Angola is an independent state on the southwestern side of Africa. On its western coast is the Atlantic Ocean. On the east is Zambia. Democratic Republic of Congo is on the north. Namibia another republic state is on the south.
For four hundred years Angola was under the Portuguese rule.
Valley of the moon, south of Luanda, Angola
Angola's coastline is 1600 kilometers and the area is 1,246,700 sq km. Angola is the seventh largest country in Africa and 23rd largest country in the world. Luanda the largest city of Angola is its capital.
Luanda, capital of Angola
Mount MÃ´co at the height of 2,620 m/8,596 ft is the country's highest point.
There are no large lakes in Angola, but it has many rivers. Most of the rivers drain into Atlantic Ocean. The main rivers are Cuanza, Cunene, Kwango, Kwando, and Cubango rivers.
Portuguese came to Angola in 15th century, but they gained control over it only in 20th Century. They profited much from the slave trade. They sold off nearly 3 million people as slaves to North and South America.
Portuguese granted Angola independence on November 11, 1975; and no sooner they left a civil war broke out. Three rival groups, viz., FNLA, MPLA and UNITA began fighting with each other. FNLA and UNITA had the support of the United States, Portugal, Brazil and South Africa. Soviet Union and Cuba were supporting MPLA.
By the end of 1994 the power struggle between these rival groups had claimed nearly 500,000 lives. More than 3.6 million were made refugees.
In early 2002 though a peace was restored in the region, but the first Parliamentary elections were held much later.
Diamond, petroleum and natural gas are some of Angola's main resources. Angola is a member of OPEC. GDP is $74.474 billion and Per capita income is $4,301 yet, poverty is widespread in the country.
Tazua Falls, Rio Cuango. One of Angola's richest sources of gem diamonds
Angola is trying to shape its economy by using $2 billion loan from Eximbank China; it is trying to rebuild itself. Angola's oil production will rise to 2.2 million barrels per day by 2011. The oil industry also is expected to attract $50.6 billion in investment between the year 2009 and 2013. Angola's new oil refinery will come into production by the year 2014.
Children in an outdoor classroom
Most of the people in Angola did not get any kind of schooling. Under Portuguese rule they were completely illiterate, badly paid, and treated almost as slaves. Today the education in Angola is compulsory. It is free for children until eight years of age. Yet, they are unable to acquire education due to want of teachers and schools. Students are seen studying in outdoor classrooms or in makeshift structures made to serve as classrooms. Due to this the rate of literacy is quite low. The adult literacy according to one statistics is only 67 percent.