Angola, one of Africa's top oil producers, is still dealing with the physical, social, and political ramifications of a 27-year civil war that ravaged the nation after independence.
In the years following Portugal's own revolution in 1974 and the end of its colonial rule in 1975, rival former independence movements fought for control until 2002.
Despite having one of the fastest growing economies in the world and sizable mineral and petroleum reserves, Angola's economic development is incredibly uneven. Its separate Cabinda province, where a protracted separatist conflict simmers, is where much of its oil wealth is located.
- Capital:. Luanda.
- Area:. 1,246,700 sq km.
- Population:. 34.07 billion.
- Languages:. Also known as Portuguese, Kimbundu, Umbundu, Chokwe, or Kikongo.
- Typical lifespan: Men aged 60 and women aged 65.
Joao Lourenco is in charge.
In September 2017, Joao Lourenco became the nation's first new leader in 38 years.
He was the chosen candidate of Jose Eduardo dos Santos, his predecessor, who did not run in the general election but was still anticipated to have a significant influence on how the country was run.
To many people's surprise, Mr. Lourenco fired a number of security chiefs who were close to his predecessor.
The former president's daughter Isabel dos Santos was also fired from her position as CEO of Sonangol, the nation's state oil company. In 2020, José Filomeno dos Santos, the former president's son, was found guilty of fraud and corruption and given a five-year prison sentence.
Mr. Lourenco is a retired general who first fought in the struggle for independence against Portugal and later in the civil war against the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita).
The media landscape is dominated by state-owned outlets. Only four of the numerous privately held publications that arose after the introduction of multiparty politics in 1992 still exist in print.
Reporters without Borders (RSF), an NGO, claims that "censorship and control of information still heavily weigh on Angolan journalists.".
A few significant dates in Angola's history are:.
1300s . - The Kongo kingdom assembles in the north.
1483 . arriving Portuguese.
16th–18th Centuries. - Slaves are traded extensively between Portugal and Angola. Between 1580 and 1680, over a million people are sold into slavery and transported to Brazil.
1836. - The Portuguese government declared the slave trade to be illegal.
1956. - The People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), a socialist insurgency movement based in the north of the Congo.
1950s-1961. - As a nationalist movement grows, a guerrilla war starts.
1961. 50,000 people die in revolts on coffee plantations, leading to the abolition of forced labor. The cause of independence is strengthened.
1974. - The colonial empire of Portugal falls due to revolution.
1975 . Portuguese leave Angola without formally ceding control to any group. Luanda is under MPLA control, and it has proclaimed itself the country's independent government. A rival government was established in Huambo by Unita and FNLA.
1976. - MPLA gains the advantage.
1979. - The death of MPLA leader Agostinho Neto. The new president is Jose Eduardo dos Santos. 38 years later, he resigns.
1987. forces from South Africa enter Angola to support Unita.
1988. - In exchange for the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola, South Africa consents to Namibia's independence.
1991 . Government and Unita sign an agreement for peace in Lisbon.
1992 . - Controversial elections. Conflict erupts once more.
1998 . thousands of people died in the following four years of fighting after Luanda launched an offensive against Unita.
2002. - Government forces kill Jonas Savimbi, the leader of Unita. Shortly after, a cease-fire is agreed upon by the government and Unita.
2004. - The amount of oil produced each day reaches a million barrels.
2012 . - Angola establishes a $5 billion sovereign wealth fund to invest its oil wealth in business ventures.
2018 . - Joao Lourenco takes office as leader.