Space Program of Angola
------The Angolan Space Agency------
Level = 0 Development: Very Low
What has been going on in Angola?
What kind of space power do they have?
Does Angola have space weapons?
What are they planning over there?
Population: 16,000,000 / Language: Portuguese / GDP: $2400 / Cities: Luanda
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One of Africa's major oil producers, Angola is also one of the world's poorest countries.
It is striving to tackle the physical, social and political legacy of the 27-year civil war that ravaged the country after independence.
The ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the rebel group Unita were bitter rivals even before the country gained independence from Portugal in 1975. The Soviet Union and Cuba supported the then-Marxist MPLA, while the US and white-ruled South Africa backed Unita as a bulwark against Soviet influence in Africa.
After 16 years of fighting, which killed up to 300,000 people, a peace deal led to elections. But Unita rejected the outcome and resumed the war, in which hundreds of thousands more were killed. Another peace accord was signed in 1994 and the UN sent in peacekeepers.
But the fighting steadily worsened again and in 1999 the peacekeepers withdrew, leaving behind a country rich in natural resources but littered with landmines and the ruins of war.
The connection between the civil war and the unregulated diamond trade - or "blood diamonds" - was a source of international concern. The UN froze bank accounts used in the gem trade.
The death of Unita leader Jonas Savimbi in a gunfight with government forces in February 2002 raised the prospect of peace and the army and rebels signed a ceasefire in April to end the conflict.
Angola faces the daunting tasks of rebuilding its infrastructure, retrieving weapons from its heavily-armed civilian population and resettling tens of thousands of refugees who fled the fighting. Landmines and impassable roads have cut off large parts of the country. Many Angolans rely on food aid.
Much of Angola's oil wealth lies in Cabinda province, where a decades-long separatist conflict simmers. The government has sent thousands of troops to subdue the rebellion in the enclave, which has no border with the rest of Angola. Human rights groups have alleged abuses against civilians.
A supplier of crude oil to the US and China, Angola denies allegations that revenues have been squandered through corruption and mismanagement. Oil exports and foreign loans have spurred economic growth and have fuelled a reconstruction boom.
Full name: The Republic of Angola
President: Jose Eduardo dos Santos
Jose Eduardo dos Santos, from the ruling MPLA, has led Angola since 1979, when the country's first president, Agostinho Neto, died.
All-party elections, the first since 1992, are due in 2006. But with many towns and villages remaining inaccessible, the president says repairs to roads and railways need to be completed before the vote can take place.
In the 1992 presidential poll he narrowly beat Unita leader Jonas Savimbi, who rejected the result and resumed his guerrilla war. There was no second round of voting in the poll, although Mr Dos Santos is recognised internationally as Angola's president.
Born in 1942, Mr Dos Santos joined the MPLA's guerrilla army at the age of 19. In the former Soviet Union he trained in oil engineering and radar technology. He held ministerial posts before becoming president.
Prime minister: Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos Nando
The state controls all media with nationwide reach, including radio, the most influential medium. Television, the private press, and internet access are very limited outside Luanda. Angola's only daily newspaper, Jornal de Angola, and the terrestrial TV service TPA are state-owned and rarely criticise the government.
State-run Radio Nacional de Angola (RNA) is the only outlet to offer programmes in indigenous languages such as Bantu. Private stations operate in the main cities, including Catholic station Radio Ecclesia, but RNA is the only available broadcaster across much of the country.
The constitution provides for freedom of expression but the government does not always respect this and private media outlets are liable to harassment. Anti-defamation statutes protect officials from reporting deemed "offensive".
Nevertheless, several private newspapers and radio stations have carried criticism of the government.
Pay-TV services are operated by MultiChoice Angola and TV Cabo; they carry some Brazilian and Portuguese channels.
Angola's Space Infrastructure
Angola is one of the world's poorest countries, and its space program is not suprisingly, nonexistent. Not only does it not have an agency, but also no infrastructure in which one would arise. The Catholic University of Angola has no space related educational architecture, lacking astrophysics, astronautics, aeronautics and natural sciences, favoring instead legal and medical specialties. The government has no ministry devoted to science of this type.
Angola has no history of being part of any organization dealing with space, nor has any launch capability.
Angola lacks the industrial base, the educational base and the political foundation for a process like this to occur within it. It has no functioning university with an astrophysics or astronautics program, and nonexistant industry.
Angola operates no satellites and, not having an orbital presence, has no space power.
The government of Angola in Mogadishu has no plans for attempting to further any ambition in space development or research.
Timeline of Events in Angola
...From the Past to the Future
1300s - Kongo kingdom consolidates in the north.
1483 - Portuguese arrive.
1575 - Portuguese found Luanda.
17th and 18th centuries - Angola becomes a major Portuguese trading arena for slaves. Between 1580 and 1680 a million plus are shipped to Brazil.
1836 - Slave trade officially abolished by the Portuguese government.
1885-1930 - Portugal consolidates colonial control over Angola, local resistance persists.
1951 - Angola's status changes from colony to overseas province.
1956 - The early beginnings of the socialist guerrilla independence movement, the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), based in northern Congo.
1950s-1961 - Nationalist movement develops, guerrilla war begins.
1961 - Forced labour abolished after revolts on coffee plantations leave 50,000 dead. The fight for independence is bolstered.
1974 - Revolution in Portugal, colonial empire collapses.
Independence: Up to 300,000 people died in the 27-year civil war
1975 - Angola gains independence but power struggle ensues between MPLA, backed by Cuba, and the FNLA plus Unita, backed by South Africa and the USA.
1976 - MPLA gains upper hand.
1979 - MPLA leader Agostinho Neto dies. Jose Eduardo dos Santos takes over as president.
1987 - South African forces enter Angola to support Unita.
1988 - South Africa, Angola, Cuba sign agreement on withdrawal of Cuba's 50,000 troops from Angola by mid-1991. South African army withdraws.
1989 - Dos Santos, Unita leader Jonas Savimbi agree cease-fire, which collapses soon afterwards and guerrilla activity resumes.
1991 April - MPLA drops Marxism-Leninism in favour of social democracy.
1991 May - Dos Santos, Savimbi sign peace deal in Lisbon which results in a new multiparty constitution.
1992 September - Presidential and parliamentary polls certified by UN monitors as generally free and fair. Dos Santo gains more votes than Savimbi, who rejects results and resumes guerrilla war.
1993 - UN imposes sanctions against Unita. The US acknowledges the MPLA.
1994 - Government, Unita sign Lusaka Protocol peace accord.
1995 - Dos Santos, Savimbi meet, confirm commitment to peace. First of 7,000 UN peacekeepers arrive.
1996 - Dos Santos, Savimbi agree to form unity government join forces into national army.
1997 April - Unified government inaugurated, with Savimbi declining post in unity government and failing to attend inauguration ceremony.
1997 May - Tension mounts, with few Unita troops having integrated into army.
1998 - Full-scale fighting resumes. UN plane shot down. Angola intervenes in civil war in Democratic Republic of Congo on the side of President Laurent-Desire Kabila.
1999 - UN ends its peacekeeping mission.
2002 February - Savimbi killed by government troops.
2002 April - Government, Unita sign ceasefire.
2002 May - Unita's military commander says 85% of his troops have gathered at demobilisation camps. There are concerns that food shortages in the camps could threaten the peace process.
2002 June - UN appeals for aid for thousands of refugees heading home after the ceasefire. Medical charity Medecins sans Frontieres says half a million Angolans are facing starvation, a legacy of civil war.
2002 August - Unita scraps its armed wing. "The war has ended," proclaims Angola's defence minister.
2003 January - President Dos Santos appoints Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos, known as Nando, as prime minister. The post had been vacant for more than three years.
2003 February - UN mission overseeing the peace process winds up.
2003 June - Unita - now a political party - elects Isaias Samakuva as its new leader.
2004 April onwards - Tens of thousands of illegal foreign diamond miners are expelled in a crackdown on illegal mining and trafficking. In December the government says 300,000 foreign diamond dealers have been expelled.
2004 September - Oil production reaches one million barrels per day. Angola is sub-Saharan Africa's second biggest oil exporter
2005 March-May - Marburg virus, which is deadlier than Ebola, kills more than 300 people, most of them in the north.
2005 June - Cholera epidemic claims 1,900 lives, mainly in Luanda.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visits, promises to extend more than $2 billion in new credit, in addition to a $3 billion credit line Beijing has already given Luanda.
2006 August - The government signs a peace deal with a separatist group in the northern enclave of Cabinda.
2006 October - The UN refugee agency begins "final repatriation" of Angolans who fled the civil war to the neighbouring DR Congo. Some 60,000 are still due to return under the scheme which began in 2003 and which has repatriated 180,000 people.
TODAY AND INTO THE FUTURE