Angola Country Facts

By | April 21, 2024
Angola
Capital city Luanda
Surface 1.246.700 km²
Population 31.128.000
Road network length 20.500 km
Length of highway network 100 km
First highway 2008
Motorway name Highway
Traffic drives To the right
License plate code THE

Angola, formally the Republic of Angola (Portuguese: República de Angola), is a large country in southern Africa. The country is approximately 31 times the size of the Netherlands and has more than 31 million inhabitants. The capital is Luanda.

Geography

Angola has a long coastline on the Atlantic Ocean and is bordered to the north by the Democratic Republic of Congo, to the east by Zambia and to the south by Namibia. The Cabina exclave also borders the Republic of Congo. The capital Luanda is located in the northwest of the country on the coast. Other important cities are Lobito, Lubango, Huambo and Benguela. The west of Angola is mountainous, the east consists of a plateau intersected by river valleys. Angola forms the transition between the tropical jungles and the savannas and semi-deserts in the south. The country measures approximately 1,200 kilometers from east to west and 1,300 kilometers from north to south. Large parts of the country are very sparsely populated, especially along the coast and in the east.

Although the country is located in the tropical zone, it has a somewhat different climate, caused by a cold Gulf Stream on the south coast, mountains in the interior and the influence of the Namibian desert in the southeast. As a result, the country has more of a monsoon climate, with rain from October to April and drought from May to August. The coastal region has a fair amount of precipitation, decreasing from north to south. The average maximum temperature in Luanda ranges from 30°C in January to 24°C in August. In Luanda there is approximately 400 mm of precipitation per year.

Demographics

Angola had only about 4 million inhabitants in 1950, which grew to 10 million in 1990 and 25 million in 2015. However, only very sporadic census has been conducted. The country has several tribes, most of which belong to the Bantu group. The largest groups of foreigners are Congolese, Portuguese and Chinese.

The country has only one major city, the capital Luanda, which has 2.8 million inhabitants. There are six other cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants, spread across the west and center of the country. The population of Angola is relatively rural, especially outside the Luanda region.

Several languages ​​are spoken in Angola, the largest of which are indigenous languages, with Portuguese acting as the lingua franca. It is estimated that three quarters of the population speaks Portuguese as a first or second language.

Economy

Angola’s economy has long suffered from internal conflict. Much of the country is barely developed, with the exception of the capital Luanda, which is a somewhat modern city compared to the rest of the country. In the decade 2001-2010, Angola had the highest economic growth in the world. Angola’s exports consist almost entirely of oil, half of which is exported to China. Angola’s economy is heavily dependent on oil prices, causing periods of massive budget surpluses to alternate with deficits. It is estimated that 40% of the population lives below the poverty line. In the past, Angola had a large agricultural sector, but it fell into serious decline during the Angolan Civil War.

History

From the 16th century the area was colonized by Portugal. The city of Luanda was founded in 1575, and was then called São Paulo de Loanda. The Portuguese established numerous trading posts on the coast, but the interior was little visited at the time and largely had no formal administration. Portugal traded in slaves from Angola who went to work on plantations in Brazil. Plantations were also developed in Angola, but not on the scale of Brazil. The slave trade was discontinued in 1836. The Portuguese had long had plans to connect the colonies of Angola and Mozambique through the interior, but this was blocked by the Belgians and British. The borders of Portuguese Angola were not established until the period 1884-1885.

Angolan nationalism grew into a war of independence from 1961, which lasted until independence from Portugal was obtained in 1974-1975. The war ended with a coup d’état in Portugal itself, after which military activities in Angola were discontinued. The country gained independence from Portugal in 1975. However, the War of Independence turned into the Angolan Civil War, which was also a proxy war between the Communists and the West during the Cold War. With support from the Soviet Union, Cuba, South Africa and the United States, the conflict continued for decades. The war lasted 27 years but saw several periods of conflict and peace. During the civil war, almost all of Angola’s infrastructure was destroyed.

Angola has been relatively stable since the end of the civil war in 2002. Oil exports have enabled the Angolan government to develop infrastructure on a large scale, especially in the capital Luanda and the surrounding region. The interior is still underdeveloped.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *