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
Official Name: Republic of Angola
Date of Formation: 1975
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