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The flag of Angola.

Angola, formerly the People's Republic of Angola and officially the Republic of Angola (Portuguese: República de Angola; IPA: [ʁɛ'publikɐ dɨ ɐ̃'gɔlɐ]), is a country in southern Africa. It was a Portuguese colony from 1575 until it gained its independence in 1975, and is the largest Portuguese-speaking state in Africa. After its separation from Portugal, it underwent a bloody civil war, which lasted until 2002. It is a member of the African Union. Its capital and largest city is Luanda, formerly known as Loanda. It uses West Africa Time. Its government is a republic and has a multi-party presidential regime.[1]


The earliest inhabitants of Angola were Khoisan hunters and gatherers. They were later replaced by Bantu migratory tribes. [2] In the late 15th century, the Portuguese arrived to the coasts of Angola, and, after a short Dutch occupation, gained control of the country until the late 20th century. Portugal did not acquire precious metals from Angola, as with its other colonies. Instead, Angola became one of Portugal's main source for slaves. Portugal officially established its first base in Angola in 1575. [3]


(CC) Photo: Ricardo Stuckert/PR/Agência Brasil
José Eduardo dos Santos.


Angola's military is composed by the Angolan Armed Forces. It is divided in three branches: the Army, the Navy (Marinha de Guerra), and the Angolan National Air Force, formerly known as the People's Air and Air Defence Force of Angola (Força Aérea Popular de Angola/Defesa Aérea e Antiaérea). Military service in Angola is compulsory. Conscripts must be at least 18 years old and must serve for two years, plus training time. [1] As of 2002, the army has a total manpower of 90,000 people, the navy has 4,000 personnel, and the air force has 6,000. [4] The Angolan Armed Forces are headed by a Chief of Staff, who reports directly to the Angolan Minister of Defense. [5]

Administrative divisions

Angola is divided into 18 provinces. These are Bengo, Benguela, Bié, Cabinda, Cuando Cubango, Cuanza Norte, Cuanza Sul, Cunene, Huambo, Huíla, Luanda, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Malanje, Moxico, Namibe, Uíge, and Zaire.[6]

(PD) Photo: USAID Guinea
A diamond miner.

Each province is subdivided into municipalities or municípios, also translated as "city councils". There are 163 total city councils in Angola.[7]


The currency used in Angola is the Angolan kwanza. Due to warfare, Angola's economy is weak. The production of petroleum is one of its most productive industries, as it accounts for over 90% of the country's exports. The other is the production of diamonds. Angola is the fourth-largest diamond producer in the world, producing around 739 million USD in 2000. [8]


(PD) Image:
A satellite image of Angola.

Angola has a total area of 481,354 mi² (1,246,700 km²). It is the 23rd largest country in the world [9] and the seventh largest in the continent. [10] The country is bordered by Namibia, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the South Atlantic Ocean. It is divided into 18 provinces, with the Angolan exclave of Cabinda which borders the Republic of the Congo to the north separated from the other 17 by the River Congo delta.[11]

Angola's climate varies from location to location. On the country's north and eastern regions, the climate is tropical. In the south, dessert conditions prevail. There are two major seasons during the year. These are a dry season, a cool season from June to late September, and a rainy, hot season from October to April or May. The average temperature is 68°F, but is warmer along the coast and cooler on the country's center. [12]


Angola has a total population of 12,127,071, as of the 2006 estimate. [13] 42% of the country's population is illiterate. Angola's ethnic groups include Ovimbundu (37% of the population), Kimbundu (25%), Bakongo (13%), mestico (mixed European and native African) (2%), European (1%), and others (22%).[1] The country's population holds different religious beliefs, including indigenous beliefs (47%), Catholic beliefs (38%), and Protestant beliefs (15%), according to a 1998 estimate.[13] The official language in the country is Portuguese, but other Bantu and African languages are also spoken. [13]


Angolans play several sports. The country is one of the leading nations in basketball in Africa. [14] The country won the African Basketball Championships in 2003 and represented Africa in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. [15][16] It also participated in the 2006 World Basketball Championships in Japan. [17] It also qualified to take part in the 2008 Olympic Basketball Championships in Beijing, China. [18] Another popular sport in Angola is football (soccer). [14] Angola qualified for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, along with Zimbabwe and Nigeria, where it failed to qualify for the Second Round. [19]


This section will include information on Angolan literature, way of life, traditional food, and Angolan music and dance. [20]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The CIA World Factbook (last updated October 4, 2007). Angola. Retrieved on October 17, 2007.
  2. Thomas Collelo (Washington, 1991). Angola: A Country Study. History: Precolonial Angola and the Arrival of the Portuguese. Online version retrieved from the Library of Congress of the United States on October 20, 2007.
  3. The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th edition (2007, Columbia University Press). Angola: History until Independence. Retrieved on October 20, 2007.
  4. The Encyclopedia of the Nations. Angola: Armed forces. Retrieved on October 23, 2007.
  5. AllAfrica Global Media. Angola: Defence Minister Goes to Soyo for Armed Forces Anniversary Act Retrieved on October 23, 2007.
  6. Gwillim Law. Administrative Divisions of Countries ("Statoids") (last updated on October 14, 2007). Provinces of Angola. Retrieved on October 17, 2007.
  7. Gwillim Law. Administrative Divisions of Countries ("Statoids") (last updated on October 14, 2007). City Councils of Angola. Retrieved on October 17, 2007.
  8. Institute for Security Studies. Angola: Economy. Retrieved on October 18, 2007.
  9. The CIA World Factbook. Rank Order: Area. Retrieved on October 18, 2007.
  10. Thomas Collelo (Washington, 1991). Angola: A Country Study. Geography. Online version retrieved from the Library of Congress of the United States on October 23, 2007.
  11. Global Security. Cabinda. Retrieved on October 18, 2007.
  12. The Encyclopedia of the Nations. Angola: Climate. Retrieved on October 23, 2007.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 The Multimedia History Company: Nation by nation. Angola Population. Retrieved on October 18, 2007.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Africa Profile. Sports in Angola. Retrieved on October 22, 2007.
  15. Eurobasket. African Championships 2003. Retrieved on October 22, 2007.
  16. BBC Sport. Football: 2004 Olympic qualifiers. Retrieved on October 22, 2007.
  17. Authentic Basketball. FIBA Basketball World Championship Japan 2006 Summary. Retrieved on October 23, 2007.
  18. International Olympic Committee. Beijing 2008: nine teams qualified for men’s basketball tournament. Retrieved on October 22, 2007.
  19. World Cup History. Angola in the World Cup Finals. Retrieved on October 22, 2007.
  20. Countries and Their Cultures. Culture of Angola. Retrieved on October 27, 2007.