República de Angola (Republic of Angola)
Reference work entry


  • Capital: Luanda

  • Population estimate, 2015: 25.02 m.

  • GNI per capita, 2014: (PPP$) 6,822

  • HDI/world rank, 2014: 0.532/149

  • Internet domain extension: .ao

Civil Aviation

There is an international airport at Luanda (Fourth of February). The national carrier is Linhas Aéreas de Angola (TAAG), which in 2013 carried 1,322,000 passengers (669,000 on domestic flights and 653,000 on international flights).


The climate is tropical, with low rainfall in the west but increasing inland. Temperatures are constant over the year and most rain falls in March and April. Luanda, Jan. 78 °F (25.6 °C), July 69 °F (20.6 °C). Annual rainfall 13″ (323 mm). Lobito, Jan. 77 °F (25 °C), July 68 °F (20 °C). Annual rainfall 14″ (353 mm).

Constitution and Government

Under the Constitution adopted at independence, the sole legal party was the MPLA. In Dec. 1990, however, the MPLA announced that the Constitution would be revised to permit opposition parties. The supreme organ of state is the 220-member National Assembly. For the 2008 elections 30% of seats were guaranteed for women. There is an executive President, elected for renewable terms of 5 years, who appoints a Council of Ministers. In Dec. 2002 Angola’s ruling party and the UNITA party of former rebels agreed on a new constitution. The president would keep key powers, including the power to name and to remove the prime minister. The president will also appoint provincial governors, rather than letting voters elect them, but the governor must be from the party that received a majority of votes in that province. A draft constitution was submitted to the constitutional commission of the Angolan parliament for consideration in Jan. 2004. A new constitution was adopted on 21 Jan. 2010 and came into effect on 5 Feb. although the opposition party UNITA boycotted the vote. Direct presidential elections were abolished. Instead the party with the majority in parliament will choose the president. A two 5-year term limit was introduced although it did not take effect until after the parliamentary elections in Aug. 2012, allowing President dos Santos to remain in power until 2022. The president was also made responsible for judicial appointments while the office of prime minister was replaced by that of a vice-president to be appointed by the president.


The unit of currency is the kwanza (AOA), introduced in Dec. 1999, replacing the readjusted kwanza at a rate of 1 kwanza = 1 m. readjusted kwanzas.


Conscription is for 2 years. Defence expenditure totalled US$6,049 m. in 2013 (US$326 per capita), representing 4.8% of GDP.


In 2011 agriculture accounted for 9% of GDP, industry 62% and services 29%.


In 2010 the estimated economically active population numbered 8,533,000 (53% males), up from 6,238,000 in 2000. Angola had 17,000 people living in slavery according to the Walk Free Foundation’s 2013 Global Slavery Index.


The government-owned Jornal de Angola (circulation of 42,000) was the only daily newspaper in 2008. The Díario da República is the official gazette. There are 12 private weekly publications and four smaller regional weeklies.


Prior to the civil war there was in excess of 2,900 km of railway (predominantly 1,067 mm gauge track), but much of the network was damaged during the war. However, restoration and redevelopment of the network is now under way, notably the Benguela Railway, linking the port city of Lobito with Huambo in Angola’s rich farmlands and neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia.


A study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life estimated that there were 17.3 m. Christians in 2010 and 790,000 followers of folk religions. A further 980,000 people had no religious affiliation. Catholics account for around 65% of Christians and Protestants 35%. In Feb. 2016 there was one cardinal.


There were 51,429 km of roads in 2001 and 671,100 vehicles in use in 2007. Many roads remain mined as a result of the civil war; a programme of de-mining and rehabilitation is under way.


There are ports at Luanda, Lobito and Namibe, and oil terminals at Malongo, Lobito and Soyo. In Jan. 2009 there were 28 ships of 300 GT or over registered, totalling 21,000 GT.

Social Statistics

Life expectancy at birth, 2013, 50.4 years for males and 53.4 years for females. 2008 births (estimates), 775,000; deaths, 306,000. Estimated birth rate in 2008 was 43 per 1,000 population; estimated death rate, 17. Annual population growth rate, 2000–08, 2.9%. Fertility rate, 2008, 5.8 births per woman; infant mortality, 2010, 98 per 1,000 live births.


In 2010 there were 303,200 main (fixed) telephone lines but mobile phone subscribers numbered 8.91 m. There were 32.8 internet users per 1,000 inhabitants in 2009. Fixed internet subscriptions totalled 320,000 in 2009 (17.2 per 1,000 inhabitants). In June 2012 there were 433,000 Facebook users.

Territory and Population

Angola is bounded in the north by the Republic of the Congo, north and northeast by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, east by Zambia, south by Namibia and west by the Atlantic Ocean. The area is 1,246,700 km2 (481,350 sq. miles) including the province of Cabinda, an exclave of territory separated by 30 km2 of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s territory. Angola’s first census in more than 40 years was held in May 2014; the provisional population was 24,383,301, giving a density of 19.6 per km2. In 2010, 58.5% of the population were living in urban areas. Population figures are rough estimates because the civil war led to huge movements of population. The most important towns are Luanda, the capital (2012 population estimate, 5.85 m.), Huambo, Lobito, Benguela, Kuito, Lubango, Malanje and Namibe. The main ethnic groups are Umbundo (Ovimbundo), Kimbundo, Bakongo, Chokwe, Ganguela, Luvale and Kwanyama. Portuguese is the official language. Bantu and other African languages are also spoken.


In 2012 there were a record 528,000 non-resident tourists (up from 91,000 in 2002 and 195,000 in 2007), bringing revenue of US$711 m.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

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