Angolan, adj., n.
/ang goh"leuh/, n.
a republic in SW Africa: formerly an overseas province of Portugal; gained independence Nov. 11, 1975. 10,623,994; 481,226 sq. mi. (1,246,375 sq. km). Cap.: Luanda. Formerly, Portuguese West Africa.

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Introduction Angola -
Background: Civil war has been the norm in Angola since independence from Portugal in 1975. A 1994 peace accord between the government and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) provided for the integration of former UNITA insurgents into the government and armed forces. A national unity government was installed in April of 1997, but serious fighting resumed in late 1998, rendering hundreds of thousands of people homeless. Up to 1.5 million lives may have been lost in fighting over the past quarter century. The death of Jonas SAVIMBI and a cease fire with UNITA may bode well for the country. Geography Angola
Location: Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Namibia and Democratic Republic of the Congo
Geographic coordinates: 12 30 S, 18 30 E
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 1,246,700 sq km water: 0 sq km land: 1,246,700 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly less than twice the size of Texas
Land boundaries: total: 5,198 km border countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,511 km (of which 225 km is the boundary of discontiguous Cabinda Province), Republic of the Congo 201 km, Namibia 1,376 km, Zambia 1,110 km
Coastline: 1,600 km
Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 24 NM exclusive economic zone: 200 NM territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate: semiarid in south and along coast to Luanda; north has cool, dry season (May to October) and hot, rainy season (November to April)
Terrain: narrow coastal plain rises abruptly to vast interior plateau
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point: Morro de Moco 2,620 m
Natural resources: petroleum, diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, copper, feldspar, gold, bauxite, uranium
Land use: arable land: 2.41% permanent crops: 0.4% other: 97.19% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 750 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: locally heavy rainfall causes periodic flooding on the plateau Environment - current issues: overuse of pastures and subsequent soil erosion attributable to population pressures; desertification; deforestation of tropical rain forest, in response to both international demand for tropical timber and to domestic use as fuel, resulting in loss of biodiversity; soil erosion contributing to water pollution and siltation of rivers and dams; inadequate supplies of potable water Environment - international party to: Biodiversity, Climate
agreements: Change, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: Cabinda is separated from rest of country by the Democratic Republic of the Congo People Angola -
Population: 10,593,171 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 43.3% (male 2,318,326; female 2,272,726) 15-64 years: 53.9% (male 2,904,595; female 2,806,430) 65 years and over: 2.8% (male 131,316; female 159,778) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.18% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 46.18 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate: 24.35 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/ female total population: 1.02 male(s)/ female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 191.66 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 38.87 years female: 40.18 years (2002 est.) male: 37.62 years
Total fertility rate: 6.43 children born/woman (2002 est.) HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 2.78% (1999 est.) HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 160,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 15,000 (1999 est.)
Nationality: noun: Angolan(s) adjective: Angolan
Ethnic groups: Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, mestico (mixed European and Native African) 2%, European 1%, other 22%
Religions: indigenous beliefs 47%, Roman Catholic 38%, Protestant 15% (1998 est.)
Languages: Portuguese (official), Bantu and other African languages
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 42% male: 56% female: 28% (1998 est.) Government Angola -
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Angola conventional short form: Angola local short form: Angola former: People's Republic of Angola local long form: Republica de Angola
Government type: republic, nominally a multiparty democracy with a strong presidential system
Capital: Luanda Administrative divisions: 18 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Bengo, Benguela, Bie, Cabinda, Cuando Cubango, Cuanza Norte, Cuanza Sul, Cunene, Huambo, Huila, Luanda, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Malanje, Moxico, Namibe, Uige, Zaire
Independence: 11 November 1975 (from Portugal)
National holiday: Independence Day, 11 November (1975)
Constitution: 11 November 1975; revised 7 January 1978, 11 August 1980, 6 March 1991, and 26 August 1992
Legal system: based on Portuguese civil law system and customary law; recently modified to accommodate political pluralism and increased use of free markets
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS (since 21 September 1979); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government head of government: President Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS (since 21 September 1979); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president elections: president elected by universal ballot for a NA-year term; President DOS SANTOS originally elected (in 1979) without opposition under a one-party system and stood for reelection in Angola's first multiparty elections 29-30 September 1992 (next to be held NA) election results: DOS SANTOS 49.6%, Jonas SAVIMBI 40.1%, making a run- off election necessary; the run-off was not held and SAVIMBI's National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) repudiated the results of the first election; the civil war resumed
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional (220 seats; members elected by proportional vote to serve four-year terms) elections: last held 29-30 September 1992 (next to be held NA) election results: percent of vote by party - MPLA 54%, UNITA 34%, others 12%; seats by party - MPLA 129, UNITA 70, PRS 6, FNLA 5, PLD 3, others 7
Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Tribunal da Relacao (judges are appointed by the president) Political parties and leaders: Liberal Democratic Party or PLD [Analia de Victoria PEREIRA]; National Front for the Liberation of Angola or FNLA [disputed leadership: Lucas NGONDA, Holden ROBERTO]; National Union for the Total Independence of Angola or UNITA [Jonas SAVIMBI], largest opposition party has engaged in years of armed resistance; Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola or MPLA [Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS], ruling party in power since 1975; Social Renewal Party or PRS [disputed leadership: Eduardo KUANGANA, Antonio MUACHICUNGO]; UNITA-Renovada [Eugenio NGOLO "Manuvakola"] note: about a dozen minor parties participated in the 1992 elections but only won a few seats and have little influence in the National Assembly Political pressure groups and Front for the Liberation of the
leaders: Enclave of Cabinda or FLEC [N'zita Henriques TIAGO; Antonio Bento BEMBE] note: FLEC is waging a small-scale, highly factionalized, armed struggle for the independence of Cabinda Province International organization ACP, AfDB, CCC, CEEAC, ECA, FAO, G-
participation: 77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, NAM, OAS (observer), OAU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Josefina Perpetua Pitra DIAKIDI FAX: [1] (202) 785-1258 consulate(s) general: New York telephone: [1] (202) 785-1156 chancery: 2100 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador
US: Christopher William DELL embassy: number 32 Rua Houari Boumeddienne, Luanda mailing address: international mail: Caixa Postal 6468, Luanda; pouch: American Embassy Luanda, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2550 telephone: [244] (2) 445-481, 447- 028, 446-224, 445-727 FAX: [244] (2) 446-924
Flag description: two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and black with a centered yellow emblem consisting of a five- pointed star within half a cogwheel crossed by a machete (in the style of a hammer and sickle) Economy Angola
Economy - overview: Angola is an economy in disarray because of a quarter century of nearly continuous warfare. Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for 85% of the population. Oil production and the supporting activities are vital to the economy, contributing about 45% to GDP and 90% of exports. Violence continues, millions of land mines remain, and many farmers are reluctant to return to their fields. As a result, much of the country's food must still be imported. To fully take advantage of its rich natural resources - gold, diamonds, extensive forests, Atlantic fisheries, and large oil deposits - Angola will need to end its conflict and continue reforming government policies. Internal strife discourages investment outside of the petroleum sector, which is producing roughly 800,000 barrels of oil per day. While Angola made progress in bringing inflation down further, from over 300% in 2000 to about 110% in 2001, the government has failed to make sufficient progress on reforms recommended by the IMF, such as increasing foreign exchange reserves and promoting greater transparency in government spending. Angola's GDP could be among the world's fastest growing in 2002 if oil production from the Girassol field, which began production in December 2001, reaches 200,000 barrels per day as expected.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $13.3 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5.4% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,330 (2001 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 6% industry: 70% services: 24% (2000 est.) Population below poverty line: NA% Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: NA%
percentage share: highest 10%: NA% Inflation rate (consumer prices): 110% (2001 est.)
Labor force: 5 million (1997 est.) Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 85%, industry and services 15% (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate: extensive unemployment and underemployment affecting more than half the population (2001 est.)
Budget: revenues: $928 million expenditures: $2.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $963 million (1992 est.)
Industries: petroleum; diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, feldspar, bauxite, uranium, and gold; cement; basic metal products; fish processing; food processing; brewing; tobacco products; sugar; textiles Industrial production growth rate: NA% Electricity - production: 1.19 billion kWh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 40.34% hydro: 59.66% other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0% Electricity - consumption: 1.107 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: bananas, sugarcane, coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, manioc (tapioca), tobacco, vegetables, plantains; livestock; forest products; fish
Exports: $7 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Exports - commodities: crude oil 90%, diamonds, refined petroleum products, gas, coffee, sisal, fish and fish products, timber, cotton
Exports - partners: US 44.5%, EU 17.3%, China 22.7%, South Korea 8.1% (2000)
Imports: $2.7 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and electrical equipment, vehicles and spare parts; medicines, food, textiles, military goods
Imports - partners: EU 47.4%, South Korea 16%, South Africa 15.9%, US 11.3%, Brazil 5.5% (2000)
Debt - external: $10.4 billion (2001 est.) Economic aid - recipient: $383.5 million (1999)
Currency: kwanza (AOA)
Currency code: AOA
Exchange rates: kwanza per US dollar - 32.8716 (January 2002), 22.058 (2001), 10.041 (2000), 2.791 (1999), 0.393 (1998), 0.229 (1997); note - in December 1999 the kwanza was revalued with six zeroes dropped off the old value
Fiscal year: calendar year Communications Angola - Telephones - main lines in use: 69,700 (1997) Telephones - mobile cellular: 25,800 (2000)
Telephone system: general assessment: telephone service limited mostly to government and business use; HF radiotelephone used extensively for military links domestic: limited system of wire, microwave radio relay, and tropospheric scatter international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) Radio broadcast stations: AM 36, FM 7, shortwave 9 (2000)
Radios: 815,000 (2000) Television broadcast stations: 7 (2000)
Televisions: 196,000 (2000)
Internet country code: .ao Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)
Internet users: 30,000 (2001) Transportation Angola -
Railways: total: 2,771 km (inland, much of the track is unusable because of land mines still in place from the civil war) narrow gauge: 2,648 km 1.067- m gauge; 123 km 0.600-m gauge (2000 est.)
Highways: total: 76,626 km paved: 19,156 km unpaved: 57,470 km (1997)
Waterways: 1,295 km
Pipelines: crude oil 179 km
Ports and harbors: Ambriz, Cabinda, Lobito, Luanda, Malongo, Mocamedes, Namibe, Porto Amboim, Soyo
Merchant marine: total: 9 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 39,305 GRT/63,528 DWT ships by type: cargo 8, petroleum tanker 1 (2002 est.)
Airports: 244 (2001) Airports - with paved runways: total: 32 over 3,047 m: 4 2,438 to 3,047 m: 8 1,524 to 2,437 m: 13 914 to 1,523 m: 6 under 914 m: 1 (2001) Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 212 over 3,047 m: 2 2,438 to 3,047 m: 5 1,524 to 2,437 m: 30 914 to 1,523 m: 95 under 914 m: 80 (2001) Military Angola -
Military branches: Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces, National Police Force Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age (2002 est.) Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 2,532,469 (2002 est.) Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 1,272,509 (2002
service: est.) Military manpower - reaching military males: 103,807 (2002 est.)
age annually: Military expenditures - dollar $1.2 billion (FY97)
figure: Military expenditures - percent of 22% (1999)
GDP: Transnational Issues Angola - Disputes - international: none
Illicit drugs: used as a transshipment point for cocaine destined for Western Europe and other African states

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officially Republic of Angola formerly Portuguese West Africa

Country, southern Africa.

Its northernmost section of coastland, the Cabinda exclave, is separated from Angola proper by a narrow corridor of Congo territory. Area: 481,354 sq mi (1,246,700 sq km). Population (2002 est.): 10,593,000. Capital: Luanda. The population is made up of mostly Bantu-speaking peoples; the main ethnic groups are the Ovimbundu and the Mbundu, while the Khoisan-speaking San (Bushmen) inhabit southeastern Angola. Languages: Portuguese (official), indigenous languages. Religions: Christianity (Roman Catholicism, Protestantism), traditional beliefs. Currency: kwanza. The country contains several plateau regions, which separate it into three distinct drainage systems. One in the northeast drains into the Congo River basin; another in the southeastern sector drains into the Zambezi system; the remaining drainage, westward into the Atlantic, provides most of Angola's hydroelectric power. About 40% of the land area is forest; less than 10% is arable. Despite substantial petroleum reserves, Angola's economy has been unable to take advantage of its resources because of the devastation caused by its protracted civil war. It is nominally a republic with one legislative house; its head of state and government is the president. An influx of Bantu-speaking peoples in the 1st millennium AD led to their dominance in the area by с 1500. The most important Bantu kingdom was the Kongo; south of the Kongo was the Ndongo kingdom of the Mbundu people. Portuguese explorers arrived in 1483 and over time gradually extended their rule. Angola's frontiers were largely determined with other European powers in the 19th century but not without strong resistance by the indigenous peoples. Its status as a Portuguese colony was changed to that of an overseas province in 1951. Resistance to colonial rule led to the outbreak of fighting in 1961, which led ultimately to independence in 1975. Rival factions continued fighting after independence. Although a peace accord was reached in 1994, forces led by Jonas M. Savimbi continued to resist government control until his death in 2002, after which a peace accord was signed.

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▪ 2009

1,246,700 sq km (481,354 sq mi)
(2008 est.): 12,531,000
Chief of state and head of government:
President José Eduardo dos Santos, assisted by Prime Ministers Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos and, from September 30, António Paulo Kassoma

      Angola's general election, which was held on Sept. 5–6, 2008, was the first since 1992 and secured the position of the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which claimed victory in a landslide, with over 80% of the vote; the second-place finisher, the opposition National Union for the Total Independence of Angola ( UNITA), won a meagre 10%. Although UNITA initially called for a rerun of the balloting following administration confusion in Luanda, its leader eventually conceded victory to the MPLA and declared the vote a victory for democracy.

      Earlier in the year, in January, heavy rains caused severe flooding in the south, where 10,000 people were forced to seek temporary accommodation. This tragedy was accompanied by better news that same month—the discovery of another extensive offshore oil field, which boosted Angola's prospects of remaining among the world's top 10 fastest-growing economies, a status that was reflected in the efforts of a number of countries to establish closer relations. In April alone leading government figures from Vietnam, Singapore, South Africa, Benin, Spain, and the Czech Republic visited Luanda intent upon promoting cooperation with Angola in the fields of science, technology, education, and economics.

      In March the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights commended the government's efforts to consolidate democracy but was forced to close its office in Luanda in May owing to a lack of cooperation from the government. As an earnest of the government's efforts to assist recovery from the civil war, the social welfare minister claimed in April that 410,000 of the 465,000 Angolan nationals who had been driven out of the country by the conflict had now returned home, while nearly 4 million of the 4.2 million internally displaced persons had also been reinstated. These figures were challenged by the growing disquiet in Luanda, where thousands of displaced persons—most of them agriculturalists who were unable to find employment in an urban setting—remained in shantytowns bordering the capital. There was also considerable success in clearing the countryside of land mines.

      The wealth accrued from sales of oil remained in the hands of a small number of people and had not brought noticeable benefit to the population as a whole. Countrywide, unemployment remained extremely high, and the foreign minister felt it necessary in April to attempt to justify the heavy involvement of Chinese construction companies and Chinese labour in the reconstruction made necessary by the civil war. China, he said, was Angola's biggest trading partner and offered the cheapest high-level technology available. Nevertheless, in July the government decided that foreign workers would be employed in the oil industry only when no qualified Angolan was available. In the same month, a countrywide campaign was also launched—the third of the year—to vaccinate children against poliomyelitis; the infant mortality rate from all causes remained high, at more than 18%.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2008

1,246,700 sq km (481,354 sq mi)
(2007 est.): 12,264,000
Chief of state and head of government:
President José Eduardo dos Santos, assisted by Prime Minister Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos

      Despite heavy rainfall in January that caused widespread flooding and food shortages in the region around the capital, Angola made significant advances on a number of fronts in 2007, owing mainly to its status as the second largest producer of crude oil in Africa south of the Sahara. On January 1 the country became the 12th full member of OPEC. Angola, already China's largest supplier of crude oil, began negotiating deals with Russia. The Angolan government was eager, however, to encourage Angolan companies and individuals to become directly involved in the petroleum industry, in addition to supplying overseas companies with local produce and services. Hitherto, little of the wealth accrued from that industry had reached the vast majority of the population.

      Further international recognition of Angola's achievements followed in May with the country's election as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, and in June an Angolan delegation took part in a meeting of member countries of the Zone of Peace and Cooperation of the South Atlantic. The Angolan government established extensive links with neighbouring countries and played an active role in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), assuming the presidency in August of the SADC's politics, defense, and security committee.

      In June it was agreed at a meeting in Luanda that military relations with South Africa would be strengthened, while South Africa's ambassador to Angola announced that his country intended to increase trade with Luanda. July and August were months of intensive diplomatic activity. An Angolan delegation to Harare exchanged plans with its Zimbabwean counterparts for improving tourism, and representatives of Angola and Namibia agreed to synchronize their campaigns against polio. Those two countries, together with Botswana, also discussed means of improving telecommunications. Discussions to promote cooperation in a range of activities also took place with Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mozambique, and Algeria. In July the visit to Angola of Pres. Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo facilitated discussions about ways to avoid disputes over the two countries' common border and to strengthen ties of friendship.

      During July 25–27 the second stage of a nationwide campaign against polio took place, and hundreds of thousands of children were immunized in provinces as far apart as Cabinda, Huambo, and Cunene. Improvement of the country's infrastructure remained a priority, and provision was made for road improvements in the provinces of Luanda, Lunda Norte, and Malanje.

      In March it was announced that the long-awaited elections to the National Assembly would take place in 2008, and opposition parties went into action to prepare for the contest. The leading opposition party, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola ( UNITA), held its annual conference in July and reelected Isaias Samakuva as its president. Later in the month the politburo of the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) met to discuss the party's problems, while the Solidarity and Conscience Party (PSCA) held its congress in September.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2007

1,246,700 sq km (481,354 sq mi)
(2006 est.): 12,127,000
Chief of state and head of government:
President José Eduardo dos Santos, assisted by Prime Minister Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos

      Owing mainly to the rapid increase in oil production and the high price of crude oil on the world market, Angola's economy continued to be buoyant in 2006. By the end of April, the country was challenging Algeria for the title of Africa's second largest oil producer and had already become China's largest supplier of crude oil. Chinese expertise and financial backing continued to play a vital role in providing a wide range of developments, including the construction of a new airport on the outskirts of Luanda, the restoration of the Benguela railway, and the rebuilding of the country's road network. China also negotiated the offer of a $3 billion loan. Other countries that invested in Angola included Brazil, Spain, Portugal, and India, and in September Venezuela offered expert assistance for the country's oil industry.

      The picture was less bright in other sectors, however. Angola remained on the World Bank's list of “ highly indebted poor countries” and made little attempt to service its huge foreign debt. Early in May a senior UN official urged the government to create more jobs and increase investment in neglected regions in the interior of the country. Although there had been signs of recovery in the agricultural sector, helped by the return and resettlement of refugees and other displaced persons, much remained to be done, and the continuing presence of 300 minefields in the fertile central Huambo province offered a further disincentive to potential farmers.

 Inadequate sanitation and a shortage of drinking water led in February to an outbreak of cholera in a Luanda suburb; the disease spread quickly from the coast to the interior, and by the end of April a national emergency had been declared. By May, 40,842 cases had been reported, including 1,527 fatalities. Although the epidemic was being brought under control, by the end of July an outbreak of measles had caused further fatalities and imposed an additional strain on limited medical resources.

      The prospect of holding presidential and parliamentary elections remained as remote as ever. Pres. Eduardo dos Santos attributed the delay to the sorry state of the roads and railways. His explanation met with considerable skepticism, but memories of the heavy fighting that followed the disputed elections of 1992 made critics reluctant to press for immediate action.

      There were problems of a different character in the Cabinda enclave. In February a spokesman for the Cabinda Forum for Dialogue (FDC), the umbrella organization of groups seeking independence for Cabinda, said that he had received a document from the government purporting to present a basis for discussion about the region's future status. When, however, an agreement was said to have been signed in July accepting that Angola was a single state while Cabinda would have separate administrative status, the negotiators were disowned by some of the separatists, who maintained that they would continue the struggle.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2006

1,246,700 sq km (481,354 sq mi)
(2005 est.): 11,827,000
Chief of state and head of government:
President José Eduardo dos Santos, assisted by Prime Minister Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos

 An epidemic of hemorrhagic fever caused by the Marburg virus, which had first been noticed in Angola's northern province of Uige toward the end of 2004, aroused grave concern as the death toll rose steadily into 2005. By early May it had reached nearly 300, many of the victims being children less than five years old. In June, however, the outbreak was thought to have peaked, and fears that the illness might spread even further were calmed.

      The government's failure to answer the IMF's questions as to what had become of a $600 million oil-revenue windfall forecast in November 2004 led to the repeated postponement of an IMF mission to Angola and a consequent delay in the provision of financial aid to promote development. China did not share the IMF's reservations. Its offer of a $211 million loan, to be repaid in oil deliveries, was rapidly producing results. Early in the year Chinese workers were already restoring Angola's railway system and constructing new government buildings. Some economists, however, expressed doubts as to whether the government in Luanda had the capacity to maintain such substantial projects. Angolan businessmen and workers protested that the Chinese activities failed to provide them with either contracts or opportunities for employment, and the IMF was worried because the Chinese loan made it easier for the government to cover up its financial position.

      Onofre dos Santos, a lawyer who had been director-general of the national electoral council at the time of the last Angolan elections in 1992, was also concerned about the government's lack of transparency regarding its preparations for the parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for 2006. His doubts, set out in a book published early in 2005, gained wider support when Pres. José Eduardo dos Santos asked the Supreme Court in June whether sections of the new electoral law were unconstitutional. The swift resolution of the matter by the court provided temporary reassurance that this was not a delaying tactic. In August, however, the main opposition party, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, protested that the government was itself breaking the electoral law to promote its own case for reelection.

      A report published in March claimed that the profits from the diamond industry benefited only a wealthy few. Issues of a similar nature also created trouble in the Cabinda exclave, where in June a major offensive was launched against the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda, which led to protests that the government was trying to destroy its critics rather than address their concerns, foremost among which was the unfair distribution of the region's oil revenues. In Eastern Angola problems persisted over the resettlement and reintegration of the hundreds of thousands who had fled over the border into Zambia or who had been displaced within Angola itself during the civil war. Organizers of the World Food Programme said that in spite of improving harvests, the agency was still feeding 700,000 people.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2005

1,246,700 sq km (481,354 sq mi)
(2004 est.): 10,979,000
Chief of state and head of government:
President José Eduardo dos Santos, assisted by Prime Minister Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos

      The problems in the oil-rich exclave of Cabinda, claimed by Angola but with an active independence movement, occupied the government in Luanda in 2004. In March, Roman Catholic clergy in Cabinda who sought to interpose themselves between the secessionists and the government troops formed an association called Mpalabanda. This was in response to accusations that troops pursuing the rebels were guilty of indiscriminate attacks on civilians. The association sought an accommodation with the government by negotiation rather than by force, though the clergymen admitted that their ultimate goal was self-determination for Cabinda. Mpalabanda was not, they said, attempting to seize control of the province's rich oil resources, but the group expressed its deep concern that the population at large derived little benefit from the profits from oil production, a situation they blamed on the Cabinda Gulf Oil Co. as well as on the Angolan government. Recently the IMF had indicated that more than $4 billion of oil revenue for the years 1997 to 2002 could not be accounted for.

      While Cabinda was the only province in Angola where peace had not been officially declared, the recovery of the rest of the country from the effects of a 27-year civil war remained slow. Early in the year, corn (maize) and bean crops in Huambo province were damaged by heavy rains, which left the region still dependent upon external aid. Although in June the UN noted a marked improvement in the overall humanitarian situation, in many parts of the country lack of funds, the inadequacy of the infrastructure—in spite of help from Brazilian construction companies—and the continuing presence of thousands of land mines still made recovery difficult. The UN had pledged to give assistance where it was needed, but crop yields continued to be inadequate, in part because of the government's refusal to admit genetically modified seed from abroad. Nor was the repatriation and resettlement of 40,000 people who had taken refuge in Zambia likely to be achieved by the end of the year as had been envisaged, despite the EU's offer in March of $9.8 million to help promote the project.

      Disputes over a date for presidential and parliamentary elections continued throughout the year. In March opposition groups combined forces to try to persuade the government to reach a decision. The government's response was to announce 14 specific requirements that had to be met before elections could take place, which meant that the earliest date would likely be in 2006. In June, in response to a report produced by the Ministry of Territorial Administration, the government agreed to talks with opposition parties, an offer that was accepted enthusiastically. By August, however, the opposition was already complaining of a lack of progress, and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, the main opposition party, claimed that its members had been the victims of intimidation.

      There was further controversy in the same month when the National Assembly prepared to vote on a new land bill. Although the government had invited civil groups to comment on a draft of the bill, opposition parties claimed that their comments had been ignored. As a result, hopes were dashed that the legislation would enable people who had been displaced from their land during the civil war to reclaim it and that they would have a new legal title that would replace their claim under the traditional system.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2004

1,246,700 sq km (481,354 sq mi)
(2003 est.): 10,766,000
Chief of state and head of government:
President José Eduardo dos Santos, assisted by Prime Minister Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos

      In approving a budget for 2003 of almost 359 billion kwanzas (about $6.3 billion), the Angolan National Assembly urged the government to introduce incentives to attract external investment. This was needed, the Assembly felt, to reduce the hardships that the majority of the population was still suffering in the aftermath of Angola's 27-year civil war. Virtually the only immediate resource available was oil, although diamond mining showed signs of recovery. Coffee, which had been exported before the civil war, now commanded so low a price on the world market that there was little point in trying to revive production. With oil output reaching 900,000 bbl a day by midyear (of which 70% was exported to the U.S.) and with no restrictions on production similar to the quota system that operated among OPEC countries, the prospects for Angola's economic recovery seemed reasonably good.

      One potential snag was the fact that 60% of the country's known oil reserves were located in Cabinda, a region that was detached from the body of the country but had been declared a province of Angola upon independence in 1975. The inhabitants of Cabinda still questioned their status, although in April representatives of the province offered to negotiate.

      Accusations of corruption were leveled against Angola's government, and these aroused fears among international aid agencies that profits from oil exports might not be used to benefit the citizenry. While admitting that some of the income from oil sales was missing, the government maintained that accounting problems, rather than corruption, were responsible. A mission was sent by the International Monetary Fund in April–May to seek clarification of the issue.

      Although it was claimed in April that 1.7 million people displaced during the civil war had returned to their homes, some 110,000 former rebel fighters and their families were still living in camps, where food shortages remained an acute problem. Thousands of others in an equally parlous condition were still trying to make their way home. Early in the year the World Bank provided more than $100 million to assist these displaced persons but, ignoring the government's protestations, warned that further help would depend upon corruption's being dealt with urgently. Pres. José Eduardo dos Santos's response was to appoint a number of reform-minded ministers to his cabinet, including a former executive director of the IMF.

      Shedding its military garb, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) emerged as a political force. In June a party congress elected Isaias Samakuva as its leader. He immediately took advantage of UNITA's debut in the Council of the Republic, a consultative body created to make recommendations regarding elections, to call for both presidential and parliamentary elections to be held early in 2004, in advance of the date previously suggested by the president. Dos Santos said he would not seek reelection, but his party made no apparent effort to nominate an alternative candidate.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2003

1,246,700 sq km (481,354 sq mi)
(2002 est.): 10,593,000 (excluding more than 400,000 refugees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia)
Chief of state and head of government:
President José Eduardo dos Santos and, from December 5, assisted by Prime Minister Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos

      The death of Jonas Savimbi (see Obituaries (Savimbi, Jonas Malheiro )), longtime leader of the rebel National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), in a military skirmish on Feb. 22, 2002, raised hopes of an end to the civil war that had raged since Angola achieved independence in 1975. Initially, spokesmen for UNITA insisted that the struggle would go on. Government forces also tried to press home their tactical advantage by continuing to destroy crops to force the rebels to surrender. On March 15 the government offered a cease-fire, accompanied by the blanket amnesty demanded by UNITA to all fighters who laid down their arms and by a plan to rebuild the lives of the displaced civilian population, numbering more than 180,000. In return, 50,000 rebel soldiers would surrender, and many of them would be integrated into the Angolan armed forces. Appeals from UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and from the leaders of South Africa, the U.S., and Portugal resulted in the signing of a cease-fire agreement in Luanda on April 4.

      Numerous problems still remained before the country could return to normal, however. The restoration of the infrastructure, virtually all of which had been destroyed during the war, was an urgent task. Encouraged by the prospect of increased international investment in oil exploration as a result of the end of hostilities—and stimulated by the perceived need to find alternative supplies to those from the troubled Persian Gulf region—the government promised to use its oil revenues, hitherto swallowed up in military expenditure, to restore the road system. In August, however, the director general of Angola's National Institute of Roads announced that funding was lacking for the $270 million project. In June plans were also announced to rebuild the 1,609-km (1,000-mi)-long Benguela Railway, which had formerly been part of a rail link between the west and east coasts of the continent.

      The rehabilitation of the agricultural sector, for which an initial fund of $6 million was made available, was complicated by the presence of thousands of land mines that were scattered indiscriminately during the fighting and made farming impossible over a considerable part of the country. The fact that the government ratified the 1997 Ottawa Convention banning the use of land mines had little impact on the existing problem.

      Underlying these various endeavours was a problem that had a devastating effect upon plans for regenerating the economy. Two years of drought, interspersed with floods and coupled with the ravages of civil war, had dangerously depleted the country's food stocks. By the middle of the year, the UN World Food Programme estimated that half a million people in Angola were suffering from starvation and a million others were entirely dependent upon food aid for their survival. A UN spokesman estimated that in spite of the efforts of aid workers, up to three million people would require some form of assistance in the months ahead. In addition, UNITA's participation in the recovery program was hampered by divisions within the movement.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2002

1,246,700 sq km (481,354 sq mi)
(2001 est.): 10,366,000 (excluding about 300,000 refugees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia)
Chief of state and head of government:
President José Eduardo dos Santos

      With inflation for the 12-month period to Jan. 1, 2001, having reached 241% and with the currency showing every sign of continuing to depreciate rapidly, Angola's annual budget, published on February 20, made depressing reading for a country with such ample resources of oil and minerals. Despite pledges given in the previous April to promote measures to alleviate poverty, the government felt it necessary to warn that there might have to be cuts in spending on health and education. Meanwhile, donors and aid agencies complained of corruption in government circles and of the diversion of money to military activities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as well as to the continuing struggle against the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) rebels at home.

      The two military operations were, in fact, closely linked. Unlike most of the other countries involved in the Congo war, Angola did not aim to exploit the situation for its own financial gain but was trying to ensure that the UNITA rebels, who had devastated so much of their homeland, did not use the DRC as a secure base for their operations.

      Accusations of official corruption were not so easily justified. In March ongoing investigations in France into corruption and illegal arms deals with Angola that had taken place in 1993–94 were reported to have uncovered documents demonstrating the existence of personal contacts between Angolan Pres. José Eduardo dos Santos and Charles Pasqua, one of those alleged to have been involved in illegal arms trafficking.

      In April serious flooding in Benguela province rendered 13,000 families homeless, and in May the economy suffered a further unwelcome setback when De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd., suspended its investment and prospecting operations after having failed to agree to the revival of contracts with the Angolan government.

      Nevertheless, it was the long-running war against UNITA rebels that mainly hampered the country's development. In January the president replaced his military chief of staff. Then early in June, in spite of a marked escalation of rebel activity in Uíge and Bengo provinces during the previous month, the government claimed that the civil war had virtually ended.

      UNITA quickly challenged that assertion by shooting down a United Nations World Food Programme cargo plane. On August 10 UNITA forces attacked a railway train near Luanda, killing more than 250 people, and 14 days later 50 passengers in a bus were massacred in a rebel ambush. In the face of such evidence of the government's inability to contain the threat from UNITA, and with acute economic mismanagement causing tensions even among ruling-party loyalists, the president's announcement on the same day as the ambush that he would not stand in any future presidential elections gave rise to considerable speculation about his motives for making the statement. Opposition commentators suggested that, there being no obvious successor, it was a deliberate gamble aimed at reawakening support for himself and uniting the ruling party behind him, an opinion with which even some government loyalists were inclined to concur.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2001

1,246,700 sq km (481,354 sq mi)
(2000 est.): 10,145,000 (excluding more than 300,000 refugees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia)
Chief of state and head of government:
President José Eduardo dos Santos

      Government forces engaged in combat with National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) rebels began 2000 in a strong position, having recently captured the rebel headquarters at Jamba, near the Namibian border, and having forced their opponents into remote, sparsely populated parts of the country. Namibia also became involved in the fighting on behalf of the government, though not without opposition from human rights campaigners in that country and protests from South Africa, which was concerned by the prospect of instability creeping nearer its borders. Early government successes in the campaign were followed by a UNITA counteroffensive in March. Government forces responded with vigorous ground and air attacks, which gave rise to protests from Zambia that its borders had been violated.

      The government also struck at UNITA's lifeline, the illicit sale of diamonds, by a January 31 decree that declared that all diamond transactions had to be made through a new state-controlled company, Ascorp. The difficulty of making this control effective was highlighted by a UN report, published on March 13, that criticized seven African countries, together with Belgium and Bulgaria, for breaking sanctions imposed on UNITA. (See Sidebar.)

      An increase of 1,600% in the price of motor fuel was announced in February and resulted in an immediate rise in the cost of food and public transportation; the cost increases led to an unprecedented demonstration in Luanda on March 11. On April 5, however, the government announced that it had signed a nine-month economic monitoring agreement with the International Monetary Fund, which, it was hoped, would prepare the way for an IMF loan by the end of the year. The implementation of the agreement was, however, fraught with problems. In spite of greatly enhanced revenues from the sale of oil, due both to increased output and to the rise in world prices, the Angolan people in general saw little improvement in their standard of living. While a handful of leading figures enjoyed considerable wealth, the majority of the population continued to live in poverty, and vested interests did all in their power to block reforms.

      In August, in an attempt to improve the situation, the National Assembly supported a government proposal to increase public spending, but the finance minister, Joachim David, felt compelled to point out that, with such a high proportion of the country's revenue committed to the war against UNITA, the economy was in a grave condition. Inflation continued to rise, and the IMF thought it necessary to urge the government to make greater efforts to carry out the reforms called for in the agreement.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2000

1,246,700 sq km (481,354 sq mi)
(1999 est.): 11,178,000
Chief of state:
President José Eduardo dos Santos
Head of government:
Prime Minister Fernando José França van-Dúnem until January 29; thereafter the responsibilities of the prime minister were assumed by the president.

      The attack launched by government forces against UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) rebels in the central Angolan highlands in December 1998 quickly proved to have been ill-judged. While the government had dispatched large numbers of troops to assist in the civil war in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo, UNITA had used the temporary lull in hostilities to build up its own armed forces. With money obtained from the illegal sale of diamonds smuggled out through neighbouring territories, it had also acquired unexpectedly large quantities of weapons of a level of sophistication that took its opponents by surprise. By mid-January 1999 UNITA had laid siege to the three government-held cities of Malanje, Huambo, and Kuito and on January 26 was reported to have captured M'banza congo, near the border with the Republic of the Congo. This was an important base from which to launch attacks on oil installations in the northwest and diamond mines in the northeast.

      The increase in hostilities, accompanied by the shooting down of two UN-chartered aircraft by UNITA on Dec. 26, 1998, and on Jan. 2, 1999, prompted Issa Diallo, the UN's special representative in Angola, to insist upon the importance of maintaining the UN presence in the country. On February 26, however, the UN Security Council, acting on the recommendation of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, voted unanimously to disband its peacekeeping mission on March 20. The Angolan government, disillusioned by the role played by the UN, had already rejected the ineffective Lusaka peace agreement of November 1994. It had also decided to discontinue its support for the UN observer mission on the grounds that UNITA had cynically failed to fulfill the terms of both the peace agreements negotiated by the UN and, with impunity, had used the opportunity to strengthen its own position.

      The government recognized, however, that its foreign currency reserves were almost exhausted and admitted in its budget, published in March, that because of its poor record of debt repayment there was little prospect of external financial aid. Nonetheless, in May, in response to the Council of Ministers' agreement to the participation of foreign oil companies in three promising offshore projects, a group of foreign banks offered a morale-boosting loan of $575 million. The following month the government was also able to announce the discovery of an important diamond field on the outskirts of Kuito, though its exploitation would depend upon the progress of the war that had raged around the town for six months. The immediate prospects were not bright, and in August Pres. José Eduardo dos Santos warned members of the Southern African Development Community at a summit meeting in Maputo, Mozambique, that the activities of Angolan rebels were likely to affect neighbouring countries. Although the UN wanted to impose sterner sanctions in the hope of bringing Jonas Savimbi, UNITA's leader, to the negotiating table, dos Santos still refused to take part in any further talks because, in the light of previous events, he felt he could not trust Savimbi.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 1999

      Area: 1,246, 700 sq km (481,354 sq mi)

      Population (1998 est.): 10,865,000

      Capital: Luanda

      Chief of State: President José Eduardo dos Santos

      Head of government: Prime Minister Fernando José França van-Dúnem

      In January 1998 the prospects for peace in Angola seemed better than they had for some time. At a meeting on January 9 between Pres. José dos Santos and delegates from the government and the rebel National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), implementation of the terms of the Lusaka Protocol, the peace accord of 1994, was scheduled to be completed by February 28. Characteristically, however, a meeting between dos Santos and Jonas Savimbi, UNITA's leader, scheduled for the middle of February, was first postponed for two weeks and then lapsed completely; Savimbi maintained that it would be unsafe for him to travel to Luanda, whereas dos Santos was said to be too ill to leave the capital. Nevertheless, on March 6 UNITA claimed to have demobilized all its forces, and the government, though skeptical of the truth of the claim, responded by legalizing UNITA as a political party. Three members of UNITA were appointed as provincial governors on March 16, and four days later Savimbi was accorded special status. His privileges included armed bodyguards, residences, and trips abroad.

      Behind these promising developments, however, recriminations rumbled on. The government was accused of having announced the demobilization of UNITA's forces prematurely, with a view to making the troops still under arms illegal. The government responded by claiming that, in spite of the demobilization claims, UNITA's soldiers were beginning to regain control of surrendered territory. A further meeting between the government and UNITA was held on April 16-17 against a background of renewed reports that the latter's troops were active in a number of provinces, but no agreement was reached regarding the resumption of control over those areas by the government.

      The peace process received a severe setback when a UN special representative, Alioune Blondin Beye, was killed in an airplane crash on June 26. A successor, Issa Diallo, was appointed in August, but, in the meantime, dialogue between the opposing parties came virtually to a halt.

      The resumption of full-scale civil war was presaged by the massacre of more than 200 people in the diamond-mining province of Lunda Norte in July, with the government and UNITA accusing each other of responsibility for the killings. Exasperated by UNITA's continued procrastination, the government opened an offensive against a rebel base in the north of the country, near the town of Milando, on August 5. The objective seemed to be to put pressure on UNITA to implement the Lusaka Protocol rather than to oust the rebels from their main stronghold in the central highlands. Soon afterward government forces became deeply involved in fighting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in support of Pres. Laurent Kabila, their aim being to close the routes by which supplies of arms and other materials could reach UNITA. In September the government suspended all UNITA representatives in the parliament as well as the four UNITA members of the Cabinet. Later, military officials of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) agreed that UNITA should be crushed by the forces of the SADC in alliance with the Angolan Army. Intense fighting resumed in December with government attacks on the UNITA strongholds of Andulo and Bailundo.


▪ 1998

      Area: 1,246,700 sq km (481,354 sq mi)

      Population (1997 est.): 10,624,000

      Capital: Luanda

      Chief of State: President José Eduardo dos Santos

      Head of government: Prime Minister Fernando José França van-Dúnem

      In spite of their nation's being the largest producer of oil in southern Africa, with the prospect of an ever-larger output, and in spite also of the enthusiastic involvement of international mining companies in the country's lucrative diamond-mining industry, the vast majority of the people of Angola had little to rejoice about in 1997. Continuing fears of a breakdown in the peace process restrained recovery from some 20 years of civil war, while the presence of an estimated 10 million-15 million concealed land mines, a relic of that same struggle and a topic much discussed worldwide during the year, not only caused thousands of casualties but also discouraged farmers from producing the food the country so badly needed.

      Faced with the continuing mistrust between the government and the opposition National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), the UN repeatedly felt constrained to revise its plan for the withdrawal of its peacekeeping force. In January the planned inauguration of a government of national unity was abandoned because Jonas Savimbi, the UNITA leader, refused to leave his headquarters at Bailundo in the central highlands, believing his life would be in danger if he visited Luanda. Moreover, after having been encouraged in his campaign against the government and supplied with arms for years by the U.S. and South Africa, he was reluctant to modify his own political aspirations to bring them into line with the less-sympathetic policies of a new South African government and of the U.S. More specifically, he balked at surrendering control of the roughly 80% of Angola's diamond trade that remained in UNITA's hands, arguing that since the government controlled the entire oil industry, it was unrealistic to expect him to be satisfied with the reduced proportion of the diamond trade that the government was offering to UNITA.

      In March the UN Security Council threatened economic sanctions against UNITA if the movement refused to join a government of national unity immediately. This seemed to spur Savimbi into action, and he said his followers would cooperate. When representatives of the ruling Popular Liberation Movement of Angola and UNITA met in Luanda on April 11 for the swearing-in ceremony, however, Savimbi himself did not attend. Likewise, UNITA had not implemented a number of clauses in the Lusaka peace accord of 1994. Nevertheless, UNITA representatives were appointed to a number of ministries, while Savimbi himself was granted a special role as leader of the opposition, with a generous salary and the right to question Pres. José Eduardo dos Santos on political issues.

      In a vain attempt to bolster its military position, UNITA sent reinforcements to Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) to assist the movement's one remaining significant foreign ally, Pres. Mobutu Sese Seko, in his efforts to turn back the advancing rebel forces led by Laurent Kabila. The government, however, sent troops to support Kabila, and the joint intervention in the Zairean war on opposing sides posed a serious threat to the peace process.

      The overthrow of Mobutu weakened UNITA's bargaining power, and in May the government felt confident enough to press harder for a settlement of its diamond-mining allocation offer by launching a military offensive against UNITA-held diamond-rich territory in the northeastern province of Lunda Norte. After initial setbacks UNITA forces reacted vigorously, which caused UN officials to express serious doubts about the credibility of reports that UNITA was disbanding troops to meet the terms of the Lusaka peace accord. Eventually, the UN Security Council gave the go-ahead for air and travel sanctions to be imposed on UNITA from October 30 in response to the rebels' failure to promote the peace process.

      Also in October, Angolan troops played a vital role in the restoration of Gen. Denis Sassou-Nguesso as president of the Republic of the Congo while at the same time destroying UNITA bases in the republic.

      This article updates Angola, history of (Angola).

▪ 1997

      A republic, Angola is located on the Atlantic coast in southwestern Africa. The small exclave of Cabinda is separated from Angola by a strip of Zaire. Area: 1,246,700 sq km (481,354 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 11,904,000. Cap.: Luanda. Monetary unit: readjusted kwanza, with (Oct. 11, 1996) an official rate of 201,994 readjusted kwanzas to U.S. $1 (318,201 readjusted kwanzas = £ 1 sterling). President in 1996, José Eduardo dos Santos; prime ministers, Marcolino José Carlos Moco and, from June 3, Fernando José Franca Van Dúnem.

      In spite of the offer by donor countries of $1 billion in aid in late 1995 and also of the repeated assurances by Jonas Savimbi, leader of the opposition National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), that his party was wholeheartedly committed to the long-drawn-out peace process, Angola's prospects for 1996 did not look good. The value of the currency had fallen by 1,823% in 1995, and the readjusted kwanza, which stood at 25,000 kwanzas to one U.S. dollar on Jan. 1, 1996, fell throughout the year. Particularly affected by the rampant inflation were the prices of food, furniture, household appliances, clothing, and medical care.

      Hopes of recovery were further diminished by the tardy efforts of UNITA to demobilize its troops in fulfillment of the Lusaka peace accord of 1994. The process began in November 1995 but was halted in December because, UNITA maintained, the government had launched a military offensive in violation of the accord. Although UNITA's claim was later proved to have been exaggerated, the result was that the demobilization of UNITA troops fell seriously behind schedule.

      As a small contribution toward improving the country's financial position, the secretary of state for coffee announced plans on January 5 for the privatization of the coffee industry, which in 1995 had achieved export earnings of $6 million. On the same day, and in an attempt to allay UNITA's concerns, the government reported that it had canceled its contract with Executive Outcomes under the terms of which the South African company had provided what were described as "military advisers." These men had been widely regarded as mercenaries directly involved in military operations.

      Because UNITA failed to meet the target promised by Savimbi of quartering 16,500 troops by February 8, the UN Security Council decided to extend by only three months instead of six the period during which the UN peacekeeping force should be retained in Angola. Nevertheless, both Savimbi and Pres. José Eduardo dos Santos emerged from a meeting in Gabon on March 1 confident about the future. Savimbi had accepted the office of vice president in a government of national unity, which, he said, would be established by July. Talks between representatives of the two sides reached agreement on ministerial posts for UNITA members and UNITA's participation in a national army to be created by July.

      Within a month Savimbi said he would not become vice president after all, because the office had no executive functions, a claim that was later denied by the government. Disputes also arose over the important diamond-producing provinces in eastern Angola, over which UNITA was reluctant to relinquish control.

      UNITA was not the only obstacle to progress. The government itself showed little aptitude for solving the country's problems. On June 3 dos Santos dismissed his Cabinet, together with the governor of the National Bank of Angola. His new government was announced on June 7 and sworn in the following day. Its main objectives, dos Santos said, had to include the payment of arrears of salary in the public sector, the provision of adequate food for the whole population, and the achievement of at least the minimum funding needed for essential services such as defense, social assistance, health, and education. (KENNETH INGHAM)

      This article updates Angola, history of (Angola).

▪ 1996

      A republic, Angola is located on the Atlantic coast in southwestern Africa. The small exclave of Cabinda is separated from Angola by a strip of Zaire. Area: 1,246,700 sq km (481,354 sq mi). Pop. (1995 est.): 11,558,000. Cap.: Luanda. Monetary unit: readjusted kwanza, with (Oct. 6, 1995) a controlled rate of 5,692 readjusted kwanzas to U.S. $1 (8,998 readjusted kwanzas = £ 1 sterling). President in 1995, José Eduardo dos Santos; prime minister, Marcolino Moco.

      To the relief of the UN negotiators who had orchestrated the deal, the accord signed by the government of Angola and representatives of the rebel National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) in Lusaka, Zambia, on Nov. 20, 1994, seemed still to be in force as 1995 began, in spite of mutual accusations of default by the signatories. Pressure from Presidents Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Nelson Mandela of South Africa had helped to curb Pres. José Eduardo dos Santos' impulse to follow up the government's run of military successes against the rebels, and the guarantee of a role in the government of Angola encouraged UNITA to adopt a more cooperative attitude.

      Aid agencies were faced with a formidable task even if the cease-fire persisted. The World Food Programme alone earmarked $65 million to help 1.2 million displaced persons, refugees, demobilized soldiers, and others in areas where there was an acute shortage of food. On February 8 the UN Security Council resolved to send a 7,000-strong peacekeeping force to monitor developments, a far more substantial and consequently more effective presence than had been provided by the 700 observers sent in 1992 when elections were held in Angola. One of the less pleasant tasks to be undertaken by the force was helping to clear up the land mines, numbering 26 million at the highest estimate, laid during the civil war.

      Encouraged by a letter from the French prime minister, Édouard Balladur, UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi agreed to meet dos Santos. His decision was approved by the eighth ordinary congress of UNITA, which also endorsed the accord of November 20. In these more promising circumstances the two former opponents met in Lusaka on May 6 for the first time since 1992. Their discussions resulted in a vote by the National Assembly in July to amend the constitution to provide for the creation of two vice presidential posts, one of which would be filled by Savimbi after he had demobilized his army. UNITA would then become simply a political party and would be offered ministerial posts in a power-sharing government, but there would be no presidential election until the expiration of dos Santos' present term. Savimbi declared himself willing to act as vice president and said his party would accept the ministerial appointments offered. This cleared the way for the deployment of the peacekeeping force, though the process was delayed until the roads were made passable.

      UNITA nevertheless experienced continuing unease, which was reflected in a call to the international community to refrain from sending arms to the government and in the citing of Russia and Portugal as being among those countries that were still doing so. The Portuguese parliamentary opposition had made similar charges against the government in January. In August, too, UNITA claimed that the new national army was behaving with an unduly heavy hand in regions that it had formerly controlled. A more positive response to the peace accord had been made by South Africa, which entered into an agreement with Angola to undertake joint explorations for oil and diamonds. As early as April South African companies were reported to be prospecting in Angola. Portugal agreed to train a national police force.

      With the threat of military action by UNITA receding, the government began to contemplate the transfer of troops to Cabinda, where they hoped to be able to abandon their mainly defensive role in favour of a more aggressive policy toward the rebel forces that were posing a threat to any plans for increasing the region's oil production and processing. Fortunately, offshore production had increased steadily in spite of the civil war, and the facilities for offshore processing and for loading the petroleum into tankers prevented exports from being hindered by rebel activity. (KENNETH INGHAM)

      This updates the article Angola, history of (Angola).

▪ 1995

      A republic, Angola is located on the Atlantic coast in southwestern Africa. The small exclave of Cabinda is separated from Angola by a strip of Zaire. Area: 1,246,700 sq km (481,354 sq mi). Pop. (1994 est.): 11,233,000. Cap.: Luanda. Monetary unit: new kwanza, with (Oct. 7, 1994) a controlled rate of 139,294 new kwanzas to U.S. $1 (free rate of 221,548 new kwanzas = £ 1 sterling). President in 1994, José Eduardo dos Santos; prime minister, Marcolino Moco.

      Peace talks between the government and the rebel National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), begun in Lusaka, Zambia, in November 1993, continued in 1994 under the chairmanship of the UN mediator, Alioune Blondin Beye, until UNITA withdrew in September without making it clear whether the withdrawal was permanent. From time to time it was announced that agreement had been reached on key issues. In May it was reported that the contending parties had agreed upon the method of conducting a second round of presidential elections. At other times it was said that both sides had committed themselves to the creation of a joint army and a joint police force. Also, although the government would not accede to UNITA's request for the portfolios of Defense, Finance, and the Interior, an agreement was said to have been reached regarding certain power-sharing proposals.

      Decentralization and the allocation of governorships of provinces were also stumbling blocks. In spite of a number of suggestions by Pres. Frederick Chiluba of Zambia as to how the province of Huambo in particular might be administered, the government remained adamant that it would not acknowledge UNITA's claim to the province, which the rebels said was the heartland of the Ovimbundu people, from whom they drew much of their support. Accordingly, a treaty signed on November 20 did not seem to substantially alter the fighting or jockeying for position.

      The growing despair of finding any solution to Angola's problems was reflected in the reluctance of foreign donors to provide assistance. By the beginning of the year, less than half the $227 million requested by the UN in June 1993 to provide aid for Angola had been subscribed. On March 14 Pres. José Eduardo dos Santos seized the opportunity offered by the resignation of his finance minister to carry out a major Cabinet reshuffle. On the following day the new finance minister, Alvaro Craveiro, presented a budget in which spending on defense was still the largest component but that donor agencies agreed constituted a step in the direction of reform. Among other provisions, the budget set a target of the annual inflation rate of 260%, to be achieved by December 1994, in comparison with the annual rate registered in December 1993 of 1,840%.

      Again and again, however, hopes of any improvement were shattered by recurrent outbreaks of fighting in different parts of the country. In February the minister of assistance and social integration lifted the ban on relief flights to areas under UNITA's military control in return for guarantees by UNITA that it would permit the World Food Program to conduct its operations in Kuito. On March 22, however, there were reports of major offensives by UNITA's forces in Benguela, Huila, and Bengo provinces, and in June the town of Kuito again came under heavy artillery and infantry attacks from UNITA troops, which resulted in many more civilian deaths. In the Cabinda exclave in August, a separatist movement calling itself the Front for the Liberation of Cabinda accused government troops of having carried out an attack on a village during which 100 civilians were killed. At the end of the month, government forces recaptured Belize district, and in September they conducted a successful operation against the rebels in Cunhinga in an attempt to free civilians held captive by UNITA.

      It was the bombing of Huambo by government aircraft on August 31 that led to the withdrawal of UNITA's negotiating team from the Lusaka talks. This was followed by the arrival of James Jonah, a Sierra Leonean sent by the UN secretary-general to carry out an appraisal of the situation in Angola. His visit was widely believed to have been an indication that the UN was reluctant to commit further resources to the resolution of a conflict that neither side appeared willing to bring to an end. (KENNETH INGHAM)

      This updates the article Angola, history of (Angola).

▪ 1994

      A republic, Angola is located on the Atlantic coast in southwestern Africa. The small exclave of Cabinda is separated from Angola by a strip of Zaire. Area: 1,246,700 sq km (481,354 sq mi). Pop. (1993 est.): 10,916,000. Cap.: Luanda. Monetary unit: New kwanza, with (Oct. 4, 1993) a par value of 4,000 New kwanzas to U.S. $1 (free rate of 6,080 New kwanzas = £ 1 sterling) and a black market rate estimated at 50,000 New kwanzas to U.S. $1 (76,000 New kwanzas = £ 1 sterling). President in 1993, José Eduardo dos Santos; prime minister, Marcolino Moco.

      For the people of Angola, 1993 was a tragic year, and it was a deeply frustrating one for those, like the members of the UN observer force, who were striving to encourage peaceful political progress. In January a military offensive by government troops appeared to be achieving rapid success at the expense of the rebels of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), who had refused to accept the clear-cut victory of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) in the September 1992 elections and had resorted to arms to assert their own claims. After only a week the government announced that no city of any significance remained under UNITA's control. Foreign observers were skeptical, and Jonas Savimbi, the UNITA leader, fulfilled his promise to strike where it hurt by seizing the important oil-distribution centre of Soyo in the northwest on January 20. The loss of the town seriously threatened the country's oil sales. As the struggle intensified in the field and in the media, each force again claimed the other was recruiting white South African mercenaries.

      The two sides agreed to a meeting in Addis Ababa, Eth., at the end of January, but nothing came of the talks. Fighting continued in many areas and raged fiercely for control of the rebel capital, Huambo, which fell to UNITA on March 7. An appeal by the UN special representative, Margaret Anstee, for a truce to enable humanitarian supplies to be distributed in regions of greatest need fell on deaf ears, and a warning to UNITA to cease fighting by February 17, issued by Portugal, Russia, and the U.S., all of which had special observer status in Angola, was equally unavailing.

      Further talks held in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, in April foundered because of UNITA's refusal to withdraw from the cities, towns, and other areas occupied since fighting resumed in October 1992. Although the decision taken by the U.S. on May 19 to recognize the MPLA government gave a boost to the morale of Pres. José dos Santos' regime, it was equally ineffective in promoting peace. Once again the UN called for the cooperation of the warring parties to help in the distribution of aid to those desperately in need by setting up air and land corridors; this proposal also collapsed because of UNITA's intransigence.

      In such circumstances the announcement of the state budget in April, with its promise to mobilize resources to reduce the difficulties faced by people suffering as a result of the war, seemed almost an irrelevance. Soyo had been recaptured but fell once again on May 24 to a small UNITA force after minimal resistance. Nonetheless, in February, Italy was prepared to go ahead with a plan to finance an oil terminal in the Cabinda enclave, while the oil companies Chevron and Elf proposed to expand their operations in the same area. In July the Luanda government also announced that it was ready to award two new contracts for oil exploration to Exxon and Royal Dutch/Shell.

      At the end of June, Alioune Blondin Beye took over as UN special representative. Shortly afterward, on August 9, Britain lifted its embargo on the supply of arms to Angola, but few arms were forthcoming, except by purchase from the former Eastern bloc countries. Fighting increased anyway as both factions sought control of the central highlands before the onset of heavy rain. An offer of a cease-fire by UNITA in September was rejected. UN-brokered talks in Lusaka, Zambia, in November-December seemed close to success but then fell apart again. The continuing struggle swelled the number of displaced persons to some two million—about a fifth of the whole population—and an agreement by the World Food Programme to carry out a six-month emergency operation to meet their needs had to be limited to what were deemed to be safe areas near Luanda, Lubango, and Lobita. (KENNETH INGHAM)

      This updates the article Angola, history of (Angola).

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Angola, flag of   country located in southwestern Africa. A large country, Angola takes in a broad variety of landscapes, including the semidesert Atlantic littoral bordering Namibia's “Skeleton Coast,” the sparsely populated rainforest interior, the rugged highlands of the south, the Cabinda exclave in the north, and the densely settled towns and cities of the northern coast and north-central river valleys. The capital and commercial centre is Luanda, a large port city on the northern coast that blends Portuguese-style colonial landmarks with traditional African housing styles and modern industrial complexes.

      Angola at the beginning of the 21st century was a country ravaged by war and the related effects of land mines and malnutrition, and it was often dependent on the international community for the basics of survival. It is a country that is nevertheless rich in natural resources, including precious gems, metals, and petroleum; indeed, it ranks among the highest of the oil-producing countries in sub-Saharan Africa. It is the largest and wealthiest of the Portuguese-speaking African states, and Portuguese influences have been felt for some 500 years, although Angola acquired its present boundaries only in 1891. An anticolonial struggle that began in 1961 finally led to independence in 1975.

      In "We Must Return," a poem he wrote from prison in 1956, the Angolan poet Agostinho Neto (Neto, Agostinho), who was also the country's first president, described Angola as “red with coffee / white with cotton / green with maize” and as “our land, our mother.” Unfortunately, Neto's happiness with a “liberated Angola—Angola independent” did not last long, and a civil war that went on 27 years left much of the country in ruins. Beginning in 2002, however, with the ending of the war, Angola had more hope for a peaceful future than it had in the previous quarter century.

Land (Angola)
 Angola is roughly square in shape, with a maximum width of about 800 miles (1,300 km), including the Cabinda exclave, which is located along the Atlantic coast just north of Angola's border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo). Angola is bordered to the far northwest by the Republic of the Congo (Congo), to the north and northeast by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the southeast by Zambia, to the south by Namibia, and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean.

      From a narrow coastal plain, the land rises abruptly to the east in a series of escarpments to rugged highlands, which then slope down toward the centre of the continent. The coastal plain varies in width from about 125 miles (200 km) in the area south of Luanda to about 15 miles (25 km) near Benguela. The Bié Plateau to the east of Benguela forms a rough quadrilateral of land above the 5,000-foot (1,500-metre) mark, culminating at about 8,600 feet (2,600 metres) and covering about one-tenth of the country's surface. The Malanje highlands in the north-central part of the country are less extensive and lower in elevation, while the Huíla plateau in the south is smaller still but rises steeply to an elevation of approximately 7,700 feet (2,300 metres). The almost featureless plateau that covers the eastern two-thirds of Angola gradually falls away to between 1,650 and 3,300 feet (500 and 1,000 metres) at the eastern border. The highest point in the country is Mount Moco, near the city of Huambo, which reaches an elevation of 8,596 feet (2,620 metres).

      The Lunda Divide forms a watershed on the plateau, separating north- and south-flowing rivers. In the northeast, rivers such as the Cuango (Kwango) flow out of Angola into the mighty Congo River, which forms the boundary between Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the final 90 miles (145 km) of its course. The central part of the plateau is drained by the Cuanza (Cuanza River) (Kwanza), the largest river entirely within Angola's frontiers, which is about 620 miles (1,000 km) in length. It runs for roughly half its length in a northerly direction before bending westward through a break in the escarpment between the Malanje highlands and the Bié Plateau, and it flows into the sea about 40 miles (65 km) south of Luanda. The southwestern part of the country is drained by the Cunene River (Kunene), which heads south before turning west and breaking through the escarpment at the Ruacana Falls, after which it marks the boundary between Angola and Namibia to the Atlantic Ocean. Some rivers in the southeast of the plateau flow into the Zambezi River, which itself crosses the Cazombo region in the far eastern extension of the country. Other rivers in this area feed the Okavango Swamps of northwestern Botswana. Small rivers in the south run into the internal drainage system of the Etosha Pan in Namibia, while others, often seasonal in nature, drain the steep western slopes of the escarpment.

 The coastal plain consists of alluvia, chalk, and sand, underlain by oil-bearing formations over the northern two-thirds. Crystalline bedrock of Precambrian age (between about 540 million and 3.8 billion years old) emerges along the escarpment, and mineral deposits sometimes lie close to the surface. Considerable erosion has occurred in this area, and laterite formations are common. Most of the plateau in the eastern two-thirds of the country lies buried under deep deposits of infertile windblown Kalahari sands. The river gravels of the northeast contain diamonds, and rare kimberlite pipes occur in this area.

      Angola has a tropical climate with a marked dry season. The climate is largely affected by the seasonal movements of the rain-bearing intertropical convergence zone, the northward flow of the cold Benguela Current off the coast, and elevation. Rainfall is the key determinant of climatic differentiation, and it decreases rapidly from north to south and in proximity to the coast. The Maiombe forest in the northern part of the Cabinda exclave receives the greatest amount of rainfall, about 70 inches (1,800 mm) per year, and Huambo, on the Bié Plateau, receives 57 inches (1,450 mm). In contrast, Luanda, on the dry coast, receives about 13 inches (330 mm), while the southernmost part of the coastal plain gets as little as 2 inches (50 mm). The rainy season lasts from September to May in the north and from December to March in the south. Droughts frequently afflict the country, especially in the south. Temperatures vary much less than rainfall, however, and generally decrease with distance from the Equator, proximity to the coast, and increasing elevation. The average annual temperature in Soyo, for example, at the mouth of the Congo, is 79 °F (26 °C), whereas in Huambo, on the Bié Plateau, it is 67 °F (19 °C).

Plant and animal life
      Until the late 19th century, parts of Angola were covered with dense rainforest, mainly in the northern part of the Cabinda exclave, the western edge of the Malanje highlands, the northwestern corner of the Bié Plateau, and along some rivers in the northeast. Much of this forest has been greatly diminished by agriculture and logging, and now most of Angola's surface is covered with different kinds of savanna (grasslands with scattered trees), ranging from savanna-forest mosaic in the north to thorn scrub in parts of the south. Natural or man-made fires occur frequently in savanna vegetation, and tree species are thus usually resistant to fire. True desert is confined to the Namib in the far southwest, which extends north from Namibia and is the home of a unique plant, the tumboa (Weltwitschia mirabilis), which has a deep taproot and two broad, flat leaves about 10 feet (3 metres) long that lie along the desert floor.

      The fauna is typical of the savanna lands of Africa. Carnivores include leopards, lions, and hyenas, while the plant-eating animals are represented chiefly by elephants, hippopotamuses, giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, gnu (wildebeests) and various other antelopes, and monkeys. Angola is rich in bird species and has a wide variety of reptiles, including crocodiles. The numerous insects include mosquitoes and tsetse flies, both serious pests that carry disease. There are about a dozen national parks and nature reserves, notably Iona National Park in the southeast corner of the country and Quicama National Park just south of Luanda, but checks on hunting largely broke down with the spread of civil war. The giant sable antelope (Hippotragus niger variani), found in the south, is particularly vulnerable. Other endangered populations include the gorillas and chimpanzees of the Maiombe forest, the black rhinoceros, and the Angolan giraffe. Marine life is particularly rich along the southern coast, because the cold Benguela Current provides nutrients for many temperate-water species.

People (Angola)

Ethnic and linguistic composition
 Apart from a few Europeans and isolated bands of Northern Khoisan speakers such as the !Kung (a San group) in the remote southeast, all Angolans speak Bantu languages of the Niger-Congo language family (Niger-Congo languages), which dominates western, central, and southern Africa. The largest ethnolinguistic group is the Ovimbundu, who speak Umbundu and who account for about one-fourth of the population. They inhabit the Bié Plateau, having migrated to Benguela and Lobito and areas along the Benguela Railway to the west and east, and live in fairly large numbers in Luanda. The next-largest ethnic group is the Mbundu (Kimbundu), who speak Kimbundu and who also make up about one-fourth of the population. They dominate the capital city and the Malanje highlands and are well represented in most coastal towns. The Kongo (Bakongo, Esikongo)—in the far north, including the city of Luanda and parts of the countries of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo—speak Kikongo (Kongo language) and account for about one-sixth of the population. Lunda, Chokwe, and Ngangela peoples live scattered through the thinly populated eastern part of the country, spilling over into the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia. The Ovambo (also known as Ambo) and Herero peoples in the southwest also live in Namibia, while the closely related Nyaneka-Nkhumbi peoples inhabit only Angola.

      The use of the Portuguese language by indigenous Angolan groups dates back hundreds of years; in the Kongo kingdom (Kongo), some were able to speak and read Portuguese as early as 1491. Beginning in the 1920s, Portuguese colonial policies sought to make Portuguese (Portuguese language) the only language spoken in Angola; these attempts met with limited success. Portuguese is often the only language spoken in Luanda and in much of the interior extending beyond the city and in other parts of the country; in some areas, however, indigenous languages are used in daily life. Because Portuguese developed as the lingua franca of the country and became the language of the present political leadership, those who did not speak Portuguese were effectively excluded from the political process. Since independence the government has recognized the major African languages, including six that were designated as official languages for educational instruction. However, widespread use of African languages in educational instruction never occurred, and the government continued to employ Portuguese for education, written documents, and official usage. In the years since the end of the civil war, there has been a renewed effort to develop a cohesive national language policy that preserves the country's indigenous languages and associated cultural histories; these efforts include providing language instruction in schools and offering civic materials in indigenous languages. Other languages spoken in Angola include English and Afrikaans (Afrikaans language), which are sometimes spoken in the south and east, especially by people who have resided in Namibia and Zambia as workers or refugees, and French and, to a lesser extent, Lingala (Lingala language), which are often understood among the Kongo in the north. Kikongo ya leta (Kikongo-Kituba), a Creole based on Kikongo, is also spoken in the north.

      Angola's population is overwhelmingly Christian. About three-fifths of the population is Roman Catholic, about one-sixth is Protestant, and the remainder adhere to traditional beliefs or other religions.

      The current religious makeup of Angola has its roots in the country's history. In precolonial times, Angolans of various groups followed broadly similar religious traditions that revolved around venerating ancestors and worshipping territorially oriented deities under a creator high god (often known as Nzambi or Suku). That religious system continues in some form in many places today. The Portuguese introduced Christianity into the Kongo kingdom (Kongo) in the 15th century; since the mid-16th century, most Kongo have regarded themselves as Christians, although their practice has often mixed Christian and traditional beliefs. When the colony of Angola was established in 1575, the Portuguese continued to spread Christianity in the regions inland of Luanda and in the surrounding areas.

      In the late 19th century, Protestant missionaries (mission) entered Angola and made numerous converts among both the Roman Catholic population and those who still followed traditional religions. Baptists operated in the north, Methodists in the Kimbundu-speaking regions, and Congregationalists in areas of Ovimbundu settlement and in the east. The Protestants were especially effective in the Ovimbundu area, despite the efforts of the Portuguese colonial government, which reinforced and subsidized Catholic missionary activities, sometimes harassed Protestants, and served the many Catholic settlers from Portugal who went to Angola. Since the mid-1950s, African Independent Churches, especially Our Lord Jesus Christ Church in the World (Tocoist church), have evangelized from bases mostly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the 1970s the church opposed Angola's Marxist government and was subsequently banned briefly in the late 1980s.

      Nationalist leaders were especially drawn from the Protestant sections of the population, but, when the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola; MPLA) came to power in 1975, its policy as leader of a Marxist-Leninist state was antireligious. Religious organizations were denounced, Roman Catholics for their collaboration with the colonial state and Baptists and Congregationalists for their role in the leadership of the rival National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) (União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola; UNITA) and the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (Frente Nacional de a Libertação de Angola; FNLA). The Methodist Church, however, from which many MPLA leaders were drawn, was more favourably treated. Religious institutions, hospitals, and newspapers were taken over by the state, though sometimes they were actually run by the religious organizations.

      Since the formal abandonment of Marxism and as part of an attempt at national reconciliation, the government has become more tolerant of religious organizations. Formal religious organizations now operate openly again, although there are restraints imposed by official distrust.

Settlement patterns
      The rural population is largely concentrated in the highlands and along watercourses running off the highlands. The Bié Plateau alone contains about half the total rural population. In the north and centre of the country, people live in villages, whereas in the south, where cattle keeping is important, there is a tradition of dispersed settlement and transhumance in search of pastures. A few !Kung live as nomads in remote areas of the far south. The decades of warfare affected settlement patterns, resulting in an increase in the size of village settlements. Settlement patterns have also been affected by forced labour; a form of this practice existed in the precolonial period, was continued by the Portuguese, and was evident in the manner in which both government and rival armies acquired soldiers during the civil war.

 At the end of the colonial period, more than four-fifths of the population was rural, a figure that had declined to about three-fifths by the early 21st century. Continuous warfare and the resultant migration increased the population of Luanda to more than two million by the mid-1990s; conversely, many towns in the east and on the Bié Plateau were destroyed. Farther south along the coastal plain, the historic town of Benguela and the port and industrial centre of Lobito are traditional rivals, while Namibe is the port for the south and the country's largest fishing centre. Other important northern cities are Malanje, at the eastern end of the Luanda Railway, and the coastal oil towns of Cabinda and Soyo. Inland, M'banza Congo is the historic capital of the Kongo kingdom (Kongo). Huambo, on the Bié Plateau, is surrounded by a scattering of smaller towns, while Lubango dominates the Huíla highlands.

Demographic trends
      Angola has never been densely populated, and the export of at least five million slaves between 1500 and 1850 kept the population from growing at a greater rate. At the beginning of the 21st century, the country's population density was well below the average for Southern Africa, with vast areas in the semidesert coastal strip and the eastern two-thirds of the country almost empty.

      During the civil war (1975–2002), it is estimated that warfare killed about a half million people; famine and disease, exacerbated by the conflict, are estimated to have killed an additional half million people as well. However, the population growth rate remained high during this time and later increased after the end of the war. Angola's birth rate is among the highest in the world; however, so too is the country's infant mortality rate. Life expectancy is similar to the average for Southern Africa but is among the lowest in the world, and Angola's population is predominantly young.

      It is estimated that about half a million people fled abroad during the anticolonial war (1961–75), mainly Kongo escaping to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and some Chokwe, Lunda, and Ngangela fleeing to Zambia. There was a renewed outflow of refugees (refugee) in 1975, with the departure of more than 300,000 Portuguese and an unknown number of Africans. The vagaries of warfare have affected both the number of Angolans living outside the country and their situation within the country. Refugee populations both inside and outside Angola have grown during times of war—such as in the mid- to late 1980s, after the elections of 1992, and from 1998 until the end of the civil war in 2002—and such disruptions have also increased internal migrations to cities, especially Luanda.

      The Portuguese government regarded Angola as its overseas crown jewel during the colonial period. It made the colony a target of ambitious settlement schemes and encouraged investment in the economy. As a result of these efforts, the Angolan economy was growing rapidly by the 1970s, with commodities such as coffee, sisal, diamonds, and petroleum the leading exports. Some light industry also developed in the major towns. But this growth was unbalanced, most of the profits being concentrated in the hands of a small settler class, with the majority of the population relegated to forced-labour projects or compelled to sell agricultural goods at artificially low prices to marketing boards. The resultant inequality of income and opportunity played a significant role in the development of the nationalist (nationalism) movements.

      There was a large exodus of skilled Portuguese workers at national independence in 1975, and, because the colonial state had failed to adequately develop local educational systems and job opportunities, few Angolans were available to take their place. The loss of capital and skills had an immediate negative impact on economic development. In addition, the new government sought to impose socialist development on a Soviet and Cuban model that included a high degree of state participation in the economy, such as collective and state-run agricultural enterprises. Foreign capital was often nationalized, and exchange rates were set artificially high.

      The economy was further crippled by a postindependence civil war, which displaced much of the population, ruined physical plants, and disrupted transportation much more than had the earlier guerrilla war. The combination of economic reorganization and warfare caused a virtual economic collapse, which has scarcely abated since then. In the late 1980s, for example, defense spending constituted almost half of the total budget, while the annual rate of inflation exceeded 900 percent in 1994 and more than 2,500 percent the following year. Food production reached such low levels that food was either imported or provided by foreign aid and humanitarian sources, as famine or near-famine conditions prevailed in much of the country from the mid-1980s until after the end of the civil war in 2002. Other agricultural exports such as coffee effectively ceased to be produced until after the end of the war. Only the petroleum industry, which was not nationalized or regulated and was protected from warfare, managed to produce regular income. The petroleum industry, however, still employs few local people and invests little in the Angolan economy, with most of the royalties going to the state. Diamonds also provided a substantial income, especially to the UNITA forces that controlled many of the diamond mines during the war.

      Although economic reforms beginning in 1988 eliminated many of the failed socialist experiments, and foreign interests were allowed to invest capital more freely, the war consistently discouraged such investment and hampered the rebuilding of basic infrastructure in most of the country. However, the Angolan government has focused on reconstruction since the end of the war in 2002. The overall state of the economy has improved since then as well, largely owing to the income generated from the country's petroleum industry.

Agriculture, forestry, and fishing
      Colonial policies favoured the growth of large Portuguese-owned estates producing export crops and discouraged production of any but subsistence crops on the small holdings of the majority of the rural population. Rural people were subjected to various schemes of forced and contract labour to provide workers for the estates. Only about 3 percent of the land area was under cultivation, with less than 1 percent irrigated. Coffee (coffee production) was of greatest importance, with production concentrated in the Malanje highlands and along the northwestern margins of the Bié Plateau near the centre of the country. Prior to independence, Angola supplied almost one-fifth of world coffee production, with an annual output of more than 200,000 tons in the early 1970s. Cotton, sisal, and corn (maize) were also important cash crops, while cassava (manioc), millet, sorghum, and rice were grown as subsistence crops, and livestock such as goats, pigs, and chickens were also kept for subsistence.

      Estates were nationalized after independence, and the creation of state farms followed. The contract-labour system was replaced by a similar system of forced labour, called voluntary brigades. The ensuing civil war, however, prevented the implementation of a state-run estate system, and agricultural production faltered. Cooperatives replaced marketing boards for the small holders and proved to be just as inequitable, and the flight of Portuguese petty traders broke the distribution system. The transport network deteriorated; insecurity spread throughout the country; the overvaluation of the currency acted as an increasingly heavy de facto tax on exports; and the collapse of manufacturing removed all incentives to sell agricultural commodities to the towns. As a result, the urban population came to depend on imported food.

      Fertile agricultural land is limited to a few favoured locations in the highlands and river valleys, and less than one-tenth of the land area is thought to be arable. The combination of poor soils and insufficient rainfall over most of Angola is a severe limitation to crop growing, although the country does contain both temperate and tropical climates. However, the country's agricultural potential remains underutilized outside the Bié Plateau, the coastal oases, and the Ovambo floodplain on the Namibian border. Although pastoralism is inhibited by infestations of tsetse flies, poor pastures, and the lack of surface water in the Namib zone, the southwestern quarter of the country has favourable conditions. The main subsistence crop is cassava. Commercial food crops such as coffee and sugar are again being grown; the production of palm oil and tobacco increased in the 1990s; and even cotton production has increased slightly. The greatest impediment to agriculture, whether subsistence or commercial, however, is the number of land mines (land mine) that were buried throughout the countryside during years of conflict.

      Prior to independence, timber extraction from natural forests (forest) was concentrated in Maiombe in the Cabinda exclave and in Luso on the eastern stretch of the Benguela Railway. Large eucalyptus plantations along the western stretches of the Benguela Railway provided firewood for the steam locomotives and fed the paper-pulp plant near Benguela. Timber exports ceased at independence, and available resources came to be used primarily for fuel. Timber resources remain significant, however, as nearly one-fifth of the country is forested. The Maiombe forest in the north of the Cabinda exclave contains the most-valuable commercial species, notably white tola (Balsamiferum harms) and limba (Terminalia superba). There are also stands of commercial timber along the rivers of the southeast, especially mussibi (Guibourtia coleosperma).

      Owing to the beneficial effects of the cold Benguela Current, Angola has some of the richest fishing (commercial fishing) grounds in Africa, especially along the far southern coast. Sticklebacks, sardines, mackerel, catfish, mullet, and tuna are abundant, as are crabs, lobsters, and prawns. Before independence, about 700 vessels were active in fishing, employing some 13,000 people; by the early 1980s fewer than one-seventh were operational, because most of the vessels had been owned by Portuguese nationals who sailed them away at independence in 1975. Namibe was the centre of this fishing industry, which stretched from Luanda in the north to the Bay of Tigres in the far south. The great majority of the catch was processed in modern factories (which either were destroyed or ceased operating after independence) and exported to Western markets frozen, canned, or as fish meal, while a local and African regional market was supplied through more-traditional fish drying and curing techniques. Foreign boats overfished the region, and production has declined precipitously since the 1970s.

Resources and power
 Angola's resources are considerable in comparison with those of most African countries. There are large reserves of petroleum and natural gas, concentrated in the maritime zones off the Cabinda exclave and the Congo River estuary. Production is largely concentrated off the coast of Cabinda, although there is some onshore production near Soyo and Luanda, and prospecting extends as far south as Kuanza Sul. The quality of the crude oil is generally good, with a low sulfur content.

       petroleum was first discovered in 1955. Angola has become one of the largest exporters of petroleum in sub-Saharan Africa, and production has nearly tripled since independence. Because Angola was not a member of OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) until 2007, for many years the country was not subject to any restrictive quotas on its exports. Angola has also benefited from a combination of favourable geologic conditions, a high rate of exploration success, and relatively low operating costs. natural gas has been found both associated and unassociated with petroleum, but about half of this has been burned off and the rest injected back into oil wells. A state company was set up in 1977 to engage in joint ventures and production-sharing agreements, while management of the oil business was left largely in foreign hands.

      Alluvial diamonds (diamond) occur widely over the northeastern quarter of the country, with a high proportion of gem-quality stones, and there are several kimberlite pipe formations that may be mined. Before independence, Angola was the fourth largest diamond exporter in the world in terms of value, but since that time output has fluctuated. The National Diamond Enterprise of Angola, a parastatal company, is responsible for approving diamond concessions, and it also licenses buyers. In 1992–94 most Angolan diamonds on the market were mined and smuggled from regions controlled by UNITA. The Angolan government gained control of this area in mid-1994 and tried to halt the activities of thousands of illegal diamond prospectors. UNITA retook some diamond regions in the mid- to late 1990s and controlled them until early 2002, when UNITA's leader, Jonas Savimbi (Savimbi, Jonas), was killed.

      There are large reserves of iron ore in the southwestern part of the country, but they are of low grade. Other minerals—copper, manganese, gold, phosphates, uranium, feldspar, and platinum—are known to exist in commercial quantities in Angola, especially in the area of the escarpment.

      Angola's hydroelectric potential is one of the largest in Africa. Most electricity comes from dams on the Cuanza, Cunene, Catumbela, and Dande rivers, at points where they breach the escarpment to reach the coastal plain. Nonetheless, a large share of the country's total generating facilities remained out of use into the early part of the 21st century because of attacks by UNITA, although repair, renovation, and new construction of such facilities began after the civil war ended in 2002.

      Manufacturing had expanded rapidly prior to independence, but it was severely disrupted after 1975. Nationalization and the loss of skilled labour hit the manufacturing sector especially hard. Industries in Angola produce construction materials, refined petroleum and equipment for the petroleum industry, processed food, textiles, and electrical goods. Output declined severely during the quarter century after independence because of the continuing threat of warfare, raw material shortages, and disruptions of power and the transportation infrastructure. In the 1990s Angola attempted to counteract these problems by privatizing many businesses and industries and by introducing a new foreign investment code. The construction industry saw an increase of activity after the end of the civil war, as reconstruction was a priority of the government.

 The National Bank of Angola, which issues Angola's currency, the kwanza, acts as the central bank. Banks were nationalized after independence, but in 1985 foreign banks reentered the country, and in 1995 the government allowed the formation of private banks. Most savings are held in informal banking structures outside the cumbersome state system. Foreign investment is highly concentrated in oil, diamonds, and fishing, but it is beginning to spread more widely through the economy as liberalization proceeds and nationalized assets are returned to the private sector.

      Hydrocarbons (hydrocarbon) account for the largest proportion of exports; more than half goes to the United States and China, where low-sulfur crude oil is sought by refineries. The economy is thus highly vulnerable to shifts in the price of oil. A small quantity of diamonds are also exported. Imports come mainly from South Korea, Portugal, and the United States. Angola imports consumer goods and capital goods and some transport equipment. It generally has a positive balance of trade.

      Although Angola has rural beauty and the economic resources to develop a thriving tourist industry, the long-term civil war prevented the development of this sector. Nevertheless, the country does have a national tourist agency, and some 40,000 tourists entered Angola annually in the late 1990s; in the years following the end of the civil war, that number increased dramatically.

Labour and taxation
      Several trade unions (organized labour) operate in Angola. Women form the majority of the rural workforce, and as such they have been disproportionately affected by the numerous land mines found throughout the country. Several national women's organizations exist, and women are theoretically guaranteed equal rights, but, in reality, they are still often discriminated against. Many women, especially rural women, belong to the Organization of Angolan Women, which was founded in the 1960s and has established literacy and social programs. National revenue is derived from taxes on income and on petroleum.

Transportation and telecommunications
      Angola achieved independence with an excellent transport network for an African country so large and thinly populated, in part because of Portuguese military imperatives after 1961. But this sector of the infrastructure has suffered more than any other from the effects of war and the lack of maintenance. A rehabilitation plan, backed by foreign aid, was launched in the last decade of the 20th century. Since the end of the civil war in 2002, other rehabilitation and reconstruction plans have also been initiated to improve the country's transportation infrastructure.

      A grid of roads links the major geographic centres of economic activity, although only about one-fourth of these roads are paved. Numerous bridges were destroyed during the civil war, and travel on the roads generally was possible only in convoys with armed escorts. In 1997 a state agency responsible for road construction and maintenance estimated that four-fifths of the roads and bridges needed repair. Another challenge was the lack of spare parts available to repair the country's limited number of motor vehicles. Both of these issues began to see some improvement after the war ended, although in the case of road repair, the progress was slow moving.

Railways (railroad)
      The Benguela Railway is the longest of the country's railways, extending from Lobito on the coast to the Congolese frontier. Owned partly by foreign interests, it once provided sea access for landlocked Zambia and transported minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo), on which the railway's profitability depended; but, after the start of the civil war, it did not function east of Huambo and often was completely out of use. The Luanda Railway, which was nationalized in 1918, depended on coffee and cotton for its traffic. The Namibe Railway, which has been owned by the state from the outset, depended on the shipment of iron ore. Both railways have functioned only episodically since independence, owing to disruptions from the civil war. Since the end of the war, sections of all three railways have undergone repairs and some have reopened for use; construction has also been initiated on new railway lines.

       Lobito is the finest and best-equipped port in the country, but it has been underutilized since corn exports from the Bié Plateau and mineral traffic from the Republic of the Congo (Congo) ceased, with traffic reduced to about one-fifth of preindependence levels. Although Luanda has a good harbour, it has been poorly managed and by the end of the 20th century handled less than half the cargo it did before 1975. Following the end of the civil war in 2002, renovation began on Luanda's port facilities. Since the cessation of iron ore shipments, Namibe's activity has been based essentially on its role as the country's major fishing port. Cabinda is the major port for loading petroleum shipments; Malongo and Soyo have also grown in importance with the oil boom, although they have much poorer natural harbours. The lower Congo River is used by seagoing vessels up to Nóqui on the Congolese frontier, and small craft ply the lower Cuanza River for about 140 miles (225 km).

Air travel
      Travel by air was the only safe means of transport during the civil war, and the network of airfields left by the Portuguese has been intensively used. The national airline (Linhas Aéreas de Angola; TAAG) travels to Africa, Europe, South America, and the Caribbean, while air-cargo services are the main focus of Transafrik International. There is an international airport in Luanda, and several domestic airports are located throughout the country.

      Like other parts of the country's infrastructure, the telephone system was badly damaged by war. In the late 1990s, domestic and foreign investment repaired and expanded Angola's communications infrastructure. The state monopoly on telecommunications ended in 2001, the same year a new cellular communications system became operational in the country. Mobile cellular phones have existed in Angola since the mid-1990s, and use has skyrocketed. Broadband Internet service has been available in Angola since 2003, although access is extremely limited beyond the city of Luanda.

Government and society

Constitutional framework
      Portugal granted independence to Angola on Nov. 11, 1975, without establishing a new government. The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola; MPLA), led by Agostinho Neto (Neto, Agostinho) and based in Luanda, took power, an act that was internationally, though not universally, recognized. The constitution of 1975 established a one-party state headed by a president who was also chairman of the MPLA, which declared itself a Marxist-Leninist vanguard party in 1977. The positions of prime minister and deputy prime minister were abolished in 1978, with a prime minister not appointed again until 1991; a National People's Assembly was created in 1980. President Neto died in Moscow in 1979 and was replaced by the minister of planning, José Eduardo dos Santos (dos Santos, José). Early in 1990 the government proposed separating the offices of chairman of the party and president of state, a division already mandated by the constitution.

      A new constitution, essentially an extensively amended version of the 1975 document, was promulgated in 1992. Prepared with the acquiescence of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) (União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola; UNITA), it provides for a multiparty system. Under the terms of the constitution, the president, elected for a five-year term, is the head of state and government. The prime minister is appointed by the president, as are the members of the Council of Ministers. Legislative power is vested in the National Assembly, whose members are elected to four-year terms. The new constitution abolished the death penalty (capital punishment) and emphasized the rights of the people.

Local government and justice
      Angola is divided into 18 provinces, each of which is headed by a governor appointed by the central government. Provinces are further divided into councils, communes, circles, neighbourhoods, and villages.

      The judiciary consists of municipal and provincial courts, with the highest body being the Supreme Court. Operations of lower courts were disrupted by the civil war, and, in the years immediately following the end of the war, the majority of municipal courts were still not functioning.

Political process
      The major parties in Angola are the MPLA, UNITA, the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (Frente Nacional de a Libertação de Angola; FNLA), the Liberal Democratic Party, and the Social Renewal Party. The FNLA was one of three groups that fought for the independence of Angola beginning in the 1960s. Its leader, Holden Roberto, left Angola after 1975 and did not return until 1991. Until 1992 the MPLA was the only legal political party in the country. Multiparty elections in that year gave seats in the National Assembly to representatives from 12 political parties, including UNITA. In the early 21st century, women made up about 15 percent of the National Assembly. They have served as ministers in the Angolan government, and a woman has also held the office of vice president of the Supreme Court.

      The Organization of Angolan Women came under the control of the MPLA in the late 1970s but still maintained some degree of independence. It served as an outlet for female participation in society, because MPLA membership was overwhelmingly male. The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola–Youth Movement served as a conduit to party membership in the late 1970s.

      Angola's military, the Armed Forces of Angola (Forças Armadas de Angolanas; FAA), includes the army, navy, and air force. The army is by far the largest segment of the FAA, with the navy and air force maintaining far fewer troops. The FAA was created by a 1991 agreement between the Angolan government and UNITA and was to draw equally from existing government forces (largely the armed branch of MPLA) and those of UNITA; the agreement has been abrogated and resumed several times since then. Following the end of the civil war, more than 5,000 UNITA forces were integrated into the FAA.

Health and welfare
 The Portuguese made a major effort to win over African Angolans after 1961 by expanding health and welfare programs, as they had done with education. The MPLA government came to power with even more ambitious schemes, but initial successes were followed by an almost complete collapse of services, especially in the rural areas, owing to the long-term civil war. Many doctors and other medical personnel fled abroad. Those who stayed were reluctant to work in remote and dangerous parts of the country, although traditional doctors remained in most parts of Angola. After the end of the war, the government was faced with the arduous challenge of rebuilding the health care infrastructure and attracting health care workers. Medicines and other medical supplies remain in short supply. Malaria, diarrheal diseases, and severe malnutrition—sometimes bordering on starvation—are rife, and cholera epidemics, owing to unsanitary conditions, frequently occur. Although AIDS is present in Angola, the country has a lower prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS than many African countries, which is attributed to the many years of warfare that kept the Angolan population somewhat isolated.

      Urban housing, social conditions, and the health situation in Luanda have declined because of the flood of refugees from the countryside, a situation that did not immediately abate in the years following the end of the war. Unemployment, inflation, acute shortages of water, empty shops, and the collapse of public transport have all contributed to the plight of the poor, while the political and bureaucratic elite have benefited from a network of special shops, good housing, and other advantages financed from the proceeds of the oil economy.

 Settlements called musseques house the urban poor in Luanda and other large towns. They became crowded with hundreds of thousands of refugees during the 1980s and '90s. In the years immediately following the end of the civil war, conditions in the musseques remained poor, especially from a health perspective. Even though residents of musseques made tremendous efforts to keep their immediate living areas clean, mountains of garbage could be found beyond personal living areas because of the sheer amount of refuse generated by the overcrowded housing conditions and inadequate trash disposal efforts of the government; such unsanitary conditions contribute to frequent outbreaks of cholera.

      Rural villages tend to be small in size. Housing is generally kept clean and is often constructed of adobe or brick and roofed with sheet metal. More-traditional construction techniques are still known to some, but for the most part, fewer homes are made with the traditional wattle and daub walls and thatched roofs. There is virtually no electricity in smaller rural villages, and most towns only have it intermittently. Running water (water supply) is also intermittent or unavailable in many areas.

      Portuguese colonial policy did not favour education for the ordinary African citizens of Angola. Until 1961, when a revised education program was enacted by the colonial administration, most education was left to religious institutions—with the Roman Catholic Church focusing on the Portuguese settlers and a small number of Africans, while Protestants were most active among the African population. After independence, the MPLA's policy of primary education for all tripled primary school enrollment between 1976 and 1979, although this declined by half during the 1980s. Owing to the many years of civil war, conditions in schools declined dramatically, with an acute shortage of teachers and a lack of even the most basic teaching materials. However, enrollment in secondary schools and in Agostinho Neto University (1963) expanded continuously after 1975. These institutions suffered less than primary schools from political insecurity and conflict. But there was also a severe lack of teachers and teaching materials at these schools, and most faculties in the university were closed for long periods because of alleged political agitation. During this time, it is estimated that recruitment into the armed forces of the MPLA and UNITA had a greater impact than Angola's school system on the spread of literacy, the increased use of Portuguese, and the acquisition of technical skills. Many Angolans trained abroad, especially in Cuba and the Soviet Union.

      Angola's government continues to provide free education, which is compulsory for eight years. Primary education, beginning at age seven, continues for four years. Secondary education comprises two cycles; beginning at age 11, students complete a four-year cycle, which can then be followed by a three-year cycle. In addition to Agostinho Neto University, higher education in Angola is provided by such institutions as the Catholic University of Angola (1997) and Jean Piaget University of Angola (1998).

      Almost three decades of civil war have taken a toll on Angola's educational system. In the early 21st century, some four-fifths of all schools in the country were thought to be deserted or destroyed, and the vast majority of Angolan children were not able to attend classes. Since the end of the conflict in 2002, an effort has been made to construct more schools and increase the training and number of teachers in the country.

      Angola's literacy rate is lower than that of most neighbouring countries, despite dramatic improvement during the last quarter of the 20th century. At independence, less than one-fifth of the adult population was literate, but by 1990 the rate had more than doubled. In the early 21st century, about three-fifths of the population was literate.

Cultural life

Cultural milieu
      Precolonial culture in Angola was broadly similar from one end of the country to another, albeit with local variations and some differences stemming from the many, though mostly related, languages spoken in the area. A common traditional culture is still noticeable in Angola.

      Portuguese contact beginning in the late 15th century produced an overlay of European culture that was accepted to varying degrees in much of the northwestern part of the country. The Portuguese settled at Luanda in 1575 and established the core of colonial Angola in the area approximately 90 miles (150 km) inland from Luanda. By the mid-17th century a mixture of Mbundu and Portuguese culture had emerged in the region, and in 18th-century Luanda, Kimbundu (the language of the Mbundu) predominated as the language of the elite; even Portuguese of considerable stature who resided locally spoke Kimbundu, often in preference to Portuguese. In the 19th century the Luanda elite embraced both Kimbundu and Portuguese culture and language and valued their blended nature, and the eventual cessation of Kimbundu as the language of the elite did not occur until after 1910. In contrast, a class of mixed origin (including government officials, the assimilated African and mulatto population, and, later, the settlers that moved to the country after 1945) that was strongly Portuguese in language and cultural expression developed after 1850 with the Portuguese conquest of the rest of Angola and with the programs of assimilation that were begun in 1910 and intensified after 1926. This predominantly Portuguese culture coexisted with a less-assimilated rural population that harkened back to the mixed culture of earlier times (especially in the Kongo areas) or to the traditional cultures (in those regions brought under Portuguese control after 1850). Protestant missionaries introduced North American and British influences; they were anxious to promote significant cultural change—including the introduction of many Western norms under the guise of modernization—as well as religious conversion, although they preferred to teach in indigenous languages.

      After independence the propaganda of the emerging nationalist movements placed a greater value on the purely African culture, but, because of the colonial policy of assimilation, most educated Angolans were more Portuguese than African in their general cultural orientation. This created considerable cultural conflict and had political implications as well, because those who were assimilated were generally the educational and political leaders. Although rigorous censorship ceased in the 1990s, both the cultural ambiguity of many in the government and the desire to discourage the “tribalism” that endured initially made Angola, in spite of official positions, less supportive of cultural expressions that were not Portuguese based. However, this began to change in the first decade of the 21st century, as the government appeared to be somewhat more accommodating.

Daily life
      The mixture of Portuguese and African culture has made urban Angola, especially the Luanda region, more like a Latin American than an African country. Its nightclubs, restaurants, and annual carnival might seem at home in Brazil had not war and security measures made this sort of social life difficult. Nevertheless, the country has much to celebrate in its cuisine, festivals, and artistic traditions.

      As in much of sub-Saharan Africa, palm oil is an indispensable part of many Angolan dishes, and a number of dishes emphasize the Angolan population's love of seafood. The feast of Nganja, usually celebrated in April, is a harvest festival during which children roast corn. The Futungo market, near Luanda, provides craftsmen with a place to sell their handicrafts.

The arts
 Wood, clay, copper, reeds, ivory, shells, and the human body are the main media for Angolan decorative arts. The wooden sculptures of the Chokwe people, the carved ivories of Cabinda, and the elaborate hairstyles of the Nyaneka and Nkhumbi peoples are especially famous. A number of modern artists and graphic designers work with both African and Western motifs in the general realm of modern African art. Music and dancing play a central role in cultural life, with the drum as the basic instrument; there is also a rich oral literature. Since independence various government research agencies have tried to collect ethnographic material and to do archaeological studies, but their work has been sporadic and limited by the war.

      Western influences, which tend to predominate in the towns, have increasingly overshadowed traditional culture. During the 19th century, a dynamic group of educated Africans emerged in Angolan towns. These individuals wrote newspaper articles, histories, novels, and poems in Portuguese and also explored Mbundu folklore and ethnography. The right-wing dictatorship in Portugal drove much of this literary activity underground after 1926 but failed to destroy it altogether. Although the leader of the MPLA at independence, Agostinho Neto (Neto, Agostinho), was renowned throughout the Portuguese-speaking world for his poetry, his government too curtailed artistic freedom, implementing a rigorous system of censorship. Additional artistic outlets emerged by the mid-1990s with the rise of a national television service and the beginnings of a national film industry.

      Angola has many traditional instruments, including the ngoma, a bongo drum, and the mpwita, a drum originally found in Kongo. Also noteworthy are the mpungu, a trumpet, and the Luandan hungu, equivalent to the mbulumbumba of southwestern Angola, both types of gourd-resonated musical bow. These stringed instruments traveled with slaves to Brazil, where they developed into the berimbau.

      Contemporary music in Angola combines the African influences in the music of the Caribbean, the United States, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the Latin influences of Cuba and Brazil. Angola's poverty and civil unrest have provided few opportunities for professional musicians, especially because the Ministry of Culture has exerted much control over commercial music production since independence; despite this, musical expression has flourished in informal sectors.

Cultural institutions
      An ambitious program to expand museums, libraries, and archives, initiated in the postindependence era, has borne little fruit. A National Institute for Cultural Heritage does exist in Luanda, but material from other local museums was either looted or removed to Luanda during the course of the war. The National Historical Archive, also in Luanda, houses material dating to the 17th century. The Kongo Kingdom Museum in M'banza Congo is home to many cultural artifacts. Many other fine collections built up in colonial times were destroyed, dispersed, or made unavailable to the public. Following the end of the civil war in 2002, the government and private organizations began the process of renovating or rebuilding cultural institutions damaged in the war.

Sports and recreation
      Sports are largely dominated by football (football (soccer)) (soccer), which is a national passion and is played by people of every social stratum. Some Angolans have become players of distinction, but they tend to compete professionally in Portugal or elsewhere in Europe, where there are more opportunities. In 2006 Angola was one of four sub-Saharan African countries that participated in the World Cup finals. basketball is growing in popularity in Angola, especially owing to the influence of foreign armed forces fighting on Angolan soil. The sport is played by people of all ages and both sexes, and, because of government support, the men's national team has done well at African championships and participated in the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Media and publishing
      The press was nationalized in 1976; several newspapers and periodicals are published, mainly in Luanda. The state-run radio station broadcasts in Portuguese, English, French, Spanish, Chokwe, Kikongo, Kimbundu, and Umbundu, as well as a few other African languages. The television station, founded in 1975, is also state-controlled. Although the constitution provides for freedom of the press, it is not always enforced, and some journalists have practiced self-censorship.

      This discussion mainly focuses on Angola since the late 15th century. For a treatment of earlier periods and of the country in its regional context, see Southern Africa.

Early Angola
      Most of the modern population of Angola developed from the agricultural cultures that appeared there from about 1000 to 500 BC, which by the first centuries AD were also working iron. These people probably spoke the ancestral versions of Angola's present languages. Complex societies also may have been established at that time, and by 1500 several large kingdoms occupied the territory of Angola. Of these, Kongo, situated in the northern part of the country, south of the Congo River, was the largest and most centralized. Ndongo, with its centre in the highlands between the Cuanza (Cuanza River) (Kwanza) and the Lukala rivers, was an important rival. Other states, such as the kingdom of Benguela on the Bié Plateau, are less well known. Smaller states, including Bailundu, Ciyaka, and Kwanhama, were scattered between the larger kingdoms, sometimes remaining independent, sometimes falling under control of the larger kingdoms. The Chokwe, although they did not have a centralized government, established an important cultural centre in the northeastern part of the country.

The Kongo kingdom and the coming of the Portuguese
      The Kongo kingdom, the most powerful state to develop in the region, emerged in the 14th century as the Kongo people moved southward from the Congo River region into northern Angola. There they established Mbanza Kongo (M'banza Congo) as their capital. Portuguese navigators reached Kongo, in the northwest, in 1483 and entered into diplomatic relations with the kingdom after that. Moreover, Kongo's king converted to Christianity, and his son Mvemba a Nzinga took the Christian name of Afonso I, establishing the religion permanently in the country, along with literacy in Portuguese and European customs. Disputes over control of trade, particularly regarding slaves from Kongo and its neighbours, led the Portuguese to look for new allies, especially the Ndongo kingdom. After undertaking several missions there, the Portuguese established a colony at Luanda in 1575. Subsequent wars with Ndongo, particularly after 1617, brought the Portuguese significantly more territory, despite the resistance of Queen Njinga Mbande of Ndongo and Matamba. Portuguese expansion was largely over by 1670, and further conflict involved attempts to redirect or tax trade.

      Slaves were Angola's major export, and Portugal was actively involved in their acquisition, more so from the late 17th century. People were also enslaved through inter-African conflicts, such as the civil wars in Kongo after 1665, and conflicts that occurred during the rise of the great Lunda empire after 1750, in the Dembos region between Kongo and Matamba, and on the Bié Plateau. Population losses were considerable, and the demography was badly distorted; censuses from the late 18th century show that there were twice as many adult females as males.

      The expansion of the slave trade was but one of several factors that played a role in the rise and fall of the region's kingdoms. Beset by civil wars, Kongo entered into a steep decline in the 17th century. The Loango kingdom (Loango, Kingdom of) flourished north of the Congo estuary until it was decentralized by the late 18th century. The Ndongo kingdom in the Malanje highlands reached its height in the late 16th century but was destroyed when the Portuguese pushed inland in the 17th century and was replaced by the Kasanje kingdom (Kasanje) in the Cuango (Kwango) River valley.

Colonial transition, 1820s–1910
      In the 18th and 19th centuries, the port of Cabinda was a major entrepôt, where slaves were an important commodity. The export of slaves was banned in Angola in 1836, but the trade did not end until the Brazilian market was closed in the early 1850s. Slavery itself was legally abolished in the Portuguese empire in 1875, but it continued in thinly disguised forms until 1911 and in many cases into the 1960s. Slaves were exported to the coffee and cocoa plantations of São Tomé (São Tomé and Príncipe) from the 1860s and were used in Angola to produce coffee, cotton, sugar, and fish. But from the 1850s, exports came to be dominated by products hunted or collected by Africans, first ivory and wax and later wild rubber. These changes came about as the industrial revolution reorganized the world economy, and items such as cloth and metal goods were now available for import and at less expense than in the past. Africans responded to this by ceasing local production of these goods and instead paying for the imported versions with commodity exports of peanuts and wild products such as honey, animal skins, ivory, and eventually rubber.

      The slave trade had primarily been a state business and did not greatly affect the local communities from an economic standpoint. In contrast, this new trade involved the whole population: hundreds of thousands of people were employed in the transport and production of these commodities, and their increasing wealth, involvement in the international economy, and interest in commercial policies led to many problems for both indigenous and colonial governments. The Ovimbundu turned from slave raiding to long-distance trade, and their caravans penetrated as far east as the East African coast. The Chokwe were expert hunters of elephants and collectors of wax and rubber, and they used their accumulated firearms to overthrow the Lunda empire in the 1880s. The Kasanje kingdom collapsed when illicit slave trading undermined the king's central slave market and newly enriched commoners demanded a stronger voice in government.

      Angolans closer to the coast were more affected by the slow expansion of Portuguese colonialism and by the loss of land to settlers. Cotton and sugar were grown from the 1840s on oasis plantations along the coastal strip, and immigrants from the Algarve built up the fishing industry. Spontaneously occurring stands of coffee led the Portuguese to carve out plantations in the Malanje highlands beginning in the 1830s, and work on the railway from Luanda to Malanje commenced in 1885. Construction began in 1902 on the Benguela Railway, which was intended to serve the Katanga mines in the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo)). Portuguese small farmers were settled in the Huíla highlands from the 1880s to counterbalance an influx of Boer trekkers from South Africa, and the southern railway was begun in 1905. In the Maiombe forest of the far north, plantations of cacao and oil palms were laid out in the 1900s.

      Angola's borders, including those for Cabinda (an exclave located in the country of the Democratic Republic of the Congo), had been finally determined by negotiations in Europe in 1891, but the Portuguese focused exclusively on administering areas with plantations and railways and introduced systematic taxation of Africans only in 1906. Many positions in the colonial administration were held by Angolan Creoles, who were initially accepted as full Portuguese citizens. The spread of British and American Protestant missions from the 1870s was countered by government-subsidized French Roman Catholic missions.

From colonial conquest to independence, 1910–75
      The proclamation of the Republic of Portugal in Lisbon in late 1910, followed in 1926 by the creation of the authoritarian New State (Estado Novo), marked the advent of modern Portuguese colonialism. The authorities stamped out slavery and undertook the systematic conquest of Angola. By 1920 all but the remote southeast of the colony was firmly under Portuguese control. Kingdoms were abolished, and the Portuguese worked directly through chiefs, headmen, and African policemen. Conversions to Christianity increased, and by 1940 there were about a million Christians in Angola, some three-fourths of them Roman Catholics. Angolan “natives” were taxed and subjected to forced labour and forced cultivation, with a stringent set of tests imposed on the few nonwhite “assimilated persons” who applied to be exempted from these impositions. Increasingly, Portuguese immigrants replaced Creoles (Creole) in the administration. This trend continued, forcing Creoles into positions with lower pay and prestige and ultimately leading to the growth of Creole-led nationalism.

      Angola's economy was modernized and bound to that of Portugal by a system of protective tariffs. A network of dirt roads was built, and the Benguela Railway was completed to the boundary of the Belgian Congo in 1928. Lorries (trucks) and fixed stores replaced trading caravans. Coffee, sugar, palm products, and sisal came mainly from the estate sector, and corn (maize) and cattle from smallholders. The cultivation of cotton for Portuguese textile mills was imposed by force. Alluvial diamond mining dominated the northeast from 1912; the fishing industry expanded; and import-substitution industries were started.

      After the independence of the Belgian Congo in 1960, a major revolt rocked northern Angola in 1961; it was followed by a long guerrilla war. Land alienation and forced labour sparked rebellion in the coffee zone, while in the Cuango valley the peasants rose against forced cotton cultivation. An attack on the prison in Luanda was led by frustrated Creoles. To contain the revolt, the Portuguese deployed large numbers of troops, set up strategic hamlets (forced settlements of rural Angolans), and, by encouraging Portuguese peasants to immigrate to Angola, raised the European population to about 330,000 by 1974. At the same time, they tried to improve relations with Africans by abolishing forced cultivation, forced labour, and the stringent tests to gain assimilated status. They also improved education, health, and social welfare services and protected peasants from land alienation. The economy entered into a period of sustained boom, marked by rapid industrialization and the growth of oil production, and the standard of living rose for both urban workers and rural producers.

      The armed struggle continued, but the anticolonial guerrillas were seriously weakened by dissension. The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola; MPLA) (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola) was founded in 1956 with the help of the clandestine Portuguese Communist Party, and from 1962 it was led by Agostinho Neto (Neto, Agostinho). It was popular in Luanda and among some rural Mbundu, drawing foreign support from the Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). Initially based in the Republic of the Congo (Congo), the MPLA moved to Zambia in 1965. The National Front for the Liberation of Angola (Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola; FNLA), founded in 1957 under another name and led by Holden Roberto, drew its support from the Kongo and some rural Mbundu. Based in Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo; called Zaire from 1971 to 1997), the FNLA obtained aid from the United States and China. In 1966 Jonas Savimbi (Savimbi, Jonas) set up a third movement, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola; UNITA) (UNITA), with a predominantly Ovimbundu leadership and with some support from the Chokwe and Ovambo (Ambo). UNITA enjoyed little official foreign backing (although China provided some aid) and lacked a secure foreign base because Zambia leaned toward the MPLA. The divisions between and within these three movements, which at times degenerated into armed conflict, allowed the Portuguese to gain the upper hand by the early 1970s. When a military coup in Portugal overthrew that country's dictatorship in April 1974, all three guerrilla movements had been almost entirely expelled from Angolan soil.

Independence and civil war
      The three liberation movements proved unable to constitute a united front after the Portuguese coup. The FNLA's internal support had dwindled to a few Kongo groups, but it had strong links with the regime in Zaire and was well armed; it thus made a bid to seize Luanda by force. The MPLA, with growing backing from the Portuguese Communist Party, Cuba, and the Soviet Union, defeated this onslaught and then turned on UNITA, chasing its representatives out of Luanda. UNITA was militarily the weakest movement, but it had the greatest potential electoral support, given the predominance of the Ovimbundu within the population, and it thus held out most strongly for elections. But the Portuguese army was tired of war and refused to impose peace and supervise elections. The Portuguese therefore withdrew from Angola in November 1975 without formally handing power to any movement, and nearly all the European settlers fled the country.

      The MPLA, in control of the capital city, declared itself the government of independent Angola and managed to win recognition from many African countries. UNITA and the FNLA set up a rival government in Huambo and called on South African forces to eject the MPLA from Luanda. Cuba poured in troops to defend the MPLA, pushed the internationally isolated South Africans out of Angola, and gained control of all the provincial capitals. The Cuban expeditionary force, which eventually numbered some 40,000 to 50,000 soldiers, remained in Angola to pacify the country and ward off South African attacks. In 1977 the MPLA crushed an attempted coup by one of its leaders and, after a thorough purge, turned itself officially into a Marxist-Leninist party, adding Partido Trabalhista (Party of Labour) to their name (MPLA-PT). The transformation of the economy along communist lines was pursued, with disastrous results. The major exception was the oil industry, which, managed by foreign companies, grew rapidly enough to enable Angola to stave off economic and military collapse. President Neto died in 1979 and was succeeded by the former minister of planning, José Eduardo dos Santos (dos Santos, José).

      The FNLA withered away in exile, but UNITA reorganized itself with foreign backing as an effective guerrilla force. South Africa became a strong supporter in hopes that UNITA could counter the guerrilla campaigns of the South West Africa People's Organization into Namibia, actions supported by the MPLA-PT. In 1985 UNITA began receiving military aid from the United States, and its campaigns became more effective. When the MPLA-PT launched several large campaigns against UNITA in 1987, using armour and aircraft, South African forces returned to the region, and a military stalemate resulted as fighting engulfed the country. But late in 1988 the South Africans promised to grant independence to Namibia and to cease supporting UNITA, while the Cubans agreed to withdraw their expeditionary force from Angola by mid-1991. The MPLA-PT's initial response to the South African withdrawal was to try to capture the airfield at Mavinga, from which it would be able to launch an attack against UNITA's headquarters. The failure of this costly campaign and the increasingly effective UNITA attacks on oil installations forced the MPLA-PT to adopt a more conciliatory posture. In June 1989 a historic meeting between Santos and Savimbi (Savimbi, Jonas) during negotiations brokered by Zaire produced a cease-fire, although it did not last; but with communist regimes collapsing in eastern Europe, the MPLA-PT lost its support and began negotiating more seriously. In mid-1990 the MPLA-PT abandoned the one-party state and produced a new constitution that included elections and participation by all, including UNITA. They also abandoned their strict Marxist-Leninist stance and dropped the words Partido Trabalhista (PT) from their name. Elections were held in 1992 under United Nations supervision; Dos Santos was elected president, and the MPLA gained a majority in the parliament, but UNITA made a strong showing, especially on the Bié Plateau. Charging election fraud, UNITA renewed the civil war, while its delegates in Luanda were massacred in a popular uprising that many believe had government backing.

      The exclave of Cabinda became another focus of attention for postindependence government. Although this region is situated geographically within the country of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Portugal gained control of it at the end of the 19th century. Cabinda was specifically made a part of Angola in 1975, but the Angolan government had to contend with independence movements there until the late 1980s. The region is particularly valuable because a significant amount of Angola's oil is found there.

      At the end of 1992, UNITA controlled approximately two-thirds of the country, including valuable diamond mines that were used to pay for the continuing costs of the war. Fighting raged throughout 1993 as the government gradually regained territory and won greater support abroad; both South Africa and the United States recognized the government of Angola in 1993, as did the United Kingdom by ending an arms embargo that had existed since 1975. Meanwhile, international pressure mounted on the two sides to reach a peaceful solution. Sanctions against UNITA were imposed by the UN in September 1993 after it disregarded a cease-fire it had accepted earlier, but it appeared that UNITA could continue the war for some time with its vast stockpile of weapons. Eventually, an agreement called the Lusaka Accord was signed by the government and UNITA on Nov. 20, 1994. The agreement allowed UNITA to be reintegrated into the government, provided fighting ceased on that date. Although minor fighting between the two groups continued, dos Santos and Savimbi met several times over the next three years to resolve issues relating to the final form of the combined government. In August 1996 Savimbi finally agreed to accept the title of “leader of the opposition,” but he declined to attend a ceremony in April 1997 at which UNITA delegates formally joined the government. Relations between the two groups were further complicated that year by the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. UNITA supported the crumbling Zairean regime because the group had been able to transport its diamonds through the country, while the Angolan government supported the victorious rebels led by Laurent Kabila (Kabila, Laurent).

Angola in the 21st century
 By the beginning of the 21st century, hostilities between the government and UNITA had resumed, and the UNITA delegates had been expelled from the government. With the killing of Savimbi by government forces in February 2002, talks began again between the UNITA leadership and the government, finally culminating in a peace agreement in April. Although the country breathed a collective sigh of relief with the end of 27 years of civil war, the Angolan government was faced with the daunting challenge of rebuilding the country's physical and social welfare infrastructure, much of which was completely destroyed. In the early 21st century, there were repeated outbreaks of illness, such as cholera, due to poor sanitary conditions; there was also an epidemic of hemorrhagic fever caused by the deadly Marburg virus in 2005. It was estimated that the civil war had displaced more than four million people, and hundreds of thousands of Angolan refugees still needed to be resettled in the country. The resumption of agricultural production was also a challenge, further complicated by the thousands of land mines that were strewn haphazardly throughout the country during the conflict. The Angolan government also had to address the long-standing issue of separatist groups in oil-rich Cabinda and their demands for independence, which intensified in 2004. When the government and the main separatist group reached a peace agreement in 2006, Angolans looked to the future, hopeful that peace had finally come.

William Gervase Clarence-Smith John Kelly Thornton
      Highly anticipated multiparty parliamentary elections—the first since 1992—were held on Sept. 5–6, 2008. Although there were some reports of fraud and intimidation, the elections were deemed valid by international observers, and the MPLA won about four-fifths of the vote.


Additional Reading

Overviews are provided by Adebayo Oyebade, Culture and Customs of Angola (2007); Douglas L. Wheeler and René Pélissier, Angola (1971); and Thomas Collelo (ed.), Angola: A Country Study, 3rd ed. (1991). Lawrence W. Henderson, The Church in Angola (1992; originally published in Portuguese, 1990), surveys Christian groups in Angola. The best up-to-date information on politics and the economy is provided by two publications from the Economist Intelligence Unit, Country Profile: Angola (annual), and Country Report: Angola (quarterly). Tony Hodges, Angola: Anatomy of an Oil State (2004), provides a useful overview of the role petroleum has played in the country's economy.

David Birmingham, Empire in Africa: Angola and Its Neighbors (2006); and Lawrence W. Henderson, Angola: Five Centuries of Conflict (1979), provide broad treatment. W. Martin James, Historical Dictionary of Angola, new ed. (2004), includes a useful bibliography. David Birmingham, Central Africa to 1870: Zambezia, Zaïre, and the South Atlantic (1981), synthesizes prehistory and the early Portuguese presence. More on the Portuguese presence can be found in Gerald J. Bender, Angola Under the Portuguese: The Myth and the Reality (1978). Analyses of the slave trade include Joseph C. Miller, Way of Death: Merchant Capitalism and the Angolan Slave Trade, 1730–1830 (1988), a masterful work; and W.G. Clarence-Smith, Slaves, Peasants, and Capitalists in Southern Angola, 1840–1926 (1979). Linda Heywood, Contested Power in Angola, 1840s to the Present (2000), focuses on the history of central Angola. John A. Marcum, The Angolan Revolution, 2 vol. (1969–78), analyzes the liberation movements up to independence. David Birmingham, Frontline Nationalism in Angola & Mozambique (1992), discusses the period from 1961 to 1975. F.W. Heimer, The Decolonization Conflict in Angola, 1974–76: An Essay in Political Sociology (1979), provides the best guide to decolonization. W.G. Clarence-Smith, “Class Structure and Class Struggles in Angola in the 1970s,” Journal of Southern African Studies, 7(1):109–126 (October 1980), analyzes the beginnings of the civil war. Fred Bridgland, Jonas Savimbi: A Key to Africa (1986), views the civil war from a UNITA perspective; while Keith Somerville, Angola: Politics, Economics, and Society (1986), does the same from an MPLA perspective. William Minter, Apartheid's Contras: An Inquiry into the Roots of War in Angola and Mozambique (1994), also discusses the civil wars.John Kelly Thornton

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