angolaAngola, officially known as the Republic of Angola, is located in Southern Africa, with its entire western part bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It is the second largest country in sub-Sahara Africa. Angola’s population is slightly more than 2 million (2012), and its capital is Luanda. Being a former colony of Portugal, its official language is Portuguese. Angola gained independence in 1975 after 13 years of armed struggle. Almost immediately thereafter, a civil war broke out that continued till 2002. Almost three decades of war resulted in millions of dead or displaced Angolans, destruction of crops, livestock and infrastructure, dissipation of institutions, and ever lingering threat of unexploded land mines. After the end of the civil war, the economy of Angola, driven by exports of oil (second largest producer in sub-Saharan Africa) and diamonds (fourth largest producer in the world), started recovering at an exceptionally rapid rate. However, only a tiny elite sector of population reaped benefits from this economic development while most people, and especially those living in rural areas, keep suffering from extreme poverty, with minimal basic facilities.

Context

Context

Angola is administratively divided into 18 provinces. The provinces are sub-divided into a total of 163 municipalities. In terms of climate, the temperatures in the northern areas, close to the Equator, are high and start declining while moving towards south. The country has two distinct seasons; warm and rainy, and dry and cold. Rainfall decreases from north to south. The climate of the capital Luanda remains pleasantly moderate throughout the year. Many rivers flow in the country.

Before the liberation war, the agricultural commercial sector was one of the most important pillars of Angola’s economy, mostly due to plantations of export crops owned and managed by Portuguese farmers. Angola was the fourth largest coffee producer in the world, and also exported sisal, banana, sugarcane and cotton. The sector almost collapsed during the fighting period and is now struggling to rise again. Presently, agriculture remains mostly subsistence in scale and primitive in methods. In 2007/08, the average area cultivated by farmer families was 1.56 hectares. The main fertile regions are highlands and valleys. Main food crops are cassava, maize, sweet potatoes and millet. The cultivation of cash crops like coffee, banana, sisal, sugarcane, tea, and oil palm is also being restored. Livestock (cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens) and fishery are important for rural and coastal livelihoods. Agriculture-related environmental problems have been caused by slash-and-burn practice by farmers, and overuse of insecticides. Existing landmine fields have reduced the arable land area.

Key Statistics and Indicators

Indicator

Value

Year  

Agricultural land (sq km)

Agricultural land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares)

Arable land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares per person)

583,900

46.83

4,100,000

3.28

0.20

2011

2011

2011

2011

2011

Fertilizer consumption (kg per hectare of arable land)

2.00

2010

Agriculture, value added (% of GDP)

Food production index (2004-2006 = 100)

Food exports (% of merchandise exports)

Food imports (% of merchandise imports)

10.02

188.67

0.30

32.49

2012

2011

1991

1985

GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$)

4580

2012

Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above)

Literacy rate, youth female (% of females ages 15-24)

Literacy rate, youth male (% of males ages 15-24)

Ratio of young literate females to males (% ages 15-24)

Ratio of female to male secondary enrollment (%)

70.36

66.05

80.12

82.44

64.82

2011

2011

2011

2011

2011

Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people)

Internet users (per 100 people)

48.61

16.93

2012

2012

Population, total

Population density (people per sq. km of land area)

Rural population

Rural population (% of total population)

Agricultural population (% of total population)

Total economically active population

Total economically active population in agriculture*

Total economically active population in agriculture (in %

    of total economically active population)

Female economically active population in agriculture (% of

     total economically active population in agriculture)*

20,820,525

16.18

8,347,739

40.09

N.A.

7,628,707

6,021,000

78.92

54.80

2012

2011

2012

2012

2012

2010

2011

2010

Sources: The World Bank *Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FA

Acknowledgements

  • Authored by M. Kalim Qamar (March 2014).
  • Edited by Burton E. Swanson.

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