Angola - Geography
Angola - Geography, Population development is characterized by the same
trends as in most other African countries, but a number of special conditions
apply. The almost DKK 10 million Angolans are divided into a number of ethnic
groups, all of Bantu origin. Largest is ovimbundu on the central
plateau, this is also where UNITA has its hinterland, but there is no clear link
between ethnic groups and location in the civil war. The second largest group
is mbundu around Luanda, chokwe and Ovambo followed
by bakongo in the northwestern provinces.
About half of the population are Catholics, and the Catholic Church sought to
mediate in the Civil War.
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population pyramid and resident density about this country.
The size of the population growth is unknown, but both the birth and death
rates are very high. Only a minority has access to a modern health system or
clean water, and infant mortality rates are among the highest in the world,
130-200 per person. 1000 live births. Hardest hit are the rural areas where
health posts and schools were destroyed during the war.
Cities are estimated to have grown 7-8% per year since 1980. This has led to
infrastructure collapse, slum growth and the dominance of the informal
sector. This development applies not least to the capital, which estimates half
the city population.
The protracted war has caused major refugee problems. In 1990, the number of
internal refugees was estimated at 800,000, and between 250,000 and 480,000 had
fled to neighboring countries. Refugee problems continued until the peace
settlement in 2002; After that, more than 300,000 have returned from neighboring
countries, but it is estimated that another 130,000 are abroad
(2005). Resettlement of all these people is a huge problem in the future.
Formally, men and women have the same rights, but women are subject to the
same discrimination as in other parts of Africa: bride price, polygamy, the
greatest workload in agriculture, many births and poor education. 77% of women
are illiterate versus 50% for men (1985).
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song lyrics and singer about this country.
The vast majority of the population are farmers, and the country has
excellent natural conditions to feed itself. Soils are generally fertile; 2/3 of
the country consists of the central plateau, which is 1000 to 1500 meters above
sea level, from where the main rivers include Cuanzaand Cunene, springs. The
climate is predominantly tropical, warmest in the north and coolest on the coast
in the south. The rainfall in the north is over 1000 mm a year and falls to 50
mm in the driest southwest. In the north there is rainy season from September to
May and in the southern part of the plateau from December to March. However, the
amount of rainfall during the rainy season varies greatly; it can, for a few
years, for example in 2006, almost fail, resulting in local food shortages. In
most of the country the natural vegetation is savannah, however there is
tropical rainforest in Cabinda. The utilization of timber has been reduced to a
minimum, but as one of the few countries in Africa, Angola has sufficient timber
resources for firewood. To the southwest, the vegetation thins out and in the
southern coastal zone the climate is desert-like.
About 2% of the area is cultivated. In 1975 Angola was an exporter of coffee,
sugar, cotton and sisal, but its production has declined significantly since
independence. The country was self-sufficient with basic food and exported,
among other things. corn, but now the rural population produces predominantly
for themselves. Cattle farming in the southern provinces has also dropped
drastically. The reasons are several. The state took over the abandoned
Portuguese farms and continued them as state farms according to Eastern European
pattern. These have generally provided deficits. The rural trading system
collapsed as the state introduced fixed and low acquisition prices; rural areas
received no support, as the post-independence reconstruction was underway,
infrastructure collapsed, and the protracted civil war particularly affected
rural areas. Although the civil war has now ended, there are still major
problems with a destroyed infrastructure.
The sea off Benguela and Namibe is rich in fish due to the meeting between
cold and warm ocean currents. During the colonial period, large catches of
sardine and horse mackerel provided raw materials for a significant fishmeal
industry. The Portuguese removed most of the fleet, the industry has not been
maintained and the yield has been halved. Some fish are caught under license by
Angola has experienced an oil adventure and over the years the oil sector has
been the economic backbone of the war-torn country. The production takes place
in the Cabinda area in close cooperation with foreign oil companies (Chevron)
and has an enclave character: It is detached from the rest of society and uses
very little Angolan labor. For long periods, the oil facilities were guarded by
Cuban troops against the sabotage of UNITA insurgents.
Incidentally, the subsoil is rich in raw materials, but utilization is
limited. Most important are diamonds in Lunda Norte Province and iron ore in
Cassinga, but both productions have fallen after independence. There is great
potential for an expansion of diamond mining just as copper seems to be a new
export item from the mining sector.
By 1975, Angola had a well-developed light industry that supplied the
domestic market. But the industry depended on imports of machinery and
production equipment, and in the early 1990's there were only 280 companies left
out of 4000. The lack of capital (maintenance), skilled labor and raw materials
have been crucial factors.
The railway network has a length of 3000 km in three main lines from inland
to the port cities of Luanda, Lobito and Namibe. The line to Lobito connects the
Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia with the sea. Both railways and roads
are poorly maintained and have been hit by extensive sabotage by UNITA. This has
meant growth for aviation, but the fleet is worn out. The only international
airport is Luanda.
The civil war and the government's development policy have reinforced the
differences between city and country and between the provinces. Investments have
mainly gone to the cities on the west coast, but these are also characterized by
considerable poverty, among other things. because of the many refugees. The
eastern provinces have been most severely affected in the civil war, which in
many places has led to an almost complete cessation of production.
Politically, Angola has been oriented towards the former socialist countries
in Eastern Europe, and military were MPLA supported by Cuba in the fight against
UNITA, which in turn was supported by the US, South Africa and the Democratic
Republic of Congo. However, this orientation is not reflected in foreign
trade. Coffee and cotton have lost their importance to exports, with oil
dominating overall; here are the main customers US and China. Portugal is the
main buyer of coffee.