The World Factbook (1990)/Angola

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World Factbook (1990) Angola.jpg

 See regional map VII


Total area: 1,246,700 km²; land area: 1,246,700km²

Comparative area: slightly less than twice the size of Texas

Land boundaries: 5,198 km total; Congo 201 km, Namibia 1,376 km, Zaire 2,511 km, Zambia 1,110 km

Coastline: 1,600 km

Maritime claims:

Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 20 nm

Disputes: civil war since independence on 11 November 1975

Climate: semiarid in south and along coast to Luanda; north has cool, dry season (May to October) and hot, rainy season (November to April)

Terrain: narrow coastal plain rises abruptly to vast interior plateau

Natural resources: petroleum, diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, copper, feldspar, gold, bauxite, uranium

Land use: 2% arable land; NEGL% permanent crops; 23% meadows and pastures; 43% forest and woodland; 32% other

Environment: locally heavy rainfall causes periodic flooding on plateau; desertification

Note: Cabinda is separated from rest of country by Zaire


Population: 8,534,483 (July 1990), growth rate 2.9% (1990)

Birth rate: 47 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 20 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 2 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 158 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 42 years male, 46 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 6.7 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Angolan(s); adjective—Angolan

Ethnic divisions: 37% Ovimbundu, 25% Kimbundu, 13% Bakongo, 2% Mestiço, 1% European

Religion: 47% indigenous beliefs, 38% Roman Catholic, 15% Protestant (est.)

Language: Portuguese (official); various Bantu dialects

Literacy: 41%

Labor force: 2,783,000 economically active; 85% agriculture, 15% industry (1985 est.)

Organized labor: about 450,695 (1980)


Long-form name: People's Republic of Angola

Type: Marxist people's republic

Capital: Luanda

Administrative divisions: 18 provinces (províncias, singular—província); Bengo, Benguela, Bié, Cabinda, Cuando Cubango, Cuanza Norte, Cuanza Sul, Cunene, Huambo, Huíla, Luanda, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Malanje, Mexico, Namibe, Uíge, Zaire

Independence: 11 November 1975 (from Portugal)

Constitution: 11 November 1975; revised 7 January 1978 and 11 August 1980

Legal system: based on Portuguese civil law system and customary law, but being modified along socialist lines

National holiday: Independence Day, 11 November (1975)

Executive branch: president, chairman of the Council of Ministers, Council of Ministers (cabinet)

Legislative branch: unicameral National People's Assembly

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Tribunal da Relacao)

Leaders: Chief of State and Head of Government—President José Eduardo dos SANTOS (since 21 September 1979)

Political parties and leaders: only party—Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola-Labor Party (MPLA-Labor Party), José Eduardo dos Santos; National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), lost to the MPLA with Cuban military support in immediate post-independence struggle, now carrying out insurgency

Suffrage: universal adult at age NA

Elections: none held to date


Diplomatic representation: none

Flag: two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and black with a centered yellow emblem consisting of a five-pointed star within half a cogwheel crossed by a machete (in the style of a hammer and sickle)


Overview: Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for 80-90% of the population, but accounts for only 10-20% of GDP. Oil production is the most lucrative sector of the economy, contributing about 50% to GDP. In recent years, however, the impact of fighting an internal war has severely affected the economy and food has to be imported.

GDP: $5.0 billion, per capita $600; real growth rate 9.2% (1988 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues NA; expenditures $2.7 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (1986 est.)

Exports: $2.9 billion (f.o.b., 1989 est.); commodities—oil, coffee, diamonds, sisal, fish and fish products, timber, cotton; partners—US, USSR, Cuba, Portugal, Brazil

Imports: $2.5 billion (f.o.b., 1989 est.); commodities—capital equipment (machinery and electrical equipment), food, vehicles and spare parts, textiles and clothing, medicines; substantial military deliveries; partners—US, USSR, Cuba, Portugal, Brazil

External debt: $3.0 billion (1989)

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

Electricity: 506,000 kW capacity; 770 million kWh produced, 90 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: petroleum, mining (phosphate rock, diamonds), fish processing, brewing, tobacco, sugar, textiles, cement, food processing, building construction

Agriculture: cash crops—coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, sugar, manioc, tobacco; food crops—cassava, corn, vegetables, plantains, bananas, and other local foodstuffs; disruptions caused by civil war and marketing deficiencies require food imports

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $263 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $903 million; Communist countries (1970-88), $1.3 billion

Currency: kwanza (plural—kwanza); 1 kwanza (Kz) = 100 Iwei

Exchange rates: kwanza (Kz) per US$1—29.62 (fixed rate since 1976)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 3,189 km total; 2,879 km 1.067-meter gauge, 310 km 0.600-meter gauge; limited trackage in use because of insurgent attacks; sections of the Benguela Railroad closed because of insurgency

Highways: 73,828 km total; 8,577 km bituminous-surface treatment, 29,350 km crushed stone, gravel, or improved earth, remainder unimproved earth

Inland waterways: 1,295 km navigable

Pipelines: crude oil, 179 km

Ports: Luanda, Lobito, Namibe, Cabinda

Merchant marine: 12 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 66,348 GRT/102,825 DWT; includes 11 cargo, 1 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker

Civil air: 27 major transport aircraft

Airports: 317 total, 184 usable; 28 with permanent-surface runways; 1 with runways over 3,659 m; 12 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 60 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: fair system of wire, radio relay, and troposcatter routes; high frequency used extensively for military/Cuban links; 40,300 telephones; stations—17 AM, 13 FM, 2 TV; 2 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT earth stations

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force/Air Defense; paramilitary forces People's Defense Organization and Territorial Troops, Frontier Guard, Popular Vigilance Brigades

Military manpower: males 15-49, 2,049,295; 1,030,868 fit for military service; 90,877 reach military age (18) annually

Defense expenditures: NA