Angola - Transportation



According to Portuguese estimates, there were 72,323 km (44,939 mi) of roads at the time of independence (1975), of which only 8,371 km (5,201 mi) were paved, all-weather highways. In the mid-1980s, these figures had increased to perhaps 80,000 km (50,000 mi), but by 2002 had fallen back to 76,626 km (47,615 mi), of which 19,156 km (11,904 mi) were paved. The government estimated that the renovation of the road system will take until early in the twenty-first century to complete. In 2000, there were 117,200 passenger cars and 118,300 commercial vehicles.

The rail network had a total extension in 2002 of 2,771 km (1,722 mi), of which 2,648 km (1,645 mi) were 1.067-m-gauge track. There was limited trackage in use because land mines were still in place from the civil war. There are three main railway lines, the Luando, Namibe, and Benguela railways, all of which experienced service disruptions as a result of the civil war. The Luanda railway connects the national capital with the provincial capital of Malanje in the north. The Namibe railway, which theoretically runs from Angola's port of Namibe to the provincial capital of Menongue in the south, formerly hauled an average of 6 million tons of iron ore a year from the Kassinga mines. The Benguela railway was formerly the main exit route for Zairian and Zambian copper, extending through the country from the port of Benguela to the border with the DROC. As of 1991, service had resumed between Lobito and Huambo. By mid-1992, normal passenger traffic resumed from Lobito to Ganda. East of Ganda, however, the route was still severely damaged, with at least 75 bridges in serious disrepair. The Southern African Development Coordination Conference could not obtain the estimated $600 million in funds needed to repair the entire line, so a modest partial repair of the section from Lobito to Kuito was approved, for an estimated cost of $17 million. As of 1999, rail traffic for both passengers and cargo was limited to the 35 km (22 mi) of line between Lobito and Benguela. The merchant marine had 9 ships of 1,000 GRT or over in 2002, totaling 39,305 GRT.

Angola had a total of 244 airports in 2001, 32 of which had paved runways. There is an international airport at Luanda. International and domestic services are maintained by Transportes Aéreos de Angola (TAAG), Air France, Air Namibe, Sabena, South African Airways, TAP (Portugal) and several regional carriers. In 2001, 193,300 passengers were carried by domestic and international carriers. There are airstrips for domestic transport at Benguela, Cabinda, Huambo, Namibe, and Catumbela (near Lobito).

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