Angola Facts

Angola Facts and History


Angola – The former Portuguese colony

Angola was colonized by Portugal in the 16th century, which is why the official language is still Portuguese today.

After 14 years of war, Angola gained independence in 1975. This was followed by almost uninterrupted civil wars for more than 25 years, from the aftermath of which the country has not yet recovered, so parts of Angola are still littered with mines. The food and health situation is catastrophic.

In Angola, only about 13 million people live in an area that is almost four times the size of Germany.

The largest city by far is the capital Luanda with 2.3 million residents. In Luanda on March 22nd, 2009, the final service of Pope Benedict XIV took place in Africa in front of about one million people. He had visited Cameroon and Angola for six days.

Name of the country Republic of Angola
Form of government Presidential Republic
Geographical location South West Africa
National anthem Angola Avante (Forward, Angola)
National holiday November 11th (independence 1975)
Head of state since 1979 President José Eduardo dos Santos
Population approx. 26 million (Credit: Countryaah: Angola Population)
Ethnicities predominantly Bantu people
Religions approx. 50% Catholics and 25% Protestants. The rest belong to traditional African religions
Languages Portuguese and Bantu languages
Capital Luanda on the Atlantic with approx. 5 million residents
Surface 1,246,700 km²
Highest mountain Morro de Môco with a height of 2,610 m
Longest river Okawango with a length (depending on the author) between 1,600 and 1,800 km
Largest lake Lagoa Funda
International license plate ANG
National currency 1 new kwanza = 100 lwei
Time difference to CET CET applies.
International phone code 00244
Mains voltage, frequency 220 volts and 60 hertz
Internet TLD (Top Level Domain) .ao

Angola: history

Until the 17th century

The area of what is now Angola was settled by Bantu tribes between the 7th and 9th centuries. According to Abbreviationfinder website, the north of the country belonged to the Kingdom of the Congo from the 14th century. At the end of the 15th century, the Portuguese began to set up trading posts at the mouth of the Congo and along the Atlantic coast, from which African slaves were shipped to Brazil until the end of the 19th century. In 1576, Angola officially became a Portuguese colony. Between 1641 and 1648 it was temporarily part of the Netherlands.

In the 20th and 21st centuries

In 1952 the country was converted into a Portuguese overseas province. In 1959 the uprising of the country’s national liberation movement began. The war of independence against Portugal is dated from around 1961 to 1975 – on September 11, 1972 Angola gained independence. MPLA leader Agostinho Neto became the head of state of the first autonomous, mostly black government. In the civil war that broke out shortly afterwards, the Soviet Union and other socialist states – especially Cuba – and the USA and South Africa intervened. On September 20, 1979, José Eduardo dos Santos (born 1944) succeeded Neto.

In 1991 both sides agreed to introduce a multi-party system. After dos Santos won the UN-monitored elections, another civil war broke out. In 1994 a peace treaty (Lusaka Protocol) was signed. In 1998 new fighting began, which among other things resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people from Angola. President José Eduardo dos Santos (MPLA) suspended the function of the democratic authorities due to the situation.

In 2002, after 23 years of civil war, an armistice was signed between the two rival parties, which continues to this day. Since that time the country has made significant progress. Not least because of the oil deposits in the sea off the coast of the country, which in April 2009 led to production volumes of 1.7 million barrels per day. In addition, the land has diamonds, sufficient water and fertile soil. As a result, the country has had one of the highest economic growth in the world in recent years. Yet the gap between the very rich and the many poor has barely narrowed.

João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço (born 1954) has been President and Prime Minister of Angola since 2017. He was previously a general and vice-president of the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola. From 2014 to 2017 he was Minister of Defense. He made himself popular with the population when he took action against the corrupt cartel of his predecessor.

Angola Facts