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About Angola

Angola is a country with unlimited potential. This reality maybe difficult to convey to the international community that associate Angola with land mines,a war that destroyed much of its infrastructure and killed millions of Angolans, and conflict diamonds. At a closer look Angola's potential is apparent. This is not surprising for a country that is sub-Saharan Africa's leading oil producers since April 2008. Few African countries, have the favorable natural endowments as Angola. Apart from the oil industry, Angola have vasts stretches of fertile land and one the world's largest unexplored deposit in the world.


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.

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    Angola changed from a one-party Marxist-Leninist system ruled by the MPLA to a nominal multi party democracy following the 1992 elections, in which President dos Santos won the first-round election with more than 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 parliament is generally subordinate to the executive. Few opportunities exist for opposition parties to challenge MPLA dominance. President dos Santos has announced that parliamentary elections will be held on September 5, 2008 and has proposed that general elections be held in 2009.

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For more information, please contact Maria da Cruz Gabriel at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 202.857.0789.


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