Republic of Angola
Capital: Luanda Nationality: Angolan Population: 13,338,541
Currency: kwanza (AOA) Off. Lang: Portuguese Area: 1,246,700 sq km
Internet DM: ao GDP: $115.9 bil Life Exp: 38.76 year
Literacy: 67.4% Location: 12 30 S, 18 30 E Calling Code: 244

Angola(æŋˈɡəʊlə) is bordered by Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, and Namibia, with an exact location of 12 30 S, 18 30 E. The total area is 1,246,700 sq km. Luanda is the capital, with Portuguese the official language.


The population is 13,068,161, with a life expectancy of 38.48 years. The country is 37% Ovimbundu, 25% Kimbundu, 13% Bakongo, 2% mestico (mixed European and native African) , 1% European, and 22% other. The religious breakdown is 47% traditional belief, 38% Roman Catholic, and 15% Protestant. The literacy rate for males is 82.9%, females 54.2%.


Index  Value
 Mo Ibrahim Governance Index  40.9 (2014)
 Corruption Perception Index  19 (2014)
 Ease of Doing Business  181 (2014)
 Human Development Index  .526 (2014)
 World Press Freedom  104(2015)


Angola was occupied by two powerful empires Kongo and Ndongo. The name Angola came from ngola, Ndongo ancestral shrine guardians and the title of the king of Ndongo. Kimbundu speaking people of Ndongo, in the highland developed strong political systems, influenced from the Kongo Kingdom. The Huila Plateau was occupied by the Nyaneka states. Further south and east of the country was occupied by Herero and Ovambo states, who engaged in cattle herding. Cattle was the basis of societal wealth. The region was part of the long distance inter-regional trade network of Africa, trading copper, beads, nzimbu (cowrie shell currency), and raffia cloth.

The Portuguese arrived in the 1480s, making contact with the Kongo Kingdom and introducing Christianity. They began trading in slaves. The majority of slaves were taken to Brazil. They also introduced cassava and maize into Africa from the new world. They tried conquering Kongo and Ndongo, but were defeated and retired to the coast, in Luanda. Luanda developed a strong mix-race population of mestico.

By the 1950s, Angolan independence movement started gaining steam. Two parties came to the forefront, MPLA or Movimento Popular de Libertaçcão de Angola (Popular Liberation Movement of Angola), founded in 1956 and backed by Kimbundu and mixed-race mestico in Luanda and FNLA. In 1957, the FNLA or Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola (National Front for the Liberation of Angola) was founded, with support from the Bakongo region of the north. 

National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (União Nacional para a Indepêndencia Total de Angola) or UNITA was founded by Jonas Savimbi and based in central Angola.

In November 1975, Angola was given independence after a major coup in Portugal. Agostinho Neto, head of MPLA, became the first president of Angola. UNITA with aid from invading South African troops tried to take power, but was thwarted by MPLA with aid from Cuban troops and the USSR. The MPLA government was recognized by the United Nations in 1976. UNITA and FNLA formed a counter government in the interior at Huamba. 

Independence did not bring peace. Civil war continued among the major parties. MPLA was supported by the USSR and Cuba. FNLA supported by USA. UNITA supported by South Africa, largely due to the support by MPLA of SWAPO in Namibia, a South African territory. Support for the FNLA eventually fell due major military loss. 

In 1979, then-Planning Minister José Eduardo dos Santos ascended to the presidency, after the death of Agostino Neto. In 1991, an agreement, the Bicesse Accord, was reach between MPLA and UNITA making Angola a multi-party state. Election was called in 1992. UNITA was defeated in the election. Jonas Savimbi refused the election outcome and plunged the country into civil war that lasted till 1994. An agreement, the Lusaka Protocol, was reached with Savimbi as vice-president and with the stipulation that UNITA give up its territories. Savimbi changed his mind and plunged the country into further civil war. It was not until April 4, 2002, that the Luena Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was reached ending hostilities, and by November 2002, UNITA integrated into the government. 

Works Cited

CIA,Factbook, Angola