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Angola Facts

by Vishal Kumar

Where is Angola? The Republic of Angola is located on the western part of southern Africa. It covers an area of 481,354 sq miles and has Namibia to its South,…

Where is Angola?

The Republic of Angola is located on the western part of southern Africa. It covers an area of 481,354 sq miles and has Namibia to its South, Zambia to its east, The Democratic republic of Congo and Republic of Congo to its north and east and the Atlantic Ocean to its west. It is the 7th largest country in Africa and has a population of 18,498,000.

What is the capital of Angola?

The city of Luanda which lies on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean is the capital of Angola. It is Angola’s largest city, its main sea port and administrative centre. It was founded in 1575 by the Portuguese who named it São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda. It has the third largest population of Portuguese speaking people in the world after Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. It is divided into two parts; lower Luanda which is the old city and upper Luanda, the new one. In 2011 Luanda was named the most expensive city for expatriates by Mercer.

What is the climate of Angola like?

The northern part of the country experiences cool and dry climate from May to October and a hot and rainy season from November to April. The Southern part of the country has semi arid climate.
The average annual temperature in coastal parts is 21ºC in summer and 16ºC in winter.

When did Angola attain independence?

Angola was a Portuguese colony for 400 years. It attained independence on November 11, 1975 after years of guerilla war against Portuguese authority which is also known as Colonial war.

What are the important cities in Angola?

Besides Luanda, Angola has a number of important cities like Benguela, Huambo, Lobito, Soyo, Lucapa, Lubango, Namibe, Kuito and Malanje. These cities are capitals of provinces. Some of them are important tourist sites like Malanje and some are major ports like Luanda, Namibe and Lobito.

What is the currency of Angola?

The Angolan currency is called Kwanza (AOA), which is also the name of a river in Angola. Since 1977, four different currencies under the name Kwanza have been circulated. The present currency started circulation on December 1, 1999.The national bank of Angola,Banco Nacional De Angola is the issuing authority. The exchange rate of Kwanza (AOA) in relation to USD is 1 Kwanza (AOA) = 0.01 USD.

What are the languages spoken in Angola?

Portuguese is the official language of Angola. The different ethnic groups residing in Angola have their own languages and some of the recognized languages are Kikongo, Chokwe, Umbundu Ganguela etc.

What are the prominent festivals of Angola?

Angola celebrates both religious and secular festivals with great zeal. The Carnival, Christmas, Easter, the Luanda Island Festival in honor of the water God Kianda are important religious festivals of Angola. Angolans are lovers of music and every year in September the Sumbe Music Festival is held in Sumbe which is well known internationally.

The national struggle for freedom holds a special place in the hearts of Angolan people and different days commemorating different milestones of the struggle are observed. Some of the important days are Liberation Movement day ( February  4), Peace Day (April 4 ), Independence Day (November 11 ) to name a few.

What are the ethnic groups of Angola?

Different ethnic groups call Angola their home. The total population of Angola is 18,498,000 of which 37% are Ovibundu, 25% are Kimbundu ,13% are Bakongo , Mestico (mixed  European and Native African) comprise 2%, European 1% and other African tribes constitute the remaining 22%.

What is the economy of Angola like?

The oil sector is the main driving force behind the Angolan economy. Besides oil Angola has considerable reserves of diamond. The agricultural sector which was badly hit by the civil war is slowly recuperating and has the potential to become an important player in the economic field. Angola is also rich in forest resources, fishery and other natural resources. Angola at present has one of the fastest rates of growth in the world and in the period 2000-2002 registered an average annual growth rate of 11.1%.

What type of government does Angola have?

Angola is a Unitary Presidential Republic. The head of the government is the President and the executive body of the government comprises of the President, the Vice President and the Council of Ministers. The President is not elected by the people. The President of the party with majority in the parliamentary election automatically becomes the President of the country. The President is bestowed with enormous power and the principle of separation of power is not in practice in Angola. The 18 provinces are governed by governors who are appointed by the President and their term depends on the pleasure of the President. The MPLA, FNLA and UNITA are the main political parties in Angola. MPLA has been the ruling party since Angola’s independence.

The legal system in Angola is based on Portuguese legal system and other contemporary laws, but it has a fragmented structure. The Supreme Court of the country acts as the court of appeal.

Who are the major leaders of Angola?

The independence movement of Angola saw the rise of many leaders. Atónio Agostinho Neto, the first President of independent Angola (1975-1979) was one important leaders of the independence struggle. He led the MPLA during the independence movement and to honor his heroism, his birthday is celebrated as National Heroes Day in Angola. Holden Alvaro Roberto who was the founder of FNLA also played a crucial role in the freedom struggle. Special mention must be made of Viriato Clemente da Cruz who was a famous Angolan poet and politician and started the Movement of Young Intellectuals that sought to promote Angolan culture. He was also a member of MPLA. Other prominent leaders are Mário Coelho Pinto de Andrade, and Joaquim Pinto de Andrade who formed the Angolan Communist Party that was later merged with MPLA. The current President of Angola Jose Eduardo dos Santos is one of the prominent leaders of Africa and has been at the helm of affairs in Angola since 1979.

Interesting facts about Angola

Fact 1 Tipping is not standard practice in Angola. If you do leave tips, it should not be more than 10% of your bill – and it does not have to be in cash! (Cigarettes, for instance, are acceptable.)
Fact 2 Angola’s oil and diamonds are its primary sources of income. The country has even become China’s major oil supplier.
Fact 3 Unlike other currencies, Angola’s kwanza can’t be taken outside the country. Attempting to bring it out is illegal.
Fact 4 Semba, one of the most common Angolan musical styles, influenced several other types of music, including the samba of Brazil.
Fact 5 The official language in Angola is Portuguese, but they also speak Bantu and other African languages.
Fact 6 Due to the increasing of oil production, Angola has one of the fastest growing economies
Fact 7 The highest mountain in Angola is Serra Mountain which is 2610 meters.
Fact 8 Angola has two official names: The Undemocratic Anti-Photographic Monarchy of Angola and Angolish Empire of Flying Snakes.
Fact 9 One of Africa’s most beautiful natural wonders, the Ruacana Falls, is located in Angola.
Fact 10 The national flag of Angola was inspired by the Soviet Union flag. The gold cogwheel and machete on the Angolan flag were patterned after the hammer and sickle on the flag of Soviet Union. The star the Angolan flag carries is also from the Soviet flag.
Fact 11 Photographing government buildings, military sites, and such other structures is illegal in Angola and is penalized.
Fact 12 The name Angola is derived from the word ngola, a title for kings used in the state of Ndongo during the early centuries.
Fact 13 Angolans normally shake hands when greeting each other ­- but when introduced to an older person or to someone with a higher position, Angolans typically bow their heads.
Fact 14 Angola has a very young population – Interestingly, nearly 70% of the population in Angola is under the age of 24
Fact 15 According to the CIA Factbook, for every 1000 people, there are 23.4 deaths a year (2011 statistics)
Fact 16 Angola is a huge country and the climate in the north is much more tropical than in the arid south. The rainy season in the north usually lasts from November to April. The south gets scattered rains twice a year, from March to July and October to November.
Fact 17 Iona National Park – Angola’s largest national park bordering the Atlantic ocean with gorgeous desert dunes, plenty of bird life and slowly recovering its larger mammals after some serious poaching during the war.
Interesting Facts for kids Angola is the birthplace of the dreadlocks hair style
The Bungy Jumping Craziness will fall down a 20 feet drop and will go crazy and wild. That is why it is called Bungy Jumping Craziness.
Vernay’s Climbing Mouse. This species is known only from the type locality, Chitau, east-central Angola at around 1,500 m asl.
The fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), also called the finback whale, razorback, or common rorqual It is the second largest animalafter the blue whale, one of the endangered species found in Angola.

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