Angola is the seventh-largest country in Africa, located in Southwest of Africa. Its shape on the map is almost a square with an approximate width of about 800 miles. As of 2018, the population was 30.81 million.
Most of its cities are located along the coastline especially on the northern coast and also in the north-central river valleys. Its capital city is called Luanda, which is a large port city that has amalgams of Portuguese colonial landmarks, traditional African houses, and elegant industrial complexes.
Waterfront lined with palm trees, Luanda.
The country is endowed with a variety of landscapes. It has a semi dessert Atlantic Littoral just next to its coastal plains. Its interior, away from the coastline, is largely rain forest and it is densely populated. To the south, there are several highlands.
Angola was a Portuguese colony. However, between 1950 and 1961, a movement of nationalists developed and a guerrilla war began. During that time, around 1956, Angolan first president Agostinho Neto wrote a poem while in prison where he described Angola as “red with coffee, white with cotton, green with maize” and “our land our mother”. After a fierce confrontation between the natives and the Portuguese, the colonial empire collapsed in 1974. In 1975, the Portuguese withdrew and Angola achieved its independence.
After independence, there was a civil war that broke out and lasted for 27 years till 2002, when a truce was signed following the death of Unita’s leader, Jonas Savimbi. The 27-year war left the country devastated.
Among the Portuguese-speaking African states, Angola is the largest and wealthiest. Its culture is greatly influenced by the Portuguese with its official language being Portuguese. Other major languages are Umbundu, Kimbundu, Chokwe, and Kikongo, which are largely Bantu cultures.
The majority of its population is Roman Catholic Christians.
However, the country is slowly pulling from the ashes to build a strong economy based on its large petroleum reserves and resources like precious gems and metals.
The staple food in Angola is rice, ‘funje’, and chicken ‘muamba’.
The most popular sport in Angola is football followed by basketball. In 2006, the national football team, which was founded in 1979 and called Girabola, qualified for the World Cup in Germany.
Today, the main provision of livelihood is subsistence agriculture and major government revenue is from oil exportation. The education system in Angola consists of four compulsory years of free primary education and eight years of secondary education beginning at seven and eleven years respectively.