Flag Angola

Country's Background

Angola is rebuilding its country after the end of a 27-year civil war in 2002. Fighting between the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), led by Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS, and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas SAVIMBI, followed independence from Portugal in 1975.

Peace seemed imminent in 1992 when Angola held national elections, but fighting picked up again by 1996. Up to 1.5 million lives may have been lost - and 4 million people displaced - in the quarter century of fighting. SAVIMBI's death in 2002 ended UNITA's insurgency and strengthened the MPLA's hold on power. President DOS SANTOS held legislative elections in September 2008 and, despite promising to hold presidential elections in 2009, has since pushed through a new constitution that calls for elections in 2012.


Country's Economy

Angola's high growth rate in recent years was driven by high international prices for its oil. Angola became a member of OPEC in late 2006 and in late 2007 was assigned a production quota of 1.9 million barrels a day (bbl/day), somewhat less than the 2-2.5 million bbl/day Angola's government had wanted. Oil production and its supporting activities contribute about 85% of GDP. Diamond exports contribute an additional 5%. Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for most of the people, but half of the country's food is still imported. Increased oil production supported growth averaging more than 15% per year from 2004 to 2008. A postwar reconstruction boom and resettlement of displaced persons has led to high rates of growth in construction and agriculture as well. Much of the country's infrastructure is still damaged or undeveloped from the 27-year-long civil war. Land mines left from the war still mar the countryside, even though peace was established after the death of rebel leader Jonas SAVIMBI in February 2002. Since 2005, the government has used billions of dollars in credit lines from China, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Spain, and the EU to rebuild Angola's public infrastructure. The global recession temporarily stalled economic growth. Lower prices for oil and diamonds during the global recession led to a contraction in GDP in 2009, and many construction projects stopped because Luanda accrued $9 billion in arrears to foreign construction companies when government revenue fell in 2008 and 2009. Angola abandoned its currency peg in 2009, and in November 2009 signed onto an IMF Stand-By Arrangement loan of $1.4 billion to rebuild international reserves. Although consumer inflation declined from 325% in 2000 to under 14% in 2010, Luanda has been unable to reduce inflation below 10%. The Angolan kwanza depreciated again in mid 2010, which, along with higher oil prices, should boost economic growth in all sectors. Corruption, especially in the extractive sectors, also is a major challenge.

Source: Central Intelligence Agency

Facts & Figures

Country's Name: Republic of Angola
  República de Angola (Portuguese)
  Repubilika ya Ngola (Kikongo, Kimbundu, Umbundu)
Offical Language: Portuguese
Capital: Luanda
Location: South-Westafrica
Area: 1,246,700 km2
Climate: Sub-Tropical
Population: 18,498,000 (2009)
Population Density: 14,8 people p/km2
GDP: U.S.$ 109,533 billion (2010)
GDP per capita: U.S.$ 5,748
Currency: Kwanza (AOA)
Time Zone: UTC+1
ISO 3166 Code: AO
TLD: .ao
Calling Code: +244

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