+244 is the dialing code for Angola.
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.
- Abbreviationfinder: 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 north.
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.
|Cultivated land||47.3 %|
|Land area||1246700 km 2|
Population and health
|Population development||2.78 m|
|Urban population (Urbanization)||44 %|
|Death rate||11.49 per 1000 residents|
|Life expectancy: Women||56.84 years|
|Life expectancy: Men||54.49 years|
|Birth rate||38.78 births per 1000 residents|
|Infant mortality||78.26 deaths / 1000 births|
Population Graph Source: Countryaah.com
|Electricity, production||5475 million kWh|
|Energy consumption per resident||629 kg. oil per resident|
|Natural gas, production||925 million cubic meters|
|Crude oil, production||89 million tons|
|Internet users||19.4 per 100 residents|
|Mobile subscriptions||74 per 100 residents|
|Passenger cars||38 per 1000 residents|
Business and economics
|Unemployment||% of the workforce|
|GDP||7300 per resident|
|Primary occupations||85 %|
|Secondary profession||7.5 %|
|Tertiary professions||7.5 %|
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
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 José 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 the government.
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 week.
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.