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Angola Index


Figure 1. Administrative Divisions of Angola, 1988

AN IMPORTANT SYMBOLIC EPISODE in the course of Angolan history took place on June 22, 1989, in the remote Zairian town of Gbadolite. On that date, Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos shook the hand of Jonas Savimbi, leader of the antigovernment movement, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola -- UNITA). This friendly gesture occurred at the end of a meeting attended by representatives from seventeen African nations and held under the auspices of Zairian president Mobutu Sese Seko. Accompanying the handshake was a communiqué calling for a cease-fire between government forces and UNITA rebels, national reconciliation, and direct negotiations; specific provisions were to be arranged later. But like many other incidents in Angolan history, this promising event soon became a disappointment as the parties failed to make progress along the path to peace. And so, scarcely two months after the so-called Gbadolite Declaration, UNITA announced the end to the cease-fire. As the internal turmoil resumed, Angolans once again became victims in a civil war that by 1989 had lasted for fourteen years.

Clearly, turmoil, victimization, and disappointment are themes that have pervaded Angola's history, especially since the arrival of Europeans in the fifteenth century. Although the Portuguese crown initially sent to Angola teachers to educate and priests to proselytize, Portugal eventually came to view the area mainly as a source for slaves, especially for Brazil, its colony across the Atlantic Ocean. In the several centuries during which the slave trade flourished, scholars estimate that 4 million Africans from the Angola region were taken into slavery. Of this number, perhaps half died before reaching the New World.

During its five centuries of colonization, Portugal treated Angola mostly with indifference or hostility. Although Angolans were often responsible for enslaving other Africans, Portuguese traders provided the impetus and the market for slaving. By raising small armies, Portuguese fought their way into Angola's interior, disrupting as they went kingdoms having sophisticated civilizations. Less alluring to Portuguese settlers than Brazil, Angola generally attracted poorer immigrants, a great many of whom were degredados (see Glossary), or exiled convicts. Portugal's exploitation of Angola did not cease even after slavery had been legally abolished in Angola in 1858. Lisbon spent the last part of the nineteenth century engaged in wars against the African kingdoms that it had not yet conquered and in consolidating its hold on territories awarded to it at the Berlin Conference of 1884 during the so-called scramble for Africa.

In the twentieth century, and particularly after 1926 and António Salazar's rise to power in Portugal, Lisbon exploited Angola's agricultural and mineral wealth. Salazar facilitated this exploitation by inducing greater numbers of Portuguese to settle in Angola to manage plantations and mines and by enacting labor laws that forced Angolans to work for Portuguese. He also ensured that Africans could not easily participate in or benefit from the colonial administration.

In the 1950s and 1960s, as most other African colonies were winning their independence, many Angolans, especially educated mestiços(see Glossary) and assimilados (see Glossary), came to resent the continued oppressiveness of the Salazar regime, which steadfastly refused to consider granting independence to its African holdings. As a consequence, in the early months of 1961 a rebellion erupted in the northern part of the colony. This event sounded the opening shots of Angola's war of liberation, a conflict that dragged on until 1974. In that year, a military coup d'état in Lisbon toppled the government of Marcello Caetano (who had replaced Salazar in 1968). The generals who assumed power had fought the anticolonialists in Africa and were weary of that battle. And so, soon after the coup they announced plans for the independence of all of Portugal's African possessions.

Unlike other Portuguese African colonies, the transition to independence in Angola did not proceed smoothly. During the 1960s and 1970s, the three most important liberation movements were the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola -- MPLA), the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola -- FNLA), and UNITA. When these groups could not resolve peacefully their differences about the leadership and structure of a unified government, they turned their guns on each other; the FNLA and UNITA eventually formed a loose coalition to oppose the MPLA, the movement that finally prevailed. The subsequent chaos, however, induced most Portuguese to repatriate, leaving Angola critically deficient in skilled professionals such as managers, teachers, and technicians.

The resultant civil war had domestic, regional, and international dimensions. Domestically, the movements tended to be divided along ethnic lines: the MPLA came to be identified with the Mbundu, the FNLA with the Bakongo, and UNITA with the Ovimbundu. In the late 1980s, ethnicity was still a sensitive issue. Regionally, Zaire came to the aid of the FNLA by supplying bases and some combat troops. South Africa, concerned about communist expansion in southern Africa, invaded Angola from neighboring Namibia. Internationally, the Soviet Union backed the MPLA with matériel and advisers, while Cuba supplied thousands of combat troops. The United States sided with the FNLA by providing financial assistance and by helping to hire mercenaries.

By mid-1976 most of the fighting had died down. The South Africans had withdrawn, and, for the most part, the FNLA and UNITA had been routed, thanks primarily to the effectiveness of Cuban forces. Consequently, the MPLA was able to legitimize its claim of control over the government. Nonetheless, despite its legitimization and the recognition of its claim by most African states and many other countries and international organizations, the MPLA still was confronted with an insurgency. Leading this insurgency from the southeast part of the country was Savimbi's UNITA, which had regrouped with the assistance of South Africa, and, after 1985, with aid from the United States. By 1989 this conflict, which many believed was merely an extension of the civil war, had claimed an estimated 60,000 to 90,000 lives, had exacted hundreds of thousands of casualties, and had forced about 700,000 people from their homes.

During the 1980s, the strains of the conflict were everywhere apparent. A significant portion of Angola's young populace (median age 17.5 years in 1988), estimated at 8.2 million in 1988, was moving westward away from the principal battlegrounds. Between 1975 and 1987, cities such as Luanda, Huambo, and Benguela witnessed an almost unchecked population explosion. But as the cities filled, the countryside emptied. The consequences of this rural-to-urban migration were devastating to the nation's welfare. The cities were unable to absorb such masses so quickly; the government could not provide adequate services, such as medical care and education; and jobs and housing were in short supply. Most important, with agricultural workers leaving their farms, the cities could not obtain enough food for their residents. By the late 1980s, Angola, once a food exporter, was importing more than half of its grain requirements. Moreover, thousands of those who could not reach cities settled in displaced persons camps, many of which were funded and operated by international relief organizations. Unrecorded as of 1989 were the psychological effects on the populace of leaving the relatively stable, traditional environment of the country for the uncertain, modern society of the city.

Exacerbating these demographic strains was the economy's poor performance in the 1980s in relation to its vast potential. The production of coffee, sisal, sugar, iron ore, and diamonds either declined or stagnated. Furthermore, the closure by UNITA insurgents of the Benguela Railway, which linked the rich mining regions of Zaire and Zambia with Atlantic ports, denied transit fees to the government. As a result, the economy became almost exclusively dependent on petroleum. Production of oil had begun in 1956, and by the late 1980s, with the financial and technical assistance of Western companies, oil sales accounted for nearly 90 percent of export earnings. Most Angolans, however, failed to benefit from these earnings. To finance the war against UNITA, the government in 1986 allocated more than 40 percent of its budget to defense expenditures, leaving relatively little for pressing social needs.

Several other factors contributed to economic weaknesses. First, because of the lack of foreign exchange, imported consumer goods were scarce, especially in state-run stores. This scarcity generated a widespread parallel market in which goods were frequently bartered rather than sold because Angola's unit of currency, the kwanza (for value of the kwanza--see Glossary), was virtually worthless. And because of commodity shortages, graft and pilfering (particularly at points of entry) became government concerns. National production also suffered because industrial workers and agricultural laborers were reluctant to work for kwanzas; as a result of the shortage of goods, the government often could not even barter for the services of workers or the output of farmers.

The UNITA insurgency and its associated disruptions notwithstanding, the government itself was responsible for some economic ills. Critics of the government claimed that mismanagement in centralized planning, state-run companies, and state-owned farms contributed significantly to the nation's economic decline. The government, in fact, seemed to agree in 1987, at which time President dos Santos announced plans to restructure the economy, calling for greater commercial liberalization and privatization of enterprise.

But while the government was willing to concede the economic shortcomings of Marxism-Leninism, it was resolutely opposed to accepting the notion of sweeping changes in political ideology. Since the First Party Congress in December 1977, when the MPLA became a "workers' party" and added "PT" (for Partido de Trabalho) to its acronym, Angola's leadership had followed a course that some observers have described as "Moscow oriented."Despite this characterization and the fact that Angola's enmeshed party- government structure resembled that of the Soviet Union, the dos Santos regime was notably more moderate than the regime of his predecessor, Agostinho Neto. In the late 1980s, however, political power remained in the hands of dos Santos and his small inner circle.

For the most part, Angola's goal of installing a functioning socialist state had not been attained. Although millions of Angolans had been mobilized into mass organizations or defense forces, political debate was narrowly constrained. The party, with a membership of only about 45,000, dominated the government. As of 1989, the People's Assembly--nominally the highest state organ--was largely an appointed body, unrepresentative of the constituents it was designed to serve. Likewise, the MPLA-PT was controlled primarily by the eleven-member Political Bureau (led by its chairman, dos Santos) and secondarily by the Central Committee; the party congress, the MPLA-PT's theoretical supreme body, in practice was subordinate to the other organs. In addition, reflecting the nation's precarious security situation, many serving in party and government positions were military officers.

Angola's foreign relations wavered in the 1980s. Within black Africa, Luanda's relations with other states generally were good. Those with Zaire, however, fluctuated from normal to poor because of Kinshasa's sponsorship during the 1970s of the FNLA and because of Angola's support during the same period of an anti-Mobutu armed movement. In addition, although Zaire denied aiding UNITA, most observers agreed that during the 1980s Kinshasa allowed Zairian territory to be used to support Savimbi's movement, creating another bone of contention between the two neighbors. Angola's principal antagonist in the region, however, was not Zaire but South Africa. Since its invasion of Angola in 1975 and 1976 during the war of independence, Pretoria has frequently violated Luanda's sovereignty, either in pursuit of members of the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO--a group fighting for Namibian independence) or in support of UNITA forces.

In the late 1980s, Angola's ties to the superpowers were in a state of flux. Although Luanda was closely aligned with the Soviet Union and its allies, this relationship generally was considered an outgrowth of Angola's security predicament. In economic concerns, the MPLA-PT often turned to the West, particularly in matters relating to the oil sector but also for trade and commerce and in other areas. Reportedly, the Soviet Union prodded the Angolan government into participating in the December 1988 regional accords, but in late 1989 it was uncertain how the reforms being carried out in the Soviet Union under Mikhail S. Gorbachev would affect the policies and practices of the MPLA-PT government. The other superpower, the United States, also played an important role in the accords. After their signing, however, United States president George P. Bush affirmed American support for the UNITA rebels and vowed to continue backing Savimbi's movement until the MPLA-PT and UNITA reached an accommodation.

The MPLA's independence struggle and subsequent conflict with UNITA and South Africa compelled the government to develop the People's Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (Forças Armadas Populares de Libertação de Angola -- FAPLA). Comprised of a ground force, air and air defense force, and navy, FAPLA was one of the largest and most heavily armed militaries in Africa. In 1988 experts estimated its strength at 100,000 active-duty personnel, 50,000 reservists, and many hundreds of thousands more in a variety of militias and internal security units. Bolstering this force in the late 1980s were about 50,000 Cuban troops, who provided logistical and combat support.

FAPLA was armed and trained by the Soviet Union and its allies. Its major equipment included MiG-21 and MiG-23 aircraft, T-62 and T-72 main battle tanks, and an assortment of air defense, field artillery, and naval assets. Although this arsenal and the assistance of Cuban troops and Soviet and East European advisers had prevented a UNITA victory, by 1988 Luanda had incurred an external debt estimated at almost US$4 billion, most of which was owed to Moscow for military matériel and assistance.

In late 1989, Angola's economic and political prospects appeared less bleak than they had only a year or two earlier. The economic restructuring program, together with other austerity measures, convinced the International Monetary Fund (IMF--see Glossary) to admit Angola as a member in June 1989 (over the objection of the United States). This event opened the door for greater financial assistance. Furthermore, the December 1988 regional accords, which provided for the staged withdrawal of Cuban troops, the cessation of South African support for UNITA, and the independence of Namibia, augured well for Angola's future. Observers reasoned that as the Cuban troops departed (and by mid- 1989 more than 10,000 had left), Luanda's payments to Havana for military aid would drop; with South Africa's cutoff of support to UNITA, that organization's ability to disrupt the economy would decline and perhaps push it closer to accepting a peace plan; and with independence for Namibia, the threat of South African aggression would diminish substantially. Carrying this logic one step further, reporters argued that if the peace process begun at Gbadolite in June 1989 could be revitalized and an agreement between the MPLA-PT and UNITA achieved, Angolans stood a chance of reversing the pattern of turmoil, victimization, and disappointment that had plagued the country for the previous 500 years.

October 18, 1989

                      *         *         *

A few significant events occurred in Angola after the completion of the research and writing of this manuscript. By mid- 1990 it became clear that Angola, Cuba, and South Africa, the signatories of the December 1988 regional accords, were intent on faithfully executing the provisions of the agreement. Since the signing, more than 37,000 Cuban troops had departed Angola, and the remaining 13,000 Cubans, most of whom were stationed near Luanda, were to be brought home by mid-1991. As promised, South African forces withdrew from Angolan territory, and Pretoria ceased aid to UNITA. Finally, Namibia held elections and, as planned, celebrated its independence on March 21, 1990.

These positive developments notwithstanding, most Angolans enjoyed little improvement in their quality of life, and, for many, conditions deteriorated. The primary reason for this decline was that the MPLA-PT and UNITA had failed to make much progress on the path to peace. Each side of the dispute held a different interpretation of the Gbadolite Declaration. Analysts suggested that Mobutu, the mediator of the Gbadolite talks, may have presented varying versions of the agreement to each side. In any case, warfare persisted from mid-1989 to mid-1990 as FAPLA and UNITA troops battled each other for control of the southeastern town of Mavinga. Government forces captured the town in early February 1990, but intense fighting continued in the region for several months. Following a heavy engagement, FAPLA retreated from Mavinga in early May, and UNITA reoccupied it.

In addition to the combat that raged in Angola's southeast, UNITA reportedly made inroads in the country's northwest. This success allegedly was accomplished through Zairian operational support and United States assistance. According to some sources, the Zairian government was resupplying UNITA forces there via cargo flights from Kinshasa. The United States, using this Zairian air bridge, reportedly provided UNITA with matériel and other assistance worth an estimated US$45 million to US$60 million annually. By mid-1990 UNITA forces sabotaged water facilities and electric power lines to Luanda and generally disrupted the economic life of the nation.

Despite the on-going military situation, there appeared to be some softening of political positions. In April 1990, government and UNITA representatives met in Portugal for negotiations. As a result, UNITA recognized the Angolan state with President dos Santos as its head. UNITA, however, also called for the replacement of the single-party state with a multiparty government chosen in free elections. Observers saw a coincidence of interests here because the MPLA-PT had pledged to hold elections in which nonparty candidates--including members of UNITA--could run for seats in the People's Assembly. The single-party versus multiparty issue was to be debated at the Third Party Congress, scheduled for December 1990.

Regardless of the outcome of this congress, however, observers believed that UNITA's battlefield successes might encourage Savimbi to hold out for a total military solution. With the continued United States commitment to UNITA, at the same time that Cuban troops were withdrawing and the Soviet Union's interest in supporting the MPLA-PT government was weakening, some analysts reasoned that a UNITA victory in Angola, whether on the battlefield or at the polls, was merely a question of time.

September 9, 1990
Thomas Collelo

Data as of February 1989

BackgroundAngola 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 picked up 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 made a presidential poll contingent on the drafting of a new constitution.
LocationSouthern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Namibia and Democratic Republic of the Congo
Area(sq km)total: 1,246,700 sq km
land: 1,246,700 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Geographic coordinates12 30 S, 18 30 E
Land boundaries(km)total: 5,198 km
border countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,511 km (of which 225 km is the boundary of discontiguous Cabinda Province), Republic of the Congo 201 km, Namibia 1,376 km, Zambia 1,110 km

Coastline(km)1,600 km

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

Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Morro de Moco 2,620 m
Natural resourcespetroleum, diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, copper, feldspar, gold, bauxite, uranium
Land use(%)arable land: 2.65%
permanent crops: 0.23%
other: 97.12% (2005)

Irrigated land(sq km)800 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources(cu km)184 cu km (1987)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)total: 0.35 cu km/yr (23%/17%/60%)
per capita: 22 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazardslocally heavy rainfall causes periodic flooding on the plateau
Environment - current issuesoveruse 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 agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notethe province of Cabinda is an exclave, separated from the rest of the country by the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Population12,799,293 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure(%)0-14 years: 43.5% (male 2,812,359/female 2,759,047)
15-64 years: 53.7% (male 3,496,726/female 3,382,440)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 153,678/female 195,043) (2009 est.)
Median age(years)total: 18 years
male: 18 years
female: 18 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate(%)2.095% (2009 est.)
Birth rate(births/1,000 population)43.69 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)24.08 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)1.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Urbanization(%)urban population: 57% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 4.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio(male(s)/female)at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate(deaths/1,000 live births)total: 180.21 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 192.24 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 167.58 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth(years)total population: 38.2 years
male: 37.24 years
female: 39.22 years (2009 est.)

Total fertility rate(children born/woman)6.12 children born/woman (2009 est.)
Nationalitynoun: 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

Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Angola
conventional short form: Angola
local long form: Republica de Angola
local short form: Angola
former: People's Republic of Angola
Government typerepublic; multiparty presidential regime
Capitalname: Luanda
geographic coordinates: 8 50 S, 13 14 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions18 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Bengo, Benguela, Bie, Cabinda, Cuando Cubango, Cuanza Norte, Cuanza Sul, Cunene, Huambo, Huila, Luanda, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Malanje, Moxico, Namibe, Uige, Zaire
Constitutionadopted by People's Assembly 25 August 1992

Legal systembased on Portuguese civil law system and customary law; modified to accommodate political pluralism and increased use of free markets; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS (since 21 September 1979); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS (since 21 September 1979); Antonio Paulo KASSOMA was named prime minister by MPLA on 26 September 2008
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by universal ballot for a five-year term (eligible for a second consecutive or discontinuous term) under the 1992 constitution; President DOS SANTOS was selected by the party to take over after the death of former President Augustino NETO(1979) under a one-party system and stood for reelection in Angola's first multiparty elections 29-30 September 1992 (next were to be held in September 2009 but have been postponed)
election results: Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS 49.6%, Jonas SAVIMBI 40.1%, making a run-off election necessary; the run-off was never held leaving DOS SANTOS in his current position as the president

Legislative branchunicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional (220 seats; members elected by proportional vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 5-6 September 2008 (next to be held in September 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - MPLA 81.6%, UNITA 10.4%, PRS 3.2%, ND 1.2%, FNLA 1.1%, other 2.5%; seats by party - MPLA 191, UNITA 16, PRS 8, FNLA 3, ND 2

Judicial branchSupreme Court and separate provincial courts (judges are appointed by the president)

Political pressure groups and leadersFront for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda or FLEC [N'zita Henriques TIAGO, Antonio Bento BEMBE]
note: FLEC's small-scale armed struggle for the independence of Cabinda Province persists despite the signing of a peace accord with the government in August 2006
International organization participationACP, AfDB, AU, CPLP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OPEC, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Flag descriptiontwo equal horizontal bands of red (top) and black with a centered yellow emblem consisting of a five-pointed star within half a cogwheel crossed by a machete (in the style of a hammer and sickle); red represents liberty, black the African continent, the symbols characterize workers and peasants

Economy - overviewAngola's high growth rate is driven by its oil sector, which has taken advantage of high international oil prices. Oil production and its supporting activities contribute about 85% of GDP. Increased oil production supported growth averaging more than 15% per year from 2004 to 2007. A postwar reconstruction boom and resettlement of displaced persons has led to high rates of growth in construction and agriculture as well. Much of the country's infrastructure is still damaged or undeveloped from the 27-year-long civil war. Remnants of the conflict such as widespread land mines still mar the countryside even though an apparently durable peace was established after the death of rebel leader Jonas SAVIMBI in February 2002. Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for most of the people, but half of the country's food must still be imported. In 2005, the government started using a $2 billion line of credit, since increased to $7 billion, from China to rebuild Angola's public infrastructure, and several large-scale projects were completed in 2006. Angola also has large credit lines from Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Spain, and the EU. The central bank in 2003 implemented an exchange rate stabilization program using foreign exchange reserves to buy kwanzas out of circulation. This policy became more sustainable in 2005 because of strong oil export earnings; it has significantly reduced inflation. Although consumer inflation declined from 325% in 2000 to under 13% in 2008, the stabilization policy has put pressure on international net liquidity. Angola became a member of OPEC in late 2006 and in late 2007 was assigned a production quota of 1.9 million barrels a day, somewhat less than the 2-2.5 million bbl Angola's government had wanted. To fully take advantage of its rich national resources - gold, diamonds, extensive forests, Atlantic fisheries, and large oil deposits - Angola will need to implement government reforms, increase transparency, and reduce corruption. The government has rejected a formal IMF monitored program, although it continues Article IV consultations and ad hoc cooperation. Corruption, especially in the extractive sectors, and the negative effects of large inflows of foreign exchange, are major challenges facing Angola.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$112.8 billion (2008 est.)
$100.5 billion (2007 est.)
$82.94 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$84.95 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate(%)12.3% (2008 est.)
21.1% (2007 est.)
18.6% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$9,000 (2008 est.)
$8,200 (2007 est.)
$6,900 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 9.2%
industry: 65.8%
services: 24.6% (2008 est.)
Labor force7.569 million (2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture: 85%
industry and services: 15% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate(%)NA
Population below poverty line(%)40.5% (2006 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share(%)lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Investment (gross fixed)(% of GDP)9% of GDP (2008 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $28.99 billion
expenditures: $21.44 billion (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)12.5% (2008 est.)
12.2% (2007 est.)

Stock of money$8.446 billion (31 December 2008)
$4.153 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money$10.41 billion (31 December 2008)
$7.216 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit$7.893 billion (31 December 2008)
$1.166 billion (31 December 2007)
Economic aid - recipient$441.8 million (2005)

Public debt(% of GDP)15.5% of GDP (2008 est.)
12% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - productsbananas, sugarcane, coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, manioc (tapioca), tobacco, vegetables, plantains; livestock; forest products; fish
Industriespetroleum; diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, feldspar, bauxite, uranium, and gold; cement; basic metal products; fish processing; food processing, brewing, tobacco products, sugar; textiles; ship repair

Industrial production growth rate(%)14.3% (2008 est.)

Current account balance$17.11 billion (2008 est.)
$9.402 billion (2007 est.)
Exports$66.3 billion (2008 est.)
$44.4 billion (2007 est.)

Exports - commodities(%)crude oil, diamonds, refined petroleum products, coffee, sisal, fish and fish products, timber, cotton
Exports - partners(%)China 33%, US 28.7%, France 6%, South Africa 4.6%, Canada 4.1% (2008)
Imports$17.08 billion (2008 est.)
$13.66 billion (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities(%)machinery and electrical equipment, vehicles and spare parts; medicines, food, textiles, military goods
Imports - partners(%)Portugal 17.6%, China 15.7%, US 11.3%, Brazil 7.6%, South Korea 6.8%, South Africa 4.8% (2008)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$18.36 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$11.2 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external$14.09 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$8.357 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$16.36 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$14.51 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$2.477 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Exchange rateskwanza (AOA) per US dollar - 75.023 (2008 est.), 76.6 (2007), 80.4 (2006), 88.6 (2005), 83.541 (2004)

Currency (code)kwanza (AOA)

Telephones - main lines in use114,300 (2008)
Telephones - mobile cellular6.773 million (2008)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: system inadequate; fewer than one fixed-line per 100 persons; combined fixed line and mobile telephone density exceeded 50 telephones per 100 persons in 2008
domestic: state-owned telecom had monopoly for fixed-lines until 2005; demand outstripped capacity, prices were high, and services poor; Telecom Namibia, through an Angolan company, became the first private licensed operator in Angola's fixed-line telephone network; Angola Telecom established mobile-cellular service in Luanda in 1993 and the network has been extended to larger towns; a privately-owned, mobile-cellular service provider began operations in 2001
international: country code - 244; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; satellite earth stations - 29 (2008)
Internet country code.ao
Internet users550,000 (2008)
Airports192 (2009)
Pipelines(km)gas 2 km; oil 87 km (2008)
Roadways(km)total: 51,429 km
paved: 5,349 km
unpaved: 46,080 km (2001)

Ports and terminalsCabinda, Lobito, Luanda, Namibe
Military branchesAngolan Armed Forces (FAA): Army, Navy (Marinha de Guerra Angola, MGA), Angolan National Air Force (Forca Aerea Nacional Angolana, FANA) (2009)
Military service age and obligation(years of age)22-24 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 2 years; Angolan citizenship required (2009)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 16-49: 2,856,492
females age 16-49: 2,755,864 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 1,467,833
females age 16-49: 1,411,468 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 146,738
female: 143,478 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures(% of GDP)5.7% of GDP (2006)
Disputes - internationalCabindan separatists continue to return to the Angolan exclave from exile in neighboring states and Europe since the 2006 ceasefire and peace agreement

Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 12,615 (Democratic Republic of Congo)
IDPs: 61,700 (27-year civil war ending in 2002; 4 million IDPs already have returned) (2007)
Electricity - production(kWh)3.722 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 36.4%
hydro: 63.6%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption(kWh)3.173 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - exports(kWh)0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports(kWh)0 kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production(bbl/day)2.015 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - consumption(bbl/day)64,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - exports(bbl/day)1.407 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - imports(bbl/day)28,090 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - proved reserves(bbl)9.04 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
Natural gas - production(cu m)680 million cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - consumption(cu m)680 million cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - exports(cu m)0 cu m (2008)
Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)269.8 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)2.1% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS190,000 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths11,000 (2007 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2009)
Literacy(%)definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 67.4%
male: 82.9%
female: 54.2% (2001 est.)

Education expenditures(% of GDP)2.4% of GDP (2005)

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