Countries of the world


May 7, 2012, 10:37 am
Source: CIA World Factbook
Content Cover Image

Stark terrain of southern Angola along the Kunene River. @ C.Michael Hogan

Angola is a nation of eighteen million people in south-central Africa that fronts the South Atlantic Ocean, between Namibia and Democratic Republic of the Congo

Despite significant revenue from oil and diamonds, Angola is one of the poorest nations in the world, with a life expectancy of just 39 years and low rankings in most aspects of human development (Its Human Development Index is 146th of 169 nations). This is due, in part to a long civil war, and significant corruption.

Angola's major environmental issues include:

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

Angola is rebuilding its country after the end of a 27-year civil war in 2002.

Fighting between the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), led by Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas Savimbi, followed independence from Portugal in 1975.

Peace seemed imminent in 1992 when Angola held national elections, but fighting accelerated again by 1996.

Up to 1.5 million lives may have been lost - and 4 million people displaced - in the quarter century of fighting.

Savimbi's death in 2002 ended UNITA's insurgency and strengthened the MPLA's hold on power.

President Dos Santos held legislative elections in September 2008 and, despite promising to hold presidential elections in 2009, has since pushed through a new constitution that calls for elections in 2012.


Angola is located on the South Atlantic coast of West Africa with Namibia to the south and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.) to the north; the D.R.C. and Zambia form the eastern boundary.

The enclave of Cabinda is bounded by the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) on the north and east and by the D.R.C. on the south. 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. The hot, humid rainy season lasts from November to April, followed by a moderate dry season from May to October.

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.

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

Geographic Coordinates: 12 30 S, 18 30 E

Area: 1,246,700 km2 (1,246,700  km2 land and 0 km2 water)

arable land: 2.65%
permanent crops: 0.23%
other: 97.12% (2005)

Land Boundraies: 5198 km. Border countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 2511 km (of which 225 km is the boundary of discontiguous Cabinda Province), Republic of the Congo 201 km, Namibia 1376 km, Zambia 1110 km

Coastline: 1,600 km

Maritime Claims:

Territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Natural Hazards: Locally heavy rainfall causes periodic flooding on the plateau

Terrain: Narrow coastal plain rises abruptly to vast interior plateau. Its lowest point is the Atlantic Ocean (0 metres) and its highest point is Morro de Moco (2620 metres)

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

Topography of Angola. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Ecology and Biodiversity

  1. Kaokoveld desert
  2. Namibian savanna woodlands
  3. Angolan Mopane woodlands
  4. Zambezian Baikiaea woodlands
  5. Western Zambezian grasslands
  6. Zambezian Cryptosepalum dry forests
  7. Angolan Miombo woodlands
  8. Angolan montane forest-grassland mosaic
  9. Angolan scarp savanna and woodlands
  10. Western Congolian forest-savanna mosaic
  11. Southern Congolian forest savanna mosaic
  12. Central Zambezian Miombo woodlands
  13. Central African mangroves

People and Society

There has been no census since the early 1970s; the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) anticipates that the next census will take place in 2013. Recent estimates of Angola's population have ranged from 13 million to 18 million. Angola has three main ethnic groups, each speaking a Bantu language: Umbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, and Kikongo 13%. Other groups include Chokwe, Lunda, Ganguela, Nhaneca-Humbe, Ambo, Herero, and Xindunga. In addition, mixed racial (European and African) people account for about 2%, with a small (1%) population of whites. 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.

Population: 18,056,072 (July 2012 est.)

Age Structure:

0-14 years: 43.2% (male 2,910,981/female 2,856,527)
15-64 years: 54.1% (male 3,663,400/female 3,549,896)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 157,778/female 199,959) (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate: 2.784% (2012 est.)

Birthrate: 39.36 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death Rate: 12.06 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net Migration Rate: 0.55 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth:  54.59 years

male: 53.49 years
female: 55.73 years (2012 est.)

Total Fertility Rate: 5.54 children born/woman (2012 est.)

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

Literacy:  67.4% (male: 82.9% - female: 54.2% (2001 est.)

Urbanization: 59% of total population (2010) growing at a 4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)


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 to 1648, during which the Ndongo Kingdom supported the Dutch in their attempt to drive away the Portuguese. In 1648, Brazilian-based Portuguese forces retook 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 the slave trade. 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, Príncipe, and Brazil. Many scholars agree that by the beginning of 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 forced labor system replaced formal slavery and continued until outlawed in 1961. This forced labor system provided the basis for the development of a plantation economy and, by the mid-20th century, a major mining sector. Forced labor combined with British financing allowed the construction of 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 Antonio Agostinho Neto, with a base among Kimbundu and the mixed-race intelligentsia of Luanda, and links to communist parties in Portugal and the Eastern 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 (P.R.C.) and apartheid South Africa.

From the early 1960s, 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 in Angola to a coalition of the three movements. The ideological differences among the three movements eventually led to armed conflict, with FNLA and UNITA forces attempting to wrest control of Luanda from the MPLA, and all parties backed by their respective international supporters. The intervention of troops from South Africa on behalf of UNITA, Zaire on behalf of the FNLA, and Cuba on behalf of the MPLA in 1975 effectively internationalized the conflict. After 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, and the UN Security Council sanctions on UNITA were lifted on December 9, 2002. UNITA and the MPLA held their first post-war 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 Henrique 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.

Founded in 1963, the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) fought for the enclave’s independence from the Portuguese. Upon Angola’s independence, MPLA forces gained control over Cabindan cities and oil resources, and the FLEC insurgency continued in predominately rural areas. 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), which still maintain a strong troop presence there. The MOU rejected the notion of Cabindan independence, called for the demobilization and reintegration of former FLEC fighters into various government positions, and created a special political and economic status for the province of Cabinda. Many FLEC military combatants were integrated into the Angolan Armed Forces and National Police, including into some command positions. In addition, Cabindans were given a designated number 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, infrequent low-level attacks against FAA convoys and outposts, and occasional violent attacks on civilians.


Angola is governed by a president, vice president, and 90 appointed ministers, deputy ministers, and state secretaries. Political power is concentrated in the presidency. The executive branch of the government is composed of the president (head of state and government), the vice president, ministers of state, and the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers, composed of all government ministers and secretaries of state, 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 currently seated 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 have not been filled.

Angola held legislative elections on September 5, 2008, its first since 1992. Due to technical difficulties on election day, voting was extended through September 6 in some constituencies. The results of the elections were accepted by UNITA and most other opposition parties. The MPLA won 81.6% of the electorate, giving it an absolute majority with 191 out of 220 seats in parliament. The remaining 29 parliamentary seats were won by UNITA (16), the Social Renewal Party (PRS) (8), National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) (3), and the New Democracy (ND) coalition (2).

Angola enacted a new constitution on February 5, 2010 and on February 8, President dos Santos swore in a new government. The new constitution established a party list system under which citizens vote for a party (not an individual candidate) and the president will be the leader of the winning party’s list. It also introduced a new office of the vice president, and eliminated the position of prime minister. The next presidential and parliamentary elections are expected to take place in September 2012. Although President dos Santos has not formally declared his candidacy, most commentators expect him to run.

There are no local, municipal, or provincial elections in Angola and no clear timeline for such elections; the new constitution states only that such institutions should be established “gradually.” The country is divided into 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 some municipalities control of their own budgets; this measure was extended to all municipalities in 2008.

The 27-year civil war ravaged the country's political and social institutions. Daily conditions of life throughout the country mirror the inadequate administrative infrastructure as well as inadequate social institutions, for which government support is often weak. Many hospitals are without medicines or basic equipment, schools are without books, and public employees often lack the basic supplies for their daily work. 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. According to the UNHCR, 146,814 refugees still remain outside Angola, mainly in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, and Namibia. Of these refugees, 52,000 were supposed to return by the end of 2011, when UNHCR was going to apply for the cessation clause for their refugee status. By December 2011, only 4,000 of the 60,000 refugees who expressed interest in returning to Angola from neighboring countries had been repatriated. Under the best possible circumstances, 20,000 to 25,000 Angolans could be repatriated by the time the cessation clause for Angolan refugees is applied on June 30, 2012.

Government Type: Rrepublic; multiparty presidential regime

Capital: Luanda 4.511 million (2009)

Other Major Cities: Huambo 979,000 (2009)

Administrative Divisions: 18 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Bengo, Benguela, Bie, Cabinda, Kwando Kubango, Kwanza Norte, Kwanza Sul, Cunene, Huambo, Huila, Luanda, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Malanje, Moxico, Namibe, Uige, Zaire

Independence Date: 11 November 1975 (from Portugal)

Legal System: The legal system is based on Portuguese and customary law but is weak and fragmented. It has been modified to accommodate political pluralism and increased use of free markets; has not accepted compulsory International Court of Justice jurisdiction. Courts operate in only a fraction of the 164 municipalities. A Supreme Court serves as the appellate tribunal; a constitutional court was established in May 2008.

Bay of Luanda (view from Luanda Island), Angola. Source: Paulo César Santos/Wikimedia Commons

International Environmental Agreements

Angola is party to international agreements on Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, and Ship Pollution.


Total Renewable Water Resources: 184 cu km (1987)

Freshwater Withdrawal: Total: 0.35 cu km/yr (23% domestic, 17% industrial, 60% agricultural). Per capita: 22 cu m/yr (2000)


In the last decade of the colonial period, Angola was a major African agricultural exporter. Because of severe wartime conditions, including the massive dislocation of rural people and the extensive laying of landmines throughout the countryside, agricultural activities came to a near standstill, and the country now imports most of its food. Small-scale agricultural production has increased several-fold over the last 5 years due to demining efforts, infrastructure improvements, and the ability of returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to return safely to agricultural areas, yet production of most crops remains far below 1974 levels. 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. Recently proposed land reform laws attempt to reconcile overlapping traditional land use rights, colonial-era land claims, and recent land grants to facilitate significant commercial agricultural development. However, the lack of clear title to land tracts and burdensome registration process in Angola continues to be a significant impediment to foreign investment in the agriculture sector.

Agricultural Products: Bananas, sugarcane, coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, manioc (tapioca), tobacco, vegetables, plantains; livestock; forest products; fish

Irrigated Lands: 800 sq km (2003)


Diamonds make up most of Angola's non-energy exports. The financial crisis severely depressed diamond prices in 2009, sharply curtailing Angola’s diamond exports, and at one point forcing the state diamond authority, Endiama, to buy up production at cost for stockpiling to keep operators going. In 2010, diamond production in Angola reached 8.5 million carats, representing revenues estimated at $995 million. Despite increased corporate ownership of diamond fields, much production is currently in the hands of small-scale prospectors, often operating illegally. Eight large-scale mines operate out of a total of 145 concessions. The government is making an increased effort to register and license prospectors while decreasing production by informal prospectors. In 2011, Angola passed a new law for the mining sector. 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 has begun.

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


The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut Angola’s production target to 1.51 million barrels per day (bpd) in January 2009 in response to plummeting oil prices. Throughout 2009, Angola never got down to its OPEC quota and produced an average of 1.8 million bpd, and OPEC did not try to enforce the quota. Angola is Africa’s second-largest oil producer, following Nigeria. Production for 2011 averaged 1.8 million bpd, below its peak capacity of 1.9 million bpd, due to technical problems. Oil production was expected to reach 2.0 million bpd in the latter half of 2012, helped by the start-up of the 220,000 bpd Pazflor deepwater field.

Estimates of Angola’s proven oil reserves range from 9.5 billion to 13.5 billion barrels. In 2011, Angola exported close to 1.8 million bpd of crude oil. Crude oil accounted for roughly 46% of GDP, 94% of exports, and 76% of government revenues in 2011 according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). 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 requires oil companies to source from local businesses and increase the number of Angolan staff.

Angola has one refinery (in Luanda) operated by sole owner Sonangol, the state-owned oil company and regulator. There are plans to increase capacity of the Luanda refinery from 40,000 bpd to 100,000 bpd. Decade-old plans for construction of a second refinery in Lobito with projected production of 200,000 bpd are proceeding slowly due to financing difficulties, although U.S. company KBR has been selected for the front-end engineering and design work.

A consortium of Chevron, Sonangol, BP, Total, and Eni have developed a $5 billion liquefied natural gas plant at Soyo to take advantage of Angola’s estimated 25 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves. Construction by Bechtel began in February 2008 and the plant is scheduled to begin production in May 2012.

In January 2011, Sonangol announced the results of a restricted tender for exploration of the pre-salt layer in 11 blocks off the central coast of Angola. Cobalt International Energy was awarded an operatorship in block 20 and a stake of 40%, and ConocoPhilips was awarded operatorship and stakes of 30% in blocks 36 and 37. Sonangol has an interest in all blocks.

In 2010, Angola was China’s second-leading source country for crude oil by volume, providing 790 million barrels, after Saudi Arabia (890 million barrels). The United States was the second major destination for Angolan oil exports, importing close to 400 million barrels and making Angola one of the top sources for U.S. oil imports.

  Production Consumption Exports Imports Reserves
Electricity 3.944 billion kWh
(2008 est.)
3.365 billion kWh
(2008 est.)
0 kWh
(2009 est.)
0 kWh
(2009 est.)
Oil 1.988 million bbl/day
(2010 est.)
74,000 bbl/day
(2010 est.)
1.851 million bbl/day
(2009 est.)
38,280 bbl/day
(2009 est.)
9.5 billion bbl
(1 January 2011 est.)
Natural Gas 690 million cu m
(2009 est.)
690 million cu m
(2009 est.)
0 cu m
(2009 est.)
0 cu m
(2009 est.)
309.8 billion cu m
(1 January 2011 est.)
Source: CIA Factbook



Despite a rapidly-growing economy due to petroleum production and post-war reconstruction, Angola ranks in the bottom 10% of most socioeconomic indicators. GDP growth in 2009 was flat due to significantly lower oil prices owing to the global financial crisis. GDP growth in 2011 was estimated at 3.7%, with a continued pick-up in the pace expected for 2012, barring another global financial crisis. Higher than expected oil prices provided a significant short-term boost to government revenues, and international reserves recovered strongly in 2011, reaching a record U.S. $24 billion in June.

Angola is still recovering from 27 years of nearly continuous warfare, and is slowly beginning to tackle problems of corruption, lack of transparency, and economic mismanagement. Despite abundant natural resources and rising per capita GDP, it was ranked 148 out of 169 countries on the 2011 UN Development Program's (UNDP) Human Development Index. Agriculture (primarily subsistence) accounts for 80% of the work force.

In November 2009, following increased Angolan efforts to make oil revenues more transparent, the IMF approved a 27-month Stand-by Arrangement (SBA) with Angola in the amount of approximately $1.4 billion to help the country cope with the effects of the global economic crisis. In The IMF Executive Board completed the sixth and final review under the SBA on March 28, 2012 and approved the final disbursement. As a result of inconsistencies in the reporting of oil revenues by Sonangol to the Treasury that came to light during the IMF program, Angolan authorities agreed to implement corrective measures and reforms to enhance the reporting and transfer of oil revenues by Sonangol. A December 2011 presidential decree ordered the phasing out of certain quasi-fiscal activities performed by Sonangol, which will also contribute to improving the transparency of oil revenues.

A new private investment law adopted in 2011 provides certain benefits and incentives for investors. The threshold for such incentives was increased from investments of $100,000 under the old law to $1 million.

In 2010, the National Assembly passed a new law to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. In 2011, the government established a Financial Intelligence Unit to implement provisions of the new law. A recent Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) report recognized that Angola had taken steps toward improving its AML/CFT (anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism) regime. Angola is revising its tax code to improve the collection of tax revenues. 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, mainly 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. Angola is eligible for tariff preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Since 2005, the government has used billions of dollars in credit lines from China, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Spain, and the European Union to rebuild Angola's public infrastructure.

Angola joined the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in order to improve ties with its largely Anglophone neighbors to the south and east. Angola holds the SADC presidency from September 2011 to September 2012. 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. Angola was elected to a 2-year term on the Council for Peace and Security of the African Union in January 2012 and assumed the rotating presidency of this body in April 2012. Angola also participates in the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).

Corruption, especially in the extractive sectors, also is a major challenge.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): $115.9 billion (2011 est.)

GDP (Official Exchange Rate): $99.3 billion (2011 est.)

GDP-per capita (PPP): $5,900 (2011 est.)

GDP-composition by sector:

agriculture: 9.6%
industry: 65.8%
services: 24.6% (2008 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line: 40.5% (2006 est.)

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

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

Export Partners: US 34.8%, China 32%, France 6.4%, Taiwan 6.1% (2006)

Imports: Machinery and electrical equipment, vehicles and spare parts; medicines, food, textiles, military goods

Import Partners: Portugal 17.9%, US 9.9%, South Korea 9.9%, China 9.4%, Brazil 8.1%, South Africa 6.5%, France 5.8%, UK 4.4% (2006)

Economic Aid Recipient: $441.8 million (2005)

Currency: kwanza (AOA)

Ports and Terminals: Cabinda, Lobito, Luanda, Namibe

Further Reading

  1. David Birmingham. 1965. The Portuguese Conquest of Angola. London: Oxford University Press
  2. Adu Boahen. Topics In West African History. ISBN 0582645026.
  3. M.R.Bhagavan. 1986. Angola's Political Economy 1975 - 1985, Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet
  4. United Nations. 2009. World Population Prospects, Table A.1, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division







Agency, C., Fund, W., & Department, U. (2012). Angola. Retrieved from


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