Angola /æŋˈɡoʊlə/, officially the Republic of Angola (Portuguese: República de Angola pronounced: [ɐ̃ˈɡɔlɐ]; Kikongo, Kimbundu and Umbundu: Repubilika ya Ngola), is a country in Southern Africa. It is the seventh-largest country in Africa and is bordered by Namibia to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Zambia to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to west. The exclave province of Cabinda has borders with the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The capital and largest city of Angola is Luanda.
Although its territory has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Era, what is now the modern country of Angola was influenced by Portuguese colonisation, which began with, and was for centuries limited to, coastal settlements and trading posts established beginning in the 16th century. In the 19th century, European settlers slowly and hesitantly began to establish themselves in the interior. As a Portuguese colony, Angola did not encompass its present borders until the early 20th century, following resistance by groups such as the Cuamato, the Kwanyama and the Mbunda. Independence was achieved in 1975 under a Marxist-Leninist one party state, backed by the Soviet Union and Cuba after a protracted anti-colonial struggle. However, the country soon descended into an even lengthier civil war that lasted until 2002. It has since become a relatively stable unitary presidential republic.
Angola has vast mineral and petroleum reserves, and its economy is among the fastest growing in the world, especially since the cessation of the civil war. In spite of this, the standard of living remains low for the majority of the population, and life expectancy in Angola is among the lowest in the world, while infant mortality rates are among the highest. Angola's economic growth is highly uneven, with the majority of the nation's wealth concentrated in a disproportionately small sector of the population.
Angola is a member state of the United Nations, OPEC, African Union, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, and the Southern African Development Community. A highly multiethnic country, Angola's 25.8 million people span various tribal groups, customs, and traditions. Angolan culture reflects centuries of Portuguese rule, namely in the predominance of the Portuguese language and the Catholic Church, combined with diverse indigenous influences....LESS