Welcome to Angola

A recovering land

Angola suffered from a war of independence and then a 27-year civil war, which finally came to an end in 2002. The country’s new oil wealth is allowing for the rebuilding and reconstruction of roads and buildings, but more than half the population still live below the poverty line.

Find out more about Angola here.

Children at the SOS village

Discover Angola

27 years of civil war in Angola finally ended in 2002. By the time peace was declared, around 1.5 million people from a population of 7 million had been killed and more than 4 million forced to flee their homes.

Fishing is important to Angola’s agricultural economy. Angola is in the top ten African producers of fish (not including stocks raised on fish farms). The rich fishing off Angola’s shores is due to the nutrient-rich cold waters of the Benguela Current

Around four-fifths of all schools were either deserted or destroyed during the civil war. Therefore the majority of Angolan children did not attend school in the years before peace came in 2002.

The majority of Angolans now live in urban areas, with over a quarter of the population (5 million people) residing in the capital, Luanda. Many fled there as refugees during the civil war.

While most Angolans speak a local language as their mother-tongue, Portuguese is the official language.

One of the major rebuilding projects in Angola is the reopening of the Benguela Railway. This railway line travels from Lobito bay on the coast right through to the eastern border.

Angola’s main wealth comes from oil, which makes up 90% of its exports. Over 1.6 million barrels of oil are produced every day in Angola. But with estimated reserves of over 13 billion barrels, it has some way to go before its oil runs dry.

Despite Angola’s growing economy, much of the oil wealth is retained by companies and individuals. Around 55% of Angolans live below the poverty line (surviving on less than a dollar a day).

Angola has one of the highest rates of sickle cell disease (also known as sickle cell anaemia) in the world, with around 6,000 babies born with the illness each year. It is an inherited genetic condition, with as many as a fifth of Angolans carrying the sickle cell trait.

The giant sable antelope (Palanca Negra Gigante) is extremely rare and found only in the north of Angola, where it is being protected in conservation areas such as Cangandala National Park.