongoing projects, including the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Energy. In FY 2003, U.S. Government assistance amounted to roughly $188 million.

USAID's Food for Peace office provided emergency food inputs valued at $30.7 million in FY 2005 to feed vulnerable populations and help stimulate agricultural recovery, continuing a phasing out period in the past two years of the emergency program as Angola has stabilized and the emergency has ended.

USAID's development program in Angola in FY 2005 is consistent with the country's status as a "fragile state", vulnerable and recovering from an extended civil conflict. The program budget was $15.3 million, focused on improving food security, civil society strengthening and democratization, market-oriented economic analysis and economic reform policy, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS prevention, education and voluntary counseling and treatment. The food security objective, focused on smallholder agriculture, promotes access to inputs, extension services and training; market linkages; and revitalized agricultural productivity in Angola. The democracy objective strengthens constituencies and institutions required for democratic governance by promoting civil society coalitions, an independent media, government transparency and accountability, and the groundwork for free and fair elections. The health objective aims to improve maternal and child health and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases by helping communities and institutions to provide necessary health services and to conduct HIV/AIDS prevention programs. The economic reform objective fosters economic policy and financial sector reform, business development services, and credit access for micro-, small, and medium enterprises. USAID works with a number of international and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and corporate partners in alliances and public-private partnerships. Additional funding for USAID to strengthen interventions against malaria is expected in FY 2006, given Angola's inclusion in President Bush's Africa Malaria Initiative.

Emergency support from HHS/CDC was provided to address the Marburg virus outbreak in northern Angola, with assistance from the USAID Mission. CDC personnel joined with the World Health Organization (WHO) as part of the international response to assist with epidemiologic investigation, infection control, and laboratory diagnosis. CDC personnel in Atlanta provided laboratory and scientific support to Angola's Ministry of Health and to countries bordering Angola, establishing a field laboratory in Luanda, Angola to provide prompt laboratory confirmation of suspect Marburg cases in Angola and neighboring countries. Additional HIV/AIDS funding for the country of just over $2 million from HHS/CDC is also available, and helped expand surveillance, information systems, laboratory and blood bank quality control.

To assist with economic reform, the State Department provided $2.2 million to work on land tenure, economic policy, and the financial sector. An additional $60,000 in grants was provided to community development projects. $152,000 in International Military Education and Training (IMET) funds was provided for English language training to the Angolan Armed Forces. Professional training for law enforcement personnel at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Gaborone, Botswana continued. The Safe Skies for Africa program provided around $800,000 in equipment and training to the Angolan civil aviation authority. As part of its public diplomacy program, the Embassy provided nearly $434,000 in English language training, educational exchanges and fellowships, and information resource services.

At the same time, the energy-based U.S. trading relationship continues to expand and spark other ties. One offshoot has been the development of a Sister City relationship between Lafayette, Louisiana and Cabinda and between Houston, Texas and Luanda. The Catholic University of Luanda has close links with a number of American institutions and has received support from the Angola Educational Assistance Fund, a U.S. non-profit organization organized by Citizens Energy of Boston. Sonangol has a longstanding program of educating its professionals in U.S. universities, complementing Chevron's policy of U.S. training for its own growing pool of Angolan professionals. Long before oil was discovered, American missionary efforts from the early 19th century established several Protestant churches in the interior, which also provided much of the schooling that was available in rural colonial Angola; those historical links now are being revived with exchanges in both directions.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

AMB:CYNTHIA G. EFIRD
AMB OMS:ROBIN WELKER
DCM:JAMES A. KNIGHT
DCM OMS:(Vacant)
POL:JOEL R. WIEGERT
POL/ECO:NINA FITE
MGT:JONATHAN G. PRATT
AFSA:GAIL SPENCE
AID:DIANA SWAIN
DAO:LTC BERNARD
SPARROW, USA
ECO/COM:RUDDY K. WANG
EEO:(vacant)
FMO:NEIL P. EYNON
GSO:FRIEDA MARTIN
ICASS Chair:KIM F. DUBOIS
IMO:KEN LAMPKINS
ISO:ANNE GALCHUTT
PAO:KIM F. DUBOIS
RSO:W. GORDON HILLS
Last Updated: 8/3/2005

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

April 15, 2005

Country Description:

Angola is a large, developing country in southern Africa. After gaining independence from Portugal in 1975, it was engulfed in a civil conflict that lasted for more than a quarter century. A cease-fire was called in April 2002, two months after the death of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi, and, on November 21, 2002, the government and former rebels signed a peace agreement that definitively ended the conflict. Fighting has ended in all areas of the country except for the Cabinda enclave, where there have been very few recent reports of violence. There are growing signs of economic recovery. Nevertheless, major problems remain with virtually every element of infrastructure and government service throughout the country, including communications and basic social services. Travel by road is difficult and can be dangerous due to land mines in many areas. Facilities for tourism, particularly outside the capital of Luanda, are inadequate. Hotels can now be found in Lubango, Lobito, Huambo, Luena and Ondjiva, but they are expensive and limited in amenities.

Entry/Exit Requirements:

Passport and visa, which must be obtained in advance, and an International Certificate of Vaccination, are required. Persons arriving without visas are subject to arrest and/or exclusion. Travelers may also encounter delays if they do not have at least one completely blank page available in their passports for entry and exit stamps. Travelers whose international immunization cards do not show inoculations against yellow fever within the past ten years may be subject to involuntary vaccinations and heavy fines. Visitors remaining in Angola beyond their authorized visa duration are subject to fines and arrest. Current information on entry requirements may be obtained from the Embassy of Angola at 2100-2108 16th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. (202) 785-1156, fax (202) 785-1258.

Safety and Security:

The security situation in Angola has improved markedly since the end of the civil war; however, Americans should still exercise caution. Although the war has ended, ground travel throughout Angola is problematic due to banditry and land mines, which were used extensively during the war. Frequent checkpoints and poor infrastructure contribute to unsafe travel on roads outside of the city of Luanda. Police and military officials are sometimes undisciplined, and their authority should not be challenged. Travel in many parts of Luanda is relatively safe by day, but car doors should be locked, windows rolled up, and packages stored out of sight. Visitors should avoid discretionary travel after dark, and no travel should be undertaken on roads outside of cities after nightfall.

The civil war between the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and the Government of Angola has ended. The insurgency pursued by the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) has virtually ended although the Government of Angola continues to pursue the remnants of FLEC forces. In the past, FLEC has threatened foreign nationals with kidnapping. Throughout Angola, taking photographs of sites and installations perceived as being of military or security interest, including government buildings, may result in arrest or fines and should be avoided.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or, for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except on U.S. federal holidays).

Crime:

Crime is a serious problem throughout the country. While most violent crime occurs between Angolans, foreigners have occasionally been attacked as well. Street crime is a regular occurrence in Luanda. The most common crimes are pick-pocketing, purse-snatching, vehicle theft, and vehicle break-ins. Armed muggings, robberies, and carjackings involving foreigners are not frequent but do occur. Police and military officials are sometimes undisciplined and their authority should not be challenged. In general, movement around Luanda is safer by day than by night. Air travelers arriving in Luanda at night are strongly advised to arrange reliable and secure ground transportation in advance. If this is not possible, use only the regulated taxi service at the airport and in Luanda; unregulated taxis are unsafe and can present a crime risk.

Motorists should stop at all police checkpoints if so directed. Police officers have been known to participate in shakedowns, muggings, and carjackings.

There have been police operations against illegal aliens and private companies resulting in deportation of foreign nationals and loss of personal and company property. Independent entrepreneurs in Angola should carry all relevant immigration and business documents at all times.

Travelers should be alert to scams occasionally perpetrated by Luanda airport personnel. Immigration and customs officials sometimes detain foreigners without cause, demanding gratuities before allowing them to enter or depart Angola. Airport health officials sometimes threaten arriving passengers with "vaccinations" with unsterilized instruments if gratuities are not paid. Searches of travelers' checked baggage is common; travelers are advised to take precautions against this possibility. Travelers should also be sure to have checked luggage receipts ready to display upon exiting the airport.

Information for Victims of Crime:

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends, and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of crimes are solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Health Information:

Adequate medical facilities are rare except in Luanda, where there are some good private clinics that usually have a 24-hour service provided by a general practiced physician and with specialists on call. The U.S. Embassy in Luanda can provide a list of such facilities. Routine operations such as appendectomies can be performed. However, many types of medicine are not readily available; travelers are urged to carry with them properly labeled supplies of any medications they routinely require.

There is currently an outbreak of Marburg hemorrhagic fever, a severe and often fatal disease, in Uige province, Angola. The Department of State, therefore, advises against travel to Uige province. The Angolan Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Centers for Disease Control-Atlanta (CDC) continue to work to identify and publicize recommended health measures and treatments, and to develop strategies, which will ensure that this outbreak remains contained. Americans visiting or resident in Angola are advised to monitor public health announcements from the Ministry of Health and the WHO, and to follow their public health guidelines and recommendations. More information on the Marburg virus may be obtained at http://www.who.int/csr/disease/marburg/en/ and at the CDC site noted below.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance:

The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions:

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Angola is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Until early 2002, destinations in the interior were accessible safely only by aircraft. Since the end of the civil war, overland access to the interior has increased. However, fighting in most of the country damaged or destroyed many roads and bridges, and services for motorists outside urban areas cannot be counted on. Road travel can be dangerous due to occasional banditry and especially landmines in many areas. Road conditions vary widely outside the capital, from acceptable paved surfaces to virtually impassable dirt roads, particularly on secondary routes. Many secondary roads are impassable during the rainy season. Overloaded, poorly marked, and disabled vehicles, as well as pedestrians and livestock, pose hazards for motorists. Ground travel in rural areas should be under-taken during daylight hours only.

Traffic in Luanda is heavy and often chaotic; roads are often in poor condition. Few intersections have traffic lights or police to direct vehicles. Drivers often fail to obey traffic lights, lane markings, and stop signs, and there are frequent vehicle breakdowns. Itinerant vendors and pedestrians often weave in and out of traffic, posing a danger to themselves and to drivers. Most public transportation, including buses and van taxis, should be avoided as the vehicles are generally crowded, unsafe, and unreliable.

Aviation Safety Oversight:

As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Angola, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Angola's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards.

Special Circumstances:

Angola is generally a cash-only economy; both travelers' checks and credit cards are of minimal utility. In addition, ATM machines are not generally useful for travelers. Travelers should carry a sufficient supply of U.S. dollars with them. Only the newer series U.S. dollar bills (with large faces) are accepted. U.S. dollars can be converted to local currency at exchange houses authorized by the Angolan government. Angolan currency (the Kwanza) may not be taken out of the country and travelers are subject to search (often accompanied by confiscation) at the airport.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passports with them at all times, so that, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Luanda will prepare certified copies of American passports at no charge for individuals who register with the Embassy. The Embassy recommends that Americans keep their passport in a secure place and carry certified copies to avoid the possibility of authorities confiscating identity and travel documents.

Angolan customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Angola of sensitive items including firearms, antiquities, and currency. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Angola in Washington or one of Angola's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Criminal Penalties:

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Angolan laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Angola are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in illicit sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues:

For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family/family_1732.html.

Registration/Embassy Location:

Americans living or traveling in Angola are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Angola. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Luanda is located at the Casa Inglesa Complex, Rua Major Kanhangula No. 132/135, tel. 244-2-371-645 or 396-727; fax 244-2-390-515. The Embassy is located on Rua Houari Boumedienne in the Miramar area of Luanda, P.O. Box 6468, tel. 244-2-447-028/445-481/446-224; 24-hour duty officer 244-92-404-209; fax 244-2-446-924. The Consular section may be contacted by e-mail at [email protected] or at [email protected] Further information on travel to Angola is also located on the Embassy website at http://usembassy.state.gov/angola.

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Angola

Angola

1 Location and Size

2 Topography

3 Climate

4 Plants and Animals

5 Environment

6 Population

7 Migration

8 Ethnic Groups

9 Languages

10 Religions

11 Transportation

12 History

13 Government

14 Political Parties

15 Judicial System

16 Armed Forces

17 Economy

18 Income

19 Industry

20 Labor

21 Agriculture

22 Domesticated Animals

23 Fishing

24 Forestry

25 Mining

26 Foreign Trade

27 Energy and Power

28 Social Development

29 Health

30 Housing

31 Education

32 Media

33 Tourism and Recreation

34 Famous Angolans

35 Bibliography

Republic of Angola
República de Angola

CAPITAL: Luanda

FLAG: The upper half is red, the lower half black; in the center, a five-pointed yellow star and half a yellow cogwheel are crossed by a yellow machete.

ANTHEM: Angola Avanti.

MONETARY UNIT: The Angolan escudo (ae) was the national currency until 1977, when the kwanza (Kw) of 100 lwei replaced it. There are coins of 50 lwei and 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 kwanza, and notes of 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 kwanza. Kw1 = $0.01129 (or $1 = Kw88.6) as of 2005.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: The metric system is used.

HOLIDAYS: New Year’s Day, 1 January; Anniversary of Outbreak of Anti-Portuguese Struggle, 4 February; Victory Day, 27 March; Youth Day, 14 April; Workers’ Day, 1 May; Armed Forces Day, 1 August; National Heroes’ Day, 17 September; Independence Day, 11 November; Pioneers’ Day, 1 December; Anniversary of the Foundation of the MPLA, 10 December; Family Day, 25 December.

TIME: 1 pm = noon GMT.

1 Location and Size

Angola is located on the west coast of Africa, south of the equator. Angola is slightly less than twice the size of Texas, with a total area of 1,246,700 square kilometers (481,351 square miles), including Cabinda (7,270 square kilometers/2,810 square miles), a small coastal section to the north that is separated from the main part of the country and completely surrounded by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo. Angola’s total boundary length, including Cabinda’s, is 5,198 kilometers (3,233 miles). The country has a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean that extends for 1,600 kilometers (994 miles).

2 Topography

Topographically, Angola consists mainly of broad tablelands above 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) in altitude. A high plateau (planalto) in the center and south ranges up to 2,400 meters (7,900 feet). The highest point in Angola is Mount Moco, at 2,620 meters (8,596 feet). The lowest point is at sea level (Atlantic Ocean).

GEOGRAPHICAL PROFILE

Geographic Features

Area: 1,246,700 sq km (481,351 sq mi)

Size ranking: 22 of 194

Highest elevation: 2,620 meters (8,596 feet) at Mount Moco

Lowest elevation: Sea level at the Atlantic Ocean

Land Use*

Arable land: 3%

Permanent crops: 0%

Other: 97%

Weather**

Average annual precipitation: 36.7 centimeters (14.4 inches)

Average temperature in January: 25.9°c (78.6°f)

Average temperature in July: 20.2°c (68.4°f)

* Arable Land: Land used for temporary crops, like meadows for mowing or pasture, gardens, and greenhouses.

Permanent crops: Land cultivated with crops that occupy its use for long periods, such as cocoa, coffee, rubber, fruit and nut orchards, and vineyards.

Other: Any land not specified, including built-on areas, roads, and barren land.

** The measurements for precipitation and average temperatures were taken at weather stations closest to the country’s largest city.

Precipitation and average temperature can vary significantly within a country, due to factors such as latitude, altitude, coastal proximity, and wind patterns.

Rivers are numerous, but few are navigable. There are three types of rivers in Angola: constantly fed rivers (such as the Cuango River), seasonally fed rivers, and temporary rivers and streams. Only the Cuanza, in central Angola, and the Cuango, in the north, is navigable by boats of significant size. The Cuanza is also the longest river that flows entirely within the country. Its length is about 966 kilometers (600 miles).

3 Climate

Angola’s climate varies considerably from the coast to the central plateau, and even between the north coast and the south coast. There are two seasons: a dry, cool season from June to late September, and a rainy, hot season from October to April or May. The average temperature is 20°c (68°f). However, temperatures are warmer along the coast and cooler on the central plateau.

4 Plants and Animals

Th ick forests (especially in Cabinda and in the Uíge area in the north) cover the wet regions, and in the drier areas there is thinner savanna vegetation. Fauna includes the lion, impala, hyena, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, and elephant. There are thousands of types of birds and a wide variety of insects.

5 Environment

The existing environmental problems in Angola have been aggravated by a 30-year war. The main problems are land abuse, desertification, loss of forests, and impure water. The productivity of the land is continually threatened by drought and soil erosion, which contributes to water pollution and deposits silt in rivers and dams. The cutting of tropical rain forests for international timber sale and domestic use as fuel contributes to the destruction of the land.

Endangered species in Angola include the black-faced impala, three species of turtle

(green, olive ridley, and leatherback), the giant sable antelope, the African slender-snouted (or long-snouted) crocodile, the African elephant, Vernay’s climbing monkey, and the black rhinoceros. Threatened species in Angola include 11 species of mammals, 20 species of birds, and 26 species of plants.

6 Population

Angola’s population was estimated at 15.4 million in 2005. The population density was 12 people per square kilometer (32 per square mile). A total population of 25.9 million is projected for the year 2025. Luanda, the capital, had 2.6 million people in 2005.

7 Migration

Although the civil war ended in 1994, at the start of 1997 there were still 200,000 Angolan refugees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 96,000 in Zambia, 12,000 in the Republic of the Congo, 1,000 in Namibia, and 15,000 other Angolan refugees in 15 other countries. Many Angolans are still displaced within their country as a result of the civil war. Angola hosted some 105,145 refugees as of 2004. In 2003, the net migration rate was estimated at 0.3 migrants per 1,000 population.

8 Ethnic Groups

The overwhelming majority of the population consists of Bantu, who are divided into groups based on their native tribal languages. The main ones are the Ovimbundu, who accounted for about 37% of the population as of 2005; the Kimbundu, totaling 25% of the population; and the Bakongo with 13%.

The mestiços (mixed European and Native African) make up about 2% of the population. Since mestiços are generally better educated than the black population, they exercise influence in government dis proportionate to their numbers. Europeans, mostly of Portuguese extraction, constitute 1% of the population. Other varied groups account for the remaining 22%.

9 Languages

Portuguese remains the official language, although African languages (and their dialects) are used at the local level.

10 Religions

Christianity is the major religion in the country. About five million people were Roman Catholic. About 3–5 million people are of Protestant denominations, including Methodists, Baptists, Congregationalists (United Church of Christ), and Assemblies of God.

The largest native religious group is the Kimbanguist Church, whose followers believe that the 20th-century Congolese pastor Joseph Kimbangu was a prophet. About 47% of the population follow African traditional beliefs either exclusively or in combination with other faiths. Communities in rural areas of the country practice animism and other indigenous religions. There is also a small Islamic community.

11 Transportation

In 2002, there were 76,626 kilometers (47,615 miles) of roads, of which 19,156 kilometers (11,904 miles) were paved. There were 40,000 passenger cars and about 63,400 commercial vehicles in 2003.

The rail network had a total extension in 2004 of about 2,761 kilometers (1,717 miles), of which 2,638 kilometers (1,641 miles) were 1.067-meter-gauge track. The merchant marine had four ships of 1,000 gross registered tons (GRT) or over in 2005, totaling 26,123 GRT. Angola had a total of 43 airports in 2004, of which 31 had paved runways as of 2005. There is an international airport at Luanda.

12 History

Originally inhabited by people of the Khoisan group (Bushmen), Angola was occupied by various Bantu peoples from farther north and east between ad 1300 and 1600.

The Portuguese arrived on the coast in the late 15th century. The first European to reach Angola was the Portuguese explorer Diogo Cao, who landed at the mouth of the Cuanza (Congo) River in 1483. Luanda, the current capital, was founded as a trading settlement in 1575. The slave trade assumed great importance during the 17th century, when slaves were carried to Portuguese plantations in Brazil. From the late 16th through the mid-19th century, Angola may have provided the New World with as many as two to three million slaves. Slavery was formally abolished in 1836, although under Portuguese rule forced labor was common until the early 1950s.

European domination spread and, in 1951, Angola was made an overseas province of Portugal. Increasing numbers of Portuguese settlers came to Angola, and by 1960 there were about 160,000 Europeans in the country.

Organized armed resistance to Portuguese rule began on 4 February 1961, when urban partisans of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) attacked the police headquarters in Luanda. The National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), headed by Holden Roberto, set up a revolutionary government-in-exile in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo—DROC) on 3 April 1962. A third movement, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), came into being as the consequence of a split in the government-in-exile. This group was headed by Jonas Savimbi.

The three movements were divided by political beliefs, ethnic makeup, and personal rivalries. All three movements fought the Portuguese. On 11 November 1975, the Portuguese decided to end their African empire and granted complete independence to Angola. An agreement between the Portuguese and the three movements established a coalition government headed by the leaders of all three parties. As independence day approached, however, the coalition government fell apart and the three groups fought among themselves for control of the government. The MPLA was a Marxist-oriented party that received military, as well as financial, assistance from the Soviet Union and Cuba. The FNLA and UNITA parties had a pro-Western orientation and were aided by South Africa and the United States.

On 11 February 1976, the Organization of African Unity formally recognized the MPLA government as the legitimate government of Angola. With the help of Cuban troops, the MPLA was able to gain control of most of the country. However, the losing parties continued to wage war against the MPLA government for the next 16 years. During this period, thousands of blacks were killed, most whites left the country, and the economy was totally ruined.

Finally, in April 1991, the United Nations (UN) supervised a cease-fire. All parties agreed to hold national elections on 29 and 30 September 1992. The resulting elections were won by the MPLA. However, UNITA leader Savimbi, upset by his unexpected defeat, charged fraud and threatened to take up arms again. Fighting broke out in Luanda. UNITA gained control of about 75% of Angola. Pressure for peace continued and on 20 November 1994 the Angolan government signed a peace treaty with UNITA, supported by 6,000 UN peacekeepers, known as the Lusaka Peace Accord.

In mid-1997, the government and UNITA were on opposite sides of the civil war in the DROC. The UN imposed new sanctions that further weakened UNITA. In mid-1998, UN officials uncovered a mass grave in northern Angola, indicating that despite the peace treaty of 1994, civil violence had continued. Full-scale warfare resumed at the end of 1998. In February 1999, the UN Security Council voted to end peacekeeping operations because there was no longer any hope of carrying out the 1994 Lusaka agreement.

In February 2002, prospects for peace changed dramatically when the army announced that it had killed Savimbi in an attack in southeastern

BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILE

Name: Jose Eduardo dos Santos

Position: President of the Republic

Took Office: 21 September 1979, reelected December 2003

Birthplace: Luanda, Angola

Birthdate: 28 August 1942

Education: Institute of Oil and Gas in Baku, USSR, petroleum engineer, 1969

Spouse: Ana Paula

Children: Three children

Of interest: Dos Santos received a scholarship to study engineering in the USSR.

Angola. In March 2002, UNITA commanders issued a joint communiqué with the Angolan army (FAA). The message confirmed a halt to hostilities and restated unwavering support for a political settlement based on the 1994 Lusaka Peace Accord. A peace accord between the government and UNITA followed in April. In February 2003, a UN mission overseeing the peace process finished its operations. By June 2003, UNITA had been transformed into a political party and had elected a new leader.

In 2004, the government began a serious effort to expel foreigners trafficking illegally in diamonds. By the end of the year, the government reported that 300,000 diamond dealers had been expelled, but the number could not be confirmed.

13 Government

The president of the republic is both chief of state and head of government and appoints and leads the council of ministers. A transitional government was set up in December 1992, dominated by the MPLA. UNITA had six cabinet posts and four other parties were represented. In 1997, an agreement was reached regarding UNITA’s participation in the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation. However, the resumption of warfare in 1998 doomed the prospects for a national unity government. The civil war

Yearly Growth Rate

This economic indicator tells by what percent the economy has increased or decreased when compared with the previous year.

ended in August 2002, with the death of Jonas Savimbi that February. Jose Eduardo dos Santos is president. There are currently 220 seats in the National Assembly, with members serving four-year terms. National Assembly elections scheduled for 1997 and rescheduled for 2006 had not been held as of early 2007.

Angola consists of 18 provinces, which are divided into districts and communes.

14 Political Parties

The three leading political organizations at the time of independence were the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola; MPLA), founded in 1956; the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola; FNLA), founded in 1962; and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (União Nacional para a Indepêndencia Total de Angola; UNITA), founded in 1966. Some 18 parties contested the 1992 elections. As of 2006, no further elections had been contested.

15 Judicial System

The judicial system currently consists of municipal and provincial courts at the trial level and a Supreme Court at the appellate level. Provincial court judges are nominated by the Supreme Court. The judge of the provincial court, along with two laymen, acts as a jury. Many seats on the Supreme Court remain vacant. The judiciary system was largely destroyed during the civil war and was not functioning properly throughout much of the country as of 2003.

16 Armed Forces

National defense is the responsibility of the Armed Popular Forces for the Liberation of Angola (Forças Amadas Populares de Libertação de Angola). In 2005, the army had 100,000 active soldiers with 300 main battle tanks and other combat vehicles, the Navy had 2,400 sailors and 9 vessels, and the Air Force had 6,000 personnel and 90 combat aircraft.

17 Economy

Angola is a potentially rich country with abundant natural resources, a surplus-producing agricultural sector, and a sizable manufacturing potential. This promise has remained unfulfilled due to the effects of the 27-year civil war that ended in April 2002.

Cassava is the staple food crop. Petroleum production and diamond mining lead Angola’s mineral industry. Angola also has significant deposits of high-grade iron ore, copper, manganese, phosphates, and uranium. Angola was the second-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa in 2004, and oil exports accounted for 45% of the country’s gross domestic product that year. Inflation, always a problem, ran at approximately 44% in 2004.

18 Income

In 2005, Angola’s gross domestic product (GDP) was $27.7 billion. The GDP per person was estimated at $2,500. The annual growth rate of GDP approached 20%. The average inflation rate in 2004 was 44%.

19 Industry

Industrial production consists of food processing and the production of textiles, soap, shoes, matches, paint, plastic bottles, and glues. Heavy industry (cement, steel, oil refining, vehicle assembly, and tire production) accounts for approximately 15% of manufacturing output in 1993. Angola is now an importer of machinery, vehicles, and spare parts.

Angola is the second-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, behind Nigeria. In 2004, the petroleum industry accounted for about half of the GDP and over 90% of export revenues.

The diamond mining industry is also important. During the 27-year civil war, many of the gemstones had been sold on the black market and were referred to as “conflict diamonds” because the parties in the civil war used diamond sales to fund their military campaigns. After the civil war ended in 2002, Angola began to restructure its diamond industry. In 2003, the government

Components of the Economy

This pie chart shows how much of the country’s economy is devoted to agriculture (including forestry, hunting, and fishing), industry, or services.

ended the monopoly of the state-controlled diamond marketing company, Ascorp. It now competes with other private companies to buy diamonds from miners and small producers. The government also planned to develop a diamond-cutting industry in Angola. In 2004 the government reported that it was expelling foreign diamond miners engaged in illegal export of Angolan gems.

20 Labor

In 2005, the Angolan workforce was estimated at 5.58 million. In 2001, it was estimated that more than half of the population was unemployed or underemployed. The minimum legal age for employment is 14, but the government has been unable to enforce this standard. Although the legal minimum wage in 2005 was $60 per month, average earnings were considerably less.

21 Agriculture

Agriculture has long been the backbone of the Angolan economy. Even though an abundance

of arable land is available, less than 2.6% is cultivated. Agriculture employs over 85% of the population but accounts for 10% of gross domestic product.

Cash crops marketed annually include 1,250 tons of coffee, 4,400 tons of cotton, and 500 tons of sisal. The principal food crops include an annual 5.6 million tons of cassava, 510,000 tons of corn, 430,000 tons of sweet potatoes, 300,000 tons of bananas, 78,000 tons of citrus fruit, 96,000 tons of millet, 66,000 tons of dry beans, 27,000 tons of potatoes, 360,000 tons of sugar cane, 16,000 tons of rice, and 30,000 tons of peanuts (in shell).

22 Domesticated Animals

What little there was of the livestock industry was virtually destroyed in the civil war. Estimated livestock in 2004 included 4.2 million cattle, 2.1 million goats, 780,000 hogs, and 340,000 sheep. There were 6.8 million chickens. Livestock products include an estimated 85,000 tons of beef and veal annually and 195,000 tons of milk. Honey production totaled approximately 23,000 tons, among the highest yields in Africa.

23 Fishing

Fresh fish, fishmeal, dried fish, and fish oil are produced for the domestic market and for export. In 2003, the Angolan catch was 211,539 tons (up from 122,781 tons in 1995), 95% from marine fishing. Exports of fish products in 2003 totaled $8.9 million. About 13% of the 2003 catch consisted of cunene horse mackerel.

24 Forestry

About 18.4% of the country is classified as forest and woodland. Angola’s abundant timber resources include the great Maiombe tropical rain forest north of Cabinda. In addition, eucalyptus, pine, and cypress plantations cover 140,000 hectares (346,000 acres). In 2003, roundwood production was estimated at 4.5 million cubic meters, of which 1,000 cubic meters were exported.

25 Mining

In 1999, diamonds accounted for 8.7% of the country’s gross domestic product. Official reported diamond production in 2003 was five million carats. The United Nations has issued sanctions against “conflict diamonds.” Profits from the sale of these diamonds have been used to support terrorist activities and civil war. Many of the diamonds are illegally smuggled out of the country, primarily to Portugal. Diamond smugglers gained $250 million in 2000. In 2004 the government announced a plan to expel foreign diamond smugglers.

Large iron ore deposits have been discovered in many areas. Salt production has remained steady at 30,000 metric tons per year. Clay, granite, marble, and crushed stone were also reportedly mined throughout the country. The country is also rich in nickel, platinum-group metals, magnetite, copper, phosphates, gypsum, uranium, gold, asphalt, and feldspar, but some areas have been off limits to exploration during the civil war.

26 Foreign Trade

Angola is a major exporter of crude oil and diamonds. Principal imports include food and food products, civil engineering equipment, motor vehicles and parts, metal products, and medicines and pharmaceuticals. Angola’s principal export markets were the United States, France, Taiwan, and China. Imports came primarily from South Africa, Portugal, and the United States.

Yearly Balance of Trade

The balance of trade is the difference between what a country sells to other countries (its exports) and what it buys (its imports). If a country imports more than it exports, it has a negative balance of trade (a trade deficit). If exports exceed imports there is a positive balance of trade (a trade surplus).

27 Energy and Power

Total electric power production in 2002 was 1.7 billion kilowatt hours, of which 65.5% was hydroelectric. Crude oil, in the production of which Angola ranks second in sub-Saharan Africa, has been Angola’s chief export since 1973. It also accounts for 95% of government revenue. As of the end of 2004, Angola had proven oil reserves of 8.8 billion barrels. Total natural gas reserves were estimated at 45 billion cubic meters (1.6 trillion cubic feet) as of 2002.

28 Social Development

Until recently, social services for most Angolans were almost entirely the responsibility of the various tribal groups. The Roman Catholic Church

Selected Social Indicators

The statistics below are the most recent estimates available as of 2006. For comparison purposes, data for the United States and averages for low-income countries and high-income countries are also given. About 15% of the world’s 6.5 billion people live in high-income countries, while 37% live in low-income countries.

IndicatorAngola Low-income countriesHigh-income countriesUnited States
sources: World Bank. World Development Indicators. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank, 2006; Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2006; World Resources Institute, Washington, D.C.
Per capita gross national income (GNI)*$1,930 $2,258$31,009$39,820
Population growth rate2.8% 2%0.8%1.2%
People per square kilometer of land12 803032
Life expectancy in years: male40 587675
female43 608280
Number of physicians per 1,000 people0.1 0.43.72.3
Number of pupils per teacher (primary school)n.a. 431615
Literacy rate (15 years and older)67.4% 65%>95%99%
Television sets per 1,000 people52 84735938
Internet users per 1,000 people12 28538630
Energy consumed per capita (kg of oil equivalent)606 5015,4107,843
CO2 emissions per capita (metric tons)1.0 0.8512.9719.92
* The GNI is the total of all goods and services produced by the residents of a country in a year. The per capita GNI is calculated by dividing a country’s GNI by its population and adjusting for relative purchasing power.
n.a.: data not available >: greater than <: less than

also played an important part in welfare, health, and educational programs. Women and children are often at high risk for mutilation by land mines as they tend crops and gather firewood. There are an estimated 1,500 children living on the street in Luanda.

29 Health

Yellow fever is common in Angola, and the levels of cholera and tuberculosis are also high. Only about 30% of the population receive even basic medical attention. As of 2004, the ratio of physicians per population was estimated at 0.1 per 1,000 people.

In 2005, average life expectancy was estimated at 40 years for men and 43 years for women, among the lowest in the world. Infant mortality was estimated at 187.49 per 1,000 live births, one of the highest in the world. Malnutrition affected an estimated 53% of children under five years of age as of 1999. As of 2004, there were an estimated 240,000 adults and children living with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). There were an estimated 24,000 deaths from AIDS in 2003.

The rapid growth of Angola’s industrial centers has meant the rapid growth of urban slums. A recent United Nations report shows that about 90% of urban residents live in settlements that don’t legally belong to any one city. Most live in multifamily dwellings that were constructed in the 1960s. Since then, these homes have become so run-down that basic utilities are limited or unavailable.

The government has tried to ease the situation by sponsoring housing construction projects. In April 2003, 331 houses were completed in Kilamba-Kiaxi.

31 Education

Education for children between the ages of six and ten years is required. Primary education is for six years and secondary for six years. While Portuguese was the language of instruction in earlier times, local African languages are more commonly used now in schools.

The University Agostinho Neto in Luanda was established in 1963 and offers courses in science, engineering, law, medicine, economics, and agriculture. In 2005, the adult literacy rate was estimated at 67.4%.

32 Media

There were 7 mainline telephones for every 1,000 people in 2003. There were 25,800 mobile cellular phones in the country in 2000.

Most of the media is controlled by the state. In 2004, there were five commercial radio stations. Rádio Nacional de Angola broadcasts in Portuguese, English, French, Spanish, and major local languages. In 2005, there were about 78 radios for every 1,000 people. There were about 52 television sets for every 1,000 people. There are 1.9 personal computers for every 1,000 people

and 12 of every 1,000 people had access to the Internet.

There was one daily newspaper as of 2005, the Jornal de Angola, with a circulation of 41,000.

33 Tourism and Recreation

Tourism was an important activity until 1972, when an increase in warfare led to a sharp drop in the number of tourists and in tourism revenues. Since the mid-1980s, the government has severely restricted the number of foreigners allowed into the country. Records show that 106,625 visitors arrived in Angola in 2003.

34 Famous Angolans

António Agostinho Neto (1922–1979), a poet and physician who served as the president of MPLA (1962–1979) and president of Angola (1975–1979), was Angola’s dominant political figure. Jonas Malheiro Savimbi (1934–2002), the son of a pastor, founded UNITA in 1966.

35 Bibliography

BOOKS

Africa on File. New York: Facts on File, 1995.

Africa South of the Sahara. London: Europa Publishers, 1997.

Black, Richard. Angola. Santa Barbara, CA.: Clio Press, 1992.

Broadhead, Susan Herlin. Historical Dictionary of Angola. 2nd ed. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1992.

Fish, Bruce. Angola, 1880 to the Present: Slavery, Exploitation, and Revolt. Philadelphia, PA: Chelsea House Publishers, 2002.

Laurè, J. Angola. Chicago, IL: Children’s Press, 1990.

McKissack, Pat. Nzingha, Warrior Queen of Matamba. New York: Scholastic, 2000.

WEB SITES

Country Analysis Briefs. www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/Angola/Background.html. (accessed on January 15, 2007).

Country Pages. www.state.gov/p/af/ci/ao/. (accessed on January 15, 2007).

Government Home Page. www.angola.org. (accessed on January 15, 2007).

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Angola

Angola

Compiled from the October 2006 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name

Republic of Angola (Republica de Angola)

PROFILE

GEOGRAPHY

PEOPLE

HISTORY

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

ECONOMY

DEFENSE

FOREIGN RELATIONS

U.S.-ANGOLAN RELATIONS

TRAVEL

PROFILE

Geography

Area: 1,246,700 sq. km. (481,400 sq. mi), about twice the size of Texas.

Cities: Capital—Luanda (pop. 4.0 million); Huambo (750,000); Benguela (600,000).

Terrain: A narrow, dry coastal strip extending from the far north (Luanda) to Namibia in the south; well-watered agricultural highlands; savanna in the far east and south; and rain forest in the north and the enclave of Cabinda.

Climate: Tropical and tropical highland.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Angolan(s).

Population: (December 2004 est.) 13,000,000.

Population growth rate: (2004) 2.9%.

Ethnic groups: Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, mixed racial 2%, European 1%.

Religions: (2001 official est.) Roman Catholic 68%, various Protestant 20%; indigenous beliefs 12%.

Languages: Portuguese (official), Ovimbundu, Kimbundu, Bakongo, and others.

Education: Years compulsory—8. Enrollment (2003 est.)—primary school 55%, secondary 30%, and post-secondary 3%. Literacy (total population over 15 that can read and write, 2002 est.)—42% (male 56%, female 28%).

Health: Life expectancy (2002 est.)—total population 46.7 years. Infant mortality rate (2003 est.)—154/1,000.

Work force: (2003 est. 5.6 million) Agriculture—85%; industry and commerce—15%; services—6%.

Government

Type: Republic.

Independence: November 11, 1975.

Government branches: Executive—elected president (chief of state), appointed prime minister, and 40 appointed civilian ministers and vice ministers. Legislative—elected National Assembly (223 seats). Judicial—Supreme Court (also functions as Constitutional Court).

Political subdivisions: Province, municipality, commune.

Political parties: 123 with legal status; in 1992, 12 won seats in the National Assembly. Pro-government—Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). Opposition—National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), Social Renewal Party (PRS), National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), Party for Democratic Progress—Angola National Alliance (PDP-ANA), Democratic Renewal Party (PRD), Party of the Alliance of Youth, Workers, and Peasants (PAJOCA), Liberal Democratic Party (PLD), Democratic Alliance (AD), Angolan Democratic Forum (FDA), Social Democratic Party (PSD), and the Angolan National Democratic Party (PNDA).

Suffrage: Universal age 18 and over.

Economy

GDP: (2005 est. using purchasing power parity) $45.9 billion.

GDP: (2005 est. using Atlas method) $22.8 billion.

Annual real GDP growth rate: (2005 est.) 19.1%.

Per capita GDP: (2005 est. using purchasing power parity) $3,210.

Per capita GDP: (2005 est. using Atlas method) $1,590.

Inflation rate: (2005) 23.5%.

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

Agriculture: Products—bananas, sugarcane, coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, manioc, tobacco, vegetables, plantains; livestock; forest products; fisheries products.

Industry: Types—petroleum drilling and refining, mining, cement, basic metal products, fish processing, food processing, brewing, tobacco products, sugar refining, textiles.

Trade: Exports (2005)—$20 billion. 2004 exports consisted of petroleum and derivatives (91.92%), diamonds (7.45%), fish (0.11%), scrap metal (0.05%), coffee, sisal, timber, cotton. Major markets (2004)—U.S. (37.70%), China (35.6%), France (6.4%), South Korea (2.95%). Imports (2005 est.)—$9 billion: machinery, electrical equipment, vehicles and spare parts, medicines, food, textiles. Major sources (2004)—Portugal (13.04%), U.S. (9.3%), South Africa (7.4%), Japan (4.8%), South Korea (28.3%), Brazil (5.6%).

GEOGRAPHY

Angola is located on the South Atlantic Coast of West Africa between Namibia and the Republic of the Congo. It also is bordered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia to the east. The country is divided into an arid coastal strip stretching from Namibia to Luanda; a wet, interior highland; a dry savanna in the interior south and southeast; and rain forest in the north and in Cabinda. The Zambezi River and several tributaries of the Congo River have their sources in Angola. The coastal strip is tempered by the cool Benguela current, resulting in a climate similar to coastal Baja California. There is a short rainy season lasting from February to April. Summers are hot and dry, while winters are mild. The interior highlands have a mild climate with a rainy season from November through April followed by a cool dry season from May to October when overnight temperatures can fall to freezing. Elevations generally range from 3,000 to 6,000 feet. The far north and Cabinda enjoy rain throughout much of the year.

PEOPLE

Estimates of Angola’s population vary widely, as there has been no census for many years, but it is estimated at no less than 13 million. Angola has three main ethnic groups, each speaking a Bantu language: Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, and Bakongo 13%. Other groups include Chokwe, Lunda, Ganguela, Nhaneca-Humbe, Ambo, Herero, and Xindunga. In addition, mixed racial (European and African) people amount to about 2%, with a small (1%) population of whites, mainly ethnically Portuguese. Portuguese make up the largest non-Angolan population, with at least 30,000 (though many native-born Angolans can claim Portuguese nationality under Portuguese law). Portuguese is both the official and predominant language.

HISTORY

In 1482, when the Portuguese first landed in what is now northern Angola, they encountered the Kingdom of the Congo, which stretched from modern Gabon in the north to the Kwanza River in the south. Mbanza Congo, the capital, had a population of 50,000 people. South of this kingdom were various important states, of which the Kingdom of Ndongo, ruled by the ngola (king), was most significant. Modern Angola derives its name from the king of Ndongo. The Portuguese gradually took control of the coastal strip throughout the 16th century by a series of treaties and wars. The Dutch occupied Luanda from 1641-48, providing a boost for anti-Portuguese states. In 1648, Brazilian-based Portuguese forces re-took Luanda and initiated a process of military conquest of the Congo and Ndongo states that ended with Portuguese victory in 1671. Full Portuguese administrative control of the interior did not occur until the beginning of the 20th century.

Portugal’s primary interest in Angola quickly turned to slavery. The slaving system began early in the 16th century with the purchase from African chiefs of people to work on sugar plantations in São Tomé, Principé, and Brazil. Many scholars agree that by the 19th century, Angola was the largest source of slaves not only for Brazil, but also for the Americas, including the United States. By the end of the 19th century, a massive forced labor system had replaced formal slavery and would continue until outlawed in 1961. It was this forced labor that provided the basis for development of a plantation economy and, by the mid-20th century, a major mining sector. Forced labor combined with British financing to construct three railroads from the coast to the interior, the most important of which was the transcontinental Benguela railroad that linked the port of Lobito with the copper zones of the Belgian Congo and what is now Zambia, through which it connects to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

Colonial economic development did not translate into social development for native Angolans. The Portuguese regime encouraged white immigration, especially after 1950, which intensified racial antagonisms. As decolonization progressed elsewhere in Africa, Portugal, under the Salazar and Caetano dictatorships, rejected independence and treated its African colonies as overseas provinces. Consequently, three independence movements emerged: the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) led by Agostinho Neto, with a base among Kimbundu and the mixed-race intelligentsia of Luanda, and links to communist parties in Portugal and the East Bloc; the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), led by Holden Roberto with an ethnic base in the Bakongo region of the north and links to the United States and the Mobutu regime in Kinshasa; and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas Malheiro Savimbi with an ethnic and regional base in the Ovimbundu heartland in the center of the country and links to the People’s Republic of China and apartheid South Africa.

From the early 1960s, elements of these movements fought against the Portuguese. A 1974 coup d’etat in Portugal established a military government that promptly ceased the war and agreed, in the Alvor Accords, to hand over power to a coalition of the three movements. The ideological differences between the three movements eventually led to armed conflict, with FNLA and UNITA forces, encouraged by their respective international supporters, attempting to wrest control of Luanda from the

MPLA. The intervention of troops from South Africa on behalf of UNITA and Zaire on behalf of the FNLA in September and October 1975 and the MPLA’s importation of Cuban troops in November effectively internationalized the conflict. Retaining control of Luanda, the coastal strip, and increasingly lucrative oil fields in Cabinda, the MPLA declared independence on November 11, 1975, the day the Portuguese abandoned the capital. UNITA and the FNLA formed a rival coalition government based in the interior city of Huambo. Agostinho Neto became the first president of the MPLA government that was recognized by the United Nations in 1976. Upon Neto’s death from cancer in 1979, then-Planning Minister José Eduardo dos Santos ascended to the presidency. The FNLA’s military failures led to its increasing marginalization, internal divisions, and abandonment by international supporters. An internationalized conventional civil war between UNITA and the MPLA continued until 1989. For much of this time, UNITA controlled vast swaths of the interior and was backed by U.S. resources and South African troops. Similarly, tens of thousands of Cuban troops remained in support of the MPLA, often fighting South Africans on the front lines. A U.S.-brokered agreement resulted in withdrawal of foreign troops in 1989 and led to the Bicesse Accord in 1991, which spelled out an electoral process for a democratic Angola under the supervision of the United Nations. When UNITA’s Jonas Savimbi failed to win the first round of the presidential election in 1992 (he won 40% to dos Santos’s 49%, which meant a runoff), he called the election fraudulent and returned to war. Another peace accord, known as the Lusaka Protocol, was brokered in Lusaka, Zambia, and signed in 1994. This agreement, too, collapsed into renewed conflict. The UN Security Council voted on August 28, 1997 to impose sanctions on UNITA. The Angolan military launched a massive offensive in 1999, which destroyed UNITA’s conventional capacity and recaptured all major cities previously held by Savimbi’s forces. Savimbi then declared a return to guerrilla tactics, which continued until his death in combat in February 2002.

On April 4, 2002, the Angolan Government and UNITA signed the Luena Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which formalized the de facto cease-fire that prevailed following Savimbi’s death. In accordance with the MOU, UNITA recommitted to the peace framework in the 1994 Lusaka Protocol, returned all remaining territory to Angolan Government control, quartered all military personnel in predetermined locations, and relinquished all arms. In August 2002, UNITA demobilized all military personnel and in September 2002, together with the government, reconstituted the UN-sponsored Joint Commission to resolve all outstanding political issues under the Lusaka Protocol. On November 21, 2002, UNITA and the government declared all outstanding issues resolved and the Lusaka Protocol fully implemented. UN Security Council sanctions on UNITA were lifted on December 9, 2002. In advance of national elections projected for 2006, UNITA and the MPLA held their first post-war party congresses in June and December 2003, respectively. The UNITA Congress saw the democratic transfer of power from interim leader General Paulo Lukumba “Gato” to former UNITA representative in Paris Isaias Henriqué Samakuva, while the MPLA Congress reaffirmed President dos Santos’ leadership of party structures.

The August 1, 2006 signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for Peace and Reconciliation in Cabinda Province has largely brought to an end the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda’s (FLEC) low-level guerilla insurgency that was pressing for an independent Cabin-dan state. Periodic, separate negotiations between the leadership of the two armed FLEC factions and the Angolan Government, including those following the major Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) offensive against FLEC in November 2002 that decimated FLEC’s capabilities in Cabinda, failed to produce a settlement. The recently formed Cabindan Forum for Dialogue, a coalition of the various FLEC factions, was finally able to broker an agreement with the government. This agreement rejects the notion of Cabindan independence, calls for the demobilization and reintegration of former-FLEC fighters into various governmental positions, and creates a special political and economic status for the province of Cabinda. While not all factions of FLEC support the peace accord, this Memorandum of Understanding is an important step in bringing a lasting peace to Cabinda.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Angola changed from a one-party Marxist-Leninist system ruled by the MPLA to a nominal multiparty democracy following the 1992 elections, in which President dos Santos won the first-round election with more than 49% of the vote to Jonas Savimbi’s 40%; a runoff never took place. The Constitutional Law of 1992 establishes the broad outlines of government structure and delineates the rights and duties of citizens. The government is based on ordinances, decrees, and decisions issued by a president and his ministers or through legislation produced by the National Assembly and approved by the president. The parliament is generally subordinate to the executive.

Few opportunities exist for opposition parties to challenge MPLA dominance. President dos Santos had proposed that general elections be held in 2006; however, this is becoming increasingly unlikely. A multi-party constitutional reform process will resume following elections.

Angola is governed by a president who is assisted by a prime minister and 30 cabinet ministers, all appointed by the president. Political power is concentrated in the presidency. The executive branch of the government is composed of the president (head of state and government), the prime minister, and the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers, composed of all government ministers and vice ministers, meets regularly to discuss policy issues. The President, the Council of Ministers, and individual ministers in their areas of competence have the ability to legislate by decree.

Of the 220 deputies in the National Assembly, 130 are elected at large, and 5 are elected to represent each of the 18 provinces. The Electoral Law also calls for the election of three additional deputies to represent citizens living abroad; however, those positions were not filled in the 1992 elections. The ruling MPLA controls 59% of the seats.

The central government administers the country through 18 provinces. Governors of the provinces are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the president. The legal system is based on Portuguese and customary law but is weak and fragmented. Courts operate in only a fraction of the 164 municipalities. A Supreme Court serves as the appellate tribunal; a Constitutional Court with powers of judicial review has never been constituted despite statutory authorization. Recently, the Supreme Court has acted as a Constitutional Court.

The 27-year-long civil war ravaged the country’s political and social institutions. The government estimates that 4.7 million people were internally displaced by the civil war. Since 2002, more than 300,000 of Angola’s original 450,000 refugees have returned home. In 2005, the anticipated final year for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) organized return program, an anticipated 53,000 refugees were to be assisted in returning to Angola. Daily conditions of life throughout the country mirror the inadequate administrative infrastructure as well as weak social institutions.

Government support for social institutions is often inadequate. Many hospitals are without medicines or basic equipment, schools are without books, and public employees often lack the basic supplies for their day-to-day work.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 9/13/2006

President: Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS

Prime Minister: Fernando “Nando” da Piedade Dias DOS SANTOS

Min. of Agriculture & Rural Development: Gilberto LUTUKUTA

Min. of Commerce: Joaquim Ekuma MUAFUMUA

Min. of Culture: Boaventura CARDOSO

Min. of Defense: Kundi PAIHAMA

Min. of Education: Antonio Burity DA SILVA

Min. of Energy & Water: Jose Botelho DE VASCONCELOS

Min. of Environment & Urban Development: Diakunpuna Sita JOSE

Min. of External Relations: Joao Bernardo de MIRANDA

Min. of Finance: Jose Pedro DE MORAIS

Min. of Fisheries: Salamao XIRIMBIMBI

Min. of Geology & Mines: Manuel Antonio AFRICANO

Min. of Health: Sebastiao Sapuile VELSOS

Min. of Industry: Joaquim Duarte da Costa DAVID

Min. of Interior: Roberto Leal Monteiro NGONGO

Min. of Justice: Manuel ARAGAO

Min. of Petroleum: Desiderio DA COSTA

Min. of Planning: Ana Dias LOURENCO

Min. of Public Administration & Employment: Antonio Pitra NETO

Min. of Public Works: Francisco Higino CARNEIRO

Min. of Science & Technology: Joao Baptista NGANDAGINA

Min. of Social Communication: Pedro Henrick Vaal NETO

Min. of Social Reintegration: Joao Baptista KUSSUMUA

Min. of Telecommunications: Licinio Tavares RIBEIRO

Min. of Territorial Administration: Virgilio Fontes PEREIRA

Min. of Tourism & Hotels: Eduardo Jonatao CHINGUNJI

Min. of Transport: Andre Luis BRANDAO

Min. of Veterans & Ex-Combatants: Pedro Jose VAN DUNEM

Min. of Women & Family Affairs: Candida Celeste DA SILVA

Min. of Youth & Sports: Jose Marcos BARRICA

Min. in the Office of the Presidency, Civil Affairs: Jose da Costa e Silva LEITAO

Min. in the Office of the Presidency, General Secretariat: Jose Mateus de Adelino PEIXOTO

Min. in the Office of the Presidency, Military Affairs: Manuel Helder DIAS

Governor, National Bank of Angola: Amadeu MAURICIO

Ambassador to the US: Josefina Perpetua Pitra DIAKITE

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Ismael Abraao GASPAR MARTINS

Angola maintains an embassy in the United States at 2100-2108 16th St., NW, Washington, DC 20009 (tel. 202-785-1156; fax 202-822-9049; web: www.angola.org). Angola also maintains consulates in New York City (attached to its Permanent Mission to the United Nations) at 866 UN Plaza, 48th St., Suite 552, New York, NY 10017 (tel. 212-233-3588, ext. 15; fax 212-980-9606; web: www.un.int/angola) and in Houston at 3040 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 708, Houston, TX 77056 (tel. 713-212-3840; fax 713-212-3841).

ECONOMY

Angola has a fast-growing economy largely due to a major oil boom, but it also ranks in the bottom 10 of most socioeconomic indicators. Aside from the oil sector and diamonds, it is recovering from 27 years of nearly continuous warfare, corruption, and economic mismanagement. Despite abundant natural resources, and rising per capita GDP, Angola was ranked 160 out of 177 countries on the UNDP’s Human Development Index. Subsistence agriculture sustains one-third of the population.

By contrast, the rapidly expanding petroleum industry—now producing approximately 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd), behind only Nigeria in Africa—accounts for 51.7% of GNP, 95% of exports, and 80% of government revenues. Production is expected to reach 2 million barrels per day by 2008. Oil production remains largely offshore and has few linkages with other sectors of the economy, though a local content initiative promulgated by the Angolan Government is pressuring oil companies to source from local businesses.

Block 15, located offshore of the enclave of Cabinda, currently provides 40% of Angola’s crude oil production. ExxonMobil, through its subsidiary Esso, is the operator with a 40% share. In 2005, Block 15’s second major sub-field, Kizomba B, came online producing at about 250,000 bpd. BP, ENI-Agip, and Statoil are partners in the concession. Chevron operates Block 0, also in offshore Cabinda, which provides one-quarter of Angola’s crude oil production. Its partners in Block 0 are Sonangol (the Angolan state oil company), TotalFinaElf, and ENI-Agip. Chevron also operates Angola’s first producing deepwater section, Block 14, which started pumping in January 2000 at the rate of 80,000 bpd.

TotalFinaElf brought the first Kwanza Basin deepwater blocks online with production from its Block 17 concession that began in February 2002 and now produces up to 300,000 bpd. Additional sub-fields will begin production in 2006 at the rate of 200,000 bpd. Both ExxonMobil and TotalFinaElf made new discoveries in these blocks in 2005. Exploration is ongoing in ultra-deep water concessions and in deepwater and shallow concessions in the Namibe Basin. BP made the first significant ultra-deep water find in its Block 31 concession in 2002 and had reached nine significant discoveries by the end of 2005. Marathon also drilled a successful well in its Block 32 ultra-deep water concession. BP, which currently does not produce oil in Angola as an operator, expects to have production of 600,000 bpd by 2007. TotalFinaElf operates Angola’s one refinery (in Luanda) as a joint venture with Sonangol; plans for a second refinery in Lobito with projected production of 200,000 bpd are moving forward. There are plans to increase capacity of the Luanda refinery from 40,000 bpd to 100,000 bpd. Chevron, Sonangol, and other partners are developing a $4-5 billion liquefied natural gas plant at Soyo.

Exports to Asian countries have grown rapidly in recent years, particularly China. In late 2004, China’s state oil company Sinopec bought into Block 18, securing the deal by offering a $2 billion credit line to the Angolan Government. Sinopec has also formed a partnership with Sonangol to operate Block 3/05 (formerly Block 3/80), whose operator-ship was transferred from Total to Sonangol recently. Sonangol will seek to expand its operatorship of onshore and shallow water blocks. This may include the northern block of Cabinda’s onshore concessions, which since the halt in hostilities with separatist forces is now open to exploration. Sonangol and Sinopec will also be eyeing future concession rounds, particularly for 23 blocks in the Kwanza Basin onshore area and the relinquished parts of Blocks 15, 17, and 18, currently operated by Exxon, Total, and BP.

Diamonds make up most of Angola’s remaining exports, with yearly production at 6 million carats. Diamond sales reached approximately $1 billion in 2005. Despite increased corporate ownership of diamond fields, much production is currently in the hands of small-scale prospectors, often operating illegally. Only eight formal sector mines are operating out of a total of 145 concessions. In June 2005, De Beers signed a $10 million prospecting contract with the government’s diamond parastatal, ending a 4-year investment dispute between De Beers and the government. The government is making an increased effort to register and license prospectors. Legal sales of rough diamonds may occur only through the government’s diamond-buying parastatal, although many producers continue to bypass the system to obtain higher prices. The government has established an export certification scheme consistent with the “Kimberley Process” to identify legitimate production and sales. Other mineral resources, including gold, remain largely undeveloped, though granite and marble quarrying have begun.

In the last decade of the colonial period, Angola was a major African agricultural exporter. Because of severe wartime conditions, including extensive laying of landmines throughout the countryside, agricultural activities were brought to a near standstill, and the country now imports about half of its food. Small-scale agricultural production has increased dramatically over the last three years as internally displaced persons (IDPs) are returning to the land. Some efforts at commercial agricultural recovery have gone forward, notably in fisheries and tropical fruits, but most of the country’s vast potential remains untapped. Coffee production, though a fraction of its pre-1975 level, is sufficient for domestic needs and some exports. Recently passed land reform laws will attempt to reconcile overlapping traditional land use rights, colonial-era land claims, and recent land grants to facilitate significant commercial agricultural development.

An economic reform effort launched in 1998 was only marginally successful in addressing persistent fiscal mismanagement and corruption. In April 2000, Angola started an International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff-monitored program (SMP). The program lapsed in June 2001 over IMF concerns about lack of adequate Angolan progress. Under the program, the Government of Angola did succeed in unifying exchange rates and moving fuel, electricity, and water prices closer to market rates.

In December 2002 President dos Santos named a new economic team to oversee homegrown reform efforts. The new team has succeeded in decreasing overall government spending, rationalizing the Kwanza exchange rate, closing regulatory loopholes allowing off-budget expenditures, and capturing all revenues in the state budget. New procedures have been implemented to track the flow of funds between the Treasury, Banco Nacional de Angola (the central bank), and the state-owned Banco de Poupanca e Credito, which operates the budget. The Angolan Government has adopted a new investment code. Concerns remain about quasi-fiscal operations by the state oil company Sonangol, continued oil-backed commercial borrowing by the Angolan Government, and inadequate transparency and oversight in the management of public accounts. The Angolan commercial code, financial sector law, and telecommunications law all require substantial revision.

The Angolan Government remains in dialogue with the IMF. In its published July 2003 Article IV report, the IMF endorsed four prerequisites to proceeding with formal negotiations: (1) disclosure of foreign debt data; (2) timely provision of macroeconomic statistics; (3) full implementation of the single government account at the Central Bank, and (4) additional dialogue on oil revenue management. A December 2003 IMF staff mission to Angola found some progress in these areas. In February 2004, the Angolan Government and the IMF reached agreement on the steps necessary to conclude SMP negotiations. As of February 2006, Angola and the IMF remained in discussion on an IMF program.

Angola is the second-largest trading partner of the United States in sub-Saharan Africa, largely because of its petroleum exports. U.S. exports to Angola primarily consist of industrial goods and services—such as oilfield equipment, mining equipment, chemicals, aircraft, and food. On December 30, 2003, President Bush approved the designation of Angola as eligible for tariff preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

DEFENSE

The Angolan Armed Forces, known by its Portuguese acronym FAA, are headed by a chief of staff who reports to the civilian minister of defense. There are three services—the army, navy, and air force. Total manpower is about 140,000. The army is by far the largest of the services with about 130,000 personnel. The navy numbers about 3,000 and operates several small patrol craft and barges. Air force personnel total about 7,000; its equipment includes Russian-manufactured fighters and transport planes, Bell helicopters, and Italian trainers. The “Casa Militar,” or presidential guard, answers directly to the Office of the President and is separate from FAA command and control structures.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

From 1975 to 1989, Angola was aligned with the Soviet Union and Cuba. Since then, it has focused on improving relationships with Western countries, cultivating links with other Portuguese-speaking countries, and asserting its own national interests in Central Africa through military and diplomatic intervention. In 1993, it established formal diplomatic relations with the United States. It has entered the Southern African Development Community as a vehicle for improving ties with its largely anglophone neighbors to the south. In 1997, Zimbabwe and Namibia joined Angola in its military intervention in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where Angolan troops fought in support of the Laurent and Joseph Kabila governments. It also has intervened in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) in support of President Sassou-Nguesso. Angola has also engaged in a more robust economic relationship with the People’s Republic of China. The P.R.C. has extended a U.S. $2 billion credit line to Angola.

Multilaterally, Angola has promoted the revival of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) as a forum for cultural exchange and a means of expanding ties with Portugal and Brazil. During the peace process, the government fully cooperated with the UN Mission in Angola (UNMA), which concluded its mandate in mid-February 2003. Angola concluded a 2-year term on the UN Security Council in December 2004.

U.S.-ANGOLAN RELATIONS

The United States established formal diplomatic relations with the Government of Angola in 1993. Before 1989, U.S.-Angolan relations were defined by the Cold War. The United States initially supported Holden Roberto’s FNLA and later Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA against the pro-Soviet and pro-Cuban MPLA government in Luanda. Since 1992, the bilateral relationship has steadily improved. In May 2004, President dos Santos met with President Bush during an official visit to Washington.

The U.S. Mission in Angola consists of four agencies—the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Defense, and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (HHS/CDC). In addition, a variety of federal agencies maintain relationships with the Angolan Government through ongoing projects, including the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Energy. In FY 2003, U.S. Government assistance amounted to roughly $188 million.

USAID’s Food for Peace office provided emergency food inputs valued at $30.7 million in FY 2005 to feed vulnerable populations and help stimulate agricultural recovery, continuing a phasing out period in the past two years of the emergency program as Angola has stabilized and the emergency has ended.

USAID’s development program in Angola in FY 2006 is consistent with the country’s status as a “fragile state”, vulnerable and recovering from an extended civil conflict. The program budget is $15.7 million, focused on improving food security, civil society strengthening and democratization, market-oriented economic analysis and economic reform policy, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS prevention, education and voluntary counseling and treatment. Angola has also been named one of the three pilot countries under the President’s Malaria Initiative. The food security objective, focused on smallholder agriculture, promotes access to inputs, extension services and training; market linkages; and revitalized agricultural productivity in Angola. The democracy objective strengthens constituencies and institutions required for democratic governance by promoting civil society coalitions, an independent media, government transparency and accountability, and the groundwork for free and fair elections. The health objective aims to improve maternal and child health and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases by helping communities and institutions to provide necessary health services and to conduct HIV/AIDS prevention programs.

The economic reform objective fosters economic policy and financial sector reform, business development services, and credit access for micro-, small, and medium enterprises. USAID works with a number of international and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and corporate partners in alliances and public-private partnerships.

Emergency support from HHS/CDC was provided to address the 2005 Marburg virus outbreak in northern Angola, with assistance from the USAID Mission. CDC personnel joined with the World Health Organization (WHO) as part of the international response to assist with epidemiologic investigation, infection control, and laboratory diagnosis. CDC personnel in Atlanta provided laboratory and scientific support to Angola’s Ministry of Health and to countries bordering Angola, establishing a field laboratory in Luanda, Angola to provide prompt laboratory confirmation of suspect Marburg cases in Angola and neighboring countries. Additional HIV/AIDS funding for the country of just over $2 million from HHS/CDC is also available, and helped expand surveillance, information systems, laboratory and blood bank quality control.

On February 19, 2006, the Provincial Government of Luanda declared a cholera outbreak, in coordination with the WHO. What began as a localized outbreak of cholera in Luanda rapidly spread around Angola, with cases detected in seven provinces to date and mortality rates as high as 15% in certain areas. Causes of this rapid expansion include poor sanitation and a lack of potable water (70% of the country is without access), which have been compounded by a series of heavy rains in March and April. Limited stocks of available medical supplies were rapidly depleted, and the UN stressed the need for immediate, widespread assistance. The Chief of Mission determined April 19 that an adequate response was beyond the capacity of the Angolan Government, and through this disaster declaration requested U.S. Government assistance to support the international response and contain the spread of the outbreak. USAID’s response was to provide $50,000 for immediate relief needs. The funds were granted May 2, 2006 to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to support information, education, and communication within its Cholera Intervention Plan. The Ministry of Health, WHO, UNICEF, the European Union, USAID, and other partners continue to support field activities to control the outbreak.

To assist with economic reform, the State Department provided $2.2 million to work on land tenure, economic policy, and the financial sector. An additional $143,000 in grants was provided to community development projects and NGO-sponsored democracy and human rights projects. $152,000 in International Military Education and Training (IMET) funds was provided for English language training to the Angolan Armed Forces. Professional training for law enforcement personnel at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Gaborone, Botswana continued. The Safe Skies for Africa program provided around $800,000 in equipment and training to the Angolan civil aviation authority. As part of its public diplomacy program, the Embassy provided nearly $434,000 in English language training, educational exchanges and fellowships, and information resource services. The State Department provided $6 million for ongoing demining projects throughout the country. These projects have played a major role in opening critical road networks and increasing access in those areas of the country most impacted by landmines.

At the same time, the energy-based U.S. trading relationship continues to expand and spark other ties. One offshoot has been the development of a Sister City relationship between Lafayette, Louisiana and Cabinda and between Houston, Texas and Luanda. The Catholic University of Luanda has close links with a number of American institutions and has received support from the Angola Educational Assistance Fund, a U.S. non-profit organization organized by Citizens Energy of Boston. Sonangol has a longstanding program of educating its professionals in U.S. universities, complementing Chevron’s policy of U.S. training for its own growing pool of Angolan professionals. Long before oil was discovered, American missionary efforts from the early 19th century established several Protestant churches in the interior, which also provided much of the schooling that was available in rural colonial Angola; those historical links now are being revived with exchanges in both directions.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

LUANDA (E) Address: Rua Houari Boumedienne #32; Phone: 011-244-222-641-000; Fax: 011-244-222-641-232; INMARSAT Tel: 011-871-683-133-246; Workweek: Monday thru Thursday, 8:00 am–6:00 pm; Fridays 8:00 am till 12 Noon; Website: http://www.usembassy.state.gov/angola

AMB:CYNTHIA G. EFIRD
AMB OMS:ROBIN WELKER
DCM:FRANCISCO FERNANDEZ
POL:DOREEN BAILEY
POL/ECO:NINA FITE
CON:TARA ROUGLE
MGT:JONATHAN PRATT
AID:DIANA SWAIN
CLO:KATHIA WIND
ECO/COM:MARK SCHALL
EEO:MARCUS MCCHRISTIAN
FMO:MARCUS MCCHRISTIAN
GSO:FRIEDA MARTIN
ICASS Chair:JACQUES MATHIEU
IMO:TIM CHATELAIN
ISO:STEPHEN LAVARN
ISSO:STEPHEN LAVARN
PAO:FELEKE ASSEFA
RSO:KEITH LAROCHELLE

Last Updated: 12/12/2006

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet : February 7, 2007

Country Description: Angola is a large, developing country in southern Africa. After gaining independence from Portugal in 1975, it was engulfed in a civil conflict that lasted for more than a quarter century. A cease-fire was formalized in April 2002, two months after the death of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi, with the signing of the Luena Memorandum of Understanding. Additionally, on November 21, 2002, the government and former rebels declared that outstanding issues under the 1994 Lusaka Protocol were fully resolved. The August 1, 2006, signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for Peace and Reconciliation in Cabinda Province has largely brought to an end the low level guerilla insurgency conducted by the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) that had been pressing for an independent Cabindan state.

Throughout Angola there are growing signs of economic recovery. Nevertheless, major problems remain with infrastructure and government services, including communications and basic social services. Travel by road is difficult and can be dangerous due to large potholes, especially during the rainy season (October to December). Land mines exist in many areas. However, the Government and international NGOs continue to conduct extensive landmine clearance and in many provinces primary roads are considered to be landmine free. Facilities for tourism, particularly outside the capital of Luanda, are often rudimentary. Adequate hotels are found in most provincial capitals, but some provide limited amenities

Exit/Entry Requirements: A passport and visa, which must be obtained in advance, along with an International Certificate of Vaccination, are required. Persons arriving without visas are subject to arrest or exclusion. Travelers may also encounter delays if they do not have at least one completely blank page in their passports for entry and exit stamps. Travelers whose international immunization cards do not show inoculations against yellow fever within the past ten years may be subject to exclusion, on-the-spot vaccination, and heavy fines. Visitors remaining in Angola beyond their authorized visa duration are subject to fines and arrest. It is illegal to attempt to carry local currency out of Angola and it is subject to confiscation by customs officers. Current information on entry requirements may be obtained from the Embassy of Angola at 2100-2108 16th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. (202) 785-1156, fax (202) 785-1258.

Safety and Security: The security situation in Angola has improved markedly since the end of the civil war; however, Americans should still exercise caution. Although the war has ended, ground travel throughout Angola is occasionally problematic due to land mines, which were used extensively during the war. Frequent checkpoints and poor infrastructure contribute to unsafe travel on roads outside of the city of Luanda. Police and military officials are sometimes undisciplined, but their authority should not be challenged. Travel in many parts of Luanda is relatively safe by day, but car doors should be locked, windows rolled up, and packages stored out of sight. Visitors should avoid travel after dark, and no travel should be undertaken on roads outside of cities after nightfall.

The civil war between the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and the Government of Angola ended in 2002. The insurgency pursued by FLEC in Cabinda formally ended in August 2006, with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Government and one of FLEC’s principal leaders. However, at least two FLEC leaders, living abroad, have yet to accept the memorandum and the possibility of sporadic small-scale violence, although unlikely, still exists.

Throughout Angola, taking photographs of sites and installations of military or security interest, including government buildings, may result in arrest or fines and should be avoided.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet web site, where the current Travel Warnings and Public Announcements, including the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or, for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except on U.S. federal holidays).

Crime: Crime is a serious problem throughout the country. While most violent crime occurs between Angolans, foreigners have occasionally been attacked as well. Street crime is a regular occurrence in Luanda. The most common crimes are pick pocketing, purse-snatching, vehicle theft, and vehicle break-ins. Armed mugging, robberies, and carjackings involving foreigners are not frequent but do occur. Police and military officials are sometimes undisciplined, but their authority should not be challenged. In general, movement around Luanda is safer by day than by night. Air travelers arriving in Luanda at night are strongly advised to arrange reliable and secure ground transportation in advance. If this is not possible, use only the regulated taxi service at the airport and in Luanda. Unregulated taxis are unsafe and can present a crime risk.

Motorists should stop at all police checkpoints if so directed. Police officers may solicit bribes or request immediate payment of “fines” for alleged minor infractions. Americans asked for bribes by the police should politely ask the traffic police to write them a ticket if the police are alleging a moving violation. If the police officer writes the ticket, then the motorist would pay the fine at the place indicated on the ticket. If no moving violation is alleged and the officer is asking for a bribe, the motorist should, without actually challenging the officer’s authority, politely ask the officer for his/her name and badge number. Officers thus engaged will frequently let motorists go with no bribe paid if motorists follow this advice. Motorists are reminded to have all proper documents in the vehicle at all times (i.e. vehicle registration, proof of insurance, and driver’s license), as the lack of documents is a violation and can also be a reason an officer would solicit a bribe. Police are not always responsive to reports of crime or requests for assistance. Most police are on foot and are assigned to designated stationary posts. The Rapid Intervention Police (PIR) unit is frequently seen patrolling various areas of the city. This unit, which is well-trained and organized, will respond to major criminal incidents.

There have been police operations against illegal aliens and private companies resulting in deportation of illegally resident foreign nationals and loss of personal and company property. Independent entrepreneurs in Angola should carry relevant immigration and business documents at all times.

Travelers should be alert to fraud occasionally perpetrated by Luanda airport personnel. Immigration and customs officials sometimes detain foreigners without cause, demanding gratuities before allowing them to enter or depart Angola. Airport health officials sometimes demand that passengers arriving without proof of current yellow fever vaccination accept and pay for a vaccination at the airport. Travelers are advised to be sure to carry their yellow fever vaccination card and make sure their yellow fever vaccine is up-to-date. If travelers forget to bring their yellow fever vaccination card and do not wish to receive the vaccine offered at the airport, they should be prepared to depart the country on the next available flight. Searches of travelers’ checked baggage is common; travelers are advised to take precautions against this possibility. Travelers should also be aware that criminals sometimes attempt to insert items into baggage at the airport, particularly for flights from Luanda to South Africa.

Travelers should maintain control of their carry-on baggage at all times, and if they believe something has been inserted into it, they should report it immediately to airport authorities. Travelers should also be advised that the Angolan currency (the Kwanza) may not be taken out of the country, and travelers are subject to confiscation of local currency at the airport.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends, and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of crimes are solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

In addition to reporting crime to local police and the U.S. Embassy in Angola, victims of crime who are residing in Angola are also encouraged to report the crime to the security department of their employer. Short-term visitors are encouraged to report the crime to the management of the hotel where they are staying if the crime occurred in or near the hotel.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Adequate medical facilities are rare except in Luanda, where there are some good private clinics that usually have a 24-hour service provided by a general practice physician and with specialists on call. The U.S. Embassy in Luanda can provide a list of such facilities. Routine operations such as appendectomies can be performed. However, many types of medicine are not readily available; travelers are urged to carry with them properly labeled supplies of any medications they routinely require. Malaria is endemic in most areas of Angola.

An outbreak of Marburg hemorrhagic fever, a severe and often fatal disease, occurred in Uige province beginning in the spring of 2005; however, on November 7, 2005, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Angola and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Marburg outbreak in Angola ended. This announcement came after 45 consecutive days without a new case of the illness. Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC’s Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. Please see our information on medical insurance overseas.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Angola is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Since the end of the civil war in 2002, overland access to the interior has increased. However, fighting in most of the country damaged or destroyed many roads and bridges, and services for motorists outside urban areas cannot be counted on. Road travel can be dangerous, due especially to landmines in some areas. Areas with suspected landmines are generally clearly marked and travelers should heed these warnings. Road conditions vary widely outside the capital, from acceptable paved surfaces to virtually impassable dirt roads, particularly secondary routes. Many secondary roads are impassable during the rainy season. Overloaded, poorly marked, and disabled vehicles, as well as pedestrians and livestock, pose hazards for motorists. Ground travel in rural areas should be undertaken during daylight hours only. Traffic in Luanda is heavy and often chaotic, and roads are often in poor condition. Few intersections have traffic lights or police to direct vehicles. Drivers often fail to obey traffic signals and signs, and there are frequent vehicle breakdowns. Itinerant vendors and pedestrians often weave in and out of traffic, posing a danger to themselves and to drivers. Most public transportation, including buses and van taxis, should be avoided, as the vehicles are generally crowded and may be unreliable.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Angola, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Angola’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA’s Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/safety/programs_initiatives/oversight/iasa/.

Special Circumstances: Angola is generally a cash-only economy; neither travelers’ checks nor credit cards are used outside the capital of Luanda. In Luanda, credit cards can be used only in very limited circumstances. ATM machines are only accessible to those with local bank accounts. Travelers should carry a sufficient supply of U.S. dollars with them. Only the newer series U.S. dollar bills (with large faces) are accepted. U.S. dollars can be converted to local currency at exchange businesses authorized by the Angolan government. Angolan currency (the Kwanza) may not be taken out of the country and travelers are subject to confiscation of local currency at the airport.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passport with them at all times so that, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship is readily available. The Embassy recommends that U.S. citizens keep their passport in a secure place and carry a copy to avoid the possibility of authorities confiscating identity and travel documents.

Angolan customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Angola of sensitive items including firearms, antiquities, and currency. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Angola in Washington or one of Angola’s consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Angolan laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Angola are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sex with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States.

Children’s Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children’s Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Registration/Embassy Locations: Americans living or traveling in Angola are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Angola. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

The Consular Section is located at the American Embassy Complex, Rua Houari Boumedienne #32, in the Miramar area of Luanda, P.O. Box 6468, tel. (244)-222-641-000, (244)-222-447-028, (244)-222-445-481, 244-222-446-224; 24-hour duty officer (244)-923-404-209; fax (244)-222-641-259. The Consular Section may be contacted by e-mail at [email protected] or at [email protected] Further information on travel to Angola is also available at the Embassy website, http://usembassy.state.gov/angola.

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Angola

Angola

Type of Government

Angola is a presidential regime, in power since 1992, that is making the transition to a multiparty, democratic republic. By constitution the central government is divided into three branches: the executive branch, which consists of the president, who is elected by popular vote, and the prime minister and the cabinet, who are appointed; the unicameral assembly, whose members are elected by popular vote; and the court system, which is overseen by the Supreme Court. The justices are appointed. In practice, the executive wields considerable influence over the other branches.

Background

The original inhabitants of Angola, members of the Khoisan linguistic group, were descendants of some of Africa’s most ancient tribes. The region was sparsely populated by confederations of tribes until the sixth century AD, when the Bantu arrived. They established a series of nation states along Africa’s western coast, known later as the Middle Atlantic Kingdoms.

The Kongo (Congo) Kingdom, which originated in the thirteenth century AD, was one of the most powerful. The manikongo (king of Kongo) ruled as an absolute monarch assisted by the mani , a group of aristocrats who functioned as regional governors. By the sixteenth century the Kongo Kingdom controlled six large provinces, stretching from Angola to what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. The capital city, Mbanza Kongo, had a population of more than fifty thousand.

In 1482–83, Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão became the first European to visit the western coast of Africa. On behalf of the Portuguese crown, he and other explorers formed trade agreements with the Kongo kings, exchanging firearms for slaves, ivory, and minerals. The Portuguese also gave the manikongos privileges and property in Europe. King Nzinga a Nkuwu (?–1506) became the first manikongo to be baptized as a Christian; he took the name Joáo I. His son Nzinga Mbemba (c. 1460–c. 1545), who was baptized as Affonso I, became a well-known figure in Europe–he was known for exchanging correspondence with the pope and other Christian leaders.

In 1587 the Portuguese established two important trading posts, Luanda and Benguela (once called São Felipe de Benguela because it was built around São Felipe fortress), which became the largest ports in the region. The neighboring kingdom, Ndongo, formed an alliance with the Dutch and several other smaller kingdoms to resist Portuguese expansion. The Ndongo fought an extended series of engagements and, with the help of the Dutch, managed to capture Luanda. The Portuguese colony in Brazil, strengthened by years of imported slaves from Angola, launched an invasion force and recaptured Luanda in 1648.

The alliance between the Kongo and the Portuguese began to disintegrate, however, and in 1665 the Kongo attempted to seize Luanda. The Portuguese easily defeated the Kongo, and by 1671 the Ndongo had also submitted, leaving the Portuguese in control.

Angola was an important hub in the Atlantic slave trade until 1836, when Portugal, following the lead of Britain and France, abolished that form of commerce. By 1844 the Portuguese had transformed Angola into an agricultural center, exporting cotton and other crops, and an ivory export market. In 1850 Luanda was one of the continent’s largest cities.

As Portugal moved from a monarchy to a parliamentary system in the early twentieth century, the government decided to make Angola a province of Portugal. Before provincial status was instated, however, the Portuguese strengthened their authority by removing tribal leaders who still controlled some of the more remote regions. That effort, completed by the 1920s, so angered and isolated the native population that a strong nationalist movement developed.

In the 1950s three militant factions battled each other and the Portuguese for control of the country. Movimento Popular de Libertaĉão de Angola (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola), or MPLA, which had ties to the Portuguese Communist Party, was supported by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Out of concern that communists would gain control of Central Africa, the United States agreed to aid the Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola (National Front for the Liberation of Angola), or FNLA, which originated in 1960–61. The third group, the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola), or UNITA, was formed in 1966 as an alliance of native tribal leaders. Although the independence armies rapidly overwhelmed the Portuguese military, their battle with each other intensified into civil war.

A 1974 presidential coup in Lisbon brought an end to Portugal’s colonial empire. Angola was granted independence in November 1975. Each of Angola’s leading factions also declared independence, however, establishing its own separate government. The outcome was a quarter century of escalating conflict.

Government Structure

In 1992 Angola made the transition from a single-party Marxist-Leninist republic to a multiparty democracy with powers divided between executive, legislative, and judicial branches. In practice, however, authority is concentrated in the executive branch. The president, who serves as head of state, commander of the armed forces, and head of government, appoints a prime minister, who functions as the president’s chief deputy. The president also appoints as many as thirty members to the Council of Ministers, which oversees the executive functions of the government. The president is elected by direct popular vote to serve up to two consecutive or discontinuous five-year terms.

The unicameral National Assembly has 223 members, who are elected according to proportional representation: five assembly members serve each of the nation’s eighteen provinces, and the remaining legislators are elected by the entire population as a single electoral unit. Legislators, who serve four-year terms, can stand for re-election. In cases of deadlock the president may, after consulting the cabinet, dissolve the National Assembly.

Angola’s governmental procedures hinge on the Council of the Republic, a consultative body presided over by the president. Its members include the prime minister, the president of the National Assembly, the president of the Constitutional Court, the attorney general, the former president of the republic, the presidents of the political parties represented in the National Assembly, and ten citizens appointed by the president to represent special interests and industry. The Council of the Republic meets to deliberate on executive decisions and issues involving constitutional law.

The 1992 constitution designates an independent judicial branch; however, in practice the executive exercises a high degree of influence in judicial operations. The High Council of the Judicial Bench—which appoints, removes, and punishes court officials—is led by the president and includes three legal officials appointed by the president, five lawyers or judges appointed by the National Assembly, and ten judges elected from within the judicial system. The constitution calls for a Constitutional Court, with final authority in all matters involving constitutional law. As of 2007 the Constitutional Court had never been convened. The nation’s highest functioning court is the Supreme Court, which is the final appellate authority and has oversight over all the nation’s lower courts. The justices are appointed by the president.

Political Parties and Factions

The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), established in 1956, has been the nation’s leading political party since the beginning of the civil war. Originally designated as a Marxist-Leninist political party, it controlled Angola as an authoritarian, communist state. After peace accords and the establishment of the 1992 constitution, the MPLA won the popular vote.

The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), established in 1966, is the second-largest political group. After independence and during most of the civil war, UNITA controlled a portion of the nation and established a democratic system. Though UNITA was originally a socialist party, its platform shifted during the 1980s in favor of a capitalist, democratic model. UNITA took part in the 1992 presidential poll and lost a close vote to the MPLA, leading to a brief relapse into civil war.

The National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), established in 1957, took a major role in the early independence movement and was originally supported by the United States and other pro-democracy foreign powers. The FNLA lost foreign support when its leadership broke away to form UNITA, leaving the remaining members of the FNLA without significant military backing. The FNLA took part in the 1992 elections, winning five seats in the National Assembly.

Frente para a Libertaĉão do Enclave de Cabinda (Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda), or FLEC, is a separatist political party located in the oil-rich Cabinda region. It repeatedly launched small-scale assaults on military convoys. In the 1990s the MPLA–led government instituted reforms that addressed some of the separatists’ complaints; however, many FLEC supporters have refused to take part in the central government.

The civil war led to the development of numerous other small, revolutionary parties. Only a few of them, including Partido Liberal Democrático (Liberal Democratic Party) and Partido Renovador Social (Social Renewal Party), held more than one seat in the assembly after the 1992 election.

Major Events

In the decade following independence the Angolan civil war became part of the “cold war” as the United States and the South African–supported UNITA faction attempted to drive the MPLA from Luanda. The United States and the USSR chose not to commit troops to the struggle, in fear of a major escalation, but Cuban and South African troops became directly involved, fighting several battles over disputed territory in neighboring Namibia. By 1980 the Cubans and South Africans had withdrawn from the conflict, but the Angolans continued their struggle.

During the 1980s the MPLA, under the leadership of José Eduardo dos Santos (1942–), and UNITA, under the leadership of Jonas Savimbi (1934–2002), tried several times to develop a peace agreement. Prospects for a cease-fire improved when Santos and the MPLA moved away from their communist platform and began advocating the establishment of a democratic system. Peace talks sponsored by the United Nations in 1988 seemed promising, but then disintegrated, leading to another wave of violent attacks. Though the MPLA enjoyed greater support and had territorial advantages, Savimbi’s UNITA controlled 80 percent of the nation’s diamond industry, which provided the funding needed for an ongoing war.

Between 1975 and 1989 the civil war resulted in some six hundred thousand verified casualties (in reality, the death toll probably exceeded more than 1 million) and prevented any lasting infrastructural improvements. Eventually both sides realized that a peace agreement was becoming necessary for economic reasons. In 1991 the MPLA and UNITA reached agreement on a new constitution and made plans for general elections the following year. Dos Santos won the presidential election with 49.6 percent of the popular vote; Savimbi won 40.1 percent. UNITA refused to accept the result and launched an attack on Luanda. During the following two years more than 20 percent of the population was displaced and thousands more died in armed conflict.

The 1994 Lusaka Peace Accords produced only a transient peace because Savimbi refused to surrender profitable diamond-mining territories. Widespread suffering accompanied the final stages of the war—aid workers were unable to reach poor and displaced families in the nation’s cities. In 2002 government troops killed Savimbi, which led to a cease-fire with UNITA leaders. Since 2002 the peace agreement has held, although separatist struggles have continued in some parts of Angola, including Cabinda province.

Twenty-First Century

After more than thirty years of civil war the populace faces extreme poverty. Access to food, medical care, and social services is insufficient. In addition, the government has a poor human-rights record, and accusations of corruption are common. Angola has potential, however, for it is rich in natural resources, including oil, diamonds, and other minerals.

Although the government operates within the framework of the 1992 constitution, dos Santos and the rest of the executive branch hold near-authoritarian power. However, the government announced plans to hold general elections in 2009, with a multiparty democratic system in place. Dos Santos said he would not run for re-election.

Birmingham, David. Empire in Africa: Angola and Its Neighbors . Athens: Ohio University Press, 2006.

Chabal, Patrick, and Nuno Vidal, eds. Angola: The Weight of History . New York: Columbia University Press, 2007.

Guimarães, Fernando Andresen. The Origins of the Angolan Civil War: Foreign Intervention and Domestic Political Conflict . New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001.

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Angola

Angola

Angola, former Portuguese colony and independent country in west central Africa since 1975. Angola was one of Brazil's major trading partners before 1850 and homeland of many enslaved Africans imported into Latin America. The meanings of "Angola" have changed over time. "Ngola" first referred to the ruler of Ndongo, then to the hinterland of Luanda, and finally to the region from Cape Lopez to Benguela in southern Angola. Africans identified as "Angolans" in Latin America generally came from the Portuguese-controlled central region of Angola, in particular the capital Luanda and the Kwanza River valley, and the region between and to the east of Kasanje. Major populations include the Kongo of northern Angola, the Mbundu in the center, the Lunda-Chokwe to the east, and the Ovimbundu and Ngangela in southern Angola.

See alsoAfrica, Portuguese; Slavery: Brazil; Slavery: Spanish America; Slave Trade.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Philip D. Curtin, The Atlantic Slave Trade (1969).

Mary C. Karasch, Slave Life in Rio de Janeiro, 1808–1850 (1987).

Joseph C. Miller, Way of Death (1988).

Additional Bibliography

Birmingham, David. Empire in Africa: Angola and Its Neighbors. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2006.

Rodrigues, Jaime. De costa a costa: Escravos, marinheiros e intermediários do tráfico negreiro de Angola ao Rio de Janeiro, 1780–1860. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2005.

                                             Mary Karasch

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Angola

Angola

  • Area: 481,226 sq mi (1,246,700 sq km) including the exclave of Cabinda. / World Rank: 24
  • Location: Located in the Eastern and Southern Hemispheres on the west coast of the African continent, south and southeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DROC), west of Zambia, north of Namibia, east of the Atlantic Ocean. Cabinda region is separated from the rest of Angola by the DROC, and is completely surrounded by that country and the Republic of the Congo.
  • Coordinates: 12° 30′S and 18° 30′E
  • Borders: 3,233 mi (5,198 km) total boundary length; the border of DROC, 1,557 mi (2,511 km, 136 mi (220 km) of which is the boundary of the discontiguous Cabinda province; Republic of the Congo, 125 mi (201 km); Namibia, 853 mi (1,376 km); Zambia, 688 mi (1,110 km)
  • Coastline: 992 mi (1,600 km)
  • Territorial Seas: 12 NM (22 km) from the coast; exclusive economic zone is 200 NM (360 km)
  • Highest Point: Mount Moco, 8,596 ft (2,620 m)
  • Lowest Point: Sea level
  • Longest Distances: 1,092 mi (1,758 km) SE-NW / 926 mi (1,491 km) NE-SW; Cabinda: 103 mi (166 km) NNE-SSW / 39 mi (62 km) ESE-WNW
  • Longest River: Congo, 2,693 mi (4344 km)
  • Natural Hazards: Occasional heavy rainfall with accompanying floods
  • Population: 10,366,031 (July 2001) / World Rank: 72
  • Capital City: Luanda, located on the Atlantic Coast.
  • Largest City: Luanda, 2,665,000 (2000 estimate).

OVERVIEW

A land of many broad tablelands above 3,300 ft (1,000 m), Angola also has both central and southern high plateaus that range up to 7,900 ft (2,400 m). The country as a whole is relatively dry, especially in the south and along the coast. The interior is the source of many rivers but is predominately savanna. Land abuse, such as desertification, forest loss, and water impurity are significant environmental problems throughout the country.

The Angolan province of Cabina lies somewhat to the north of Angola, separated from the rest of the country by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC). It receives more rainfall than most of Angola and parts of it are covered by rain forest.

MOUNTAINS AND HILLS

Mountains

Angola's tallest mountains are found along the edges of the coastal plain where it meets the plateaus that make up most of the interior. Its highest peak, Mount Moco (Morro de Moco), can be found here near the city of Huambo. Other major peaks include Mount Mejo (Morro de Mejo) at 8,474 ft (2,583 m) in the Benguela region and Morro de Vavéle (Mount Vavéle) at 8,133 ft (2,479 m) in Kuanza Sul. Running through the center of the country and into Zambia is the Lunda Divide, a set of low ridges marking the division between north flowing and southeast flowing rivers.

Plateaus

Most of Angola's interior is part of the great central plateaus that make up much of southern Africa. In the west central part of the country is the Bié Plateau, in the south central region the Huila Plateau, and in the north the Malanje Highlands. The Bié Plateau and the Huila Plateau are the most elevated regions, with Angola's tallest mountains. They drop off sharply to the coastal plains. In the north, the Malanje Highlands are of lower elevation and reach the coastal fringe in a gradual drop. Most of the eastern half of Angola is relatively flat and open plateau characterized by sandy soils.

Hills and Badlands

The northeastern part of the Cabinda exclave is a hilly region known as the Mayombé Hills. They were once under rainforest cover but have been heavily cut.

INLAND WATERWAYS

Rivers

Angola has a diverse system of rivers, including some large constantly fed rivers, such as the Congo; seasonally fed rivers; and temporary rivers and streams. Most of the country's many rivers originate in central Angola, but the pattern of flow and ultimate outlets is varied.

The enormous Congo River (or Cuango), which drains much of central Africa, flows along a small part of the border with the DROC before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. This is one of the few navigable rivers in Angola. Most of the other rivers in northeastern Angola, those north of the Lunda Divide, flow into the Congo basin.

Another great river, the Zambezi, flows through a portion of eastern Angola. Many of the rivers to the south of the Lunda Divide and east of the coastal plains are tributaries of this river. The Okavango (Cubango) River has its source in central Angola and flows southeast into Namibia, running for 998 mi (1610 km) before emptying into the Okavango Swamp in Botswana.

The Cuanza River (or Kuanza or Kwanza), at 600 mi (966 km), is the longest river that flows entirely within Angola's borders, and is the only one besides the Congo that is navigable, although only for 126 mi (200 km). The Cambembe Dam on the Cuanza River provides power to Luanda. Several other smaller rivers flow from the plateaus westward into the Atlantic and provide both irrigation for the otherwise dry coastal strip and hydroelectric power. The country has six dams, but as of 2002 only three were functioning. The southernmost rivers flowing into the Atlantic are seasonal—many are completely dry much of the year.

THE COAST, ISLANDS, AND THE OCEAN

The Coast and Beaches

Angola's Atlantic coast is an arid strip that is irrigated by the westward flowing rivers. The Benguela Current that runs north along much of the coast is cold, reducing precipitation, although it does support a food fishing industry that contributes to export income.

CLIMATE AND VEGETATION

Temperature

Angola's temperatures average 68°F (20°C), but there is considerable variation from the warmer coastal region to the cooler central plateau. The north—from Ambriz to Cabinda—has a wet, tropical climate; the eastern strip, starting slightly north of Luanda and stretching to Namibe, has a moderate tropical climate; the southern central strip between the plateau and the border with Namibia, as well as along the coast as far north as Namibe, has hot, dry desert conditions.

There are two seasons in Angola. The dry and cool winter lasts from June to late September. The hot, rainy summer extends from October into May.

Rainfall

Coastal regions are arid or semiarid because of the effects of the north-flowing cold Benguela Current in the Atlantic Ocean. The coastal region south of Benguela is made up of the most northern reaches of the Namib Desert of Namibia. The most southerly areas, near the border with Namibia, are characterized by sand dunes. In the middle coastal region around Benguela, low-growing scrubby plants are found; thicker brush develops further north along the coast. The interior, while not as arid as the southern coast, is still fairly dry. Only in the north is rainfall at all plentiful.

The annual average rainfall is 2 in (5 cm) on the coast at Namibe; 13 in (34 cm) along the northern coast at Luanda; and as high as 59 in (150 cm) in the northeast. The rainy season is October through May, but drought is not uncommon.

Grasslands

The coastal regions, while they receive relatively little rainfall, are well irrigated because of the drainage of the rivers from the higher central plateaus and serve as good cropland. The coastal plains vary in width from about 15 mi (25 km) to more than 93 mi (150 km) south of Luanda. The flat interior plateaus are predominantly savanna. Meadows and pastures constitute about 23 percent of the total land area. Elephant grass and scrubby forest cover the surface of the sandy floodplains.

Deserts

The southern part of the country is sandy and dry and has sparse vegetation, except along the courses of major rivers. This is less true in the southeastern parts of the country, but even there much of the vegetation disappears during the dry season. Due to vagaries in precipitation

Provinces – Angola
ESTIMATED 1995 POPULATION
Name Population Area (sq mi) Area (sq km) Capital
Bengo 170,000 14,173 36,708 Caxito
Benguela 700,000 15,115 39,151 Benguela
Bié 1,130,000 27,149 70,317 Kuito
Cabinda 170,000 2,744 7,107 Cabinda
Huambo 1,600,000 12,796 33,141 Huambo
Huíla 875,000 30,499 78,992 Lubango
Cuando Cubango 132,000 76,671 198,577 Menongue
Cuanza Norte 390,000 7,717 19,988 N'Dalatando
Cuanza Sul 680,000 21,281 55,117 Sumbe
Cunene 240,000 29,327 75,956 N'Giva
Luanda 1,650,000 570 1,477 Luanda
Lunda Norte 300,000 39,685 102,784 Lucapa
Lunda Sul 160,000 29,860 77,336 Saurimo
Malanje 920,000 33,686 87,247 Malanje
Moxico 330,000 77,870 201,683 Lwena
Namibe 125,000 22,043 57,090 Namibe
Uíge 925,000 23,728 61,455 Uige
Zaire 202,000 14,281 36,989 M'Banza Kongo
SOURCE : Projected from data compiled by Instituto Nacional de Estatística, Angola.

the far south is marked by sand dunes, which give way to dry scrub in the central portions.

Forests and Jungles

Precipitation at the highest points in the central plateaus permit the growth of deciduous forest, although it has been much depleted from timber and fuel demands. The Mayombé Hills in Cabinda have also been heavily cut of their former cover of rain forest. The northeastern part of Angola also has some rain forest.

HUMAN POPULATION

A July 2001 figure of 10,366,061 includes a 2.15 percent growth rate estimate. It is also estimated that 34 percent of the population live in urban areas. Ethnic groups include Ovimbundu (37 percent), Kimbundu (25 percent), Bakongo (13 percent), mesti©o (mixed European and Native African, 2 percent), European (1 percent), and other (22 percent).

NATURAL RESOURCES

Natural resources in Angola are abundant and include: petroleum, diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, copper, feldspar, gold, bauxite, and uranium. Angola's war for independence and ongoing civil strife has hampered the economic potential that resides in the land. Both petroleum production and diamond mining lead the industrial sector.

FURTHER READINGS

Burness, Don. On the Shoulder of Martí: Cuban Literature of theAngolan War. Colorado Springs, CO: Three Continents Press, 1996.

Cushman, Mary Floyd. Missionary Doctor, The Story of TwentyYears in Africa. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1944.

Ekwe-Ekwe, Herbert. Conflict and Intervention in Africa:Nigeria, Angola, Zaire. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990.

Embassy of The Republic of Angola. Welcome to the Public ofAngola. http://www.angola.org (accessed February 22, 2002.)

Maier, Karl. Angola: Promise and Lies. London: Serif, 1996.

University of Pennsylvania, African Studies Program. AngolaPage.http://www.sas.upenn.edu/African_Studies/Country_Specific/Angola.html (accessed February 22, 2002).

U.S. Department of State. Angola, 1996 Post Report. Washington, DC: The Department of State, 1996.

GEO-FACT

T he Quicama National Park covers an area between the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Cuanza River to the north, and the Longa River to the south in northwestern Angola. Quicama was established as a game reserve in 1938 and became a national park in 1957. The park incorporates several habitats, including dense thicket, savanna, and grasslands, and once provided sanctuary for a wide variety of African animals. Due to Angola's civil war and illegal poaching, since the 1980s many of the animal herds have been seriously threatened. International observers report sightings of red buffalo, antelope, eland, bushbuck, and waterbuck, but no reliable information is available; a vast variety of bird species are believed to be thriving in the park. The numbers of elephant, rhinoceros, and giant black sable surviving are not known.

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Angola

Angola

At a Glance

Official Name: Republic of Angola

Continent: Africa

Area: 481,352 square miles (1,246,700 sq km)

Population: 10,366,031

Capital City: Luanda

Largest City: Luanda (1,200,000)

Unit of Money: New kwanza

Major Languages: Portuguese (official), Bantu

Natural Resources: Petroleum, diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, copper

The Place

Angola is on the southwest coast of Africa. It stretches for about 800 miles (1,287 km) between The Democratic Republic of Congo to the north and Namibia to the south. Angola has an average width of about 675 miles (1,086 km) between its eastern boarder with Zambia and the Atlantic Ocean.

This seventh-largest African country is divided into three main geographic regions. The very narrow coastal plain runs along Angola's Atlantic border. It only reaches about 90 miles (150 km) in width at its widest point. The main vegetation in this part of the country is palm trees.

Moving westward into the center of Angola, the land begins to rise, like a series of steps, into rugged highlands. The largest section—called the Bie Plateau—reaches its highest elevation at 8,600 feet (2,625 m) above sea level. This plateau makes up about one-tenth of Angola. Its jagged terrain has produced several waterfalls and rapids that are used for hydroelectric power.

To the east of the highlands lies a very large plateau that makes up about two-thirds of the country. This vast area has an average elevation between 3,300 to 5,000 feet (1,000 to 1,520 m).

A small Angolan territory, Cabinda, is located to the north of the country in Congo. Lying close to sea level on the Atlantic Ocean, Cabinda mostly consists of thick tropical rain forests.

The People

Angola consists of more than 90 different ethnic groups, however, just 5 of them account for 90% of the population. The largest group is Ovimbundu, followed by the Kimbundu, the Bakongo, the Lunda-Chokwe, and the Nganguela. Most ethnic groups coexist peacefully.

Only about one-third of Angola's population lives in urban areas, and the country has a population density of just 24 people per square mile (9 per sq km). About 70% of Angolans live in the northern section of the country and along the coast.

Not surprisingly, the country's economy depends mostly on agriculture. In fact, the agriculture industry employs about two-thirds of Angola's total work force. Some crops grown in the country include cassava, sweet potatoes, corn, and coffee.

A little more than 40% of the population is younger than 15 years of age. This is because Angolan women give birth to an average of 6 children. Angola also has one of the highest death rates in Africa. The average life expectancy at birth is just 47 years. Less than 3% of the population is 65 years or older.

Education

Angola's education system has suffered greatly because of an ongoing civil war. Education is supposed to be free to citizens, and is required for children aged 7 to 15. In 1992, an education campaign began and student enrollment more than tripled to just under one million. As fighting resumed, however, many could no longer attend classes.

With few trained teachers and inadequate schools, the literacy rate for Angolans is low. About 56% of the male population is literate. Approximately 28% of women know how to read and write. There is only one university—the University of Agostinho Neto—in the country.

Government

Type: Multiparty democracy

Structure: Executive

Leader: President/Prime Minister

Defense

NA army personnel

NA tanks

NA major ships

NA combat aircraft

Popular Culture/Daily Life

Since the civil war broke out in 1975, the general state of life in Angola has been poor. Crime is high in urban neighborhoods, and gangs control the less developed areas. The health system has collapsed with the high number of war injuries and famine victims. In addition, there is only 1 doctor for every 14,300 people.

Even though the war has plagued Angola for some time, some traditions and customs are still practiced. Angolans are very good storytellers, and pass these tales on to younger generations. They are also highly skilled craftspeople who can create beautiful sculptures out of wood, clay, copper, and ivory.

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Angola

ANGOLA

Compiled from the April 2003 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.


Official Name
Republic of Angola (Republica de Angola)


PROFILE
GEOGRAPHY
PEOPLE
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
POLITICAL CONDITIONS
ECONOMY
DEFENSE
FOREIGN RELATIONS
U.S.-ANGOLAN RELATIONS
TRAVEL


PROFILE


Geography

Area: 1,246,700 sq. km. (481,400 sq. mi), about twice the size of Texas.

Cities: Capital—Luanda (pop. 3.8 million); Huambo (750,000); Benguela (600,000).

Terrain: A narrow, dry coastal strip extending from Luanda to Namibia; well-watered agricultural highlands; savanna in the far east and south; and rain forest in the north and Cabinda.

Climate: Tropical and tropical highland.


People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Angolan(s).

Population: July 2002 est., 10,533,547.

Annual population growth rate: 2002 est., 2.0%.

Ethnic groups: Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, mixed racial 2%, European 1%.

Religions: 2001 official est.; Roman Catholic 68%, various Protestant 20%; indigenous beliefs, 12%.

Languages: Portuguese (official), Ovimbundu, Kimbundu, Bakongo, and others.

Education: Years compulsory—8. Enrollment—primary school, 42%; secondary, 20%, and post-secondary, 3%. Literacy (total population over 15 that can read and write, 1998 est.)—42% (male 56%, female 28%).

Health: (2001 est.) Life expectancy—total population 42 years. Infant mortality rate (2001 est.)—193.72/1,000.

Work force: (1997 est. 5 million) Agriculture—85%; industry and commerce—15%; services—6%.


Government

Type: Republic.

Independence: November 11, 1975. Government based on ordinances, decrees, and decisions issued by a president and his ministers or through legislation produced by the National Assembly and approved by the president.

Branches: Executive—Elected president (chief of state), appointed prime minister, and 29 appointed civilian ministers. Legislative —Elected National Assembly (233 seats). Judicial—Supreme Court (a Constitutional Court, provided for in the 1992 constitution, has never been established).

Administrative subdivisions: Province, municipality, commune.

Political parties: 123 with legal status; in 1992, 12 won seats in the National Assembly. Pro-government—Peoples' Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). Opposition—National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), Social Renewal Party (PRS), National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), Party for Democratic Progress-Angola National Alliance (PDP-ANA), Democratic Renewal Party (PRD), Party of the Alliance of Youth, Workers, and Peasants (PAJOCA), Liberal Democratic Party (PLD), Democratic Alliance (AD), Angolan Democratic Forum (FDA), and the Angolan National Democratic Party (PNDA).

Suffrage: Universal age 18 and over.


Economy

GDP: 2001 est. using purchasing power parity, $13.3 billion. GDP 2001 est. using Atlas method, $6.7 billion.

Annual real GDP growth rate: (2001 est.) 3.2%.

Per capita GDP: 2001 est. using purchasing power parity, $1,550. Per capita GDP 2001 est. using Atlas method, $500.

Avg. inflation rate: (2000 est.) 116%.

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

Agriculture: Products—Bananas, sugarcane, coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, manioc, tobacco, vegetables, plantains; livestock; forest products; fisheries products.

Industry: Types—petroleum drilling and refining, mining, cement, basic metal products, fish processing; food processing, brewing, tobacco products, sugar refining, textiles.

Trade: Exports (2001 est.)—$6.7 billion: crude oil (89%), diamonds, refined petroleum products, coffee, gas, sisal, fish and fisheries products, timber, cotton. Major markets (2001 est.)—U.S. 49%, EU, China, South Korea. Imports (2001 est.)—$3.3 billion, machinery, electrical equipment, vehicles and spare parts, medicines, food, textiles, military goods. Major sources—EU (39%), South Korea, U.S., South Africa, Brazil.




GEOGRAPHY

Angola is located on the South Atlantic Coast of West Africa between Namibia and the Republic of the Congo. It also is bordered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia to the east. The country is divided into an arid coastal strip stretching from Namibia to Luanda; a wet, interior highland; a dry savanna in the interior south and southeast; and rain forest in the north and in Cabinda. The Zambezi River and several tributaries of the Congo River have their sources in Angola. The coastal strip is tempered by the cool Benguela current, resulting in a climate similar to coastal Peru or Baja California. There is a short rainy season lasting from February to April. Summers are hot and dry, while winters are mild. The interior highlands have a mild climate with a rainy season from November through April followed by a cool dry season from May to October. Elevations generally range from 3,000 to 6,000 feet. The far north and Cabinda enjoy rain throughout much of the year.




PEOPLE

Angola has three main ethnic groups, each speaking a Bantu language: Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, and Bakongo, 13%. Other groups include Chokwe (or Lunda), Ganguela, Nhaneca-Humbe, Ambo, Herero, and Xindunga. In addition, mixed racial (European and Africa) people amount to about 2%, with a small (1%) population of whites, mainly ethnically Portuguese. Portuguese make up the largest non-Angolan population, with at least 30,000 (though many native-born Angolans can claim Portuguese nationality under Portuguese law). Portuguese is both the official and predominant language.




HISTORY

In 1482, when the Portuguese first landed in what is now northern Angola, they encountered the Kingdom of the Congo, which stretched from modern Gabon in the north to the Kwanza River in the south. Mbanza Congo, the capital, had a population of 50,000 people. South of this Kingdom were various important states, of which the Kingdom of Ndongo, ruled by the Ngola (King), was most significant. Modern Angola derives its name from the king of Ndongo. The Portuguese gradually took control of the coastal strip throughout the 16th century by a series of treaties and wars. The Dutch occupied Luanda from 1641-48, providing a boost for anti-Portuguese states. In 1648, Brazilian-based Portuguese forces re-took Luanda and initiated a process of military conquest of the Congo and Ndongo states that ended with Portuguese victory in 1671. Full Portuguese administrative control of the interior did not occur until the beginning of the 20th century.


Portugal's primary interest in Angola quickly turned to slavery. The slaving system began early in the 16th century with the purchase from African chiefs of people to work on sugar plantations in Sao Tome, Principe, and Brazil. Many scholars agree that by the 19th century, Angola was the largest source of slaves not only for Brazil, but for the Americas, including the United States. By the end of the 19th century, a massive forced labor system had replaced formal slavery and would continue until outlawed in 1961. It was this forced labor that provided the basis for development of a plantation economy and, by the mid-20th century, a major mining sector. Forced labor combined with British financing to construct three railroads from the coast to the interior, the most important of which was the transcontinental Benguela railroad that linked the port of Lobito with the copper zones of the Belgian Congo and what is now Zambia.

Colonial economic development did not translate into social development for native Angolans. The Portuguese regime encouraged white immigration, especially after 1950, which intensified racial antagonisms. As decolonization progressed elsewhere in Africa, Portugal, under the Salazar and Caetano dictatorships, rejected independence and treated its African colonies as overseas provinces. Consequently, three independence movements emerged: the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), with a base among Kimbundu and the mixed-race intelligentsia of Luanda, and links to communist parties in Portugal and the East Bloc; the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA), with an ethnic base in the Bakongo region of the north and links to the United States and the Mobutu regime in Kinshasa; and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas Malheiro Savimbi with an ethnic and regional base in the Ovimbundu heartland in the center of the country.


From the early 1960s, elements of these movements fought against the Portuguese. A 1974 coup d'etat in Portugal established a military government that promptly ceased the war and agreed to hand over power to a coalition of the three movements. The coalition quickly broke down and turned into a civil war. By late 1975, Cuban forces had intervened on behalf of the MPLA and South African troops for UNITA, effectively internationalizing the Angolan conflict. In control of Luanda and the coastal strip (and increasingly lucrative oil fields), the MPLA declared independence on November 11, 1975, the day the Portuguese abandoned the capital. Augustinho Neto became the first president, followed by Jose Eduardo dos Santos in 1979.

Civil war between UNITA and the MPLA continued until 1989. For much of this time, UNITA controlled vast swaths of the interior and was backed by U.S. resources and South African troops. Similarly, tens of thousands of Cuban troops remained in support of the MPLA, often fighting South Africans on the front lines. A U.S.-brokered agreement resulted in withdrawal of foreign troops in 1989 and led to the Bicesse Accord in 1991, which spelled out an electoral process for a democratic Angola under the supervision of the United Nations. When UNITA's Jonas Savimbi failed to win the first round of the presidential election in 1992 (he won 40% to dos Santos's 49%, which meant a runoff), he called the election fraudulent and returned to war. Another peace accord was brokered in Lusaka, Zambia, and signed in 1994. This agreement, too, collapsed in 1998 when Savimbi renewed the war for a second time, claiming the MPLA was not fulfilling its obligations. The UN Security Council voted on August 28, 1997 to impose sanctions on UNITA. The Angolan military launched a massive offensive in 1999, which destroyed UNITA's conventional capacity and recaptured all major cities previously held by Savimbi's forces. Savimbi then declared a return to guerrilla tactics, which continued until his death in combat in February 2002.


On April 4, 2002, the Angolan Government and UNITA signed the Luena Memorandum of Understanding, which formalized the de facto cease-fire that prevailed following Savimbi's death. In accordance with the MOU, UNITA recommitted to the peace framework in the 1994 Lusaka Protocol, returned all remaining territory to Angolan Government control, quartered all military personnel in predetermined locations, and relinquished all arms. In August 2002, UNITA demobilized all military personnel and in September 2002, together with the government, reconstituted the UN-sponsored Joint Commission to resolve all outstanding political issues under the Lusaka Protocol. On November 21, 2002, UNITA and the government declared all outstanding issues resolved and the Lusaka Protocol fully implemented. UN Security Council sanctions on UNITA were lifted on December 9, 2002. National elections are projected for 2004 or 2005. In the interim, both sides will need to focus on national reconciliation and the resettlement/reintegration of over 4 million Angolans displaced by the decades of conflict.




GOVERNMENT

Angola is governed by a president assisted by a prime minister and 29 cabinet ministers, all appointed by him. The central government administers the country through 18 provinces, whose governors are appointed by the president. The National Assembly has 230 members elected in 1992 (three seats for Angolans living abroad have never been filled). They represent parties whose weight is determined by a formula that takes into account national tickets and provincial voting. The ruling MPLA controls 57% of the seats.


Principal Government Officials
Last Updated: 7/11/03


President: dos Santos, Jose Eduardo

Prime Minister: dos Santos "Nando," Fernando da Piedade Dias

Min. of Agriculture & Rural Development: Lutukuta, Gilberto

Min. of Commerce: Hossi, Victorino Domingos

Min. of Culture: Cardoso, Boaventura

Min. of Defense: Paihama, Kundi

Min. of Education: da Silva, Antonio Burity

Min. of Energy & Water: de Vasconcelos, Jose Botelho

Min. of Environment & Urban Development: Pereira, Virgilio Fontes

Min. of External Relations: de Miranda, Joao Bernardo

Min. of Finance: de Morais, Jose Pedro

Min. of Fisheries: Xirimbimbi, Salamao

Min. of Geology & Mines: Africano, Manuel Antonio

Min. of Health: Hamakwaya, Albertina Julia

Min. of Industry: David, Joaquim Duarte da Costa

Min. of Interior: Van Dunem, Oswaldo de Jesus Serra

Min. of Justice: Tjipilica, Paulo

Min. of Petroleum: da Costa, Desiderio

Min. of Planning: Lourenco, Ana Dias

Min. of Public Administration & Employment: Neto, Antonio Pitra

Min. of Public Works: Carneiro, Francisco Higino

Min. of Science & Technology: Ngandagina, Joao Baptista

Min. of Social Communication: Neto, Pedro Henrick Vaal

Min. of Social Reintegration: Kussumua, Joao Baptista

Min. of Telecommunications: Ribeiro, Licinio Tavares

Min. of Territorial Admin.: Muteka, Fernando Faustino

Min. of Tourism & Hotels: Valentim, Jorge Alicerces

Min. of Transport: Brandao, Andre Luis

Min. of Veterans & Ex-Combatants: van Dunem, Pedro Jose

Min. of Women & Family Affairs: da Silva, Candida Celeste

Min. of Youth & Sports: Barrica, Jose Marcos

Min. in the Office of the Presidency, Civil Affairs: Leitao, Jose da Costae Silva

Min. in the Office of the Presidency, General Secretariat: Peixoto, Jose Mateus de Adelino

Min. in the Office of the Presidency, Military Affairs: Dias "Kopelipa," Manuel Helder

Governor, Central Bank: Mauricio, Amadeu

Ambassador to the US: Diakite, Josefina Perpetua Pitra

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Gaspar-Martins, Ismael Abraao


Angola maintains an embassy in the United States at 2100-2108-16th St., NW, Washington, DC 20009 (tel. 202-785-1156, fax 202-785-1258, web: [email protected]




POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Angola changed from a one-party Marxist-Leninist system ruled by the MPLA to a nominal multiparty democracy following the 1992 elections. President dos Santos won the first round election with more than 49% of the vote to Jonas Savimbi's 40%. A runoff never has taken place. The democratic transition was stalled due to the resumption of the civil war but should accelerate with the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol.


Currently, political power is concentrated in the presidency. The executive branch of the government is composed of the president, the prime minister, and the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers, composed of all government ministers and vice ministers, meets regularly to discuss policy issues. Governors of the 18 provinces are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the president. The Constitutional Law of 1992 establishes the broad outlines of government structure and delineates the rights and duties of citizens. The legal system is based on Portuguese and customary law but is weak and fragmented. Courts operate in only 12 of more than 140 municipalities. A Supreme Court serves as the appellate tribunal; a Constitutional Court with powers of judicial review has never been constituted despite statutory authorization.


The 27-year long civil war has ravaged the country's political and social institutions. The government estimates that an estimated 4.1 million people were internally displaced by the civil war. As of January 2003, 1.8 million had returned to their communities. Resettlement of the remaining internally displaced, the return of 450,000 refugees from neighboring countries, and the reintegration of more than 300,000 former UNITA soldiers and their family members pose significant challenges. Daily conditions of life throughout the country and specifically in Luanda (population approximately 4 million) mirror the collapse of administrative infrastructure as well as many social institutions. Government support for social institutions is inadequate. Hospitals are without medicines or basic equipment, schools are without books, and public employees often lack the basic supplies for their dayto-day work.


The president has announced the government's intention to hold elections as soon as conditions permit, likely in late 2004 or early 2005. These elections would be the first since 1992 and would serve to elect both a new president and a new National Assembly.




ECONOMY

Angola has a fast-growing economy largely due to a major oil boom, but it also ranks in the bottom 10 of almost every socioeconomic indicator. Aside from the oil sector and diamonds, it is in economic disarray because of 27 years of nearly continuous warfare, corruption, and economic mismanagement. Despite abundant natural resources, output per capita remains among the world's lowest. Subsistence agriculture and dependence on humanitarian food assistance sustain the large majority of the population.

By contrast, the rapidly expanding petroleum industry now producing up to 900,000 barrels per day (bpd), behind only Nigeria in Africa, accounts for 51.7% of GNP, 89% of exports, and 90% of government revenues. Oil production remains largely offshore and has few linkages with other sectors of the economy. Block Zero, located in the enclave of Cabinda, currently provides the majority of Angola's crude oil production.


ChevronTexaco, through its subsidiary Cabinda Gulf Oil Company, is the operator with a 39.2% share. SONANGOL (the Angolan state oil company), Total FinaElf, and ENI-Agip are partners in the concession. ChevronTexaco also operates Angola's first producing deepwater section, Block 14, which started pumping in January 2000. Production from these Cabinda fields will be eclipsed by deepwater production further south in the Kwanza Basin scheduled to come on-line by 2007. TotalFinaElf brought the first of these deepwater blocks on-line with production from its Block 17 concession beginning in February 2002. Additional significant discoveries have been made in deepwater Blocks 15, 18, and 24, in which Exxon Mobil, BP, Statoil, Norsk Hydro, and Agip have major interests. Exploration is ongoing in recently awarded ultra deepwater concessions and in deepwater and shallow concessions in the Namibe Basin. BP made the first significant ultra-deepwater find in its Block 31 concession in 2002. TotalFinaElf operates Angola's one refinery (in Luanda) as a joint venture with SONANGOL; plans for a second refinery in Lobito are moving forward. ChevronTexaco and Sonangol are exploring the feasibility of a liquefied natural gas plant at Soyo. The United States purchases more than half of Angola's petroleum production, by far the largest importer. Exports to Asian countries, particularly China, have grown rapidly in recent years.


Diamonds make up most of Angola's remaining exports. Despite increased corporate ownership of diamond fields, much production is currently in the hands of small scale prospectors, often operating illegally. The government is making an increased effort to register and license these prospectors. Legal sales of rough diamonds may occur only through the government's diamond-buying parastatal, although many producers continue to try and bypass the system to obtain higher prices. The government has established an export certification scheme consistent with the "Kimberley Process" to identify legitimate production and sales. Other mineral resources, including, gold remain largely undeveloped.

In the last decade of the colonial period, Angola was a major African food exporter. Because of severe wartime conditions, including extensive laying of land mines throughout the countryside, agricultural activities have been brought to a near standstill, and the country is now forced to import most of its food. Some efforts at agricultural recovery have gone forward, notably in fisheries, but most of the country's vast potential remains untapped. Coffee production, though a fraction of its pre-1975 level, is sufficient for domestic needs and some exports.


An economic reform effort was launched in 1998 but has been only marginally successful in addressing persistent fiscal mismanagement and corruption. In April 2000, Angola started an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Staff-Monitored Program (SMP). The program formally lapsed in June 2001 over IMF concerns about lack of adequate Angolan progress in key areas. However, the Government of Angola did succeed in unifying exchange rates and has raised fuel, electricity, and water rates. Efforts to initiate a new IMF program are ongoing but are contingent on progress in budget transparency and accountability. The Commercial Code, telecommunications law, land tenure law, and Foreign Investment Code are outdated. Revisions are in progress. A privatization effort, prepared with World Bank assistance, has begun with the BCI bank.

Angola is the third-largest trading partner of the United States in Sub-Saharan Africa, largely because of its petroleum exports. About 7% of U.S. non -OPEC oil imports are from Angola, a share which should continue to increase. By the same token, U.S. companies account for more than half the investment in Angola, with Chevron-Texaco leading the way. The U.S. exports to Angola industrial goods and services—such as oil field equipment, mining equipment, chemicals, aircraft, and food.




DEFENSE

The Angolan Armed Forces, known by its Portuguese acronym FAA, are headed by a Chief of Staff who reports to the civilian Minister of Defense. There are three services—the army, navy, and air force. Total manpower is about 140,000. The army is by far the largest of the services with about 130,000 personnel. The navy numbers about 3,000 and operates several small patrol craft and barges. Air Force personnel total about 7,000; its equipment includes Russian-manufactured fighters and transport planes. The "Casa Militar," or presidential guard, answers directly to the Office of the President and is separate from FAA command and control structures.




FOREIGN RELATIONS

From 1975 to 1989, Angola was aligned with the Soviet Union and Cuba. Since then, it has focused on improving relationships with Western countries, cultivating links with other Portuguese-speaking countries, and asserting its own national interests in Central Africa through military and diplomatic intervention. In 1993, it established formal diplomatic relations with the United States. It has entered the Southern African Development Community as a vehicle for improving ties with its largely Anglophone neighbors to the south. In 1997, Zimbabwe and Namibia joined Angola in its military intervention in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where Angolan troops fought in support of the Joseph Kabila government. It also has intervened in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) to support the existing government in that country.

Multilaterally, Angola has promoted the revival of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) as a forum for cultural exchange and a means of expanding ties with Portugal and Brazil in particular. The government fully cooperated with the UN Mission in Angola (UNMA), scheduled to conclude in mid-February, during the peace process. Angola also worked closely with the UNSC in the implementation of UNITA sanctions. Angola began a 2-year term on the Security Council in January 2003.




U.S.-ANGOLAN RELATIONS

The United States established formal diplomatic relations with the Government of Angola in 1993. Before 1989, U.S.-Angolan relations were defined by the Cold War. The United States supported Jonas Savimbi's UNITA against the pro-Soviet and pro-Cuban MPLA government in Luanda. Since 1992, the bilateral relationship has steadily improved.


The U.S. Mission in Angola consists of four agencies—The Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Defense, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, a variety of federal agencies maintain relationships with the Angolan Government through ongoing projects, including the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Energy. In FY 2002, mission programs amounted to roughly $137 million: a $99,611,400-USAID program, of which $85,587,000 went to humanitarian assistance (including food aid) while the rest went to agriculture, health, and democracy and governance; $28,700,000 in Department of Agriculture 416B products; a $2.8 million State Department demining program; a $300,000 State Department Human Rights and Democracy Fund grant to support the independent media; $3.5 million in State Department Economic Support Funds for democratic development; $70,000 in small arms destruction assistance from the State Department; $2,350,000 in State Department refugee assistance; and $122,000 in State Department small projects funds. New projects in FY 2003 will include support for democratic development from USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives and increased HIV/AIDS surveillance, treatment, and prevention programs through CDC.

At the same time, the energy-based U.S. trading relationship continues to expand and spark other ties. One offshoot has been the development of a Sister City relationship between Lafayette, La., and Cabinda. The Catholic University of Luanda has close links with a number of American institutions and has received support from Citizens' Energy of Boston. SONANGOL has a longstanding program of educating its professionals in U.S. universities, complimenting ChevronTexaco's policy of U.S. training for its own growing pool of Angolan professionals. Long before oil was discovered, American missionary efforts from the early 19th century established several Protestant churches in the interior, which also provided much of the schooling that was available in rural colonial Angola; those historical links now are being revived with exchanges in both directions.


Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

Luanda (E), Rua Houari Boumedienne No. 32, Miramar, Luanda, Angola; • International Mail: Caixa Postal 6484, Luanda, Angola, or Pouch:Dept. of State, 2550 Luanda Place, Washington, D.C. 20521-2550; INMARSAT: Int'l operator 873-151-7430, Tel [244] (2) 447-028/445-481, Fax 446-924; Admin/Consular Annex: Casa Inglesa, Rua Major Kanhangula No. 132/135, Angola, or use above pouch address; ADMIN Tel 392-498; 371-697; CON Tel 396-727, 371-645; Fax 390-515.

AMB: Christopher W. Dell
AMB OMS: Donna Mmoh
DCM: Donald J. Gatto
POL: Edward J. Stafford
POL/MIL: Stephen Kirkwood
MGT: Mark J. Biedlingmaier
ECO/COM: William Ayala
CON: Lillian De Valcourt
IPO: Harvey Heard
RSO: Kristen Sivertson
PAO: Kim du Bois
DAO: MAJ Matthew Anderson
AID: Robert Hellyer
FAA: Edward Jones (res. Dakar)
IRS: Paul J. Beene (res. London)
AGR: Richard Helm (res. Pretoria)

Last Modified: Wednesday, September 24, 2003




TRAVEL


Consular Information Sheet
October 21, 2003


Country Description: Angola is a large, developing country in southern Africa. After gaining independence from Portugal in 1975, it was engulfed in a civil conflict that lasted for more than a quarter century. A cease-fire was called in April 2002, two months after the death of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi, and, on November 21, 2002, the government and former rebels signed a peace agreement that definitively ended the conflict. Fighting has ended in all areas of the country except for the Cabinda enclave, and there are growing signs of economic recovery. Nevertheless, major problems remain with virtually every element of infrastructure and government service throughout the country, including communications, roads, and basic education and health services. Facilities for tourism, particularly outside the capital of Luanda, are extremely limited.

Entry Requirements: A passport and visa, which must be obtained in advance, and an International Certificate of Vaccination, are required. Persons arriving without visas are subject to possible arrest and/or exclusion. Travelers may also encounter delays if they do not have at least one completely blank page available in their passports for entry and exit stamps. Travelers whose international immunization cards do not show inoculations against yellow fever within the past ten years may be subject to involuntary vaccinations and/or heavy fines. Visitors remaining in Angola beyond their authorized visa duration are subject to fines and possible arrest. Current information on entry requirements may be obtained from the Embassy of Angola at 2108 16th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. (202) 785-1156, fax (202) 822-9049.


In an effort to combat international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.


Safety and Security: The security situation in Angola has improved markedly since the end of the civil war; however, Americans should still exercise caution. Although the war has ended, the possibility of banditry and extensive use of land mines during the war make ground travel throughout Angola problematic. Frequent checkpoints and poor infrastructure contribute to unsafe travel on roads outside of the city. Police and military are unpredictable, and their authority should not be challenged. Travel in many parts of Luanda is relatively safe by day, but car doors should be locked, windows rolled up, and packages stored out of sight. Visitors are strongly advised to avoid unnecessary travel after dark, and no travel should be undertaken on roads outside of cities after nightfall.

Although the civil war between the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and the Government of Angola has ended, the ongoing low-level insurgency group, Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC), active in Cabinda province has a history of threatening foreign nationals with kidnapping. Throughout Angola, taking photographs of any thing that could be perceived as being of military or security interest, including government buildings, may result in problems with authorities and should therefore be avoided.


Crime Information: Violent crime occurs regularly throughout Angola. While most of the violent crime occurs between Angolans, foreigners have occasionally been attacked as well. Street crime is common in all areas of Luanda, at all hours. Because of armed robberies and carjackings, travelers are cautioned against airport arrivals after dark. Before arrival, ensure that you have arranged for reliable transportation from the airport. Use only the regulated taxi service at the airport and in Luanda; unregulated taxis are unsafe, a high crime risk, and should not be used.


Motorists should stop at all police checkpoints if so ordered. Police officers, often while still in uniform, have been known to participate in shakedowns, muggings, and carjackings.


There have been police operations against illegal aliens and private companies resulting in the deportation of foreign nationals and the loss of personal and company property. In rare cases, foreigners have been forced to sign statements renouncing property claims in Angola before being deported. Independent entrepreneurs in Angola should carry all relevant immigration and business documents at all times.


Travelers should be alert to a number of scams perpetrated by Luanda airport personnel. Immigration and customs officials sometimes detain foreigners without cause, demanding gratuities before allowing them to enter or depart Angola. Airport health officials sometimes threaten arriving passengers with "vaccinations" with unsterilized instruments if gratuities are not paid. Forced entry into travelers' checked baggage is common; travelers are advised to take precautions against this possibility. Travelers should also be sure to have checked luggage receipts ready to display upon exiting the airport.


The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to local police and to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet "A Safe Trip Abroad" for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.


Medical Facilities: Adequate medical facilities are virtually nonexistent anywhere in Angola except Luanda, where there are some good private clinics that usually have a 24-hour service under a general practitioner physician with specialists on call. The U.S. Embassy in Luanda can provide specific contact information for such facilities. Routine operations such as appendectomies can be performed. Still, many types of medicine are not available.


Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas, including emergency services such as medical evacuations.

When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the U.S. may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.


Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure "Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad," available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.


Other Health Information: Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's website at http://www.who.int/ith. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/iht.


Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Angola is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance:

Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor


Until early 2002, destinations in the interior were accessible safely only by private or chartered aircraft. Since the end of the civil war, overland access to the interior has increased. However, civilians have encountered problems with bandits while traveling overland and land mines continue to be a very real threat. Overland routes to neighboring countries are frequently not open.


Traffic in Luanda is consistently heavy and often chaotic; roads are generally in poor condition. Few intersections have traffic lights or police to direct the flow of vehicles. Drivers routinely fail to obey traffic lights, lanes and stop signs, and there are frequent breakdowns of badly maintained vehicles. Itinerant vendors and pedestrians often weave in and out of traffic, posing a danger to themselves and to drivers. Beyond a single call -in taxi service, usually available at the airport, all public transportation, including buses and van taxis, should be avoided as the vehicles are ge nerally crowded, unsafe, and unreliable.


Road conditions vary widely outside the capital, from acceptable paved surfaces to virtually impassable dirt roads, particularly on secondary routes. Overloaded vehicles, driving too fast for road conditions, and pedestrians and livestock on the roadway pose hazards for travelers.


For additional information about road safety, see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page road safety overseas feature at http://travel.state.gov/roadsafety.html.


Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service by local carriers at present, nor authority to operate such service, between the U.S. and Angola, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Angola's civil aviation authority for compliance with international aviation safety standards. FAA is working with Angolan civil aviation and airport authorities to improve security and safety under the "Safe Skies for Africa" program.


For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA Internet home page at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact DOD at (618) 229-4801.


Customs Regulations: Angolan customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Angola of items such as firearms, antiquities, and currency. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Angola in Washington or one of Angola's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.


Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Angolan laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Angola are strict and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines. Prison conditions are extremely harsh.


Consular Access: U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passports with them at all times, so that, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Luanda will prepare certified copies of American passports at no charge for individuals who register with the Embassy. The Embassy recommends that Americans keep their passport in a secure place and carry certified copies because Angolan officials have a reputation for holding identity and travel documents hostage in the hopes of receiving bribes for their return.

Special Circumstances: Angola is generally a cash-only economy; both travelers' checks and credit cards are of minimal use in Angola. In addition, ATM machines are not available. Therefore, travelers should carry a sufficient supply of U.S. dollars with them. Only the newer series U.S. dollar bills (with large faces) are accepted due to widespread counterfeiting of the older style. U.S. dollars can be converted to local currency at exchange houses authorized by the Angolan government. Rapid fluctuations in the value of the Angolan Kwanza and shortages of U.S. dollars, especially in smaller denominations, are widespread. Kwanzas may not be taken out of the country and travelers are subject to search (often accompanied by confiscation) at the airport.


Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone (202) 736-7000.


Registration and Embassy Location: U.S. citizens are encouraged to register with and obtain updated information on travel and security from the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Luanda located at the Casa Inglesa Complex, Rua Major Kanhangula No. 132/135, tel. 244-2-371-645 or 396-727; fax 244-2-390-515. The Embassy is located on Rua Houari Boumedienne in the Miramar area of Luanda, P.O. Box 6468, tel. 244-2-447-028/(445-481)/(446-224); (24-hour duty officer 244-92-404-209); fax 244-2-446-924. The Consular section may be contacted by email at [email protected] or [email protected] Further information on travel to Angola is also located on the Embassy website at http://angola.usembassy.gov.


Travel Warning
October 2, 2003


This Travel Warning is being issued to provide updated information on the security situation in Angola. This Travel Warning supersedes the one issued on March 24, 2003.


The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the considerable risk of travel within the Republic of Angola. The November 21, 2002, signing of a peace agreement marked the definitive end of 27 years of civil conflict. However, fighting in most of the country damaged or destroyed much of the physical infrastructure including roads, bridges, hospitals and schools. Travel by road is difficult and can be dangerous due to the extensive presence of land mines in many areas. Services outside of major urban areas are virtually non-existent, and secondary roads may be impassable during the rainy season. Domestic air service is limited. Unreliable communications and the difficulty of travel within the country restrict the Embassy's ability to provide consular assistance outside of the capital, Luanda.


Street crime is a regular occurrence in the capital. The most common crimes are pick pocketing, purse snatching, vehicle theft, and vehicle break-ins. Armed criminals also commit muggings, robberies, and car jackings. Police and military are sometimes undisciplined and their authority should not be challenged. Occasional acts of banditry have been reported on roads in the interior. Any ground travel in rural areas should be undertaken during daylight hours only. In Luanda and other cities, visitors are strongly advised to avoid unnecessary travel after dark.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to register with and obtain updated information on travel and security from the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Luanda located at the Casa Inglesa Complex, Rua Major Kanhangula No. 132/135, tel. 244-2-371-645 or 396-727; fax 244-2-390-515. The Embassy is located on Rua Houari Boumedienne in the Miramar area of Luanda, P.O. Box 6468, tel. 244-2-447-028/(445-481)/(446-224); (24-hour duty officer 244-92-404-209); fax 244-2-446-924. The Consulate may be contacted by e-mail at [email protected] or [email protected]

Further information on travel to Angola is also located on the Embassy website at http://angola.usembassy.gov. For further information about conditions in Angola, please consult the Department of State's latest Consular Information Sheet on Angola and the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, available via the Internet at http://travel.state.gov.

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Angola

Angola

POPULATION 10,593,171
AFRICAN INDIGENOUS BELIEFS 47 percent
ROMAN CATHOLIC 38 percent
PROTESTANT 15 percent

Country Overview

INTRODUCTION

The Republic of Angola lies on the southwestern coast of Africa. It is bordered by Zaire on the north and east, Zambia on the southeast, Namibia on the south, and the Atlantic Ocean on the west. Also part of the country is Cabinda, a small enclave to the north along the Atlantic coast, which is separated from the rest of Angola by Zaire.

In precolonial times the region was inhabited by people with various political and religious traditions, some of which continue to be important. There was contact between the area and Portugal from the end of the fifteenth century, but formal Portuguese colonial rule was established only at the end of the nineteenth century. At the same time missionaries of various denominations sought to convert the people to Christianity. Most denominations focused their activities in a particular ethnic-linguistic region.

Beginning in 1961 nationalist movements led a war for the liberation of Angola from Portuguese rule. The most important of these were the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA; Popular Liberation Movement of Angola), which was Marxist in its outlook; the Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola (FNLA; National Front for the Liberation of Angola); and the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA; National Union for the Total Independence of Angola), which later gained support from the West. After a coup in Portugal in 1974, the anti-colonial war ended, and on 11 November 1975 Angola was declared independent. A civil war then broke out, principally between MPLA, the government party, and the rebel UNITA. The war ended only in 2002.

The growth of Christianity in Angola during the twentieth century was spectacular. Elements of African traditions have been incorporated into church services, and traditional religious specialists, such as diviners and healers, often integrate Christian elements into their practices. For many Angolans there has come to be little contradiction between a Christian faith and various aspects of African indigenous religions. In addition, the number of Christian denominations has grown rapidly, especially within the Pentecostal sphere. Today there are more than 400 Christian denominations in Angola.

The role of Christian churches in Angolan society has been extremely important. During the colonial period churches provided many of the basic educational and health services, and since independence their functions have increased. In many respects the state does not function, and churches often assume responsibilities far beyond the religious. In the wake of extreme poverty and hunger, for example, many Angolans depend on churches for survival. Churches have also played a crucial role in the Angolan peace process, and they represent the most important pressure group in the Angolan political landscape. Most political leaders are products of Western Christian missions, which affects their outlook on the world.

RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE

During the colonial period the Portuguese, who were Roman Catholic, saw the influence of the Protestant churches as a threat. The Catholic Church was regarded with less suspicion. After independence the government frequently came in conflict with religious leaders. The constitution provided for freedom of religion, and there existed freedom of worship. Yet the MPLA government also declared Angola to be a secular state and decreed that educational services could no longer be organized by churches. Since the move toward a more liberal political system at the end of the 1990s, relations between the government and the established churches have eased considerably, although incidents that trouble the relationship have continued to occur. Churches must be registered with the government.

Among Christians in Angola there are a number of ecumenical movements, including Comité Intereclesial para a Paz em Angola (COIEPA; Interdenominational Committee for Peace in Angola), Concelho de Igrejas Cristãs em Angola (CICA; Council of Christian Churches in Angola), and Aliança Evangélica de Angola (AEA; Evangelical Alliance of Angola). On 2 June 1991 the ecumenical movements, along with many churches, organized a massive prayer for peace that was held in Luanda's football (soccer) stadium.

Major Religions

AFRICAN INDIGENOUS BELIEFS

ROMAN CATHOLICISM

AFRICAN INDIGENOUS BELIEFS

DATE OF ORIGIN No specific date
NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS 5 million

HISTORY

Angola's indigenous religious traditions have changed throughout the centuries. The rapid spread of Christianity beginning at the end of the nineteenth century has led to the disappearance of many traditional beliefs. Thus, belief in a variety of spiritual entities, such as mermaids and water spirits, is on the decline. Furthermore, many rituals involving reverence for ancestors have disappeared, and certain religious institutions, such as secret societies that in the past often functioned as police forces, no longer exist. Yet other concepts and practices, such as witchcraft and magic, are becoming more important. These are sometimes reinterpreted within a Christian context, but traditional healers are also much sought after to address the problems that witches and evil spirits are believed to cause and to assist in obtaining protective magic. Some of the indigenous religions recognize a Supreme Being, held to be the creator of the universe, who has control of spirits and ancestors.

The proportion of Angola's population that follows indigenous beliefs is often estimated to be 47 percent. The number of people who, if asked, would state that their only religious adherence is "African religion" is probably much lower, however.

EARLY AND MODERN LEADERS

Over the course of Angola's history, religious specialists, such as healers and diviners, have often been of paramount importance. In general, they derive their power from ancestral spirits. The role of the kimbanda (healer) has not diminished, and in rural as well as urban areas people of all backgrounds visit kimbandas for analysis of their problems. Many healers have integrated modern techniques and new elements into their practices. Some healers have a profound knowledge of herbs, and in many cases their treatments have important therapeutic consequences. Their role in healing war traumas, for example, has hitherto hardly been recognized. Religious powers often were traditionally attributed to political leaders, and this remains the case today.

MAJOR THEOLOGIANS AND AUTHORS

The indigenous religions of Angola do not have a formal written theological tradition.

HOUSES OF WORSHIP AND HOLY PLACES

One characteristic of most African religions, including those of Angola, is that places of worship and sacred places may shift. Thus, the Kongo minkisi (empowered statuettes) can be regarded as portable shrines. Places in nature that impress people through their particularity, such as a formation of rocks or a waterfall, may come to have a special ritual meaning. Mbanza Kongo, the old capital of the Kongo kingdom, has had enormous religious significance throughout its history, and it is held by many people to be a holy place.

WHAT IS SACRED?

As such, plants and animals are not regarded as holy in Angola. Yet it is believed that the forces of nature may be used by spirits, witches, and powerful people to further their plans, be they for evil or for good. Examples include the idea that a witch can change into a crocodile, that seeing an owl may be a bad omen, and that a leopard is associated with political power. Some species of trees play a role in religious ceremonies, and some plants are of special religious importance because they are used in herbal potions. Water may be blessed by religious specialists so as to be used for protective magic.

HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS

Holidays and festivals among Angolan traditional religions did not follow a fixed calendar but rather were celebrated each year during the same season. There were a number of harvest festivals. Initiation schools usually concluded with a performance by masked dancers in a festival that often attracted people from other villages. During colonial times many festivals became less frequent, and with civil war in the late twentieth century most disappeared altogether.

MODE OF DRESS

Religious specialists in Angola may dress in special clothes, wearing attire made from animal skin, wood, and other materials that are associated with tradition rather than modernity. In the past masked dancers wore elaborate costumes, novices wore a special outfit during initiation ceremonies, and political leaders wore leopard skins to mark their religious and political powers. Except for initiation ceremonies, these practices are no longer followed.

DIETARY PRACTICES

In many Angolan traditional religions there were food taboos. For example, women might not be allowed to eat certain species of fish, novices could not eat salt during their initiation school, and healers were prohibited from eating roasted meat. In most communities such rules are no longer observed. Rules that accompany magical potions often do include food taboos, however.

RITUALS

Two factors have brought about the decline of traditional rituals in Angola. Under the influence of Christian churches, a number of practices from the African indigenous tradition have disappeared. In addition, because of civil war many religious practices and religio-cultural institutions have been discontinued. On the other hand, the violence and the suffering of the people during the late twentieth century increased the need for means to deal with social problems. Especially in the war zones, people attempted to find new ways to address their critical situation. Thus, malign spirits were exorcized in newly established churches, children wore amulets to prevent them from being forced into the army, and soldiers tried to follow rules thought to make a magic potion work against bullets. Many of these procedures were connected with the strict observance of rules and rituals.

RITES OF PASSAGE

In many Angolan cultures initiation from childhood into adulthood traditionally received special ritual attention. Boys and girls often lived for a considerable time in seclusion, during which circumcision was performed on boys and, in some societies, labial enlargement on girls. The novices learned various dances and were taught about their culture in moral, religious, and historical terms. In some Angolan communities these rites of passage are still observed, although in abbreviated form, and circumcision is sometimes done in a hospital. Initiation into further age-grade groups, which formerly moved people into the ranks of the elderly, have probably now become entirely obsolete.

Other steps in life, such as marriage and the birth of a child, were also regarded in many communities as crucial transformative moments in the life of a person. They were often marked by elaborate rites, sometimes with clear religious references. Some of these elements, such as music and dancing, have been incorporated into Christian marriage ceremonies.

In many Angolan societies the funeral is an extremely important event, with mourning rituals often regarded as essential for the peace of the soul of the deceased. In the civil war there was often no opportunity to carry out the appropriate rituals for the dead. Although people sought alternative forms of mourning, war victims were sometimes left unburied. Apart from the personal trauma this caused, many people feared that restless spirits would further disrupt social life. Even if rituals for ancestral spirits are no longer practiced, on the whole people are respectful concerning ancestors.

MEMBERSHIP

Children learn their religion mainly at home, from observation, admonition, participation in religious activities, and initiation ceremonies. Some traditional healers use placards to attract customers, although their fame is usually spread by word of mouth. Healers sometimes house apprentices, who are "called" to become healers through dreams, disease, or other signs.

SOCIAL JUSTICE

Angolan traditional religions include proper retribution and compensation for wrongs, sanctioned by established norms and trials. Accusations of witchcraft have traditionally been used as a means of social control. Although such accusations have wrecked many families, they also function as a popular means of protesting unbridled greed and the egotism of the political leadership. In this sense accusations of witchcraft are an attempt to arrive at a more equal society.

SOCIAL ASPECTS

In traditional African religions marriage is seen as a necessary step in people's lives. In most Angolan communities marriage was not just an affair of two people but involved the entire families. Usually both the girl and the boy had some say in the matter, although the role of fathers and uncles especially was considerable in the choice of a spouse. Fertility in women was, and is, highly valued. If a woman remains childless, help may be sought from religious specialists. Because of the war, there are many female-headed households, and in Angola, unlike other African countries, polygamous marriages are hardly on the decline.

POLITICAL IMPACT

Traditional healers and diviners were largely disregarded by the government of the newly independent Angola. Although the role of religious practitioners in the community often increased during the civil war, the MPLA government refused to recognize their function and at times hindered them in the execution of their profession. In areas under the control of UNITA, the function of healers and diviners seems to have been acknowledged to a far greater extent. There were widespread accusations, however, that UNITA abused the influence of healers and diviners so as to intimidate civilians under their control and that charges of witchcraft were used to eliminate political opponents.

CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES

Indigenous African religions do not have an explicit theology, and so they do not take a formal, dogmatic stance on social issues. Religious specialists in Angola, however, sometimes express their personal opinions on such issues as abortion, divorce, feminism, homosexuality, and AIDS. These are often condemned as imports from the West and foreign to African traditions, although religious specialists assist people faced with problems. Today contraception is mostly an affair of the medical services, although the practice is not accepted by some. In the past female healers often had knowledge of herbs that would produce an abortion. Today abortion is legal only under restricted circumstances, as when the life of the woman is endangered. Some healers promise their clients that they are able to cure AIDS.

CULTURAL IMPACT

African art objects, such as masks and statuettes, usually have a religious significance. Traditionally they were used during religious ceremonies. Masked dancers performed mostly in the festivals that closed initiation schools. The Kongo minkisi (statuettes) were often considered to contain spiritual power that could be used for good or evil. The well-known Kongo nail figures belong this group of statuettes. Music played an important role during many religious ceremonies, and dancing, drumming, and singing form an important legacy in many Angolan communities.

ROMAN CATHOLICISM

DATE OF ORIGIN 1491 c.e.; reestablished 1881
NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS 4 million

HISTORY

Roman Catholicism was first introduced to what is now Angola at the end of the fifteenth century by Portuguese travelers. In 1518 a son of the Kongo king was ordained the first Angolan bishop. The Antonian movement, led by Dona Beatriz Kimpa Vita, started at the end of the seventeenth century. Proclaiming that Jesus and Mary had been black, it aimed at ending the civil war in the region and reestablishing the Kongo kingdom. Because it was seen as a threat by the Catholic clergy, Dona Beatriz was burned at the stake in 1706.

By the end of the nineteenth century only remnants of this early Christianity could be found, and beginning in the 1880s the Roman Catholic Church was established anew in Angola. French Spiritans (Congregation of the Holy Ghost) were especially important in this process. Benedictines, Capuchins, Redemptorists, and others later joined in the Catholic missionary activities. When Portugal became a republic in 1910, a number of laws were introduced that restricted the power of the Catholic Church. Because the role of the church in colonial society, as well as in Portugal, was so important, however, anticlerical legislation never became extreme. Under the regime of António Salazar, from 1932 to 1968, Catholicism developed into a near state religion. Especially among the lower clergy, there were many critics of Portuguese colonial rule, but the church leadership did not take a stance against colonialism.

After the independence of Angola in 1975, the Catholic Church continued to grow despite the government's anticlerical outlook. The visit of Pope John Paul II in 1992 was a major event. There has been a increase in the importance of the Legion of Mary, a lay organization that emphasizes discipline and rigor. Although there are no firm figures on the number of Roman Catholics in Angola, estimates range from 38 to 68 percent of the population. Thus, there may be as few as 4 million or as many as 7.2 million Angolan Catholics.

EARLY AND MODERN LEADERS

Angolan nationalism was generally associated with Protestantism rather than Roman Catholicism. Still, such important Catholic leaders as Bishop Manuel Das Neves and Father Joaquim Pinto de Andrade became widely known when they were arrested at the beginning of the 1960s on suspicion of leading nationalist activities against the colonial state. In 1983, after independence, Alexandre de Nascimento was ordained the first Angolan cardinal. Dom Zacarias Kamuenho, archbishop of Lubango since 1997 and president of COIEPA, won the Andrey Sakharov Prize for Peace in 2001 for his role in the Angolan peace process.

MAJOR THEOLOGIANS AND AUTHORS

There have not been any notable Roman Catholic theologians or authors from Angola. Many Angolans, Roman Catholics included, hardly have access to books apart from the Bible and hymnbooks.

HOUSES OF WORSHIP AND HOLY PLACES

As in other countries, the Roman Catholic Church in Angola is organized in dioceses and parishes. Catholic churches can be found in many areas of the country, although in the former war zones all infrastructure, including churches, has been destroyed. Luanda, the nation's capital, is the seat of the archbishop. The remnants of the cathedral in Mbanza Kongo (Nkulumbimbi), built in the sixeenth century, are of special historical importance. There are no specifically holy places in Angola.

WHAT IS SACRED?

Roman Catholics in Angola observe the sacraments and honor the saints and the Virgin Mary, but there are no specifically Angolan saints. As with Catholics throughout the world, the cross is sacred and plays an important role in many ceremonies, being kissed, for example, at Easter. Cemeteries are sacred, but there are no particular plants, animals, or relics that are held to be sacred.

HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS

Angolan Roman Catholics observe the important holidays of the church year. There are two holidays that are of especial importance. One is All Soul's Day, on 2 November, on which Catholics remember the dead and in Angola perhaps related to African practices of ancestor worship. The other is Fátima's Day (13 May), honoring the appearance of the Virgin Mary to children in the Portuguese village in 1917.

Although largely a secular festival, the Luandan carnival has long been a focal point of religious and political struggles. Formerly the carnival was a pre-Lenten festival. After independence the government changed the date to 27 March, the day on which South Africans withdrew from Angola in 1976. The move was seen as a strategy to create a ceremonial environment separate from the church.

MODE OF DRESS

There are no specific dress codes for Roman Catholics in Angola. The standards are decency and cleanliness, and Catholics are asked to wear their best on Sundays and holy days. Clergy wear robes, usually white, with bright red belts and caps.

DIETARY PRACTICES

The Roman Catholic Church in Angola does not require its members to observe any dietary restrictions not practiced by Roman Catholics in other countries. Some Catholics fast on Fridays during Lent, especially on Good Friday, but because many of the poorer families often face periods of hunger, the church does not require its members to observe this. Special days of fasting and prayer have occasionally been organized to further the peace process.

RITUALS

Roman Catholics in Angola observe all major Roman Catholic rituals, including baptism and the Eucharist.

RITES OF PASSAGE

In Angola most Roman Catholic children, and sometimes adults, are baptized with water, a ceremony that tends to take place during the Easter period. At a later stage they may become active members through the ceremony of confirmation. Marriage is a festive occasion in the church. The church also plays an important role in funerals. The funerary rites, called óbito, sometimes take place over several days, and many church members may participate in the mourning.

MEMBERSHIP

The Roman Catholic Church has continued to grow in Angola. In former war areas this can be explained by missionary activities. In areas where the church has already become established, people know it as an important channel for experiencing their religious convictions and for establishing a social network. In addition, apart from worship services Catholic churches organize various activities, including choirs, football (soccer) matches, Bible classes, and educational projects. The Catholic Church uses a number of methods to spread its message, including videos and music cassettes, and there are a bookshop and a Catholic radio station.

SOCIAL JUSTICE

The Roman Catholic Church in Angola plays a role in many spheres of life. The Angolan branch of Caritas has been prominent among the many nongovernmental organizations active in the country. It has distributed enormous amounts of medicine, clothes, blankets, and other supplies, mainly to displaced citizens. Apart from general relief programs Caritas also has developed programs for preventing and treating diseases, such as sleeping sickness, and for aiding specific groups, such as victims of land mines, orphans, and displaced persons. In addition, Caritas has had a large role in the area of education.

Backed by the international Catholic community, the church leadership in Angola has frequently spoken out against human rights abuses, especially criticizing violations of the country's laws on religious freedom. The Conference of Bishops and the Movimento pro Pace (Movement for Peace) have been important in the peace process.

SOCIAL ASPECTS

Because of the war in Angola, the number of orphans and widows is disproportionately high. Members of some families have been forced to live separately from one another for long periods of time. People often live temporarily with relatives. Although the Roman Catholic Church does not sanction divorce, divorce rates are considerable, and many households are headed by women.

POLITICAL IMPACT

At the time of independence in Angola, the Roman Catholic Church was seen as having supported the Portuguese colonial government. Thus, the measures of the MPLA government after independence to curb the power of the Christian churches were enforced with more vigor in the case of Catholics than of Protestants. Catholics have at times strongly criticized the MPLA government. This has come not only from church members and the lower clergy but also from the Catholic leadership in Angola, which in public letters and statements has been relatively open in its criticism of the government. In the 1990s relations between the Catholic Church and the government eased, however.

In areas held by UNITA, the Catholic Church had initially been discriminated against. Beginning in the second half of the 1980s, however, Catholic priests were allowed to work among the people in those regions.

CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES

While on the whole the Roman Catholic Church has not been known for its liberal point of view concerning AIDS, on a local level the church in Angola has developed initiatives to prevent the disease and to assist people with HIV. In general, homosexuality is frowned upon, but the stance depends largely on the individual church leader.

Women often play a large role in the Catholic Church community. Many church choirs are led by women, and women may read from the Bible during the service or lead a prayer. As elsewhere, however, the Angolan church does not allow women to enter the clergy.

CULTURAL IMPACT

Civil war and the political climate in Angola have not been conducive to the development of a strong religious artistic tradition among Roman Catholics. Angolan churches, however, have an outstanding reputation for their choirs. The Universidade Católica, based in Luanda, was established in 1997.

The Catholic radio station, Rádio Ecclésia, broadcast during colonial times, but at independence it was closed down by the government. It was reestablished in 1997. Although the Angolan government did not dare close down the station again, its staff was subject to frequent harassment and threats. In 2001 Rádio Ecclésia was briefly closed after the state-owned journal Jornal de Angola accused the station of supporting UNITA.

Other Religions

It was estimated in 1998 that 15 percent of the population of Angola was Protestant. The figure was probably much higher, however. In addition, there has been rapid growth among Protestant denominations, particularly Pentecostals. Further, Protestants have played a far more significant role in Angola's history than their relatively small numbers would suggest.

Older Protestant denominations in Angola include the Baptist Missionary Society (first active in 1878), American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (1881), Methodist Episcopal Church (1885), Congregational Foreign Missionary Society (1886), Christian Mission in Many Lands (1889; also known as Plymouth Brethren), Philafrican Mission (1901), and Seventh-day Adventists (1925). There also are two important African Independent Churches (AICs): Kimbanguism (1921; later Igreja de Jesus Cristo Sobre a Terra, or IJCST), originally led by Simon Kimbangu in what was then the Belgian Congo (now Zaire); and Tokoism (1949; later Igreja do Nosso Senhor Jesus Cristo no Mundo), led by the Angolan Simão Toko. Of the Pentecostal movements Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus, Igreja Evangélica Pentecostal em Angola, and Assembleia de Deus Pentecostal de Angola each claims more than a million members, although these numbers are exaggerated. The Pentecostal groups Igreja Mana and Igreja Nova Apostólica have around 250,000 and 100,000 members, respectively.

The Protestant missionaries who went to Angola at the end of the nineteenth century came mostly from the United Kingdom and the United States. Because they saw spreading the gospel in the local languages as their prime task, they made remarkable efforts at Bible translations, linguistic studies, and education in the vernacular. Bishop William Taylor (Methodist), Héli Chatelain (Philafrican), Lawrence W. Henderson, and other early-twentieth-century missionaries published material in the areas of linguistics, ethnography, and Angolan history. Because of the focus on the vernacular, most of the missionary societies restricted their activities to one language group. The Portuguese decree of 1921 that stipulated all education and religious services be given in Portuguese hit the Protestant missions particularly hard.

The partition of Angola by missionaries into spheres of influence later had consequences for Angolan nationalism. Thus, the leadership of the FNLA consisted mainly of a northern Baptist network. Methodists, along with Catholics, from the central region became the core of MPLA. Congregationalists were important among the southern elite, prominent in the leadership of UNITA. During the war for independence, Protestant churches were singled out for repression and persecution, and some of the churches saw their infrastructure completely destroyed. After independence many of the older missionary denominations changed their names, signifying a greater independence of the Western mother churches. Their leadership also came to consist predominantly of Angolans. As with the Catholic Church, many leaders of Protestant churches have been crucial in bringing peace and democratization to Angola. A Methodist bishop, Emílio de Carvalho, who was ordained in 1972, gained national and international renown for his work in the peace process, as well as in the church-led Africa University of Zimbabwe.

During the colonial period Protestant missions were often built in the rural areas of Angola, while the Roman Catholic Church tended to focus on towns. After independence many areas became uninhabitable because of the civil war. With the restoration of peace in Angola, many Protestant denominations have aspired to set up stations in rural areas that were formerly too dangerous to travel into. In the poorer parts of Luanda, Protestant churches are often only temporary buildings, with few or no facilities.

Several of the Protestant denominations in Angola have dress codes and dietary rules for their members. For women the use of makeup and the wearing of jewelry, miniskirts, and trousers is sometimes restricted. In some churches members must cover their heads and take off their shoes before entering church. In most Protestant churches the use of alcohol and tobacco is discouraged or even forbidden. Kimbanguists are not allowed to eat pork, and their members are not allowed to sleep or wash naked. Many Protestant denominations explicitly condemn satanism, witchcraft, and the use of harmful magic.

In AICs, as well as in the Pentecostal movement in Angola, baptism is central to religious life. In some denominations, such as the Kimbanguist Church, this takes the form of baptism with the Holy Spirit (which involves speaking in tongues). Some of the stricter Protestant denominations strongly condemn traditional religious practices. Rituals of healing and exorcism may be performed in other churches, however, and especially in Pentecostal churches confession takes a central position. On the whole church services are more expressive in Angola than, for example, in Europe, and elements of African culture, such as dancing and drumming, may be incorporated.

As with the Roman Catholic Church, the role of Protestant churches in Angola reaches far beyond the purely religious sphere. Many Protestant churches organize basic education programs, adult literacy classes, various other courses, and leisure activities. Not only is the Bible often the only book available to Angolans, but its importance is reinforced by the traditional stress that Protestant missionaries laid on independent Bible reading. Protestant organizations distribute goods to citizens in need of food, clothing, and other basic commodities and also sometimes provide shelter. Much of the basic health care in Angola depends on churches rather than on state services. The churches often play an important role in social projects—for example, in giving assistance to street children and displaced people and in supplying such items as sewing machines and bicycles to collectives that operate in poor areas.

Protestant churches have opened several schools for higher education in Angola. One of the best known is the school in Dondi, founded in 1957 by the United Church of Canada and the United Church of Christ. As is the case with Catholicism, art with a strong religious expression did not find a fertile climate in the context of war and the secular, socialist policies of independent Angola. Some Protestant choirs, especially the Baptist Coro Central Evangélico de Luanda, are internationally renowned, however.

Inge Brinkman

See Also Vol. 1: African Indigenous Beliefs, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism

Bibliography

Birmingham, David. Frontline Nationalism in Angola and Mozambique. London: James Currey, 1993.

Grenfell, F. James. História da Igreja Baptista em Angola, 1879–1975. Queluz, Portugal: Baptist Missionary Society, 1998.

Henderson, Lawrence W. The Church in Angola: A River of Many Currents. Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 1992.

Morier-Genoud, Éric. "Religion in Angola." 1 June 2004. www2.unil.ch/lefaitmissionnaire/old_pages/angola.html.

Péclard, Didier. "Religion and Politics in Angola: The Church, the Colonial State and the Emergence of Angolan Nationalism, 1940–1961." Journal of Religion in Africa 28, no. 2 (1998): 162–86.

Santos, Eduardo dos. Religiões em Angola. Lisbon: Junta de Investigações do Ultramar, 1969.

Schubert, B. Der Krieg und die Kirchen: Macht, Ohnmacht und Hoffnung in Angola, 1961–1991. Lucerne: Edition Exodus, 1997.

Thornton, John. "Mbanza Kongo/São Salvador: Kongo's Holy City." In Africa's Urban Past. Edited by David Anderson and Richard Rathbone. Oxford: James Currey, 2000.

Viegas, Fátima. Angola e as religiões. Luanda: Edição Patrocinada, 1999.

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Angola

ANGOLA

Compiled from the February 2005 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Republic of Angola (Republica de Angola)


PROFILE

Geography

Area: 1,246,700 sq. km. (481,400 sq. mi), about twice the size of Texas.

Cities: Capital—Luanda (pop. 4.0 million); Huambo (750,000); Benguela (600,000).

Terrain: A narrow, dry coastal strip extending from Luanda to Namibia; well-watered agricultural highlands; savanna in the far east and south; and rain forest in the north and Cabinda.

Climate: Tropical and tropical highland.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Angolan(s).

Population: (December 2003 est.) 14,300,000.

Annual population growth rate: (2002) 2.9%.

Ethnic groups: Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, mixed racial 2%, European 1%.

Religions: (2001 official est.) Roman Catholic 68%, various Protestant 20%; indigenous beliefs 12%.

Languages: Portuguese (official), Ovimbundu, Kimbundu, Bakongo, and others.

Education: Years compulsory—8. Enrollment (2003 est.)—primary school 55%, secondary 30%, and post-secondary 3%. Literacy (total population over 15 that can read and write, 2002 est.)—42% (male 56%, female 28%).

Health: Life expectancy (2002 est.)—total population 46.7 years. Infant mortality rate (2003 est.)—154/1,000.

Work force: (2003 est. 5.6 million) Agriculture—85%; industry and commerce—15%; services—6%.

Government

Type: Republic.

Independence: November 11, 1975.

Branches: Executive—elected president (chief of state), appointed prime minister, and 30 appointed civilian ministers. Legislative—elected National Assembly (233 seats). Judicial—Supreme Court (a Constitutional Court, provided for in the 1992 constitution, has never been established).

Administrative subdivisions: Province, municipality, commune.

Political parties: 123 with legal status; in 1992, 12 won seats in the National Assembly. Pro-government—Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). Opposition—National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), Social Renewal Party (PRS), National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), Party for Democratic Progress-Angola National Alliance (PDPANA), Democratic Renewal Party (PRD), Party of the Alliance of Youth, Workers, and Peasants (PAJOCA), Liberal Democratic Party (PLD), Democratic Alliance (AD), Angolan Democratic Forum (FDA), Social Democratic Party (PSD), and the Angolan National Democratic Party (PNDA).

Suffrage: Universal age 18 and over.

Economy

GDP: (2004 est. using purchasing power parity) $35.1 billion.

GDP: (2004 est. using Atlas method) $14.3 billion.

Annual real GDP growth rate: (2004 est.) 11.4%.

Per capita GDP: (2004 est. using purchasing power parity) $2,525.

Per capita GDP: (2004 est. using Atlas method) $951.

Avg. inflation rate: (2003) 95.2%

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

Agriculture: Products—bananas, sugarcane, coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, manioc, tobacco, vegetables, plantains; livestock; forest products; fisheries products.

Industry: Types—petroleum drilling and refining, mining, cement, basic metal products, fish processing, food processing, brewing, tobacco products, sugar refining, textiles.

Trade: Exports (2003 est.)—$9.8 billion: crude oil (90.3%), diamonds (8.4%), refined petroleum products

(1.0%), gas (0.2%), coffee, sisal, fish and fisheries products, timber, cotton. Major markets (2002)—U.S. (35.8%), China (11.6%), France (6.9%), Belgium (5.4%), South Korea. Imports (2003 est.)—$4.1 billion, machinery, electrical equipment, vehicles and spare parts, medicines, food, textiles. Major sources (2002)—Portugal (26%), U.S. (17.9%), South Africa (15.9%), France (8.6%), South Korea, Brazil.


GEOGRAPHY

Angola is located on the South Atlantic Coast of West Africa between Namibia and the Republic of the Congo. It also is bordered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia to the east. The country is divided into an arid coastal strip stretching from Namibia to Luanda; a wet, interior highland; a dry savanna in the interior south and southeast; and rain forest in the north and in Cabinda. The Zambezi River and several tributaries of the Congo River have their sources in Angola. The coastal strip is tempered by the cool Benguela current, resulting in a climate similar to coastal Peru or Baja California. There is a short rainy season lasting from February to April. Summers are hot and dry, while winters are mild. The interior highlands have a mild climate with a rainy season from November through April followed by a cool dry season from May to October. Elevations generally range from 3,000 to 6,000 feet. The far north and Cabinda enjoy rain throughout much of the year.


PEOPLE

Angola has three main ethnic groups, each speaking a Bantu language: Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, and Bakongo 13%. Other groups include Chokwe, Lunda, Ganguela, Nhaneca-Humbe, Ambo, Herero, and Xindunga. In addition, mixed racial (European and African) people amount to about 2%, with a small (1%) population of whites, mainly ethnically Portuguese. Portuguese make up the largest non-Angolan population, with at least 30,000 (though many native-born Angolans can claim Portuguese nationality under Portuguese law). Portuguese is both the official and predominant language.


HISTORY

In 1482, when the Portuguese first landed in what is now northern Angola, they encountered the Kingdom of the Congo, which stretched from modern Gabon in the north to the Kwanza River in the south. Mbanza Congo, the capital, had a population of 50,000 people. South of this kingdom were various important states, of which the Kingdom of Ndongo, ruled by the ngola (king), was most significant. Modern Angola derives its name from the king of Ndongo. The Portuguese gradually took control of the coastal strip throughout the 16th century by a series of treaties and wars. The Dutch occupied Luanda from 1641-48, providing a boost for anti-Portuguese states. In 1648, Brazilian-based Portuguese forces re-took Luanda and initiated a process of military conquest of the Congo and Ndongo states that ended with Portuguese victory in 1671. Full Portuguese administrative control of the interior did not occur until the beginning of the 20th century.

Portugal's primary interest in Angola quickly turned to slavery. The slaving system began early in the 16th century with the purchase from African chiefs of people to work on sugar plantations in São Tomé, Principé, and Brazil. Many scholars agree that by the 19th century, Angola was the largest source of slaves not only for Brazil, but also for the Americas, including the United States. By the end of the 19th century, a massive forced labor system had replaced formal slavery and would continue until outlawed in 1961. It was this forced labor that provided the basis for development of a plantation economy and, by the mid-20th century, a major mining sector. Forced labor combined with British financing to construct three railroads from the coast to the interior, the most important of which was the transcontinental Benguela railroad that linked the port of Lobito with the copper zones of the Belgian Congo and what is now Zambia.

Colonial economic development did not translate into social development for native Angolans. The Portuguese regime encouraged white immigration, especially after 1950, which intensified racial antagonisms. As decolonization progressed elsewhere in Africa, Portugal, under the Salazar and Caetano dictatorships, rejected independence and treated its African colonies as overseas provinces. Consequently, three independence movements emerged: the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) led by Agostinho Neto, with a base among Kimbundu and the mixed-race intelligentsia of Luanda, and links to communist parties in Portugal and the East Bloc; the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), led by Holden Roberto with an ethnic base in the Bakongo region of the north and links to the United States and the Mobutu regime in Kinshasa; and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas Malheiro Savimbi with an ethnic and regional base in the Ovimbundu heartland in the center of the country and links to the People's Republic of China and apartheid South Africa.

From the early 1960s, elements of these movements fought against the Portuguese. A 1974 coup d'etat in Portugal established a military government that promptly ceased the war and agreed, in the Alvor Accords, to hand over power to a coalition of the three movements. The ideological differences between the three movements eventually led to armed conflict, with FNLA and UNITA forces, encouraged by their respective international supporters, attempting to wrest control of Luanda from the MPLA. The intervention of troops from South Africa on behalf of UNITA and Zaire on behalf of the FNLA in September and October 1975 and the MPLA's importation of Cuban troops in November effectively internationalized the conflict. Retaining control of Luanda, the coastal strip, and increasingly lucrative oil fields in Cabinda, the MPLA declared independence on November 11, 1975, the day the Portuguese abandoned the capital. UNITA and the FNLA formed a rival coalition government based in the interior city of Huambo. Agostinho Neto became the first president of the MPLA government that was recognized by the United Nations in 1976. Upon Neto's death from cancer in 1979, then-Planning Minister José Eduardo dos Santos ascended to the presidency.

The FNLA's military failures led to its increasing marginalization, internal divisions, and abandonment by international supporters. An internationalized conventional civil war between UNITA and the MPLA continued until 1989. For much of this time, UNITA controlled vast swaths of the interior and was backed by U.S. resources and South African troops. Similarly, tens of thousands of Cuban troops remained in support of the MPLA, often fighting South Africans on the front lines. A U.S.-brokered agreement resulted in withdrawal of foreign troops in 1989 and led to the Bicesse Accord in 1991, which spelled out an electoral process for a democratic Angola under the supervision of the United Nations. When UNITA's Jonas Savimbi failed to win the first round of the presidential election in 1992 (he won 40% to dos Santos's 49%, which meant a runoff), he called the election fraudulent and returned to war. Another peace accord, known as the Lusaka Protocol, was brokered in Lusaka, Zambia, and signed in 1994. This agreement, too, collapsed into renewed conflict. The UN Security Council voted on August 28, 1997 to impose sanctions on UNITA. The Angolan military launched a massive offensive in 1999, which destroyed UNITA's conventional capacity and recaptured all major cities previously held by Savimbi's forces. Savimbi then declared a return to guerrilla tactics, which continued until his death in combat in February 2002.

On April 4, 2002, the Angolan Government and UNITA signed the Luena Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which formalized the de facto cease-fire that prevailed following Savimbi's death. In accordance with the MOU, UNITA recommitted to the peace framework in the 1994 Lusaka Protocol, returned all remaining territory to Angolan Government control, quartered all military personnel in predetermined locations, and relinquished all arms. In August 2002, UNITA demobilized all military personnel and in September 2002, together with the government, reconstituted the UN-sponsored Joint Commission to resolve all outstanding political issues under the Lusaka Protocol. On November 21, 2002, UNITA and the government declared all outstanding issues resolved and the Lusaka Protocol fully implemented. UN Security Council sanctions on UNITA were lifted on December 9, 2002. In advance of national elections projected for 2005 or 2006, UNITA and the MPLA held their first post-war party congresses in June and December 2003, respectively. The UNITA Congress saw the democratic transfer of power from interim leader General Paulo Lukumba "Gato" to former UNITA representative in Paris Isaias Henriqué Samakuva, while the MPLA Congress reaffirmed President dos Santos' leadership of party structures.

The Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC), formed in 1974, rejects the Alvor Accords that included Cabinda as part of Angolan territory at independence. Since 1975, FLEC has engaged in low-level guerilla attacks against government targets and has periodically kidnapped foreigners in an effort to press for an independent Cabindan state. Leadership struggles within FLEC have led to its breakup into various splinter factions, two of which continue the movement's armed insurgency. The international community has rejected the notion of Cabindan independence. The Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) launched a major offensive against FLEC in November 2002. While the offensive was moderately successful, at least one of the FLEC factions retains a guerilla capability. Periodic, separate negotiations between the leadership of the two armed FLEC factions and the Angolan Government have failed to produce a settlement to the conflict.


GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Angola changed from a one-party Marxist-Leninist system ruled by the MPLA to a nominal multiparty democracy following the 1992 elections, in which President dos Santos won the first-round election with more than 49% of the vote to Jonas Savimbi's 40%; a runoff never took place. The Constitutional Law of 1992 establishes the broad outlines of government structure and delineates the rights and duties of citizens. The government is based on ordinances, decrees, and decisions issued by a president and his ministers or through legislation produced by the National Assembly and approved by the president. The parliament is generally subordinate to the executive.

Few opportunities exist for opposition parties to challenge MPLA dominance. President dos Santos has proposed that general elections be held in 2006. A multi-party constitutional reform process will resume following elections.

Angola is governed by a president who is assisted by a prime minister and 30 cabinet ministers, all appointed by the president. Political power is concentrated in the presidency. The executive branch of the government is composed of the president (head of state and government), the prime minister, and the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers, composed of all government ministers and vice ministers, meets regularly to discuss policy issues. The President, the Council of Ministers, and individual ministers in their areas of competence have the ability to legislate by decree.

The National Assembly has 220 members elected in 1992 (three seats for Angolans living abroad have never been filled). They represent parties whose weight is determined by a formula that takes into account national tickets and provincial voting. The ruling MPLA controls 59% of the seats.

The central government administers the country through 18 provinces. Governors of the provinces are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the president.

The legal system is based on Portuguese and customary law but is weak and fragmented. Courts operate in only a fraction of the 164 municipalities. A Supreme Court serves as the appellate tribunal; a Constitutional Court with powers of judicial review has never been constituted despite statutory authorization.

The 27-year-long civil war has ravaged the country's political and social institutions. The government estimates that 4.7 million people were internally displaced by the civil war. As of January 2004, 3.8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) had returned to their communities. Rein-tegrating these returned IDPs, 195,000 returned refugees, and 450,000 former UNITA soldiers and their family members continues to pose serious challenges. Resettlement of the remaining internally displaced and the return of 200,000 refugees from neighboring countries is ongoing. Daily conditions of life throughout the country and specifically in Luanda (population approximately 4 million) mirror the collapse of administrative infrastructure as well as weak social institutions. Government support for social institutions is inadequate. Hospitals are without medicines or basic equipment, schools are without books, and public employees often lack the basic supplies for their day-to-day work.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 12/17/04

President: Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS
Prime Minister: Fernando "Nando" da Piedade Dias DOS SANTOS
Min. of Agriculture & Rural Development: Gilberto LUTUKUTA
Min. of Commerce: Joaquim Ekuma MUAFUMUA
Min. of Culture: Boaventura CARDOSO
Min. of Defense: Kundi PAIHAMA
Min. of Education: Antonio Burity DA SILVA
Min. of Energy & Water: Jose Botelho DE VASCONCELOS
Min. of Environment & Urban Development: Diakunpuna Sita JOSE
Min. of External Relations: Joao Bernardo DE MIRANDA
Min. of Finance: Jose Pedro DE MORAIS
Min. of Fisheries: Salamao XIRIMBIMBI
Min. of Geology & Mines: Manuel Antonio AFRICANO
Min. of Health: Sebastiao Sapuile VELSOS
Min. of Industry: Joaquim Duarte da Costa DAVID
Min. of Interior: Oswaldo de Jesus Serra VAN DUNEM
Min. of Justice: Manuel ARAGAO
Min. of Petroleum: Desiderio DA COSTA
Min. of Planning: Ana Dias LOURENCO
Min. of Public Administration & Employment: Antonio Pitra NETO
Min. of Public Works: Francisco Higino CARNEIRO
Min. of Science & Technology: Joao Baptista NGANDAGINA
Min. of Social Communication: Pedro Henrick Vaal NETO
Min. of Social Reintegration: Joao Baptista KUSSUMUA
Min. of Telecommunications: Licinio Tavares RIBEIRO
Min. of Territorial Administration: Virgilio Fontes PEREIRA
Min. of Tourism & Hotels: Eduardo Jonatao CHINGUNJI
Min. of Transport: Andre Luis BRANDAO
Min. of Veterans & Ex-Combatants: Pedro Jose VAN DUNEM
Min. of Women & Family Affairs: Candida Celeste DA SILVA
Min. of Youth & Sports: Jose Marcos BARRICA
Min. in the Office of the Presidency, Civil Affairs: Jose da Costa e Silva LEITAO
Min. in the Office of the Presidency, General Secretariat: Jose Mateus de Adelino PEIXOTO
Min. in the Office of the Presidency, Military Affairs: Manuel Helder DIAS
Governor, National Bank of Angola: Amadeu MAURICIO
Ambassador to the US: Josefina Perpetua Pitra DIAKITE
Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Ismael Abraao GASPAR MARTINS

Angola maintains an embassy in the United States at 2100-2108 16th St., NW, Washington, DC 20009 (tel. 202-785-1156; fax 202-785-1258; web: www.angola.org). Angola also maintains consulates in New York City (attached to its Permanent Mission to the United Nations) at 866 UN Plaza, 48th St., Suite 552, New York, NY 10017 (tel. 212-233-3588, ext. 15; fax 212-980-9606; web: www.un.int/angola) and in Houston at 3040 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 708, Houston, TX 77056 (tel. 713-212-3840; fax 713-212-3841).


ECONOMY

Angola has a fast-growing economy largely due to a major oil boom, but it also ranks in the bottom 10 of almost every socioeconomic indicator. Aside from the oil sector and diamonds, it is in economic disarray because of 27 years of nearly continuous warfare, corruption, and economic mismanagement. Despite abundant natural resources, output per capita remains among the world's lowest. Subsistence agriculture and dependence on humanitarian food assistance sustain the large majority of the population.

By contrast, the rapidly expanding petroleum industry—now producing over 1 million barrels per day (bpd), behind only Nigeria in Africa—accounts for 51.7% of GNP, 90% of exports, and 90% of government revenues. Oil production remains largely offshore and has few linkages with other sectors of the economy.

Block Zero, located in the enclave of Cabinda, currently provides the majority of Angola's crude oil production. ChevronTexaco, through its subsidiary Cabinda Gulf Oil Company, is the operator with a 39.2% share. Sonangol (the Angolan state oil company), TotalFinaElf, and ENI-Agip are partners in the concession. ChevronTexaco also operates Angola's first producing deepwater section, Block 14, which started pumping in January 2000 at the rate of 80,000 bpd and is scheduled to add 180,000 bdp in production by 2006. Production from these Cabinda fields will be eclipsed by deepwater production further south in the Kwanza Basin scheduled to come on-line between 2002 and 2010 that will more than double current production.

TotalFinaElf brought the first Kwanza Basin deepwater blocks on-line with production from its Block 17 concession that began in February 2002 and now produces up to 30,000 bpd. Additional sub-fields will begin production in 2006 at the rate of 200,000 bpd. ExxonMobil brought the first of its Block 15 sub-fields on-line in 2003 at the rate of 70,000 bpd. Two additional discoveries of 3 billion barrels in reserves each are to begin production in 2004 and 2005 at a rate of 250,000 bdp each. Both ExxonMobil and TotalFinaElf made new discoveries in these blocks in 2003. Exploration is ongoing in recently awarded ultra-deep water concessions and in deep water and shallow concessions in the Namibe Basin. BP made the first significant ultra-deep water find in its Block 31 concession in 2002 and followed up with two more in 2003. Marathon also drilled a successful well in its Block 32 ultra-deep water concession. TotalFinaElf operates Angola's one refinery (in Luanda) as a joint venture with Sonangol; plans for a second refinery in Lobito are moving forward. ChevronTexaco and Sonangol are exploring the feasibility of a liquefied natural gas plant at Soyo. The United States purchases more than half of Angola's petroleum production, by far the largest importer. Exports to Asian countries, particularly China, have grown rapidly in recent years.

Diamonds make up most of Angola's remaining exports. Despite increased corporate ownership of diamond fields, much production is currently in the hands of small-scale prospectors, often operating illegally. The government is making an increased effort to register and license these prospectors. Legal sales of rough diamonds may occur only through the government's diamond-buying parastatal, although many producers continue to try and bypass the system to obtain higher prices. The government has established an export certification scheme consistent with the "Kimberley Process" to identify legitimate production and sales. Other mineral resources, including gold, remain largely undeveloped.

In the last decade of the colonial period, Angola was a major African agricultural exporter. Because of severe wartime conditions, including extensive laying of landmines throughout the countryside, agricultural activities were brought to a near standstill, and the country is now forced to import much of its food. Small-scale agricultural production is increasing as IDPs are returning to the land. Some efforts at commercial agricultural recovery have gone forward, notably in fisheries, but most of the country's vast potential remains untapped. Coffee production, though a fraction of its pre-1975 level, is sufficient for domestic needs and some exports. Overlapping traditional land use rights, colonial-era land claims, and recent land grants must be sorted through before significant commercial agricultural development can move ahead.

An economic reform effort launched in 1998 was only marginally successful in addressing persistent fiscal mismanagement and corruption. In April 2000, Angola started an International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff-monitored program (SMP). The program lapsed in June 2001 over IMF concerns about lack of adequate Angolan progress. Under the program, the Government of Angola did succeed in unifying exchange rates and moving fuel, electricity, and water prices closer to market rates.

In December 2002 President dos Santos named a new economic team to oversee homegrown reform efforts. The new team has succeeded in decreasing overall government spending, rationalizing the Kwanza exchange rate, closing regulatory loopholes allowing off-budget expenditures, and capturing all revenues in the state budget. New procedures are being implemented to deposit all government revenues in a single Central Bank account. The Angolan Government has adopted a new investment code. Concerns remain about quasi-fiscal operations by the state oil company Sonangol, continued oil-backed commercial borrowing by the Angolan Government, and inadequate transparency and oversight in the management of public accounts. The Angolan commercial code, telecommunications law, and land tenure law all require substantial revision.

The Angolan Government has reopened dialogue with the IMF in order to negotiate a new staff-monitored program. In its published July 2003 Article IV report, the IMF endorsed four prerequisites to proceeding with formal negotiations: (1) disclosure of foreign debt data; (2) timely provision of macroeconomic statistics; (3) full implementation of the single government account at the Central Bank, and (4) additional dialogue on oil revenue management. A December 2003 IMF staff mission to Angola found some progress in these areas. In February 2004, the Angolan Government and the IMF reached agreement on the steps necessary to conclude SMP negotiations.

Angola is the third-largest trading partner of the United States in sub-Saharan Africa, largely because of its petroleum exports. About 5.1% of U.S. non-OPEC oil imports in 2002 were from Angola, a share that should continue to increase. By the same token, U.S. companies account for more than half the investment in Angola, with Chevron-Texaco and ExxonMobil leading the way. U.S. exports to Angola primarily consist of industrial goods and services—such as oilfield equipment, mining equipment, chemicals, aircraft, and food. On December 30, 2003, President Bush approved the designation of Angola as eligible for tariff preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for 2004.


DEFENSE

The Angolan Armed Forces, known by its Portuguese acronym FAA, are headed by a chief of staff who reports to the civilian minister of defense. There are three services—the army, navy, and air force. Total manpower is about 140,000. The army is by far the largest of the services with about 130,000 personnel. The navy numbers about 3,000 and operates several small patrol craft and barges. Air force personnel total about 7,000; its equipment includes Russian-manufactured fighters and transport planes. The "Casa Militar," or presidential guard, answers directly to the Office of the President and is separate from FAA command and control structures.


FOREIGN RELATIONS

From 1975 to 1989, Angola was aligned with the Soviet Union and Cuba. Since then, it has focused on improving relationships with Western countries, cultivating links with other Portuguese-speaking countries, and asserting its own national interests in Central Africa through military and diplomatic intervention. In 1993, it established formal diplomatic relations with the United States. It has entered the Southern African Development Community as a vehicle for improving ties with its largely anglophone neighbors to the south. In 1997, Zimbabwe and Namibia joined Angola in its military intervention in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where Angolan troops fought in support of the Laurent and Joseph Kabila governments. It also has intervened in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) in support of President Sassou-Nguesso.

Multilaterally, Angola has promoted the revival of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) as a forum for cultural exchange and a means of expanding ties with Portugal and Brazil. During the peace process, the government fully cooperated with the UN Mission in Angola (UNMA), which concluded its mandate in mid-February 2003. Angola concluded a 2-year term on the Security Council in December 2004.


U.S.-ANGOLAN RELATIONS

The United States established formal diplomatic relations with the Government of Angola in 1993. Before 1989, U.S.-Angolan relations were defined by the Cold War. The United States initially supported Holden Roberto's FNLA and later Jonas Savimbi's UNITA against the pro-Soviet and pro-Cuban MPLA government in Luanda. Since 1992, the bilateral relationship has steadily improved. In May 2004, President dos Santos met with President Bush during an official visit to Washington.

The U.S. Mission in Angola consists of four agencies—the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Defense, and the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (HHS/CDC). In addition, a variety of federal agencies maintain relationships with the Angolan Government through ongoing projects, including the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Energy. In FY 2003, U.S. Government assistance amounted to roughly $188 million.

USAID continues to provide emergency assistance to vulnerable populations with a particular emphasis on assisting the resettlement and reintegration of war-affected populations. Contributions from its Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, totaling $20 million, provided seeds, tools, and other critical resettlement supplies and helped rehabilitate critical health and water/sanitation infrastructure in returnee areas. Through the State Department an additional $13.2 million helped finance refugee repatriation and reintegration. USAID's Food for Peace office provided emergency food inputs valued at $106.7 million to feed vulnerable populations and help stimulate agricultural recovery. The State Department continued to support humanitarian demining and small arms/light weapons destruction valued at $3.5 million and $500,000, respectively.

USAID's development program worth $12.4 million focused on democratization, agricultural rehabilitation, economic reform, maternal and child health, and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. Additional HIV/AIDS funding of just over $3 million from HHS/CDC, $1.7 million from the Defense Department, and $150,000 from the State Department helped expand surveillance, prevention, education, and voluntary counseling and testing activities. USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives provided $2.8 million to support civil society and independent media development. Additional democratization funding of $1.6 million was provided by the State Department to support civil society, political party strengthening, independent media, and judicial reform. An additional $80,000 was provided as small grants to local organizations to support democracy and human rights. To assist with economic reform, the State Department provided $2.2 million to work on land tenure, economic policy, and the financial sector. An additional $60,000 in grants were provided to community development projects. $152,000 in International Military Education and Training (IMET) funds was provided for English language training to the Angolan Armed Forces. Professional training for law enforcement personnel at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Gaborone, Botswana continued. The Safe Skies for Africa program provided around $800,000 in equipment and training to the Angolan civil aviation authority. As part of its public diplomacy program, the Embassy provided nearly $434,000 in English language training, educational exchanges and fellowships, and information resource services.

At the same time, the energy-based U.S. trading relationship continues to expand and spark other ties. One offshoot has been the development of a Sister City relationship between Lafayette, Louisiana and Cabinda and between Houston, Texas and Luanda. The Catholic University of Luanda has close links with a number of American institutions and has received support from the Angola Educational Assistance Fund, a U.S. non-profit organization organized by Citizens Energy of Boston. Sonangol has a longstanding program of educating its professionals in U.S. universities, complementing ChevronTexaco's policy of U.S. training for its own growing pool of Angolan professionals. Long before oil was discovered, American missionary efforts from the early 19th century established several Protestant churches in the interior, which also provided much of the schooling that was available in rural colonial Angola; those historical links now are being revived with exchanges in both directions.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

LUANDA (E) Address: Rua Houari Boumedienne #32;Phone: 011-244-2-445-481;Fax: 011-244-2-446-924;INMARSAT Tel: 011-871-683-133-246; Workweek: Monday thru Thursday, 8:00 am-6:00 pm; Fridays 8:00 am till 12 Noon; Website: http://www.usembassy.state.gov/angola

AMB:CYNTHIA G. EFIRD
AMB OMS:ROBIN WELKER
DCM:JAMES A. KNIGHT
DCM OMS:LORI ENDERS
POL:JOEL R. WIEGERT
POL/ECO:EDWARD G. STAFFORD
COM:INGA HEEMINK
CON:INGA HEEMINK
MGT:MARK J. BIEDLINGMAIER
AFSA:GAIL SPENCE
AID:DIANA SWAIN
CLO:VICKI HEARD
DAO:MAJ NICOLAS LOVELACE
ECO/COM:RUDDY K. WANG
EEO:LORI ENDERS
FMO:NEIL P. EYNON
GSO:FRIEDA MARTIN
ICASS Chair:KIM F. DUBOIS
IMO:HARVEY HEARD
IPO:HARVEY HEARD
ISO:ANNE GALCHUTT
ISSO:HARVEY K. HEARD
PAO:KIM F. DUBOIS
RSO:W. GORDON HILLS
State ICASS:EDWARD G. STAFFORD
Last Updated: 1/7/2005

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

February 10, 2005

Country Description: Angola is a large, developing country in southern Africa. After gaining independence from Portugal in 1975, it was engulfed in a civil conflict that lasted for more than a quarter century. A cease-fire was called in April 2002, two months after the death of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi, and, on November 21, 2002, the government and former rebels signed a peace agreement that definitively ended the conflict. Fighting has ended in all areas of the country except for the Cabinda enclave, where there have been very few recent reports of violence. There are growing signs of economic recovery. Nevertheless, major problems remain with virtually every element of infrastructure and government service throughout the country, including communications and basic social services. Travel by road is difficult and can be dangerous due to land mines in many areas. Facilities for tourism, particularly outside the capital of Luanda, are inadequate. Hotels can now be found in Lubango, Lobito, Huambo, Luena and Ondjiva, but they are expensive and limited in amenities.

Entry/Exit Requirements: Pass-port and visa, which must be obtained in advance, and an International Certificate of Vaccination, are required. Persons arriving without visas are subject to arrest and/or exclusion. Travelers may also encounter delays if they do not have at least one completely blank page available in their passports for entry and exit stamps. Travelers whose international immunization cards do not show inoculations against yellow fever within the past ten years may be subject to involuntary vaccinations and heavy fines. Visitors remaining in Angola beyond their authorized visa duration are subject to fines and arrest. Current information on entry requirements may be obtained from the Embassy of Angola at 2100-2108 16th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. (202) 785-1156, fax (202) 785-1258. See our Foreign Entry Requirements brochure for more information on Angola and other countries.

Safety and Security: The security situation in Angola has improved markedly since the end of the civil war; however, Americans should still exercise caution. Although the war has ended, ground travel throughout Angola is problematic due to banditry and land mines, which were used extensively during the war. Frequent checkpoints and poor infrastructure contribute to unsafe travel on roads outside of the city of Luanda. Police and military officials are sometimes undisciplined, and their authority should not be challenged. Travel in many parts of Luanda is relatively safe by day, but car doors should be locked, windows rolled up, and packages stored out of sight. Visitors should avoid discretionary travel after dark, and no travel should be undertaken on roads outside of cities after nightfall.

The civil war between the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and the Government of Angola has ended. The insurgency pursued by the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) has virtually ended although the Government of Angola continues to pursue the remnants of FLEC forces. In the past, FLEC has threatened foreign nationals with kidnapping. Throughout Angola, taking photographs of sites and installations perceived as being of military or security interest, including government buildings, may result in arrest or fines and should be avoided.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or, for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-317-472-2328. These numbers are available from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except on U.S. federal holidays).

The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas. For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State's pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad.

Crime: Crime is a serious problem throughout the country. While most violent crime occurs between Angolans, foreigners have occasionally been attacked as well. Street crime is a regular occurrence in Luanda. The most common crimes are pick-pocketing, purse-snatching, vehicle theft, and vehicle break-ins. Armed muggings, robberies, and carjackings involving foreigners are not frequent but do occur. Police and military officials are sometimes undisciplined and their authority should not be challenged. In general, movement around Luanda is safer by day than by night. Air travelers arriving in Luanda at night are strongly advised to arrange reliable and secure ground transportation in advance. If this is not possible, use only the regulated taxi service at the airport and in Luanda; unregulated taxis are unsafe and can present a crime risk.

Motorists should stop at all police checkpoints if so directed. Police officers have been known to participate in shakedowns, muggings, and carjackings.

There have been police operations against illegal aliens and private companies resulting in deportation of foreign nationals and loss of personal and company property. Independent entrepreneurs in Angola should carry all relevant immigration and business documents at all times.

Travelers should be alert to scams occasionally perpetrated by Luanda airport personnel. Immigration and customs officials sometimes detain foreigners without cause, demanding gratuities before allowing them to enter or depart Angola. Airport health officials sometimes threaten arriving passengers with "vaccinations" with unsterilized instruments if gratuities are not paid. Searches of travelers' checked baggage is common; travelers are advised to take precautions against this possibility. Travelers should also be sure to have checked luggage receipts ready to dis-play upon exiting the airport.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while over-seas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends, and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of crimes are solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed. See our information on Victims of Crime at http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/emergencies_1748.html.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Adequate medical facilities are rare except in Luanda, where there are some good private clinics that usually have a 24-hour service provided by a general practiced physician and with specialists on call. The U.S. Embassy in Luanda can provide a list of such facilities. Routine operations such as appendectomies can be performed. However, many types of medicine are not readily available; travelers are urged to carry with them properly labeled supplies of any medications they routinely require.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Dis-ease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) web-site at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Angola is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Until early 2002, destinations in the interior were accessible safely only by aircraft. Since the end of the civil war, overland access to the interior has increased. However, fighting in most of the country damaged or destroyed many roads and bridges, and services for motorists outside urban areas cannot be counted on. Road travel can be dangerous due to occasional banditry and especially landmines in many areas. Road conditions vary widely outside the capital, from acceptable paved surfaces to virtually impassable dirt roads, particularly on secondary routes. Many secondary roads are impassable during the rainy season. Overloaded, poorly marked, and disabled vehicles, as well as pedestrians and livestock, pose hazards for motorists. Ground travel in rural areas should be under-taken during daylight hours only.

Traffic in Luanda is heavy and often chaotic; roads are often in poor condition. Few intersections have traffic lights or police to direct vehicles. Drivers often fail to obey traffic lights, lane markings, and stop signs, and there are frequent vehicle breakdowns. Itinerant vendors and pedestrians often weave in and out of traffic, posing a danger to themselves and to drivers. Most public transportation, including buses and van taxis, should be avoided as the vehicles are generally crowded, unsafe, and unreliable.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Angola, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Angola's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's internet web site at www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/index.cfm.

Special Circumstances: Angola is generally a cash-only economy; both travelers' checks and credit cards are of minimal utility. In addition, ATM machines are not generally useful for travelers. Travelers should carry a sufficient supply of U.S. dollars with them. Only the newer series U.S. dollar bills (with large faces) are accepted. U.S. dollars can be converted to local currency at exchange houses authorized by the Angolan government. Angolan currency (the Kwanza) may not be taken out of the country and travelers are subject to search (often accompanied by confiscation) at the airport.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passports with them at all times, so that, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Luanda will prepare certified copies of American passports at no charge for individuals who register with the Embassy.

The Embassy recommends that Americans keep their passport in a secure place and carry certified copies to avoid the possibility of authorities confiscating identity and travel documents.

Angolan customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Angola of sensitive items including firearms, antiquities, and currency. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Angola in Washington or one of Angola's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. Please see our information on customs regulations.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses.

Persons violating Angolan laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Angola are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in illicit sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States. See more information here.

Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family/family_1732.html.

Registration/Embassy Location: Americans living or traveling in Angola are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Depart-ment's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Angola. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Luanda is located at the Casa Inglesa Complex, Rua Major Kanhangula No. 132/135, tel. 244-2-371-645 or 396-727; fax 244-2-390-515. The Embassy is located on Rua Houari Boumedienne in the Miramar area of Luanda, P.O. Box 6468, tel. 244-2-447-028/445-481/446-224; 24-hour duty officer 244-92-404-209; fax 244-2-446-924. The Consular section may be contacted by e-mail at [email protected] or at luanda [email protected] Further information on travel to Angola is also located on the Embassy website at http://usembassy.state.gov/angola.

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Angola

Angola

The Republic of Angola is located on the southern Atlantic coast of Africa and is bordered by the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the north, Namibia to the south, and Zambia to the east. Angola has a narrow coastal plain that rises sharply into a plateau. The country is roughly twice the size of Texas, with abundant natural resources such as diamonds, gold, bountiful Atlantic fishing, and rich oil deposits. According to the CIA World Factbook, Angola had a population of 10.8 million in 2003.

Formerly a colony of Portugal, Angola declared its independence in 1975 after years of fighting and has been ravaged by civil war for most of the time since, nominally controlled by a one-party Marxist state until 1992. A United Nations' (UN)-observed election was held after a brief cease-fire between Marxist and Western-backed factions in 1992; the Marxist Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) faction won this election. However, despite the UN assertion that the election had been both fair and free, the Western-backed National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) claimed fraud, and the civil war resumed. In 2002 the death of Jonas Savimbi, the political leader of the UNITA, led to a suspension of fighting, with the pro-Western group disarming to become the major opposition to the MPLA, led by President Jose Eduardo dos Santos (b. 1942).

In theory, Angola is a multiparty democracy with universal suffrage for all citizens eighteen years or older. Its government is based on the civil law and customary law system of Portugal, and the "democracy" has been in existence since 1991 with the passage of a constitution legalizing opposition parties. In reality, however, President dos Santos has not allowed regular democratic processes to take effect; the last legislative elections took place in 1992. Despite its division into eighteen regional governments, Angola is a highly centralized state with most of its power concentrated in the executive branch, which consists of a president, a council of ministers appointed by the president, and a prime minister subordinate to the president. Judicial review , although constitutionally authorized, plays little role, with the Tribunal da Relacao (Supreme Court) appointed by the president. The legislative branch consists of a unicameral Assembleia Nacional (National Legislature), with the MPLA holding an absolute majority (54%), which it has enjoyed since the 1992 elections. Continued political instability in Angola has produced widespread government corruption. Over $4 billion of oil revenue disappeared from government coffers between

1997 and 2002; this is roughly the same amount that the government spent on social services during the same period.

Human rights are also a concern in Angola. Some child soldiers recruited during the years of civil war continue to fight in the armed forces, although this becomes less common as many of them rejoin their families or reach the age of eighteen. The torture, killing, and unlawful seizure of civilians by security forces persist, however, and the government continues to restrict freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and the rights of workers to organize. Moreover, thousands of families displaced by civil war have been forcibly evicted from their homes, often violently, as the end of the conflict has led to increased pressure by local and business elites to acquire prime land.

See also: Peacekeeping Forces.

bibliography

"Angola."In CIA World Factbook. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2005. <http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ao.html>.

McEvedy, Colin. The Penguin Atlas of African History, 2nd ed. Hong Kong: Penguin Books, 1995.

Republic of Angola. <http://www.angola.org/>.

Gregory Johnston

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Angolans

Angolans

PRONUNCIATION: ang-GOH-luhns
LOCATION: Angola
POPULATION: 15 million
LANGUAGE: Portuguese, Ovimbundu, Mbundu, Kongo, Chokwe, and other Bantu languages
RELIGION: Christianity (Catholic and Protestant); indigenous religious beliefs
RELATED ARTICLES: Vol. 1: Bakongo

INTRODUCTION

The territory within the boundaries of the Republic of Angola has had over 500 years of contact with the Portuguese, much of it conflictual. In 1482 the Portuguese established forts and missions along the coast and converted King Alphonso of the Kongo to Christianity. His kingdom maintained perhaps the most harmonious and equal relations with Portugal, engaging in cultural and economic exchanges.

This relationship changed dramatically with the demand for slaves. Beginning in 1483 slave trading began along the coast, penetrated to the interior in the 1700s, and subsequently passed through a series of bans. The first of the bans was in 1836, and although the Portuguese formally abolished slavery in 1875, it was not until 1911 that the slave trade ended.

Portuguese settlement in Angola began earnestly in 1575 with the founding of Luanda, originally a settlement of convicts. However, Angola's great economic potential beckoned Portuguese colonists who in the 1840s arrived in considerable numbers and began cultivating cotton, sugar, sisal and coffee. They also engaged in fishing. With the consent of the European powers, Portugal determined Angola's borders in 1891. In the early 1900s newly developed cacao and palm oil plantations were soon followed by diamond mining. Economic prosperity led to the designation of Angola as a Portuguese overseas territory in 1951. A year later, Portuguese immigrants began to flood the first colonatos, planned settlement projects. The Portuguese had a policy of “whitening” the population, and it became state policy for Portuguese men to go out and impregnate Angolan women. Further efforts were directed at culturally assimilating these and other Angolans under the assimilado policy. By 1960, only 80,000 of a population of 4.5 million people enjoyed the privileges of Portuguese citizenship, and the policy was abandoned.

Angolan resistance movements pushed back against Portuguese colonization. The People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) led by Agostinho Neto, the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) led by Bakongo leader Holden Roberto, and the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) led by Ovimbundu leader Jonas Savimbi engaged in armed resistance. The 1974 coup in Portugal, which brought down the government, ended Portugal's colonial wars in Angola as well as in Mozambique and Guinea Bissau. After a protracted struggle and two separate declarations of independence by the MPLA and UNITA, Angola gained its independence from Portugal on 11 November, 1975.

Shortly after independence, the coalition government of the MPLA, FNLA, and UNITA collapsed. Civil war followed, lasting nearly 15 years. With the Cold War in full swing, the Soviet Union backed the ruling MPLA with the assistance of Cuban troops. The United States, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), and China supported the UNITAFNLA coalition, and South Africa made periodic incursions in support of UNITA. José Eduardo dos Santos succeeded Neto upon his death in 1979. In 1989, dos Santos and Savimbi agreed to elections and foreign withdrawal, completed in 1991. In the first round of the 1992 elections, UNITA perceived that electoral fraud was underway and launched simultaneous attacks around the country. In 1994, the two sides signed a peace treaty guaranteeing UNITA a share in the government and providing for the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force. Nonetheless, heavy fighting resumed intermittently up to Jonas Savimbi's death in a gun battle with government troops in 2002, which also ended UNITA's bid to overthrow the MPLA.

In the post-Savimbi era, the MPLA with international assistance disarmed, demobilized and reintegrated some 80,000 UNITA ex-combatants and thousands more of their family members into civilian life. However, head of state President José Eduardo dos Santos repeatedly postponed elections and manipulated political processes to forestall the promised transition to representative democracy.

LOCATION AND HOMELAND

Angola is bordered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Zambia to the east, and Namibia to the south. Cabinda, to the north, is physically separated from the rest of Angola by the Congo River and a narrow corridor of land belonging to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. To the west lies the Atlantic Ocean. The total area is 481,354 sq mi (1,246,700 sq km). The capital is Luanda. Two types of terrain characterize the country: a narrow coastal plain borders the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and an interior plateau covers the rest of the country. The climate is semiarid in the south and along the coast; in the north it varies from cool and dry to hot and rainy.

Several major rivers find their sources in the centrally located Bié Plateau, including the Cunene River flowing to the south and west, the Kuanza River flowing northwest to the Atlantic, the Kwango River, flowing northward, which joins the Congo River to the north, and the Zambeze to the east, far below Victoria Falls. The Cunene River has four hydroelectric dams.

The tallest mountains are found in the region of the Bié Plateau. To the southwest, in the Serra Xilengue, Mt. Moco rises to a majestic height of 8,594 ft. While some areas are prone to flooding, others are threatened by desertification. Oil is the main natural resource, but Angola is also rich in diamonds, gold, copper, iron ore, zinc, and manganese. Only 2.65% of the land is arable; much of it is forest and woodland (43%), and 23% is meadow and pasture. Other uses account for 32%.

A network of roads connects most of the country, although it is least developed in the southeast. Three rail lines terminating at ocean ports run approximately east to west from the interior. The longest and most important of these originates in the Katanga copperbelt of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since 1928 the Benguela Railroad carried the bulk of Zaire's minerals to Lobito port until rebels sabotaged the line in the 1980s. In 2008 work to reopen the line was nearing completion.

In 2000 the population was estimated to be around 15 million and was projected to reach over 20 million by 2015. The largest city was Luanda with a population of 500,000. The majority ethnic group was the Ovimbundu, comprising 37.2% of the population. The Mbundu were second at 21.6%, followed by the Kongo at 13.2%, and the Luimbe-Nganguela and the Nyaneka-Humbe at 5.4% each. Smaller groups account for the remaining 17.2% of the population. Scattered in the arid lower third of Angola are seminomadic peoples, who until the 20th century hunted and gathered. They since have adopted more sedentary lifestyles such as herding and planting.

LANGUAGE

Portuguese is the official language, although 95% of Angolans speak Ovimbundu, Mbundu, Kongo, Chokwe, and other Bantu languages. Portuguese remains important because it is the language of government, national media, and international relations. However, since independence, African languages have been introduced into the primary school classroom. Literacy in African languages is being encouraged and regional radio broadcasts occur in local languages.

FOLKLORE

The Kongo ethnic group to the north claims descent from the ancient Christian kingdom founded by Alfonso I in the early 16th century. Alfonso I has assumed a great importance both to Kongo identity and to Portuguese international relations history.

The first president of Angola is also its greatest hero. Agostinho Neto was both a physician and an accomplished poet. He made many contributions to Mensagem, a literary review with anti-colonial goals. He belonged to a group of young intellectuals responsible for shaping the country politically and culturally. Their battle cry in the early 1950s was, “Let us discover Angola.” They also coined the term, angolidade (Angolinity), Angola's equivalent of negritude or “Africanization.” In 1955 he published nationalist poetry. He was the founding father of the resistance movement, MPLA.

RELIGION

Angolans are extremely Christianized with as many as half of the population identifying themselves as Catholic and at least 15% as Protestant. Estimates of traditional religious practices vary, but it is likely that close to half of the population also believes or subscribes to some form of indigenous religion. The Catholic Church has at times been identified with colonialism, and therefore has gone through periods of conflict with the government. In 1949 Simon Mtoko, a Protestant, founded a Christian sect patterned after the Kimbanguists of Lower Congo (DRC). Kimbanguism, an African offshoot of Protestant Christianity, is practiced by an undetermined number of Bakongo in the northwest region of the country (see Bakongo ).

MAJOR HOLIDAYS

Independence Day, November 11, is the national holiday. On this day the president usually makes a national address, and celebratory events such as wheelchair races are held. Other public holidays include the Day of the Martyrs in January to commemorate a huge massacre of Angolans committed by the Portuguese; Inicio de Luta Armada (Commencement of Armed Struggle Day) on February 4 (1961); National Hero's Day (anniversary of the birth of President Neto) on September 17; and Foundation of the MPLA Workers' Party Day on December 10 (1956). Victory Day is on March 27, Youth Day on April 14, Armed Forces Day on August 1, and Pioneers' Day on December 1. The most recent holiday is Reconciliation Day on April 4 to mark the anniversary of the end of the war approximately two months after the death of Jonas Savimbi.

Christian holy days and New Year's Day are widely celebrated. On Christmas and New Year's Day friends assume godmother (madrinha) and godfather (padrinho) relationships. They take turns giving gifts to each other; one offers the other a gift on Christmas and the other returns the gesture on New Year's. In the capital, young people are likely to spend New Year's Eve with their families until midnight, just long enough to taste some champagne, and then head for the night clubs with friends until early morning. Angolans celebrate carnival, (Mardi Gras) the Tuesday immediately preceding Ash Wednesday.

RITES OF PASSAGE

Indigenous traditions revolving around birth, puberty, and death still persist despite acculturation to Christianity and Western customs. For example, the Mbwela people hold masked festivals during the mukanda circumcision rite. In the ceremony, the ndzingi (masked anthropomorphic giants) dance for the young boys. Christianity has influenced the rites of passage for a majority of the population. Birth, baptism, marriage, and funeral ceremonies are marked by church rites. People drink champagne and give gifts to celebrate the birth of a child. Some funeral celebrations last for days and are accompanied by feasts and drink. They can move quickly from sadness to festivity where it is fitting to celebrate a life fully lived (as opposed to mourning the loss of a child or young person).

INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS

High value is placed on personal relationships and greetings are essential to making and maintaining good relations. The most common greeting is the Portuguese Ola (Hello) followed by Como esta? or Como vai? (How are you?). Depending on the time of the day, one might hear Bom dia (Good morning), Boa tarde (Good afternoon), or Boa noite (Good night). Handshaking is common. A kiss on each cheek is becoming an accepted greeting among friends in urban life, although older people prefer to shake hands. Pointing is considered rude.

Young people usually choose their own spouses, but it is viewed as risky to wed someone who may not be able to bear children, and it has become customary for a serious boyfriend to wait until his girlfriend becomes pregnant before proposing marriage. In fact, the end of budding love relationships is seldom formally declared so that at some future point the boy can return and resume a sexual relationship with a former girlfriend. Once engaged, the boy brings his family and a small delegation of friends to visit the family of his girlfriend. It is common practice for the boy to bring enough cloth for his girlfriend's mother to make a dress, a western suit and tie for the father (or ranking father figure), drinks for the family and friends, and perhaps an envelope with money and a written note explaining intentions to be read before all gathered.

As sexual intercourse is considered a normal part of life, straight men and women may have occasional interludes with members of the same sex, and such encounters do not lead to anxious self-questioning about sexual orientation.

LIVING CONDITIONS

Living conditions deteriorated dramatically, especially for the Ovibundu over the course of the civil war, and have not returned to pre-war levels. The majority of Angolans still do not have access to clean water, health care and medical facilities, and a dependable food supply. Some 10 million people live on less than $1 a day, over 40% of children under the age of five are underweight for age, and life expectancy for the average adult is 45 years. On the Human Development Index, which measures general well-being (life expectancy, education, and standard of living), Angola ranks 162nd out of 177 countries.

Houses are typically made out of local materials, with mud or cinderblock walls and thatched or galvanized iron roofs. In Luanda, where space is limited, apartment living is becoming more common. However, since 2002 more than 50,000 people have been evicted from their houses to make room for luxury housing in Luanda.

FAMILY LIFE

Families tend to be close-knit nuclear units with strong extended kin relationships. Until the war, there was little need for orphanages or hospices as working family members took in those needing special care. However, the large number of casualties and land mine victims in the prime of life has meant that children, elderly people and kin have had to assume greater responsibility for their families, which has raised tension and stress in family life.

Most ethnic groups are both matrilineal and patriarchal, meaning that males inherit from their mother's brother. In the Mbundu ethnic group, a daughter would join her husband in his village, and a son would join his mother's brother's village. The Ovimbundu ethnic group has a double inheritance system, both matrilineal and patrilineal.

CLOTHING

In the towns and cities, Western-style clothing is common and urban Angolans go to great lengths to be in sync with the latest fashions in clothing, accessories, cell phones, and sunglasses—much of which is imported from Brazil. Angolan youth prefer casual jeans and T-shirts, except for special occasions. The villages remain more traditional, where women wear panos, African wrap-around batik garments. Body tattoos on young people are catching on, but are rare in rural areas. Some groups such as the Mukubao in the southern province of Kuando Kubango are very traditional and do not wear clothing.

FOOD

Those who can, eat three meals a day. A good breakfast consists of bread, eggs, tea, or coffee. On occasion, mothers may prepare a special breakfast treat of sweet rice (arroz doce), which is a mixture of rice, milk, eggs, sugar, and a twist of orange or lemon rind for flavoring. If the noon-day meal is heavy, something light like soup will be served for supper.

The staple foods include cassava, corn, millet, sorghum, beans, sweet potatoes, rice, wheat, and bananas. Typical noonday meals in the north consist of a ball of manioc dough called “funge bombó” (cassava flour mixed with boiling water) with fish, chicken, or meat. People everywhere enjoy pounded cassava leaves (kizaka). In the south a maize meal dough ball is preferred called “funge” or “pirao” in Portuguese.

Specialty dishes include mwamba de galinha, a palm-nut paste sauce in which chicken, spices, and peanut butter are cooked, creating a delightful aroma. The abundance of fresh and saltwater fish provides the opportunity for an unusual combination of fresh and dried fish in a unique dish, kalulu, the key ingredients of which are African eggplant, gumbo, and red palm oil. Beans cooked in palm oil also are popular. However, cabidela, chicken cooked in chicken's blood sauce and eaten with rice and cassava dough, stands out as one of Angola's mouthwatering delights.

Angolans also drink a lightly fermented corn beverage called “kissangua.” A version of this drink is made from sprouted whole sorghum grains. It is lacto-fermented, slightly alcoholic, fizzy, and highly nutritious.

EDUCATION

Education is compulsory between the ages of 7 and 15 years, and is provided free. However, at the primary level education tends to be of low quality, and high schools are rather elite. For both girls and boys, primary enrollment is 37% while secondary enrollment is 18%. Overall, 56% of males are literate compared with 28% of females. Schools continue to struggle against social instability, low investment, and teacher shortages. Private schooling exists, but is costly.

Angola has two well-established universities: The Catholic University of Angola (CUA) and Agostinho Neto University, the public university in Luanda. However, the three campuses of Agostinho Neto have been devastated by poor economic conditions resulting from the war. Other universities include the Universidade das Lusíadas with a campus in Benguela and one in Lobito. Parents who can manage it, send their children to study abroad in Cuba, Russia, and more popularly, the United States.

CULTURAL HERITAGE

As in most of sub-Saharan Africa, orality has characterized literature in Angola since time immemorial. It is generally agreed that written literature began in 1850 with a book of verse by José da Silva Maia Ferreira. Since 1945 and the liberation struggle, strong links developed between literature and political activism. Many MPLA leaders and members, including Agostinho Neto, took part in this movement. From 1975 until the early 1990s, Angolan writers had to be affiliated with a quasi-governmental organization in order to be published.

Music is closely linked to African oral history. Angolan musicians made their own instruments such as clochas (double-bell) and marimbas. Percussion, wind, and string instruments are found throughout the regions. The bow lute (chilhumba) is played in the south during long journeys; the lamellophone (likembe) is popular in the east. Musical performances often include dancing. Members of the Ngangela ethnic group in the east dance masked. The choreography is distinguished by a young woman catching a man on her shoulders.

Traditional music has strongly influenced popular music. While older people may enjoy Angolan music from the 1970s, young people prefer upbeat rhythmic Angolan kizomba music, danced closely together by couples. Cape Verdian music is also considered kizomba and is popular. Angolans love their own “semba” music, which has complex secondary and tertiary rhythms that accompany the main beat. Couples dance semba much like kizomba, but the steps are authentically Angolan. Much of the internationally known Angolan music goes by the name “bonga,” but really is semba music. Because many Angolan professionals were educated in Cuba, the older crowd also appreciates Cuban and “bachata” music from the Dominican Republic. In the late 1990s, techno music, “kuduru” (literally “hard ass”), became the rage among young Angolans. Kuduru is strongly syncopated, uses rap lyrics, and provides a break from close dancing.

Angola's cultural heritage is tied to the Portuguese language and to a colonial past shared by four other African countries. Along with Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tomé and Principe, and Cape Verde, Angola is a member of “The Five,” meaning the African Lusaphone countries. They meet regularly to promote culture, trade, and political relations among themselves. Many new buildings in Angola reflect influences of 15th-century Portuguese architecture, some of which still stands. For example, ancient forts, churches, and homes built by Portuguese colonists are found around Luanda.

WORK

Labor and productivity in Angola suffered immensely from the abrupt departure of 90% of the white settlers in 1975. Before leaving, however, the colonials destroyed factories, plantations, and transportation infrastructure. Owing to the subsequent insurgency, the labor force never fully recovered. Today some 71% of Angolans are engaged in agriculture, but mostly in subsistence, which produces only 10% of the gross domestic product (GDP). By contrast, only 10% of the population is engaged in industry, which accounts for 62.6% of the GDP. Angola's cash cow is petroleum, and provides 89.9% of Angola's exports while diamonds provide 5.5%. However, with the exception of artisanal diamond mining, neither is a major provider of jobs. Recently, many young people have found jobs in teaching and in health services. Many Angolans living on the coast supplement their income by fixing up and renting out their homes.

SPORTS

Soccer is the most popular participant and spectator sport, played by both girls and boys. In 2006 Angola was one of only four sub-Saharan countries to qualify for the World Cup. The “Citadel” in Luanda is one of Africa's largest stadiums. A new spin on soccer is “fustal,” which is played indoors or outdoors on smaller courts in urban areas. Competitions often are organized between members of the television and radio stations for special entertainment. Basketball is also popular. Since winning its first-ever basketball medal at the Nairobi University Games, the Angola national team won three consecutive All-African championships. Backboards and baskets have sprung up on street corners everywhere. Handball, volleyball, and track and field round out the most popular sports. Angola also has nearly a dozen international chess masters. Children enjoy a traditional game, ware, which is played by moving stones around a board either carved from wood, or dug out of the clay soil.

ENTERTAINMENT AND RECREATION

The advent of the satellite dish has made television an increasingly popular form of entertainment in Luanda and other urban centers. The dishes are status symbols and allow Angolans to supplement the government-run station with an array of channels from all over the world. Angolans connect with world popular culture by watching Brazilian shows (in Portuguese), MTV, and American movies with Portuguese subtitles. Residents in apartment buildings lower their costs by sharing the same satellite dish. While cinemas remain a more popular form of entertainment up-country, video rental stores are mushrooming in Luanda, and home video is part of an urban trend toward home entertainment.

FOLK ART, CRAFTS, AND HOBBIES

Luanda's three museums, including the Museum of Anthropology, contain a fine collection of African art and handi-crafts. Non-commercial masks and sculptures vary according to ethnic group, and symbolize rites of passage or changes in seasons, and play important roles in cultural rituals. Artisans work with wood, bronze, ivory, malachite, and ceramics. The Lunda-Chokwe in the northeast provinces are uniquely known for their superior plastic arts.

Ten years ago, the Ministry of Culture stifled art by monopolizing control over art production and marketing. Recent deregulation has made handicraft production a blossoming cottage industry. Stylized masks, statuettes, and trinkets (airport art) now flood the popular Futungo tourist market on the outskirts of Luanda. This art may not reflect the deep cultural beliefs of the people, but it provides work and a source of income for people with artistic skills. Shoppers at Futungo market are treated to musicians playing traditional instruments such as marimbas, kissanges, xingufos (big antelope horns), and drums, giving the feeling of a village festival.

SOCIAL PROBLEMS

Angola's social ills are myriad. The country still has between 2 to 10 million land mines buried in roads, trails and fields. At least 80,000 people have suffered injuries from those mines and are in need of psycho-social counseling and healing. Ex-combatants are especially susceptible to lawlessness and vice, and they risk returning to the bush as a way of life. The Kimberley Process, launched in 2003, has helped to curb trade in “blood diamonds,” but thousands of artisanal miners dig and pan for diamonds in alluvial pits. Many internally displaced persons (IDPs) are still without homes, land, and a dependable source of food. Poor governance and corruption are also rife. It is estimated that $4.2 billion in oil revenues disappeared from government coffers between 1997 and 2002. If these revenues had been invested in Angola's social sector, poor health access, lack of shelter, unemployment, and low productivity could be things of the past.

GENDER ISSUES

As in many parts of Africa women work as hard as or harder than men, but enjoy fewer rights and privileges. Women cultivate the fields, gather wood and water, and do domestic chores. In the village, women typically raise between 6 and 12 children. Because abortion is legal only to save a woman's life, many abortions are performed in secret and under unsafe conditions.

The gap between women's rights in towns as compared to rural villages is quite pronounced. In urban areas, women have fewer children and compete for male-dominated jobs. They drive cars, study at university, vote, occupy non-combative positions in the army, and serve as traffic policewomen. In recent history, five women ministers have led government ministries including oil, fisheries, and culture. Five women are Public Ministry magistrates, and there are three women judges. After the 1992 elections, women won 9.5% of the seats in the legislature, although 5% fewer than in the First Republic. One woman heads a political party and was a candidate in the 1992 elections.

Women's rights groups such as the Organization of Angolan Women are helping to establish literacy programs and health units for women, and ensure that polygynous families have sufficient wealth to support more than one wife.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Angola.” In Africa South of the Sahara 2007. London: Europa Publishers, 2008.

Angola. Paris: Editions Delroisse, n.d.

Collelo, Th omas, ed. Angola, A Country Study. 3rd ed. Washington, D.C.: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress; for sale by the Supt. of Docs., US GPO, 1991.

James, W. Martin. Historical Dictionary of Angola. Metuchen, NJ and London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2004.

Sommerville, Keith. Angola: Politics, Economics, and Society. Marxist Regimes Series. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner, 1986.

—by R. Groelsema

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