Angola

Angola

Located in southwest Africa, Angola suffered a civil war following independence from Portugal in 1975, until a 2002 peace deal. Hundreds of thousands of people died.

 Geography: Most of the land is hilly and grass-covered. Desert in the south. Mountains in the center and north.

 Climate: Varies from temperate to tropical. Rainfall decreases north to south. Coast is cooler and dry.

 People and Society: Civil war pitched the ruling Kimbundu-dominated MPLA against UNITA, representing the Ovimbundu. Multiparty elections in 1991–1992, after the MPLA had abandoned Marxism, failed to stall the war for long. Power-sharing from 2002 ended when the MPLA won the 2008 election; a presidential poll has yet to be held.

 The Economy: Potentially one of Africa’s richest countries, but long civil war hampered economic development. Oil and diamonds are exported.

 Insight: Angola has the greatest number of amputees (caused by landmines) in the world

 Fact-File:

 Official Name: Republic of Angola

 Date of Formation: 1975

 Capital: Luanda

 Population: 18.5 million

 Total Area: 481,351 sq. miles (1,246,700 sq. km)

 Density: 38 people per sq. mile

 Languages: Portuguese*, Umbundu, Kimbundu, Kikongo

 Religions: Roman Catholic 50%, other 30%, Protestant 20%

 Ethnic Mix: Ovimbundu 37%, other 25%, Kimbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%

 Government: Presidential system

 Currency: Readjusted kwanza = 100 lwei

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