Angola

 

Angola 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 UNITA renewed fighting after being beaten by the MPLA at the polls.

 

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 has announced legislative elections will be held in September 2008, with presidential elections planned for some time in 2009.

 

Geography:
Location: Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Namibia and Democratic Republic of the Congo
Geographic coordinates: 12 30 S, 18 30 E
People:
Population: 18,056,072 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 43.2% (male 2,910,981/female 2,856,527)

15-64 years: 54.1% (male 3,663,400/female 3,549,896)

65 years and over: 2.7% (male 157,778/female 199,959) (2011 est.)

Median age: total: 17.7 years

male: 17.5 years

female: 17.9 years (2012 est.)

Government:
Country name: conventional 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 type: republic; multiparty presidential regime
Capital: name: Luanda

geographic coordinates: 8 50 S, 13 14 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Communications:
Telephones – main lines in use: 303,200 (2011)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 9.491 million (2011)
Transportation:
Airports: 176 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 30

over 3,047 m: 6

2,438 to 3,047 m: 8

1,524 to 2,437 m: 12

914 to 1,523 m: 4(2012)

Military:
Military branches: Angolan Armed Forces (FAA): Army, Navy (Marinha de Guerra, MdG), Angolan National Air Force (FANA) (2011)
Military service age and obligation: 20-45 years of age for compulsory male and 18-45 years for voluntary male military service (registration at age 18 is mandatory); conscript service obligation – 2 years; 20-45 years of age for voluntary female service; Angolan citizenship required; the Marinha de Guerra Angola (Navy, MgA) is entirely staffed with volunteers (2012)

Economy:

Angola’s high growth rate is driven by its oil sector, with record oil prices and rising petroleum production. 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 2007, 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.

Transnational Issues:

Disputes – international: many Cabindian separatists have returned to the province from exile since the 2006 ceasefire and peace agreement; concerns from international experts and local populations over the Okavango Delta ecology in Botswana and human displacement scuttled Namibian plans to construct a hydroelectric dam at Popavalle (Popa Falls) along the Angola-Namibia border
Refugees and internally displaced persons:  

refugees (country of origin): 13,648 (Democratic Republic of Congo)

IDPs: 19,500 (27-year civil war ending in 2002) (2005)

Illicit drugs:  

used as a transhipment point for cocaine destined for Western Europe and other African states, particularly South Africa