Angola by Rob Staeger

By Rob Staeger

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All figures are 2006 estimates unless otherwise indicated. Source: CIA World Factbook, 2007. OPEC is a cartel that attempts to keep oil a profitable commodity. To do this, each member country agrees to a production quota. This ensures that the supply of oil will not exceed the demand and helps keep prices stable. Angola also harvests liquefied petroleum (LP) gas, which can be used for heating, cooking, and to operate vehicles and machinery. 5 million barrels. However, a new plant to deliver liquefied petroleum gas is scheduled to open in 2008, which will boost production significantly.

The president appoints leaders at the provincial, district, and commune levels. As in the United States, Angola’s national government is divided into three branches: the legislative, which makes the laws; the executive, which directs national policies and makes sure the laws are carried out; and the judicial, which interprets the laws and dispenses justice. However, unlike in the United States, where the three branches of government are able to balance each other, in Angola the executive branch—and particularly the president—wields most of the government’s power.

However, diamond smuggling continues to be a problem in Angola. There is an efficient network of smugglers and it is impossible to guard the miles of river that hold alluvial diamonds. Although some unauthorized diamonds do get out, the Angolan government and the worldwide diamond industry have tried to battle smugglers by insisting that a certificate of authenticity accompany each gem. This helps ensure that conflict diamonds are not sold to consumers. Although the UN and many national leaders have praised the certification process, it is not foolproof.

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