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 made a presidential poll contingent on the drafting of a new constitution.
overuse of pastures and subsequent soil erosion attributable to population pressures; desertification; deforestation of tropical rain forest, in response to both international demand for tropical timber and to domestic use as fuel, resulting in loss of biodiversity; soil erosion contributing to water pollution and siltation of rivers and dams; inadequate supplies of potable water
president elected by universal ballot for a five-year term (eligible for a second consecutive or discontinuous term) under the 1992 constitution; President DOS SANTOS was selected by the party to take over after the death of former President Augustino NETO(1979) under a one-party system and stood for reelection in Angola's first multiparty elections on 29-30 September 1992 (next were to be held in September 2009 but have been postponed)
Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS 49.6%, Jonas SAVIMBI 40.1%, making a run-off election necessary; the run-off was never held leaving DOS SANTOS in his current position as the president
National Front for the Liberation of Angola or FNLA [Ngola KABANGU]; National Union for the Total Independence of Angola or UNITA [Isaias SAMAKUVA] (largest opposition party); New Democracy Electoral Union or ND [Quintino de MOREIRA]; Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola or MPLA [Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS] (ruling party in power since 1975); Social Renewal Party or PRS [Eduardo KUANGANA]
note:nine other parties participated in the legislative election in September 2008 but won no seats
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); red represents liberty, black the African continent, the symbols characterize workers and peasants
Angola's high growth rate in recent years was driven by its oil sector, and high international oil prices. Oil production and its supporting activities contribute about 85% of GDP. Increased oil production supported growth averaging more than 15% per year from 2004 to 2007. The global recession and lower prices led to a contraction in GDP in 2009. 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. Remnants of the conflict such as widespread land mines still mar the countryside even though an apparently durable peace was established after the death of rebel leader Jonas SAVIMBI in February 2002. Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for most of the people, but half of the country's food must still be imported. 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. Although consumer inflation declined from 325% in 2000 to under 13% in 2008, the stabilization policy proved unsustainable and Angola abandoned its currency peg in 2009. 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), somewhat less than the 2-2.5 million bbl Angola's government had wanted. In November 2009 the IMF announced its approval of Luanda's request for a Stand-By Arrangement; the loan of $1.4 billion aims to rebuild Angola's international reserves. Corruption, especially in the extractive sectors, is a major challenge.
general assessment: limited system; state-owned telecom had monopoly for fixed-lines until 2005; demand outstripped capacity, prices were high, and services poor; Telecom Namibia, through an Angolan company, became the first private licensed operator in Angola's fixed-line telephone network; by 2010, the number of fixed-line providers had expanded to 5; Angola Telecom established mobile-cellular service in Luanda in 1993 and the network has been extended to larger towns; a privately-owned, mobile-cellular service provider began operations in 2001
only about two fixed-lines per 100 persons; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity about 65 telephones per 100 persons in 2009
country code - 244; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; satellite earth stations - 29 (2009)
state controls all broadcast media with nationwide reach; state-owned Televisao Popular de Angola (TPA) provides terrestrial TV service on 2 channels; a third TPA channel is available via cable and satellite; TV subscription services are available; state-owned Radio Nacional de Angola (RNA) broadcasts on 5 stations; about a half dozen private radio stations broadcast locally (2008)
20-45 years of age for compulsory and 18-45 years for voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - 2 years; Angolan citizenship required; minimum age for women volunteers is 20; the MGA is entirely staffed with volunteers (2010)
current situation: Angola is a country of origin for women and children trafficked internally for the purpose of domestic servitude and young men trafficked for the purpose of forced agricultural labor; women and children, primarily, are trafficked to South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, and Portugal; young boys are trafficked to Namibia to herd cattle; children are also forced to act as couriers in cross-border trade between Namibia and Angola as part of a scheme to skirt import fees
Tier 2 Watch List - Angola is placed on Tier 2 Watch List because it does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; despite these overall significant efforts, the Government of Angola has not investigated, prosecuted, or convicted any trafficking offenders; Angola does not have a comprehensive law that specifically prohibits trafficking in persons, which constrained its anti-trafficking efforts; interagency cooperation on trafficking issues increased, however, as have the government's efforts to raise the public's awareness of the dangers of trafficking (2009)