The Country
 
 
President
JOSÉ EDUARDO DOS SANTOS, the President of the Republic of Angola, born 28 August 1942, to Eduardo Avelino dos Santos and Jacinta José Paulino. He is married with Ana Paula dos Santos. Mr. Santos completed his secondary education in Luanda (Lyceum Salvador Correia) and joined MPLA in November 1961 while in exile. In 1969 he graduated from the Institute of Petroleum and Gas of Baku (former Soviet Union) with diploma in Petrochemical Engineering.  
 

After returning to the country he became the Minister of External Relations of the first Government after the Independence of Angola, the 2nd Vice - Prime Minister in 1978 and the Minister of Planning in 1978-79. He was elected the President of MPLA on the 20th September 1979 and became the President of the People’s Republic of Angola until presidential elections in October 1992, where he won the first round with 49.6% of votes.

The first attempts to create objective and subjective conditions to launch profound economic and political reforms date back to the early 80’s, with support of young professionals from the faculties of Engineering, Law and Economy. The war did not allow rapid implementation of these reforms. Agreements of Bicesse established after this openness allowed an interregnum in military conflict and created conditions to institute a democratic regime and an open market.

One relevant fact in the beginning of his career in power was that Mr. José Eduardo dos Santos has never ratified any death sentence passed by the courts during the time when it was still legal in the country, and decisively contributed to the abolishment of death sentence in Angola.

From 1986 to 1992 José Eduardo dos Santos has been behind the efforts of peace in the country and in the region, which culminated with the withdrawal of South African occupational forces, repatriation of Cuban troops, independence of Namibia and the end of the apartheid regime in the South Africa.

With elimination of external factors aggravating internal conflict in Angola, José Eduardo dos Santos established bridges to a negotiated solution, motivated opening towards political pluralism and market economy and organised democratic multi-party elections (29-30 September 1992) under international supervision.

During the severe crisis that followed after UNITA’s rejection of UN verdict about “free and fair” elections, José Eduardo dos Santos personally directed intense diplomatic activity that resulted in complete international recognition of Angolan Government, gave an impulse to establishment of elected organs of sovereignty and defended democratic institutions by forcing the opposition to accept negotiated solution of the conflict, sealed by the Agreements of Lusaka in November1994.

These Agreements served as basis for creation of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation with participation of members from the parties with seats in the national Parliament, including the armed opposition.

Unfortunately, the Agreements of Lusaka did not bring a definite peace to Angola. In 1998 the rebel forces reverted to war after undergoing the secret rearmament, being convinced that they could have taken the Power by military means.

Time and again José Eduardo dos Santos has shown his qualities of a statesman at the peak of a delicate moment for entire country. He decided to fight the armed threat without resorting to declaration of martial law or the state of emergency, maintaining all democratic institutions of the country in operation, in order to secure the rights, freedoms and guaranties of the citizens.

The United Nations Organisation congratulated him, on 29th July 2000, for his announcement of pardon to all armed rebels, including their leader, as long as they would have recognised the legitimate power and contributed to the consolidation of democratic regime, to the national reconciliation and development of the country.

Two years later, thanks to the implementation of a multilateral program of national resistance to war, started by the initiative of the President of Angola, military commanders of the Government had finally reached the truce with the armed rebel forces, effectively leading to an end of war through an act celebrated in a solemn ceremony in Luanda, on the 4th April 2002.

During the same period of time Angolan President decisively contributed to the stabilisation of situation in the Republic of Congo/Brazzaville and the Democratic Republic of Congo and to a political solution to a military conflict in the Great Lakes region.

 
 
Geography
 

Geographical coordinates
The Republic of Angola is situated in the southern part of the West coast
of the African Continent

Latitude North -04°22`G /South-18°02`G.
Longitude East -24°05`E.G / West -11°41`E.G
Area 1,246,700 km2
Atlantic coastline 1.650 Km
Land borders 4.837 Km
North Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo
East Democratic Republic o Congo and Republic of Zambia
South Republic of Namibia
East Atlantic Ocean
 
Climate

Angola has two seasons: rainy and hot season from September to May, and the dry season. The dry season, or season of draughts, is less hot and extends from May to September
There are two climatic zones from the ocean coast towards the interior of the country: the coastal region with annual relative humidity of 30% and average temperature above 23ºC, and inner region subdivided into Northern Zone, with elevated precipitation and high temperatures, High Zone, which includes mountainous central regions with dry climate and lower temperatures, and South-Eastern Zone, a semi-dry region influenced by proximity to the Namib Desert, an extension of the Kalahari Desert affected by large tropical continental airmasses.
This climatic diversity corresponds to a potential for tourism represented by the richest natural heritage with diverse animal and plant species, offering all kinds of leisure and exploration activities.
Average temperatures: maximum 27ºC, minimum 17ºC

 
Flora
Angola has five types of natural zones: dense rainforests of Maiombe containing rear types of timber, Savannas, usually mixed with forest, such as Lunda and dry Savannas with trees and bush in Luanda, lowlands of Cassanje and some areas of Lunda.
There are zones of steppes along the landstrip starting from the south of Sumbe and, finally, zones of desert occupying a narrow strip of coastal area to the extreme south of the country, where in Namib Desert we can find “Welwitschia Mirabilis”, a species unique in the world that also characterise this country.
 
Fauna
Angola has numerous animal species spread around various regions of the country. The forests of Maiombe are home to gorillas, chimpanzees and parrots; in the more humid natural zones of the North, Centre, Centre-East we can find golungo antelope, giant sable antelope, a unique species threatened by extinction, pygmy antelope and elephants. In drier regions there are species of Angolan springbok, gemsbok, or Oryx gazelle, antelope gnu, impala, cheetah and buffalo, as well as species of elephant, zebra and giraffe. The animals with common presence throughout entire territory are hyenas, red antelopes, lions, leopards and hippopotamus. Marine fauna includes an enormous variety of fish, sea and river animals, including crocodiles and alligators.
 
Main Rivers
Kwanza is the main river of Angola, 1000 km long, of which only 240 kilometres are suitable for navigation. The second largest river is Kubango with 975 km, the third is Cunene with 800 km and, finally, Zair with 150 km, fully open for navigation. The rivers of Angola offer opportunities for creation of new businesses, either of purely tourist nature or mixed type, such as commerce-tourism.
 
Mineral Resources
Angola is a country immensely rich in mineral resources. Angolan soil is said to contain 35 out of the most important 45 products of world trade, including crude oil, natural gas, diamonds, phosphates, bituminous substances, iron, copper, magnesium, gold and ornamental rocks.

 
 
History
 

Brief historical data
• Ethnicity: Bantu is the ethnic majority of the country
• Arrival of the Portuguese: 1482 (Diogo Cão)
• Political Origins: 500 year of Portuguese colonial rule (1482/1975)
• Founding of the first city (Luanda): 1605
• Date of Independence: 11 November 1975
   - 14 years of war of National Liberation (1961/1975)
• The first Government: MPLA
• The first President of the Republic: Agostinho Neto (1975-1979)
• Inauguration of José Eduardo dos Santos: 21 September 1979
• Protocol of Bicesse: 31 May 1991
• First free elections: September 1992
• Protocol of Lusaka: 20 November 1994
• Inauguration of the GRNU: 11 April 1997
• 2nd legislative election won by MPLA with 81 percent of the votes: 5 September 2008

 
 
 
Demographic Data
 
Population
Angola has population of 16,000,000 inhabitants (49,3% male, 50,7% female), which consists of several peoples, ethnic groups and cultures speaking various languages. Portuguese is the Official Language of Angola.
 

Official Language
Official Language of Angola is Portuguese.
Main national languages
Umbundu, Kimbundu, Kikongo, Cokwe, Fiote, Kwanyama.

Religions
Catholics 51%; Protestants 17%; Traditional religions (Animist) 30%; Other 2%.

 
Political and Administrative Organisation
The multi-party democracy has been established in 1992; the same year when the first democratic elections had taken place. The Constitution establishes a semi-presidential system with the following State organs: The President of the Republic, the National Assembly, the Government with a 5-year mandate, and Courts.
 
Political and Administrative Division
18 Provinces, 163 Municipalities, 475 Communes.
 
 
 
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