The constitution of Angola was adopted in 1975, but many of its provisions have not yet been implemented. Basically, the government is in transition from a one-party state to a multiparty democracy. The one presidential election was held in 1992 and was won by the MPLA. Currently it holds 191 seats in parliament; UNITA has the second-largest representation in parliament, with 16 seats. A parliamentary election was held in September of 2008, but further presidential elections have been postponed until further notice. An election scheduled for September 2009 was postponed.

The constitution provides for a president with strong executive power. The president appoints the prime minister and other members of the Council of Ministers. The Council has the power to enact laws, pass decrees and resolutions, and thus control the legislative agenda. The president also influences the legal system through his power to appoint members of the Supreme Court. The official legislative body, the National Assembly, consists of 220 deputies elected to four-year terams. At present, the Assembly has little real power.

The death, in early 2002, of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi stirred hopes of peace and spurred the ceasefire signed in April of that year. Since that time, the country has struggled to rebuild the infrastructure and regain some stability.

While it is rich in natural resources, Angola faces the massive challenge of stabilizing and developing its institutions, restoring and expanding its economy, resettling its refugees, and creating a healthier and safer environment for its people. The Lusaka Protocol Peace Accord has laid the foundation to achieve these goals, but peace is not yet a reality. Hundreds of thousands of landmines remain in the fields and farmers have been reluctant to return to their land. Although organizations have been working in Angola to remove the mines even before the war ended, Angola still must import about half of its food.

However, despite concerns of political instability, violence and crime, lack of adequate facilities, and war-damaged infrastructure, the potential of Angola's oil fields is so vast that international oil companies continue to invest and establish operations in Angola. The country joined the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in early 2007.

Most investment is concentrated in the oil and diamond industries. Despite government hopes to promote and develop other sectors such as ocean fishing and forestry, oil production accounts for about 85 percent of GDP. A US$1.4 billion IMF loan was approved in 2009.


Official Name: Republic of Angola
Capital City: Luanda
Type of Government: Transitional government, nominally a multiparty democracy with a strong presidential system
Head of State and Government: Prime Minister Jose Eduardo dos Santos
Official Language: Portuguese
Area: 1,246,700 sq. km/481,360 sq. mi
Population: 13 million
Religion: Roman Catholic 38%; Protestant 15%; Indigenous beliefs 47%
Currency: Kwanza (KZR)
Number of Time Zones: 1
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) plus 1 hr; Eastern Standard Time (EST) plus 6 hrs.; Daylight Saving Time is not observed
Weights and Measures: Metric system
Country Domain: .ao
Country Tel Code: 244