Ads 468x60px

Angola - Land of Free

Angola, officially the Republic of Angola, is a country in Southern Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city. The exclave province of Cabinda has borders with the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Portuguese were present in some—mostly coastal—points of the territory of what is now Angola, from the 16th to the 19th century, interacting in diverse ways with the peoples that lived there. In the 19th century they slowly and hesitantly began to establish themselves in the interior. Angola as a Portuguese colony encompassing the present territory was not established before the end of the 19th century, and "effective occupation", as required by the Berlin Conference (1884) was achieved only by the 1920s. Independence was achieved in 1975, after a protracted liberation war. After independence, Angola was the scene of an intense civil war from 1975 to 2002. The country has vast mineral and petroleum reserves, and its economy has on average grown at a two-digit pace since the 1990s, especially since the end of the civil war. In spite of this, standards of living remain low for the majority of the population, and life expectancy and infant mortality rates in Angola are among the worst-ranked in the world. Angola is considered to be economically disparate, with the majority of the nation's wealth concentrated in a disproportionately small sector of the population.

Angola is a member state of the African Union, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the Latin Union and the Southern African Development Community.


At 481,321 square miles (1,246,620 km2),[28] Angola is the world's twenty-third largest country (after Niger). It is comparable in size to Mali and is nearly twice the size of the US state of Texas, or five times the area of the United Kingdom. It lies mostly between latitudes 4° and 18°S, and longitudes 12° and 24°E.

Angola is bordered by Namibia to the south, Zambia to the east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north-east, and the South Atlantic Ocean to the west. The exclave of Cabinda also borders the Republic of the Congo to the north. Angola's capital, Luanda, lies on the Atlantic coast in the northwest of the country.

Angola's average temperature on the coast is 60 °F (16 °C) in the winter and 70 °F (21 °C) in the summer. It has two seasons; dry season (May to October) and hot rainy season (November to April).


Angola's population is estimated to be 18,498,000 (2009). It is composed of Ovimbundu (language Umbundu) 37%, Ambundu (language Kimbundu) 25%, Bakongo 13%, and 32% other ethnic groups (including the Ovambo, the Ganguela and the Xindonga) as well as about 2% mestiços (mixed European and African), 1.4 % Chinese and 1% European The Ambundu and Ovimbundu nations combined form a majority of the population, at 62%. The population is forecast to grow to over 47 million people to 2060, nearly tripling the estimated 16 to 18 million in 2011. The last official census was taken in 1970, and showed the total population as being 5.6 million. The first post-independence census is to be held in 2014.

It is estimated that Angola was host to 12,100 refugees and 2,900 asylum seekers by the end of 2007. 11,400 of those refugees were originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo-Kinshasa) who arrived in the 1970s. As of 2008 there were an estimated 400,000 DRC migrant workers, at least 30,000 Portuguese, and about 259,000 Chinese living in Angola.

Since 2003, more than 400,000 Congolese migrants have been expelled from Angola. Prior to independence in 1975, Angola had a community of approximately 350,000 Portuguese; currently, there are just under 100,000 who are registered with the consulates, and increasing due to the debt crisis in Portugal.The total fertility rate of Angola is 5.54 children born per woman (2012 estimates), the 11th highest in the world.

The languages in Angola are those originally spoken by the different ethnic groups plus Portuguese due to the country being a former Portuguese colony. The indigenous languages with the largest usage are Umbundu, Kimbundu, and Kikongo, in that order. Portuguese is the official language of the country.

Mastery of the official language is probably more extended in Angola than it is elsewhere in Africa, and this certainly applies to its use in everyday life. Moreover, and above all, the proportion of native (or near native) speakers of the language of the former colonizer, turned official after independence, is no doubt considerably higher than in any other African country.

The exact numbers of those fluent in Portuguese or who speak Portuguese as a first language are unknown, although a census is expected to be carried out in 2013. Quite a number of voices demand the recognition of “Angolan Portuguese” as a specific variant, comparable to those spoken in Portugal or in Brazil. However, while there exists a certain number of idiomatic particularities in everyday Portuguese, as spoken by Angolans, it remains to be seen whether or not the Angolan government comes to the conclusion that these particularities constitute a configuration that justifies the claim to be a new language variant.


There are about 1000 mostly Christian religious communities in Angola. While reliable statistics are nonexistent, estimates have it that more than half of the population are Roman Catholics, while about a quarter adhere to the Protestant churches introduced during the colonial period: the Congregationalists mainly among the Ovimbundu of the Central Highlands and the coastal region to its West, the Methodists concentrating on the Kimbundu speaking strip from Luanda to Malanje, the Baptists almost exclusively among the Bakongo of the Northwest (now massively present in Luanda as well) and dispersed Adventists, Reformed and Lutherans. In Luanda and region there subsists a nucleus of the "syncretic" Tocoists and in the northwest a sprinkling of Kimbanguism can be found, spreading from the Congo/Zaire. Since independence, hundreds of Pentecostal and similar communities have sprung up in the cities, where by now about 50% of the population is living; several of these communities/churches are of Brazilian origin. The Muslims, practically all of them immigrants from West African and other countries and belonging to the Sunnite branch, represent only about 1%; because of their diversity, they do not form a community. In 2011, according to the Islamic Community of Angola (Comunidade Islâmica de Angola, COIA) there were more than 80 mosques serving about 500,000 Muslims in Angola, and the number was growing.

In a study assessing nations' levels of religious regulation and persecution with scores ranging from 0 to 10 where 0 represented low levels of regulation or persecution, Angola was scored 0.8 on Government Regulation of Religion, 4.0 on Social Regulation of Religion, 0 on Government Favoritism of Religion and 0 on Religious Persecution.

Foreign missionaries were very active prior to independence in 1975, although since the beginning of the anti-colonial fight in 1961 the Portuguese colonial authorities expelled a series of Protestant missionaries and closed mission stations based on the belief that the missionaries were inciting pro-independence sentiments. Missionaries have been able to return to the country since the early 1990s, although security conditions due to the civil war have prevented them until 2002 from restoring many of their former inland mission stations.

The Roman Catholic and some major Protestant denominations mostly keep to themselves in contrast to the "New Churches" which actively proselytize. The Roman Catholic as well as some major Protestant denominations provide help for the poor in the form of crop seeds, farm animals, medical care and education.


Although by law, education in Angola is compulsory and free for eight years, the government reports that a certain percentage of students are not attending school due to a lack of school buildings and teachers. Students are often responsible for paying additional school-related expenses, including fees for books and supplies.

In 1999, the gross primary enrollment rate was 74 percent and in 1998, the most recent year for which data are available, the net primary enrollment rate was 61 percent. Gross and net enrollment ratios are based on the number of students formally registered in primary school and therefore do not necessarily reflect actual school attendance. There continue to be significant disparities in enrollment between rural and urban areas. In 1995, 71.2 percent of children ages 7 to 14 years were attending school. It is reported that higher percentages of boys attend school than girls. During the Angolan Civil War (1975–2002), nearly half of all schools were reportedly looted and destroyed, leading to current problems with overcrowding.

The Ministry of Education hired 20,000 new teachers in 2005, and continued to implement teacher trainings. Teachers tend to be underpaid, inadequately trained, and overworked (sometimes teaching two or three shifts a day). Some teachers may also reportedly demand payment or bribes directly from their students. Other factors, such as the presence of landmines, lack of resources and identity papers, and poor health also prevent children from regularly attending school. Although budgetary allocations for education were increased in 2004, the education system in Angola continues to be extremely under-funded.

Literacy is quite low, with 67.4% of the population over the age of 15 able to read and write in Portuguese. 82.9% of males and 54.2% of women are literate as of 2001. Since independence from Portugal in 1975, a number of Angolan students continued to be admitted every year at high schools, polytechnic institutes, and universities in Portugal, Brazil and Cuba through bilateral agreements; in general, these students belong to the Angolan elites.

Miss Universe Angola 2012:

No comments:

Post a Comment


Blogger news



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...