Situated on the Atlantic, in southwestern African continent, Angola has a population of 12.3 million (2007), and a life expectancy of 39.8 for females and 37.5 for males. Its birth rate is 45.1 per 1,000, and an infant mortality rate of 180.2 per 1,000 live births, making it the highest in the world. The maternal mortality rate, at 17 per 1,000 births, is the fourth highest in the world. The fertility rate at 6.2 births per woman (2008) is the tenth highest in the world.

With the arrival of the European settlers in the 17th century, Queen Nzinga (1582–1663) became a heroine leading the resistance to the Portuguese, who had already devastated sections of Angolan society with the slave trade. The Portuguese, who occupied Angola until ...

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