Republic of Angola
Area: 1,246,700 sq. km. (481,400 sq. mi), about twice the size of Texas.
Cities: Capital--Luanda (est. pop. 5.0 million); Huambo (750,000); Benguela (600,000).
Terrain: A narrow, dry coastal strip extending from the far north (Luanda) to Namibia in the south; well-watered agricultural highlands; savanna in the far east and south; and rain forest in the north and the enclave of Cabinda.
Climate: Tropical and tropical highland.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Angolan(s).
Population (2008 est.): 16,000,000.
Annual population growth rate (2004): 2.8%.
Ethnic groups: Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, mixed racial 2%, European 1%.
Religions (2001 official est.): Roman Catholic 68%, various Protestant 20%; indigenous beliefs 12%.
Languages: Portuguese (official), Ovimbundu, Kimbundu, Bakongo, and others.
Education: Years compulsory--8. Enrollment (combined gross enrollment for primary, secondary, and tertiary schools, 2004 est.)--26%. Literacy (total population over 15 that can read and write, 2004 est.)--67.4% (female 54.2%, male 82.9%).
Health: Life expectancy (2004 est.)--total population 40.7 years. Infant mortality rate (2004 est.)--154/1,000.
Work force (2006 est. 7.7 million): Agriculture 26%, unemployed 27%, percentages in commerce, industry, services and informal sector undetermined.
Independence: November 11, 1975.
Branches: Executive--elected president (chief of state), appointed prime minister, and 31 appointed civilian ministers and 55 vice ministers. Legislative--elected National Assembly (223 seats). Judicial--Supreme Court, Constitutional Court
Administrative subdivisions: Province, municipality, commune.
Political parties: 98 with legal status; in 1992, 12 won seats in the National Assembly. Ruling party--Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). Opposition--National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), Social Renewal Party (PRS), National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), Party for Democratic Progress - Angola National Alliance (PDP-ANA), Democratic Renewal Party (PRD), Party of the Alliance of Youth, Workers, and Peasants (PAJOCA), Liberal Democratic Party (PLD), Democratic Alliance (AD), Angolan Democratic Forum (FDA), Social Democratic Party (PSD), Front for Democracy (FPD), and the Angolan National Democratic Party (PNDA).
Suffrage: Universal age 18 and over.
GDP (2007 est. using purchasing power parity): $91.29 billion.
Annual real GDP growth rate (2007 est.): 21.1%.
Per capita GDP (2007 est. using purchasing power parity): $5,600.
Avg. inflation rate (2007): 12.2%.
Natural resources: Petroleum, diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, bauxite, uranium, gold, granite, copper, feldspar.
Agriculture: Products--bananas, sugarcane, coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, manioc, tobacco, vegetables, plantains; livestock; forest products; fisheries products.
Industry: Types--petroleum drilling and refining, mining, cement, fish processing, food processing, brewing, tobacco products, sugar, textiles, ship repair.
Trade: Exports (2007 est.)--$44.32 billion. Consisting of crude oil, diamonds, refined petroleum products, gas, coffee, sisal, fish and fish products, timber, cotton. Major markets (2006)--U.S. (38.1%), China (34.2%), Taiwan (5.8%), France (4.9%), Chile (4.1%). Imports (2007)--$12.29 billion: machinery and electrical equipment, vehicles and spare parts; medicines, food, textiles, military goods. Major sources (2006)—U.S. (15.3%), Portugal (15%), South Korea (10.1%), China (8.8%), Brazil (8.2%), South Africa (6.7%), France (6.2%).
Angola is located on the South Atlantic Coast of West Africa between Namibia and the Republic of the Congo. It also is bordered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north and east and Zambia to the east. The country is divided into an arid coastal strip stretching from Namibia to Luanda; a wet, interior highland; a dry savanna in the interior south and southeast; and rain forest in the north and in Cabinda. The upper reaches of the Zambezi River pass through Angola, and several tributaries of the Congo River have their sources in Angola. The coastal strip is tempered by the cool Benguela current, resulting in a climate similar to coastal Baja California. The hot, humid rainy season lasts from November to April, followed by a moderate dry season from May to October. The interior highlands have a mild climate with a rainy season from November through April followed by a cool dry season from May to October, when overnight temperatures can fall to freezing. Elevations generally range from 3,000 to 6,000 feet. The far north and Cabinda enjoy rain throughout much of the year.
Estimates of Angola's population vary widely, as there has been no census since 1970, but it is estimated at no less than 16 million. Angola has three main ethnic groups, each speaking a Bantu language: Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, and Bakongo 13%. Other groups include Chokwe, Lunda, Ganguela, Nhaneca-Humbe, Ambo, Herero, and Xindunga. In addition, mixed racial (European and African) people amount to about 2%, with a small (1%) population of whites, mainly ethnically Portuguese. Portuguese make up the largest non-Angolan population, with at least 30,000 (though many native-born Angolans can claim Portuguese nationality under Portuguese law). Portuguese is both the official and predominant language.
In 1482, when the Portuguese first landed in what is now northern Angola, they encountered the Kingdom of the Congo, which stretched from modern Gabon in the north to the Kwanza River in the south. Mbanza Congo, the capital, had a population of 50,000 people. South of this kingdom were various important states, of which the Kingdom of Ndongo, ruled by the ngola (king), was most significant. Modern Angola derives its name from the king of Ndongo. The Portuguese gradually took control of the coastal strip throughout the 16th century by a series of treaties and wars. The Dutch occupied Luanda from 1641-48, providing a boost for anti-Portuguese states. In 1648, Brazilian-based Portuguese forces re-took Luanda and initiated a process of military conquest of the Congo and Ndongo states that ended with Portuguese victory in 1671. Full Portuguese administrative control of the interior did not occur until the beginning of the 20th century.
Portugal's primary interest in Angola quickly turned to the slave trade. The slaving system began early in the 16th century with the purchase from African chiefs of people to work on sugar plantations in São Tomé, Principé, and Brazil. Many scholars agree that by the 19th century, Angola was the largest source of slaves not only for Brazil, but also for the Americas, including the United States. By the end of the 19th century, a massive forced labor system had replaced formal slavery and would continue until outlawed in 1961. It was this forced labor that provided the basis for development of a plantation economy and, by the mid-20th century, a major mining sector. Forced labor combined with British financing to construct three railroads from the coast to the interior, the most important of which was the transcontinental Benguela railroad that linked the port of Lobito with the copper zones of the Belgian Congo and what is now Zambia, through which it connects to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
Colonial economic development did not translate into social development for native Angolans. The Portuguese regime encouraged white immigration, especially after 1950, which intensified racial antagonisms. As decolonization progressed elsewhere in Africa, Portugal, under the Salazar and Caetano dictatorships, rejected independence and treated its African colonies as overseas provinces. Consequently, three independence movements emerged: the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) led by Agostinho Neto, with a base among Kimbundu and the mixed-race intelligentsia of Luanda, and links to communist parties in Portugal and the East Bloc; the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), led by Holden Roberto with an ethnic base in the Bakongo region of the north and links to the United States and the Mobutu regime in Kinshasa; and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas Malheiro Savimbi with an ethnic and regional base in the Ovimbundu heartland in the center of the country and links to the People's Republic of China and apartheid South Africa.
From the early 1960s, elements of these movements fought against the Portuguese. A 1974 coup d'etat in Portugal established a military government that promptly ceased the war and agreed, in the Alvor Accords, to hand over power to a coalition of the three movements. The ideological differences between the three movements eventually led to armed conflict, with FNLA and UNITA forces, encouraged by their respective international supporters, attempting to wrest control of Luanda from the MPLA. The intervention of troops from South Africa on behalf of UNITA and Zaire on behalf of the FNLA in September and October 1975 and the MPLA's importation of Cuban troops in November effectively internationalized the conflict. Retaining control of Luanda, the coastal strip, and increasingly lucrative oil fields in Cabinda, the MPLA declared independence on November 11, 1975, the day the Portuguese abandoned the capital. UNITA and the FNLA formed a rival coalition government based in the interior city of Huambo. Agostinho Neto became the first president of the MPLA government that was recognized by the United Nations in 1976. Upon Neto's death from cancer in 1979, then-Planning Minister José Eduardo dos Santos ascended to the presidency.
The FNLA's military failures led to its increasing marginalization, internal divisions, and abandonment by international supporters. An internationalized conventional civil war between UNITA and the MPLA continued until 1989. For much of this time, UNITA controlled vast swaths of the interior and was backed by U.S. resources and South African troops. Similarly, tens of thousands of Cuban troops remained in support of the MPLA, often fighting South Africans on the front lines. A U.S.-brokered agreement resulted in withdrawal of foreign troops in 1989 and led to the Bicesse Accord in 1991, which spelled out an electoral process for a democratic Angola under the supervision of the United Nations. When UNITA's Jonas Savimbi failed to win the first round of the presidential election in 1992 (he won 40% to dos Santos's 49%, which required a runoff), he called the election fraudulent and returned to war. Another peace accord, known as the Lusaka Protocol, was brokered in Lusaka, Zambia, and signed in 1994. This agreement, too, collapsed into renewed conflict. The UN Security Council voted on August 28, 1997 to impose sanctions on UNITA. The Angolan military launched a massive offensive in 1999, which destroyed UNITA's conventional capacity and recaptured all major cities previously held by Savimbi's forces. Savimbi then declared a return to guerrilla tactics, which continued until his death in combat in February 2002.
On April 4, 2002, the Angolan Government and UNITA signed the Luena Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which formalized the de facto cease-fire that prevailed following Savimbi's death. In accordance with the MOU, UNITA recommitted to the peace framework in the 1994 Lusaka Protocol, returned all remaining territory to Angolan Government control, quartered all military personnel in predetermined locations, and relinquished all arms. In August 2002, UNITA demobilized all military personnel and the UN Security Council sanctions on UNITA were lifted on December 9, 2002. UNITA and the MPLA held their first post-war party congresses in 2003. The UNITA Congress saw the democratic transfer of power from interim leader General Paulo Lukumba "Gato" to former UNITA representative in Paris Isaias Henriqué Samakuva, while the MPLA Congress reaffirmed President dos Santos' leadership of party structures. Samakuva was reelected to a second 4-year term as UNITA party president at a UNITA party congress in July 2007.
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Peace and Reconciliation in Cabinda on August 1, 2006, was intended as a step toward ending conflict in Cabinda and in bringing about greater representation for the people of Cabinda. It followed a successful counterinsurgency campaign by the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA), who still maintain a strong troop presence there. The MOU rejected the notion of Cabindan independence, calls for the demobilization and reintegration of former Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) fighters into various governmental positions, and creates a special political and economic status for the province of Cabinda. Many FLEC military combatants were integrated into the Angolan Armed Forces and National Police, including into some command positions. In addition, Cabindans were given designated numbers of vice ministerial and other positions in the Angolan Government. Some FLEC members, who did not sign onto the peace memorandum, continue their independence efforts through public outreach, infrequent low-level attacks against FAA convoys and outposts and occasional attacks on civilians.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
Angola changed from a one-party Marxist-Leninist system ruled by the MPLA to a nominal multiparty democracy following the 1992 elections, in which President dos Santos won the first-round election with 49% of the vote to Jonas Savimbi's 40%; a runoff never took place. The Constitutional Law of 1992 establishes the broad outlines of government structure and delineates the rights and duties of citizens. The government is based on ordinances, decrees, and decisions issued by a president and his ministers or through legislation produced by the National Assembly and approved by the president. The Assembly is generally subordinate to the executive.
Angola is governed by a president who is assisted by a prime minister and 31 cabinet ministers, all appointed by the president. Political power is concentrated in the presidency. The executive branch of the government is composed of the president (head of state and government), the prime minister, and the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers, composed of all government ministers and vice ministers, meets regularly to discuss policy issues. The president, the Council of Ministers, and individual ministers in their areas of competence have the ability to legislate by decree.
Of the 220 deputies in the National Assembly, 130 are elected at large, and 5 are elected to represent each of the 18 provinces. The Electoral Law also calls for the election of three additional deputies to represent citizens living abroad; however, those positions were not filled in the 1992 elections. Following the 1992 elections, the ruling MPLA controlled 59% of the Assembly's seats.
On June 4, 2008 President dos Santos officially called for legislative elections to be held on September 5, 2008, Angola’s first election since 1992. The announcement followed a voter registration process that registered over 8 million Angolans. Due to technical difficulties on election day, voting was extended through September 6. As a result of the elections, which have been widely accepted by the international community as having reflected the will of the Angolan people, the MPLA won 81.6 percent of the electorate giving it 190 out of 220 seats in parliament. The remaining 30 parliamentary seats were won by the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola UNITA (16), the Social Renewal Party (PRS) (8), National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) (3), and Nova Democracia (2).
Presidential elections are planned for 2009, with municipal elections to follow. The central government administers the country through 18 provinces. Governors of the provinces are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the president. The government has embarked on a program of decentralization, and in August 2007 the Council of Ministers passed a resolution to grant 50 municipalities control of their own budgets.
The legal system is based on Portuguese and customary law but is weak and fragmented. Courts operate in only a fraction of the 164 municipalities. A Supreme Court serves as the appellate tribunal; a Constitutional Court with powers of judicial review has never been constituted despite statutory authorization. Recently, the Supreme Court has acted as a Constitutional Court.
The 27-year-long civil war ravaged the country's political and social institutions. The government estimates that 4.7 million people were internally displaced by the civil war. In March 2007, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Angola jointly celebrated the end of a 5-year organized voluntary repatriation program that returned home more than 400,000 Angolan refugees. UNHCR and the Angolan Government estimate that over 200,000 refugees remain outside Angola, and the government has assured that all remaining refugees have the right to return. Daily conditions of life throughout the country mirror the inadequate administrative infrastructure as well as weak social institutions. Government support for social institutions is often inadequate. Many hospitals are without medicines or basic equipment, schools are without books, and public employees often lack the basic supplies for their day-to-day work.
Principal Government Officials
President--Jose Eduardo dos Santos
Prime Minister—Antonio Paulo Kassoma
Minister of the Economy—Manuel Nunes Junior
Minister of External Affairs—Assuncao Afonso dos Anjos
Minister of the Interior--Roberto Leal Monteiro Ngongo
Minister of Finance—Eduardo Leopoldo Severim de Morais
Minister of Defense--Kundi Paihama
Minister of Petroleum—Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos
Minister of Planning--Ana Afonso Dias Lourenço
Ambassador to the United States--Josefina Perpetua Pitra Diakite
Permanent Representative to the United Nations--Ismael Gaspar Martins
Angola maintains an embassy in the United States at 2100-2108 16th St., NW, Washington, DC 20009 (tel. 202-785-1156; fax 202-822-9049; web: www.angola.org). Angola also maintains consulates in New York City (attached to its Permanent Mission to the United Nations) at 866 UN Plaza, 48th St., Suite 552, New York, NY 10017 (tel. 212-233-3588, ext. 15; fax 212-980-9606; web: http://www2.un.int/public/Angola/) and in Houston at 3040 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 708, Houston, TX 77056 (tel. 713-212-3840; fax 713-212-3841; web: http://www.angola-consulate.org.
Angola has a fast-growing economy largely due to a major oil boom, but it also ranks in the bottom 10% of most socioeconomic indicators. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that Angola's real GDP increased by 23.4% in 2007. Angola is recovering from 27 years of nearly continuous warfare, and it remains beset by corruption and economic mismanagement. Despite abundant natural resources, and rising per capita GDP, it was ranked 161 out of 177 countries on the 2006 UN Development Program's (UNDP) Human Development Index. Subsistence agriculture sustains one-third of the population.
The rapidly expanding petroleum industry has reached its Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cap, producing approximately 2 million barrels per day (bpd). Angola's crude oil production is one of the highest in Africa, rivaling Nigeria. Crude oil accounts for 51.7% of GNP, 95% of exports, and 80% of government revenues. Angola also produces 40,000 bpd of locally refined oil. Oil production remains largely offshore and has few linkages with other sectors of the economy, though a local content initiative promulgated by the Angolan Government is pressuring oil companies to source from local businesses.
Block 15, located offshore of Soyo, currently provides 30% of Angola's crude oil production. ExxonMobil, through its subsidiary Esso, is the operator with a 40% share. In 2005, Block 15's second major sub-field, Kizomba B, came online producing at about 250,000 bpd. BP, ENI-Agip, and Statoil are partners in the concession. Chevron operates Block 0, offshore Cabinda, which provides about 20% of Angola's crude oil production. Its partners in Block 0 are Sonangol (the Angolan state oil company), TotalFinaElf, and ENI-Agip. In 2007, Block 0 had a total production of 370,000 bpd, and drilling activity continues at a high level. Chevron also operates Angola's first deepwater section to go into production, Block 14, which started pumping in January 2000 and produced 105,000 bpd in 2006.
TotalFinaElf brought the first Kwanza Basin deepwater blocks on-line with production from its Block 17 concession that began in February 2002. Inauguration of the Dalia oilfield in December 2006 combined with the Girassol field already in operation brought Block 17's total production to approximately 500,000 bpd as of July 2007. Total expects to begin drilling in new oilfield Pazflor in 2009, bringing production to a peak 700,000 bpd by 2011. Exploration is ongoing in ultra-deep water concessions and in deepwater and shallow concessions in the Namibe Basin. BP made the first significant ultra-deepwater find in its Block 31 concession in 2002 and had reached nine significant discoveries by the end of 2005. BP expected to ship its first crude from the Plutonio oilfield in Block 18 in September 2007 and expects Plutonio to average 200,000 bpd in full production. Marathon also drilled a successful well in its Block 32 ultra-deep water concession. TotalFinaElf operates Angola's one refinery (in Luanda) for sole owner Sonangol; plans for a second refinery in Lobito with projected production of 200,000 bpd are moving forward. There are plans to increase capacity of the Luanda refinery from 40,000 bpd to 100,000 bpd. Chevron, Sonangol, BP, Total, and Eni are developing a $4-5 billion liquefied natural gas plant at Soyo, to be constructed by Bechtel, expected to start production in 2012.
Exports to Asian countries have grown rapidly in recent years, particularly to China. In late 2004, China's state oil company Sinopec entered the market offering two separate $1 billion signing bonus offers on two offshore blocks. Sinopec has also formed a partnership with Sonangol to operate Block 3/05 (formerly Block 3/80), whose operation was transferred from Total to Sonangol. Sonangol will seek to expand its operation of onshore and shallow water blocks. This includes the northern block of Cabinda's onshore concessions, which since the reduction in hostilities with separatist forces is now open to exploration. Sonangol and Sinopec will also be eyeing future concession rounds, particularly for 23 blocks in the Kwanza Basin onshore area and the relinquished parts of Blocks 15, 17, and 18, currently operated by Exxon, Total, and BP. During 2006, Angola was the leading source country in terms of dollar value for the crude oil China imported, importing U.S. $10.928 billion, up 16.5% year on year.
Diamonds make up most of Angola's remaining exports, with yearly production at 6 million carats. Diamond sales reached approximately $1.1 billion in 2006. Despite increased corporate ownership of diamond fields, much production is currently in the hands of small-scale prospectors, often operating illegally. Only eight large-scale mines are operating out of a total of 145 concessions. In June 2005, De Beers signed a $10 million prospecting contract with the government's diamond parastatal, ending a 4-year investment dispute between De Beers and the government. The government is making an increased effort to register and license prospectors. Legal sales of rough diamonds may occur only through the government's diamond-buying parastatal, although many producers continue to bypass the system to obtain higher prices. The government has established an export certification scheme consistent with the "Kimberley Process" to identify legitimate production and sales. Other mineral resources, including gold, remain largely undeveloped, though granite and marble quarrying have begun.
In the last decade of the colonial period, Angola was a major African agricultural exporter. Because of severe wartime conditions, including extensive laying of landmines throughout the countryside, agricultural activities came to a near standstill, and the country now imports over half of its food. Small-scale agricultural production has increased several-fold over the last 5 years due to demining efforts, infrastructure improvements, and the ability of returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to safely return to agricultural areas, yet production of most crops remains below 1974 levels. Some efforts at commercial agricultural recovery have gone forward, notably in fisheries and tropical fruits, but most of the country's vast potential remains untapped. Recently passed land reform laws will attempt to reconcile overlapping traditional land use rights, colonial-era land claims, and recent land grants to facilitate significant commercial agricultural development.
An economic reform effort launched in 1998 was only marginally successful in addressing persistent fiscal mismanagement and corruption. In April 2000, Angola started an IMF staff-monitored program (SMP). The program lapsed in June 2001 over IMF concerns about lack of progress by Angola. Under the program, the Government of Angola did succeed in unifying exchange rates and moving fuel, electricity, and water prices closer to market rates. In March 2007, the government announced it was not interested in a formally-structured IMF program, but would continue to participate in Article IV consultations and other technical assistance on an ad hoc basis.
In December 2002, President dos Santos named a new economic team to oversee homegrown reform efforts. The new team succeeded in decreasing overall government spending, rationalizing the Kwanza exchange rate, closing regulatory loopholes allowing off-budget expenditures, and capturing all revenues in the state budget. New procedures were implemented to track the flow of funds between the Treasury, Banco Nacional de Angola (the central bank), and the state-owned Banco de Poupanca e Credito, which operates the budget. The Angolan Government adopted a new investment code. Concerns remain about quasi-fiscal operations by the state oil company Sonangol, continued oil-backed commercial borrowing by the Angolan Government, and inadequate transparency and oversight in the management of public accounts. The Angolan commercial code, financial sector law, and telecommunications law all require substantial revision.
Angola is the third-largest trading partner of the United States in sub-Saharan Africa, largely because of its petroleum exports. U.S. exports to Angola primarily consist of industrial goods and services--such as oilfield equipment, mining equipment, chemicals, aircraft, and food. On December 30, 2003, President Bush approved the designation of Angola as eligible for tariff preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
The Angolan Armed Forces, known by its Portuguese acronym FAA, are headed by a chief of staff who reports to the civilian minister of defense. There are three services--the army, navy, and air force. The army is by far the largest of the services with about 110,000 personnel. The navy numbers about 3,000 and operates several small patrol craft and barges. Air force personnel total about 7,000; its equipment includes Russian-manufactured fighters and transport planes, Bell helicopters, and Italian trainers. The "Casa Militar," or presidential guard, answers directly to the Office of the President and is separate from FAA command and control structures.
From 1975 to 1989, Angola was aligned with the Soviet Union and Cuba. Since then, it has focused on improving relationships with Western countries, cultivating links with other Portuguese-speaking countries, and asserting its own national interests in Central Africa through military and diplomatic intervention. It has entered the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in order to improve its ties with its largely anglophone neighbors to the south. In 1997, Zimbabwe and Namibia joined Angola in its military intervention in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where Angolan troops fought in support of the Laurent and Joseph Kabila governments. It also has intervened in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) in support of President Sassou-Nguesso. Angola has also engaged in a more robust economic relationship with the People's Republic of China. The P.R.C. has extended over U.S. $7 billion in credit to Angola. Angola has also received billion dollar lines of credit from Brazil and Germany.
Multilaterally, Angola has promoted the revival of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) as a forum for cultural exchange and a means of expanding ties with Portugal and Brazil. During the peace process, the government fully cooperated with the UN Mission in Angola (UNMA), which concluded its mandate in mid-February 2003. Angola concluded a 2-year term on the UN Security Council in December 2004. In June 2007, it began a 3-year term on the Human Rights Council.
The U.S. Mission in Angola includes four agencies--the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Defense, and the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (HHS/CDC). In addition, a variety of federal agencies maintain relationships with the Angolan Government through ongoing projects, including the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Commerce, the U.S. Trade Development Agency, and the Department of Energy.
The United States and Angola established formal diplomatic relations in 1993. Thereafter, the U.S. played a role in facilitating the Lusaka Protocol that sought an end to Angola's long-running civil war. Since war's end in 2002, United States foreign policy goals in Angola have sought to consolidate peace and security, promote economic prosperity, improve health, and encourage Angola's transition to democracy and respect for human rights. The U.S. has worked in partnership with Angola to remove thousands of landmines and help war refugees and internally displaced people return to their homes.
USAID's development program in Angola in FY 2007 was consistent with the country's status as a developing country at a pivotal juncture in its development and reconstruction. In FY 2006, the program budget was $25.5 million and focused on civil society strengthening, improved governance, and democratization; market-oriented economic analysis and economic reform policy; agricultural sector productivity; maternal and child health; HIV/AIDS prevention, education, and voluntary counseling; and workforce development. Angola also launched a major program to fight malaria through the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI). The Governing Justly and Democratically objective strengthens constituencies and institutions required for democratic governance by strengthening civil society organizations and promoting local government decentralization; fostering an independent media, government transparency, accountability, and capability, and improved dialogue between citizens and government; and laying the groundwork for free and fair elections. The Investing in People objective aims to improve maternal and child health and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases by helping communities and institutions to provide necessary health services and to conduct HIV/AIDS prevention programs. The PMI is the largest health program and expands efforts to scale up proven preventive and treatment interventions toward achievement of 85% coverage among vulnerable groups and 50% reduction in morbidity due to malaria. The Economic Growth objective fosters economic policy and financial sector reform; credit access for micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises; and expanded trade and investment.
To assist with economic reform, in FY 2007 the State Department provided $2.2 million to work on land tenure, economic policy, and the financial sector. An additional $143,000 in grants was provided to community development projects and non-governmental organization (NGO)-sponsored democracy and human rights projects. $152,000 in International Military Education and Training (IMET) funds was provided for English language training to the Angolan Armed Forces. Professional training for law enforcement personnel at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Gaborone, Botswana continued. The Safe Skies for Africa program provided around $800,000 in equipment and training to the Angolan civil aviation authority. As part of its public diplomacy program, the Embassy provided nearly $434,000 in English language training, educational exchanges and fellowships, and information resource services. The State Department provided $6 million for ongoing landmine, small arms, and munitions destruction projects throughout the country. These projects have played a major role in clearing agricultural land and opening critical road networks and increasing access in those areas of the country most impacted by landmines.
At the same time, the energy-based U.S. trading relationship continues to expand and spark other ties. One offshoot has been the development of a Sister City relationship between Lafayette, Louisiana and Cabinda and between Houston, Texas and Luanda. The Catholic University of Luanda has close links with a number of American institutions and has received support from the Angola Educational Assistance Fund, a U.S. non-profit organization organized by Citizens Energy of Boston. Sonangol has a longstanding program of educating its professionals in U.S. universities, complementing Chevron's policy of U.S. training for its own growing pool of Angolan professionals.
Principal U.S. Officials
Deputy Chief of Mission—Jeff Hawkins
USAID Director--Susan Brems
Defense Attaché--LTC Chris Grieg
The U.S. Embassy is located at Rua Houari Boumedienne No. 32, Miramar, Luanda, Angola. International mail: Caixa Postal 6484, Luanda, Angola; Pouch: Department of State, 2550 Luanda Place, Washington, DC 20521-2550; telephone: (244) (222) 64-1000; fax: (244) (222) 64-1232; web: http://angola.usembassy.gov/