Republic of Angola República de Angola
CAPITAL : Luanda
FLAG: The upper half is red, the lower half black; in the center, a five-pointed yellow star and half a yellow cogwheel are crossed by a yellow machete.
ANTHEM: Angola Avanti.
MONETARY UNIT: The Angolan escudo ( AE ) was the national currency until 1977, when the kwanza (Kw) of 100 lwei replaced it. There are coins of 50 lwei and 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 kwanza, and notes of 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 kwanza. Kw1 = $0.0141 (or $1 = Kw70.77) as of May 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: The metric system is used.
HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Anniversary of Outbreak of Anti-Portuguese Struggle, 4 February; Victory Day, 27 March; Youth Day, 14 April; Workers' Day, 1 May; Armed Forces Day, 1 August; National Heroes' Day, 17 September; Independence Day, 11 November; Pioneers' Day, 1 December; Anniversary of the Foundation of the MPLA, 10 December; Family Day, 25 December.
TIME: 1 PM = noon GMT.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Thick forests (especially in Cabinda and in the Uíge area in the north) cover the wet regions, and in the drier areas there is a thinner savanna vegetation. Fauna includes the lion, impala, hyena, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, and elephant. There are thousands of types of birds and a wide variety of insects.
Portuguese remains the official language, although Bantu and other African languages (and their dialects) are used at the local level.
About 18.4% of the country is classified as forest and woodland. Angola's large timber resources include the great Maiombe tropical rain forest in Cabinda. In addition, eucalyptus, pine, and cypress plantations cover 140,000 hectares (346,000 acres). In 2000, roundwood production was estimated at 4,279,000 cu m, and exports amounted to 6,000 cu m.
The conflicts that began in the mid-1970s greatly shook the insurance industry, which was nationalized in 1978. At that time, the National Insurance and Reinsurance Co. of Angola was created. All private company policies were declared null and void except for life insurance.
António Agostinho Neto (1922–79), a poet and physician who served as the president of MPLA (1962–79) and president of Angola (1975–79), was Angola's dominant political figure. José Eduardo dos Santos (b.1942) succeeded Neto in both these posts. Jonas Malheiro Savimbi (1934–2002), the son of a pastor, founded UNITA in 1966.
Angola has no territories or colonies.
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