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Country Facts About Angola for Kids

Updated on July 24, 2012

Introduction to Angola

Angola is a country located in southern Africa. It shares borders with three other African countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia and Namibia. It also borders the Atlantic Ocean.

The Republic of Angola is a democracy. In a democracy, people elect leaders to make laws. The capital city of Angola is Luanda.

Angola is still recovering from a 30 year civil war. A civil war is a war fought by different groups in the same country. The civil war ended in 2002. Two out of three people in Angola are very poor. They live on less than $2 a day. Unemployment is high. About 1 out of 4 people don’t have any job. It can take a long time for a country to recover from a civil war.

Children in Angola
Children in Angola

Demography

Angola has a population of about 13 million people. The people are called Angolans. Portuguese is the official language of the country. Bantu is another commonly spoken language but many other languages are used.

The largest ethnic groups are the Ovimbundu (about 2 out of 5 people), Kimbundu (about 1 out of 4 people) and Bakongo (about 1 out of 7 people).

About half of all Angolans practice traditional African religions. These are called indigenous beliefs because they didn’t come from somewhere else. The other half of the population is mainly Christian. About 70 percent of Angolans (7 out of 10 people) are literate, which means they can read and write.

Traffic jams are a big problem in Angola's capital, Luanda
Traffic jams are a big problem in Angola's capital, Luanda

Way of Life

The oil industry in angola has created a lot of wealth for some people. As a result, the cost of living is very high. Renting apartments, eating out and shopping are very expensive. Luanda, Angola is one of the most expensive cities in the world. On the other hand, many people live in rundown buildings called slums. Or they live in shanty towns on the outskirts of cities. Shanty towns are areas where poor people build shelters made of cardboard, scrap metals, cloth or plywood.

Many people from around the world move to Angola to work in the oil and mining industries. These people are often called expats. There are large expats communities in some areas of Angola.

Because so many people in Angola are poor, child labor is a big problem. This means children have to work to help support their families. About 1 out of every 3 children has to work. About 2 out of 5 don’t attend school even though education is compulsory. Compulsory means that children are required to go to school. Children do jobs like street vending (selling things on the street), farm work, domestic work (cleaning houses, childcare) and car washing.

It is illegal for children in Angola to work before the age of 14. The government is trying to put an end to child labor. They are building new schools and hiring more teachers to ensure that more kids can attend school.

Traffic is a big problem in Angola. Many roads are in poor condition. Traffic jams are a huge problem in cities because roads weren’t designed to handle a lot of cars and trucks. Roads are being repaired and traffic lights are being installed to fix these problems.

Map of Angola
Map of Angola

Climate and Topography

Angola has rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season is October to May. It is hot and humid. The country often experiences violent storms in April. The dry season is June to September. This season has cool temperatures. There is also a desert area in Angola, which has hot, dry weather most of the year.

The topography of Angola is varied. Angola has beaches, desert, hills and mountains. Angola is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, so the country has a lot of beaches and coastline. Part of the Namib Desert is in Southern Angola. Mount Moco is the highest peak.

Angola has very fertile farmland. Before the civil war, Angola was able to produce plenty of food to feed its people and to sell to other countries. Now, much of Angola’s arable land is not being farmed or is used only for subsistence farming. Subsistence farmers only grow enough crops to feed themselves and their families. They don’t grow crops to sell to others.

Fishermen in Angola
Fishermen in Angola

Economy

Oil is the most important natural resource in Angola. Oil production and industries that support oil production make up most of the country’s economy. Angola is a member of an organization called OPEC. OPEC stands for Organization of Petroleum (oil) Exporting Countries. Diamonds are another important natural resource.

Most people make their living from subsistence agriculture. This means they grow only enough food to feed themselves.

Angola exports oil, diamonds, coffee, fish, timber, and cotton. The country imports food, machinery, vehicles, medicine and textiles (cloth).

Angola’s currency is called kwanza.

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