The oil-rich Angola in southwestern Africa
became independent from Portugal in 1975. The country
still suffers from the suites after a 27-year-long and
bloody civil war, which was interfered with by the great
powers and ended only in 2002. Admittedly, the large oil
resources have enabled rapid growth since then but this
has mainly benefited a small elite, while the vast
majority of Angolans are still living in deep poverty.
Brief profiles of Angola, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Angola on the southwestern coast of Africa is
almost three times the surface area of Sweden.
Geographically, the country can be divided into four
regions: plains on the Atlantic coast, savanna on the
high plateau in the middle of the country, steppe
deserts in the south and tropical rainforests in the
On the 4 to 16 km wide coastal plain grows grass,
shrubs and cactus-like species, but only single trees.
The high plateau at about 1,000 meters above sea level
covers more than two thirds of the country. The
landscape here consists of savannah with tall grass and
small scattered groves. Mountain formations with peaks
exceeding 2,000 meters run between the plain and the
high plateau. At its highest is the mountain of Moco in
Huambo Province with 2,620 meters above sea level. To
the south, the savannah is replaced by a sandy grassy
slope that passes into the Kalahari Desert.
The rainforest in the north is sparse, but has a
dense and difficult to penetrate undergrowth of shrubs
and rough grass. The Cabinda province in the far north
is separated from the rest of Angola by the mouth of the
Congo River and a small coastal strip of Congo-Kinshasa.
The landscape here is dominated by rainforest.
In Angola there are no major lakes, but several large
and long rivers. Some flow towards the Congo River in
the north and the Zambezi River in the southeast. Part
of the upper course of the Zambezi River passes through
eastern Angola. The Cunene River partly follows the
border between Angola and Namibia in the south. The
Cubango River runs along the eastern boundary,
culminating in the name of Okavango in Lake Ngami in
Botswana. Only the Kwanza River can be used as a
transport route, but all rivers are important for
hydropower, irrigation and fishing.
Angola is located in the tropical zone, but the
climate varies greatly with the height above the sea.
The country has two seasons: a dry and cooler from June
to October and a humid and warm from October to May.
The cold northern Benguela current in the southern
Atlantic affects the rainfall in the south and along the
coast to Luanda, making the climate dry or semi-arid.
The central plateau has a temperate climate, but along
the Kwanza River, in the northwest/northeast and in the
eastern and southern provinces, temperatures are high.
In the north, including the province of Cabinda, heavy
rains often fall, especially in April. Western and
southwesterly winds dominate.
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY
1,246,700 km2 (2018)
Swedish (daylight saving time -1 hour)
Adjacent country (s)
Namibia, Zambia, Congo-Kinshasa, Congo-Brazzaville
(towards Cabinda Province)
Capital with number of residents
Luanda 6,400,000 (census 2014)
Other major cities
Lubango 732,000, Huambo 666,000, Cabinda 598,000,
Benguela 513,000 (Census 2014)
Moco (2,620 m asl)
The president's daughter is approved as oil manager
The Supreme Court approves the appointment of
President's daughter Isabel dos Santos to head the state
oil company Sonangol. The appointment (see June)
had been appealed by twelve lawyers who claimed that it
is prohibited by state personnel to appoint family
members to public office. The lawyers intend to proceed
to the Constitutional Court.
Young prisoners are released
The seventeen youth who were sentenced in March to
"rebellion against President dos Santos" are pardoned.
The authorities are applying an amnesty law that was
adopted in July. The law makes it possible to pardon
people sentenced to less than 12 years in prison for
crimes that are not related to violence.
The president is re-elected as party leader
President Josť Eduardo dos Santos is re-elected MPLA
chairman at the ruling party's congress. He has no
counter-candidates. In March, dos Santos promised to
resign in 2018, but the re-election is now believed to
mean he is still running for the upcoming election.
New media law riot
12th of August
Parliament adopts a new media law which, among other
things, forces all radio and television channels to
broadcast live all official speeches held by President
dos Santos. The law also requires that all new media
must have a capital of at least equivalent to
approximately SEK 14 million in order to obtain a
license. The Angolan Journalists Association says that
the compulsion to broadcast the president's speech live
is a way to scare the media into bending politically for
Fighting in Cabinda requires life
New battles erupt in the oil-rich province of Cabinda.
According to the Flec separatist guerilla, 17 army
soldiers are killed. The army admits losses but does not
specify a number.
Angola cancels IMF calls
The Angolan government decides to suspend the loan
negotiations with the IMF, which began in April. No
explanation is given, but an IMF spokesman says it may
be because the oil price has recently risen again.
The president's daughter becomes oil chief
President dos Santos appoints his daughter Isabel as
chairman of the board of state oil company Sonangol,
Isabel dos Santos is considered to be Africa's richest
woman with an estimated wealth of more than SEK 25
billion. She has great interests in a mobile operator,
two banks and a number of Portuguese companies. Critics
say she was able to build her wealth through the support
of her father, who has ruled Angola for 35 years. The
board position in Sonangol is also considered to be able
to give her a platform into politics.
Yellow fever kills hundreds
An epidemic of yellow fever has taken 301 lives in
Angola since the end of 2015, says WHO. Vaccination
campaigns are ongoing in three provinces, but the
Angolan health care system is poorly developed and there
is a shortage of vaccines.
Human rights activist is freed
The Supreme Court acquits leading human rights
activist Marcos Mavungo who in 2015 was sentenced to six
years in prison for planning a government-hostile
protest in Cabinda province. The court rejects all
charges and Mavungo is immediately released.
Pray for help from the IMF
The government is asking the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) for support since the fall in oil prices has
put the country in economic crisis. The IMF says that
negotiations on a three-year aid plan can start next
The government hacked
About 20 internet sites for various government
agencies crash after being exposed to so-called hacking
attacks. The Portuguese branch of the hackers collective
Anonymous says on its Facebook page that it is behind
the attacks as revenge for the imprisonment of the 17
youths. Amnesty International also criticizes the harsh
judges and accuses the authorities of using the
judiciary to silence dissenting opinions.
Young people are sentenced to prison
The seventeen youths arrested in June 2015 are
sentenced to prison between 2 and 8.5 years for
"rebellion against President dos Santos". The renowned
rapper, Luaty Beirao, is sentenced to 5.5 years.
International human rights organizations condemn the
trial and call it a parody of justice. The juvenile
lawyer announces that the judges will be appealed.
Violence in Cabinda
An outbreak group from the separatist group Flec in
Cabinda province claims to have carried out three
attacks against the country's army and killed 30
soldiers. The group advises all foreigners to leave
Cabinda and warns tourists to get there.
Angola's finance minister Armando Manuel announces
that the government will cut its spending by 20 percent
during the financial year 2016. Further cuts may come
this summer. The reason is the country's falling income
as a result of the fall in oil prices.
Dos Santos promises to step down
11th of March
President dos Santos announces plans to leave
politics in 2018, but political analysts note that this
is not the first time that dos Santos has announced his
departure. He has previously said on two occasions that
he intends to resign without taking any action.