A virtual guide to Angola, a country on the western coast of southern Africa (see map). Angola is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in west, Namibia in south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (former Zaire) in north, and Zambia in the east. The exclave province of Cabinda is separated from Angola by a tongue of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and has also borders with the Republic of the Congo.
Angola occupies an area of 1,246,700 km², compared it is almost 14 times the size of Portugal, the former colonial power of the country, or slightly less than twice the size of the U.S. state of Texas.
Angola has a population of 24.4 million people (census 2014). Largest city and the national capital is Luanda. Spoken languages are Portuguese (official), and several Bantu languages like Kikongo, Kimbundo, Tchokwe, Umbundo and others.
The exclave province of Cabinda is separated from Angola by a tongue of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and has also borders with the Republic of the Congo.
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.
President DOS SANTOS (in office since 1979) pushed through a new constitution in 2010 and elections held in 2012 saw him installed again as president. Angola assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2015-16 term.
In an article from March 2015, the New York Times wrote:
“This is a country laden with oil, diamonds, Porsche-driving millionaires and toddlers starving to death. New Unicef figures show this well-off but corrupt African nation is ranked No. 1 in the world in the rate at which children die before the age of five.”