Angola Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Angola Map Economy History

Facts About Angola

Background: Civil war has been the norm in Angola since independence from Portugal in 1975. A 1994 peace accord between the government and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) provided for the integration of former UNITA insurgents into the government and armed forces. A national unity government was installed in April of 1997, but serious fighting resumed in late 1998, rendering hundreds of thousands of people homeless. Up to 1.5 million lives may have been lost in fighting over the past quarter century.
Government type: Angola has a transitional government, nominally a multiparty democracy with a strong presidential system.
Capital: Luanda
Currency: 1 kwanza (NKz) = 100 lwei

Geography of Angola

Location: Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Namibia and Democratic Republic of the Congo
Geographic coordinates: 12 30 S, 18 30 E
Map references: Africa
Area:
total: 1,246,700 sq km
land: 1,246,700 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 5,198 km
border countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,511 km (of which 220 km is the boundary of discontiguous Cabinda Province), Republic of the Congo 201 km, Namibia 1,376 km, Zambia 1,110 km
Coastline: 1,600 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: semiarid in south and along coast to Luanda; north has cool, dry season (May to October) and hot, rainy season (November to April)
Terrain: narrow coastal plain rises abruptly to vast interior plateau
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Morro de Moco 2,620 m
Natural resources: petroleum, diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, copper, feldspar, gold, bauxite, uranium
Land use:
arable land: 2%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 23%
forests and woodland: 43%
other: 32% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 750 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: locally heavy rainfall causes periodic flooding on the plateau
Environment - current issues: overuse of pastures and subsequent soil erosion attributable to population pressures; desertification; deforestation of tropical rain forest, in response to both international demand for tropical timber and to domestic use as fuel, resulting in loss of biodiversity; soil erosion contributing to water pollution and siltation of rivers and dams; inadequate supplies of potable water.
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Desertification, Law of the Sea
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change
Geography - note: Cabinda is separated from rest of country by the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

More Geography

People of Angola

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.

Population: 11,190,786 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  43.31% 
15-64 years:  53.98% 
65 years and over:  2.71%
Population growth rate: 2.15%
Birth rate: 46.54 births/1,000 population
Death rate: 24.68 deaths/1,000 population
Net migration rate: -0.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population
Infant mortality rate: 193.72 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  38.59 years
male:  37.36 years
female:  39.87 years
Total fertility rate: 6.48 children born/woman
Nationality:
noun: Angolan(s)
adjective: Angolan
Ethnic groups: Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, mestico (mixed European and Native African) 2%, European 1%, other 22%
Religions: indigenous beliefs 47%, Roman Catholic 38%, Protestant 15% (1998 est.)
Languages: Portuguese (official), Bantu and other African languages
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 42%
male: 56%
female: 28% (1998 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

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