Geography Of Angola
The 18 Provinces
- 1.246.700 km2.
- 16 million
- Main Cities
- Luanda, Huambo, Lobito, Benguela, Lubango, Malanje, Cabinda, Soyo
- Kikongo, Kimbundo, Tchokwe, Umbundo, Mbunda, Kwanyama
- Official Language
- Ethnic groups
- Ovimbundu 37%
- Catholics 75%
- Republic of Congo 201 km
Republic of Namibia - 1376 km
Democratic Republic of Congo 2511 km
Republic of Zambia 1110 km
- 1650 km (Ocean Atlantic)
- Territorial waters
- 20 nautical miles
200 nautical miles
- Partition of lands
- 2% Arables lands
23% Swamps and pastures
Further north, the province of Cabinda constitutes an enclave separated geographically from the rest of the territory by the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Physical, geographical and hydrographic data:
The territory can be divided to six geographical areas:
- the coastline
- transitional zones to the interior
- the Zaire basin
- the Zambeze and Cubango basin
The bastus occupy a little bit more than 60% of the territory and are characterized by high lands in the interior and reliefs of the Atlantic coast, descending gradually towards the sea.
Approximately 65% of the territory are at an altitude between 1,000 and 1,600 m, with the culminating points in the central region: the Mount Moco (2,620 meters, province of Huambo) and the Mount Meco (2,583 m). The main rivers of the country come from the central plateau and run along three directions; the Atlantic (E-W), South-Southeast and North. There are five great basins which correspond to Congo (Zaire), Kwanza, Cunene, Cubango and Queve (being the Cubango basin the same as that of Zambeze).
The coastal region, relatively humid, presents an annual rainfall ofover 600 mm, dropping from the North to the South from 800 mm on theCabinda coast to 50 mm in the South (Namibe),with an averagetemperature of above 23° C.
The interior is divided into three zones:
The northern zone, with high rainfall and high temperatures;
The zone of altitude, on the central plateaus, characterized by annualaverage temperatures close to 18° C, with minimum temperaturesaccentuated in the dry season;
The southeastern zone, semiarid because of the proximity to the CalaariDesert. The temperatures are lower even during the hot season. Thisarea is under the influence of great masses of continental tropicalair.
Angola's economic potential is high, diversified and has been attracting attention on the part of the national and foreign business community.
Angola has the most important oil, natural gas and diamonds deposits in Africa, besides other valuable mineral resources. With a coastline of 1,650 kilometers, its seas are inhabited by important fish species.
The country has immense fertile soils (3.5 million hectares) and its climate is favorable to a great variety of tropical and semitropical cultures. Its abundant hydrographic resources offer excellent possibilities of irrigation and an important hydroelectric potential, with an extension to the energy network of Southern Africa (SADC).
Privileged by Nature, Angola also has forests and eco-environmental sceneries and landscapes favorable to tourism. All these arguments are sufficiently attractive to arouse the interest of anyone who wants to contribute for its sustainable development.
Agriculture, Cattle-breeding And Forestry
The most fertile soils for agriculture are close to the rivers. There are extensive pastures on the southwest plateau. Enormous extensions of tropical forests are found in the north east and south of the country, with some rare species such as ebony, sandal and rosewood, and also with eucalyptus and pine tree plantations (Benguela, Huambo, Huila).
The agricultural sector has confirmed its potentialities in the colonial past for cultures such as sugar, cotton, rubber, coffee, corn, sisal, peanut, sweet potato, beans, cassava, massambala, greens, fruits, etc.
The bovine herds of the country are estimated in over three million head of cattle, and are mostly in the hands of traditional breeders (especially in the provinces of Huila and Cunene), being followed by the breeding of goats, sheep and pigs.
Fishing And By-products
Angolan coastline has 1,650 kilometers and is one of the richest in fish of the African continent. Until 1972, Angola was the first world producer of fish flours, but today all the factories specialized in this product are inoperative. The country has three fishing sectors: industrial, semi-industrial and handmade.
Given the abundance of its hydrographic resources, the fishing industry is practically present in the whole territory, constituting a supplementary activity to agriculture.
The fishing production is concentrated in the South, in the provinces of Kwanza-South, Benguela and Namibe. The fishing production in the North (Cabinda, Zaire, Bengo and Luanda) is much below the potentialities of its shore, as well as of the demand of the local markets and of the neighboring countries.
Recently, the negotiations of fishing franchises with the European Union were suspended, and measures to help local businessmen (Including partnerships with foreign operators) in the sector were taken.
Energy And Water
Today Angola has a growing capacity to produce hydroelectric energy, which could grow with the use of petroliferous gas to produce by-products and thermal energy.
To recover, increase and improve the Angolan pattern of the installed capacity, the government decided to open the segments of energy production and distribution of the private sector. The construction of the Capanda Dam, in partnership with Brazilian and Russian operators, already reflects this new policy.
This dam is part of a nine dam system that includes Cambambe, thus creating an energy surplus that could be exported to Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and even to other SADC countries, so that Angola comes to be the head of the energy network in Southern Africa.
Despite this high potential, there are still great inadequacies in the networks of energy distribution in the suburban zones and in the industrial centers, because a large part of the electric infrastructures was destroyed or abandoned during the war.
In the rural zones, most of the populations still don't have access to electric energy and commercial fuels.
In this sector, the destructions provoked by the war affected almost all the roads, 80% of the railroads and 20% of the airports. Most of the roads are inoperative and of about 2,800 kilometers of railways only 12% are still in operation (presently in a phase of recovery within the ambit of the Angoferro Program).
So, the government defined a National Transports Strategy in Angola for the period 2000~2015, which includes, among other measures, the construction of an integrated transports network and its integration into the SADC network and also the introduction of public-private partnerships or privatizations, for the co-participation of the private sector in the state-run infrastructures.
The intention is to resume and modernize the transports system in Angola, in terms of new infrastructures (including terminals and dry ports), operations, regulation and institutions, in order to promote the expansion of the economic activities and to assure the sustainable development in the whole country, within the ambit of the national reconstruction.
Mail And Telecommunications
In Angola the mail has a long tradition and certainly contributed to the development of the country and the unity of the territory, through its post offices network, located in all the places with demographic relevance.
The national private sector of the mail had in the regulation its largest obstacle, since the previous legislation gave the public operator the monopoly of the rendering of postal services. But the new Postal Activity Regulation, which came into effect in 2002, opens this sector to competition.
Angolan mail is member of the Universal Postal Union since 1977 and participated in the congresses held in Rio de Janeiro, Hamburg, Washington, Seoul and Beijing, having won several important international philatelic awards.
In the last decade, the telecommunications sector developed actions to extend and modernize its services, through the introduction of the digital system in urban and suburban areas of Luanda and of the mobile telephone. Investments were also made for the modernization of the telephonic network in several provinces, namely in the extension of the digital network and in the increase of lines.
Hospitality and Tourism
The opportunities this market can be divided into two major segments. First, the urban tourism, especially in the hotel component, aimed at business tourism, conferences and international meetings, bathing and sailing.
The policies promoted by the government in this sector have been directed towards the construction of infrastructure in urban areas for the development and promotion of tourist routes engagement in the national and provincial rural development and promoting employment and creation of micro tourist services.
Financial System And Capital Market
Angolan financial system is structured around the Angolan Central Bank and domestic commercial banks, as well as around foreign private commercial banks, with representations offices, and special credit institutions (sectorial or regional funds that support investments).
The banking sector grew significantly in the last three years, fueled the positive evolution of the main macroeconomic indicators and the structural reforms implemented by the government, although they still present an insufficient capacity for the financing of the economy.
As for the sector of insurance, the present legislation authorized the opening of this activity to the private initiative, creating a decisive mark in the new architecture of the internal financial system. The new insurance companies are monitored by the Institute of Supervision of Insurances, controlled by the Ministry of Finance.
The creation of the capital market, with support of the Angolan Stock and Commodities Exchange (BVDA), represents an additional tool for the financing of the public economy, thus supplementing the limited capacities of the bank credit and facilitating the attraction of foreign investment (increase of the liquidity factors).
These macroeconomic objectives with impact on the investment and on the microeconomics can turn Angola into one of the centers of economic development in Southern Africa, with reflections on Central Africa and on the rest of the continent, in the scenario of globalization. The idea is to become an 'African Tiger', a desire always postponed due to the prolonged external aggressions and armed conflicts derived from neocolonial interferences.
Oil And By-products
Angolan oil spreads across three main coastal sedimentary basins: Congo basin (including Cabinda), Kwanza basin and Namibe basin, that are part of the South Atlantic secondary basin.
Approximately two thirds of Angola's present deposits of hydrocarbons, estimated for over 35 years, are on the shore of the province of Cabinda, being the remaining ones spread across the continental platform adjacent to the provinces of Zaire, Luanda, Benguela and Namibe.
Successive discoveries of oil in deep waters, since 1993, increased production to the current level of about a million barrel/day. The potential creation of a new petroliferous center near Lobito, in the province of Benguela, can come to turn Angola into a producer at the same level of Nigeria and with an influence equivalent to that of the United Arab Emirates on the world petroliferous panorama.
Today, 63% of the Angolan oil production are exported to the USA (representing 8% of the American imports) and other markets, namely European (France, Portugal, etc.), Asian (China, South Korea, Philippines, India and Japan) and African (SADC countries).
Some projects in progress foresee the use of natural gas in Cabinda and Soyo, and the construction of a petrochemical plant in Cabinda for the conversion of natural gas into diesel and other by-products, as well as for the liquefaction of gas for exports (with potential markets in Latin America). In addition, a new refinery is being built in Lobita (province of Benguela).
Diamonds And Other Minerals And Precious Stones
Built by the Government in 1986, Empresa Nacional de Diamantes de Angola (Endiama) opened mining to foreign companies, using agreements to share production similar to those used in the oil sector and now in the Public Works and Fisheries.
The new law in Angola on the diamond market includes the certificate of legal origin and states that all purchase and sale of diamonds to pass through Sodiam, a subsidiary of Endiama joint venture with foreign investors and already have subsidiaries based in America, Asia, Middle East and Europe.
The new Angolan legislation on the diamond market includes the certificate of legal origin and establishes that every purchase and sale of diamonds must pass by Sodiam, which is a partner with Endiama in a joint venture with foreign investors and already with branches in the Americas, Asia, Middle East and Europe.
Angola subsoil is equally rich in other minerals. Most of the provinces, namely Bengo, Benguela, Bie, Cabinda, Kuando-Kubango, Kwanza-North, Kwanza-South, Huambo, Huila, Lundas, Malanje, Moxico, Namibe e Zaire, present a significant mineral potential that includes, among others, deposits of metallic and non-metallic ores, including diamonds, precious stones and construction materials. The evaluation of this mineral potential is still incomplete, but it is known, for example, that the reserves of iron are estimated in over one billion tons (Huila), while the reserves of phosphate and potassium reach 150 and 20 million tons (Cabinda and Zaire) respectively. In addition, several provinces have important reserves of valuable metallic minerals (gold, bauxite, copper, chromium, manganese, molybdenum, zinc, uranium, etc.) and non-metallic ones (sulfur, feldspar, mica, potassium, quartz, etc.) and construction materials (asphalt, limestone, kaolin, plaster, etc.).