Angola is one of the countries located in Sub-Saharan Africa. Angola is bordered by Namibia to the South, Zambia to the East and the Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Congo the North. The country is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West.
Here are 20 facts you might not have known about Angola
1. The country was formerly known as Portuguese West Africa and obtained independence from Portugal in 1975 (after being under Portuguese rule from the 16th Century).
2. There was a civil war in the country from 1975 until 2002. The MPLA (backed by the Soviet Union and Cuba) and UNITA (Backed by the United States, Portugal, South Africa and Brazil) were the 2 factions involved in the civil war.
3. According to 2019 figures, the country has an estimated population of +/- 31 million.
4. Luanda is the capital of Angola with an estimated population of 2.52 million. The city houses the country’s main port and airport and is also the most expensive city in the world (ahead of European and Japanese cities). The city was founded in 1575 by the Portuguese.
5. João Lourenço is the current president of the country. He’s been in office since September 2017.
6. The Kwanza is the national currency of the country. 643 Kwanza = 1 US Dollar (according to current financial indicators).
7. Angola divided into 18 provinces: Bengo, Benguela, Bié, Cabinda, Cuando Cubango, Cuanza Norte, Cuanza Sul, Cunene, Huambo, Huíla, Luanda, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Malanje, Moxico, Namibe, Uíge and Zaire.
8. The official language is Portuguese. About 60 other African languages are spoken including Umbundu and Ovambo. French and Spanish is also spoken in the country.
9. Angola derives its name from the kingdom of Ndongo, whose name for its king is “ngola”. The historical African kingdom of the Mbundu people was founded around the late 15th or early 16th century.
10. Diamonds, Coffee, Petroleum, Sisal, Petroleum products, Cotton, Lumber and Fish are the major products exported from Angola.
11.Angola is Home to a Pretty Impressive Waterfall. At 105 metres high and 400 metres wide, the Kalandula waterfall is second-largest in Africa just after Victoria Falls. The country is also home to a whole host of other stunning natural beauties from lush green hills to the plains of dry savanna.
12. Brazil’s famous samba dance is recognized worldwide, but did you know it may have originated in Angola? Their traditional dance is called the “semba” and is believed to be the root of what later evolved into samba in Brazil.
13. It’s a country of young people. Nearly 70% of the population is under 24 years old. Unfortunately, the civial war has had a significant impact on the composition of youth vs elderly. Angola is still bravely recovering from the socio-economic damage caused by it.
14. It’s the 7th largest country in Africa. It’s roughly almost twice the size of the US state of Texas.
15. Angola has an estimated GDP (Growth Domestic Product) of +/- $88 billion. It’s the country with the 10th biggest GDP in Africa.
16. The population is predominantly Christian; with the Catholic religion being the most expanded one.
17. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Angola was a significant Portuguese slave-trading base. Between 1580 and 1680 over a million slaves were transported to Brazil. In 1836 the slave trade was officially abolished by the Portuguese administration.
18. Angolan businesswoman, Isabel dos Santos, is Africa’s richest woman. She is the daughter of the former Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos and is estimated to have a fortune of $2.2 billion.
19. The giant sable antelope, which is endemic to Angola, was thought to be extinct since 1982. However, the antelope was ‘rediscovered’ in 2006 but remains endangered.
20. Angola is still struggling to clear landmines leftover from its civil war. Mother and son members of the British Royal Family have visited Angola to raise awareness of the issue. Princess Diana visited in 1997 and then her son, Prince Harry, visited in 2019.
21. To date just over 40,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Angola. Less than 1000 people have died.
Well, there you have it, interesting facts you might not have known about Angola. If I’ve left out anything import, feel free to comment below.
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