Meaning of ANGOLA in English

ANGOLA

officially Republic of Angola, Portuguese Republica de Angola, country on the southwest coast of Africa. It extends about 800 miles (nearly 1,300 km) from north to south and averages about 675 miles (1,100 km) from east to west. Angola's northernmost section of coastland, the Cabinda exclave, is separated from Angola proper by a narrow corridor of territory belonging to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa) and is bordered to the north by the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville). Angola proper is bordered to the north and east by Congo (Kinshasa), to the southeast by Zambia, and to the south by Namibia. The Atlantic Ocean constitutes the entire western boundary. The capital is Luanda. Area 481,354 square miles (1,246,700 square km). Pop. (1997 est.) 10,624,000. officially Republic of Angola, Portuguese Repblica de Angola, country located in southwestern Africa between latitudes 422 and 1803 S and longitudes 1141 and 2405 E. Roughly square in shape, with a maximum width of about 800 miles (1,300 kilometres), Angola covers 481,354 square miles (1,246,700 square kilometres), including the Cabinda exclave, which is located along the Atlantic coast just north of the Angola-Congo (Kinshasa) border. Angola is bordered to the far northwest by Congo (Brazzaville), to the north and northeast by Congo (Kinshasa), to the southeast by Zambia, to the south by Namibia, and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean. There are 1,025 miles of coast, and the land frontiers total 3,023 miles. The capital is Luanda. Angola is second only to Nigeria as an oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, and it is the largest and richest of the Portuguese-speaking African states. Portuguese influences have been felt for some 500 years, but Angola acquired its present boundaries only in 1891. An anticolonial struggle from 1961 to independence in 1975 was followed by a highly destructive civil war that left much of the country in ruins. Additional reading Overviews are provided by Douglas L. Wheeler and Ren Plissier, Angola (1971); and Thomas Collelo (ed.), Angola, a Country Study, 3rd ed. (1991). Manfred Kuder, Angola: eine geographische, soziale, und wirtschaftliche Landeskunde (1971), is the standard geographic text. Lawrence W. Henderson, A Igreja em Angola (1990), surveys the Christian groups. The best up-to-date information on politics and the economy is provided by two publications from the Economist Intelligence Unit, Country Profile: Angola, So Tom & Prncipe (annual), and Country Report: Angola, So Tom & Prncipe (quarterly). Angola, an Introductory Economic Review (1991), a World Bank publication, is also useful. William Gervase Clarence-Smith Administration and social conditions Government Colonial rule was exercised by a right-wing dictatorship in Portugal from 1926, and the transfer of power at independence took place without any form of election. The Popular Liberation Movement of Angola (Movimento Popular de Libertao de Angola; MPLA) seized power in the main cities by force of arms, and the constitution of Nov. 11, 1975, as amended in October 1976, established a one-party state modeled on those of eastern Europe. The MPLA officially became a Marxist-Leninist vanguard party in 1977 and moved into close dependence on the Soviet Union and Cuba. The latter provided troops to combat a guerrilla challenge mounted by the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unio Nacional para a Independncia Total de Angola; UNITA). Faced with an endless war and the collapse of most of the economy, in 1985 the MPLA initiated a timid process of economic reform and began to turn more to the West. Cuban troops began to withdraw in 1989, following South African acceptance of Namibian independence in December 1988, and in 1990 the MPLA abandoned Marxism-Leninism. The civil war ended in 1991 with an agreement to introduce a new constitution. The political system is now based on the principles of the guarantee of full human rights and multiparty elections for the presidency and for parliament. However, in order to prevent the emergence of ethnically based parties, all political parties must prove that they have support in a majority of the country's 18 provinces before they can compete in elections. Education After decades of neglect, the Portuguese began a crash program of education in 1961, resulting in a literacy rate of between 10 and 15 percent at independence. The MPLA aimed to achieve primary education for all after independence and tripled primary school enrollment between 1976 and 1979. However, this was followed by a halving of primary school enrollment during the 1980s. Conditions in schools declined dramatically, with an acute shortage of teachers and a lack of the most basic teaching materials, including books. Enrollment in secondary schools and in the university, which was founded in 1962, expanded continuously after 1975, as these institutions suffered less than primary schools from political insecurity. But there was a severe lack of teachers and teaching materials, and most faculties in the university have been closed for long periods because of alleged political agitation. It is estimated that recruitment into the armed forces of the MPLA and UNITA has had a greater impact than the formal educational sector on the spread of literacy, the increased use of Portuguese, and the acquisition of technical skills. Many Angolans have also been trained abroad, especially in Cuba and the Soviet Union. Cultural life Angolan culture is fragmented into a myriad of highly localized clusters, but its origins lie within a broad central African Bantu tradition, shared with neighbouring countries. Angolan peoples generally trace their descent through their mothers, and lineages or extended families are important in social life. People often give some allegiance to precolonial kings and chiefs, even though their political functions have long been in abeyance and they may be situated on the other side of a modern political frontier. There are also strong vestiges of a widespread precolonial system of slavery, which the colonial authorities were slow to abolish. Polygamy, the veneration of ancestors, and combating witchcraft are practiced, even by many converts to Christianity. Wood, clay, copper, reeds, ivory, shells, and the human body are the main media for the decorative arts. The wooden sculptures of the Chokwe people, the carved ivories of Cabinda, and the elaborate hair styles of the Nyaneka and Nkhumbi peoples are especially famous. Music and dancing play a central role in cultural life, with drums as the basic instrument, and there is a rich oral literature. There have been attempts to preserve this cultural heritage, which remains largely outside the domain of formal cultural institutions, but political instability and corruption after 1975 led to tragic losses of ethnographic collections. Traditional culture has been increasingly overlaid by Western influences, which tend to predominate in the towns. The 19th century saw the emergence of a dynamic group of educated Creoles in Angolan towns, similar in some respects to those of Sierra Leone, who wrote newspaper articles, history books, novels, and poems in Portuguese. The right-wing dictatorship in Portugal drove much of this literary activity underground after 1926 but failed to destroy it altogether. The leader of the MPLA at independence, Agostinho Neto (192279), was famous for his poetry throughout the Portuguese-speaking world. The MPLA government exercised a rigorous system of censorship, and the output of the officially sponsored Union of Angolan Authors since 1975 has been disappointing. This was to some extent offset by the emergence of a national television service and the beginnings of a national film industry. An ambitious program to expand museums, libraries, and archives bore little fruit. Indeed, many fine collections built up in colonial times were destroyed, dispersed, or made unavailable to the public. Sports are completely dominated by football (soccer), which is a national passion and is played by people of every social stratum. Some Angolans have become footballers of distinction, but they tend to play in the clubs of Portugal and other European countries, where conditions are more attractive. William Gervase Clarence-Smith

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