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.

Acknowledgements

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