State structure

Angola Assembleia NacionalPhoto: Fabio Vanin Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made

The Republic of Angola is a constitutional republic with a parliament (Assembleia Nacional, or National Assembly). The Angolan Constitution dates from 11 November 1975 and, after the last revision in August 1992, provides for a multiparty system. The legal system is based on Portuguese and common law. The independence of the judiciary is enshrined in the constitution.

The Republic of Angola (until August 1992, People's Republic of Angola) is nominally a parliamentary multiparty democracy, but in practice it is a republic with a strong presidential system . President JoséEduardo dos Santos, who has been in power for 26 years now, is commander in chief of the armed forces. He appoints (and dismisses) the other members of the cabinet, he appoints the judges of the Supreme Court and calls elections. Administratively, the country is divided into 18 provinces, headed by a governor, assisted by a vice-governor. Both are appointed by the president.


Angola Administrative divisionPhoto: Golbez Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made

At the MPLA's fifth party congress in December 2003, President Dos Santos was re-elected party leader. The current Minister of Public Administration, António Pitra Neto, was elected Vice-President of the MPLA by Congress, a new post established by the same Congress. The Dos-Santos loyalist (and previously tipped as his successor) João Lourenço was replaced as Secretary General of the MPLA by the Vice-President of the National Assembly, Julião Mateus Paulo. Although President Dos Santos declared in 2001 that he would not hold a new term of office, he is expected to re-run for the next presidential election.

For the current political situation, see chapter history.


Before independence in 1975, the economy of Angola was doing quite well. The commercial farms were mainly owned by white farmers. With the departure of the Portuguese and the start of the civil war, the economy almost collapsed. From 1975 to 1990, the Angolan government followed a Marxist planned economy, with about 25% of companies eventually falling into state hands. In 1990, the Programa de Recuperação Económica (economic recovery program) was launched to promote a more market-oriented policy. However, reforms barely got off the ground.

Angola ExportPhoto: R Haussman, Cesar Hidalgo, et. al CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made

Given its wealth of natural resources such as oil, gold and diamonds, Angola receives sufficient income to be able to pursue a proper socio-economic policy. Despite this, the economy has not been able to develop sustainably due to poor economic policy, opaque public finances and insufficiently trained staff. The high economic growth appears to be mainly caused by the rapidly increasing oil production and rising oil prices. The budget deficit is expected to increase further. The labor productivity in the country is low and the unemployment rate high. As a result of the civil war, the infrastructure has been all but destroyed and millions of landmines are leaving much of the country inaccessible.

Angola Offshore Oil ExtractionPhoto: Paulo César Santos in the public domain

Under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other donors, the Angolan government commissioned KMPG to draw up an analysis of the oil industry (and its revenues) in Angola. KPMG's critical investigation report has been made public and a contract has been signed with the World Bank-affiliated International Finance Corporation (IFC) on the independent audit of the national accounts. In addition, openness has also been sought on the signing bonus for the new oil drilling contract concluded between Sonangol (Angolan state oil company) and Chevron Texaco. Nevertheless, the transparency of public spending remains very problematic. This makes the relationship with the IMF difficult.

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BBC - Country Profiles

CIA - World Factbook

Elmar Landeninformatie

Oyebade, Adebayo / Culture and customs of Angola
Greenwood Press

Stead, Mike / Angola
Lonely Planet

Last updated September 2021
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