You know I once went to Denmark and I bought a sandwich that was $21. In some parts of Angola that’s actually considered a good deal. Welcome to the country that has the world’s most expensive city. It’s time to learn geography… NOW!!! Hey everybody I’m your host Paul Barbato, you’re probably still wondering about that sandwich, but first let’s dissect the flag. The flag of Angola is actually pretty intruging because it’s one of the few countries that has a flag that tries to imitate another flag. The colors – black and red. Black representing Africa, red representing, you guessed it, the blood of those who fought for Angola. And in the middle is the Angolan emblem. The emblem is a machete with half a cogwheel positioned in a way that somewhat imitates the old former USSR’s flag of the hammer and sickle. The machete representing peasantry and agriculture, the half cogwheel representing industry and a star on top representing the progress of the country all colored yellow to represent the wealth of the nation. Now you’re probably wondering, why does Angola have a flag that tries to imitate this former Soviet Union’s flag…? Well, we’ll get into that later, but first let’s talk about the political geography. In terms of its political geography, Angola is located on the western coast of the southern part of Africa bordering the Atlantic ocean on the west, bordered by 4 other countries. You would think Angola is bordered by 3 other countries, however in the north there’s that one little small province called Cabinda. This little small slither of land barely larger than the size of Delaware is soo important to the Angolan country due to the fact that it produces and contains over 60% of Angola’s oil reserves. Now this small little piece of land touches the Republic of Congo making it the fourth country that technically borders Angola. Now just like Albania, that we started a few weeks ago, Angola is a coastal country but doesn’t really have many coastal islands, it only has about 2. Kwanda island in the north which operates as a administrative “town” that manages the logistics of the oil companies in Angola, and Baia dos Tigres which actually used to not even be an island, it used to be a penninsula, it was connected to mainland by a small little thing Isthmus however back in the 70’s the ocean completely engulfed and destroyed the Isthmus and the one water pipeline that fed the one town on the island which was named Tigres, Tigres used to be a fisher town, however after that one fresh water pipeline that broke, almost overnight the entire town was evacuated and today Baia dos Tigres is a ghostown. The capital of Angola is Luanda which is an African architectural wonder mostly built off the oil industry money that Angola thrives of off. A large portion of their everyday amenities have actually been imported and which is why everything is so expensive, for example a typical sandwich could cost 26$, a pair of jeans 240$, and don’t be surprised to see a two to three bedroom apartment go for rent for between 10 to 15 thousand dollars a month. Now Angola actually has a lot different kinds of landscapes, in the north and north-east you can see a lot of tropical jungles and rainforests, in the center area you can find lots of flat plateaus and savanas, the further west you go find a lot of dry hills and mountains and the further south you go along the coast you find desert lands and dry arid landscapes. When you go to the Moxico province in the east side you see this leaf-shaped patterns from satellite images and that’s actually a really intricately widely dispersed section of rivers that actually kinda looks like a leaf. If you actually zoom in on these satellite images, you can possibly find native tribal towns and areas that are uncharted and unmarked on the map where the people still live in mud huts and thatched roof houses. Now Angola’s land is actually very rich in resources and it has huge potential for land cultivation. And actually at one point during Portuguese colonization, Angola actually used to produce almost every single major crop except for wheat and had a huge coffee, banana and maize export sector. However now agriculture’s at a very small fraction of what it used to be, in fact they only produce about 1% of the coffee exports that they used to prior to 1975. The problem is that Angola went through a civil war! And during the civil war you don’t have really a lot of time to invest in you infrastructure in your country. And that either slowed down or completely halted most of the agricultural exports. Also keep in mind landmines were planted everywhere. However country is trying to make a comeback as best as they can. To this day over 95% of all the exports actually comes from oil. Now you’re probably asking: Why did Angola go through a civil war, what’s all this stuff going on… Let’s discuss that in demographics. As of 2014, Angola has about 22 million people with conservative estimates, and there are 3 main people groups, the Ovimbundu, the Ambundu, which by the way Chris Tucker has a possible genealogical tie to. And the Bakongo, other minority groups exist as well that make up the remainder of the population, like the Ovambo, the Chokwe and the Kindonga people. About 2% of the population is Mestizo or mixed between black and white. Also about 1% of the population is European, mostly Portuguese and suprisingly about 1% of the population is also Chinese. In past few decades China has actually had a huge influx of immigrants come to Angola mostly for business, we’ll discuss that in a little bit… That’s actually quite impressive considering that Angola had absolutely no ties to China prior to 1975, just a few decades ago. Now the official language of Angola is actually Portuguese due to the fact that Angola was a Portuguese colony for over 400 years until 1975. Now we’ve been discussing the people, we’ve been discussing a little bit of the history. Let’s explain a lot more about this in the friendzone. Now when it comes to friends, Angola is kind of in a weird diplomatic limbo. And it all has to do with, you guessed it… the civil war. Long story short, Angola was kind of like the Korean War and the Vietnam War in which it was proxy war in large part affected by the Cold War, where the Soviets took over one side and the western alliances took over the other side. However it’s interesting, because in this war, China actually took the side against the Soviets. That made the Angolan civil war one of the few times that the U.S. and China actually fought alongside of each other for a common cause. Eventually the MPLA One or the Soviet backed outside. However in the 90’s Angola dropped the whole Communism thing and adopted more of a U.S. and western friendly government style. This means that Angola is caught in a weird state in which they still have this tie to the former Soviet Union nations, even though they dropped the whole Communism and ideology thing. While they’re still progressively making friendships with the west and the U.S. Even though they spent countless years and resources fighting against them. Now when it comes to China, China still holds on and has huge ties to Angola diplomatically and economically. In fact, to this day Angola has just surpassed Saudi Arabia as China’s number one oil exporter. And in return China has been investing tons back into Angola. Even built entire neighborhood called Nova Cidade de Kilamba in the south of Luanda with 750 apartment complexes. Unfortunately, the project didn’t go so well, The appartments were too expensive and to this day less than 10% of the area is occupied. The rest is pretty much a ghostown. Now in terms of their best friends, Angola would probably consider Brazil and Portugal their best friends. Even though Portugal had occupied them for over 400 years. After they had received their independence they still maintained friendly ties to their former colonizers. Brazil which also used to be a Portuguese colony not only shares a linguistic similarity with Angola, but also has a huge business sector that they share with Angola, as well. Not only that, but they also relate with each other relationally because a large portion of the black people in Brazil have possible ties to Angola during the Portugese slave trade. They love each other. Also Mozambique is kind of seen as like the little brother of Angola and kind of wants to imitate him. In conclusion, Angola has gone through more shifts and changes in the past 40 years than it ever has in its entiry history. And it’s still changing today. Angola is definitely one of those countries you want to keep your eyes on. Stay tuned, Antigua and Barbuda are coming up next!