Central Africa

Angola State Overview

According to ESTATELEARNING, Republic of Angola is a country of the central African gaining independence from Portugal in 1975. It has great natural resources that it has not been able to fully exploit in its development due to the long civil war in which it was immersed from shortly before independence until the first decade of the 21st century. It is inhabited by different ethnic groups that speak numerous languages and dialects, although the official language is Portuguese.

Geography

Political – administrative division

The country is divided into 18 provinces:

  1. Bengo
  2. Benguela
  3. Good
  4. Cabinda
  5. Kuando-Kubango
  6. Kuanza-North
  7. Kuanza-Sul
  8. Cunene
  9. Huambo
  10. Huila
  11. Luanda
  12. Lunda North
  13. Lunda Sul
  14. Malange
  15. Moxico
  16. Namibe
  17. Uige
  18. Zaire

Topography

The territory can be divided into six geographical areas:

  • The coastal strip
  • The transition zones to the interior
  • The intermediate reliefs
  • Plateaus
  • The Zaire Basin
  • The Cunene and Cubango river basins

The basins occupy a little more than 60% of the territory and are characterized by the interior highlands and by the reliefs of the Atlantic coast, which gradually descend to the sea.

Approximately 65% of the territory is located at an altitude between 1 000 and 1 600 meters, with the highest points in the central region: Mount Mouo (2 620 meters, Huambo province) and Mount Meco (2 583 meters).

The main rivers of the country are born in the central plateau and depart in three directions: the Atlantic (East – West), the south-southeast and the north. There are five large hydrographic basins and correspond to the Congo (Zaire), Kwanza, Cunene, Cubango and Queve rivers (the Cubango basin being the same as that of the Zambezi).

National Parks

The Parque Nacional Namibe is located in the extreme southwest of the country, near the coastal city of Namibe. It is made up of a desert terrain with large sand dunes, narrow plains and rugged mountains. Despite such an unfavorable environment for the maintenance of fauna, it has been possible to see elephants, kudus, oryx, black rhinoceros and mountain zebras.

Climate

Angola has two seasons: the rainy season and the dry season, or Cacimbo. The second is less hot and runs from May to August. The first, warmer, usually lasts from August to May.

The rain regime and the annual variation in temperatures are the two climatic characteristics common to all regions. The geographical situation of Angola, in the intertropical and subtropical zone of the southern hemisphere, the proximity of the sea, the cold Benguela Current and the characteristics of the relief are the factors that determine and characterize two different climatic regions.

The coastal region

Relatively humid, with an annual average rainfall above 600 mm, which decreases as one moves south, from 800 mm on the Cabinda coast to 50 mm in the south (Namibe), with an average temperature of above 23 degrees.

The inland region

divided into three zones:

The northern zone, with high rainfall and high temperatures; the altitude zone, in the central plateaus, characterized by average annual temperatures close to 18 degrees, with minimum temperatures accentuated in the dry season; the southwestern area, semi-arid due to the proximity of the Kalahari desert. Temperatures are low even during the hot season. This region is subject to the influence of the great continental tropical air masses.

Economy

Angola is a country rich in natural resources, including oil, coffee and diamonds, but economic development declined after the departure of 700,000 Portuguese in 1975, the year the country became independent, and the subsequent civil war plunged the country into poverty. and the destruction of much of its infrastructure.

Agriculture employs more than 50% of the population but production has decreased to the point of having gone from being a surplus country to currently needing to import part of its food needs.

Likewise, fishing has become almost inexistent, with a recovery beginning in recent years thanks to foreign aid.

Oil exploration has been developed, especially in Cabinda, but there is only one refinery and it is forced to export most of the crude. The only other industry that has not ceased is diamond mining. Angola’s main trading partners are Portugal, Brazil, France, Russia and the United States.

In 2007 and 2008, the Angolan economy was the seventh largest in Africa, out of 48 countries in the region. Also in 2008 at the level of the Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC), this territory obtained the greatest subregional progress.

As a strategy for development, and infrastructure development including construction until 2012 more than one million homes, Angolan government advocates the diversification of production to not rely solely on oil and diamonds.

Angola is now the fifth largest economy in Africa, among the 53 countries in the region.

Transport and communication

The existing highways connect the capital Luanda with the other capitals of the provinces, municipal centers, allowing access to ports and border posts.

The railway network has three main lines: the Benguela railway line with 1,350 km that connects the port of Lobito and the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and this in turn to the Republic of Zambia. Namibe railway lines with 907 Km and Luanda with 578 Km

For maritime traffic there are three commercial ports: Luanda, Namibia and Lobito, the oil terminals of Malongo – Cabinda and Soyo.

With regard to air transport, the national airline (TAAG) ensures transport between the main cities as well as international communications. There are also several private domestic flight companies such as Angola Airlines. There are currently 32 airports in the country.

Internal politics

Main political parties

  • Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA): In power since 1975.
  • National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA):
  • National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA)

Foreign policy

International organizations

The Republic of Angola belongs to the following international organizations:

  • United Nations Organization, (UN)
  • African Union, (AU)
  • Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, (NOAL)
  • Southern African Development Community, (SADC)
  • Community of Portuguese Language Countries, (CPLP)
  • Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC)
  • African Countries of Official Portuguese Language, (PALOP)
  • World Trade Organization, (WTO)
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO
  • Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, (OPEC)
  • World Health Organization, (WHO)
  • International Labor Organization, (ILO)
  • World Tourism Organization, (UNWTO)
  • International Monetary Fund, (IMF)
  • World Bank, (WB)

Angola State Overview