U.S. Relations With Angola

Bureau of African Affairs
Fact Sheet
September 26, 2016

More information about Angola is available on the Angola Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


The United States established diplomatic relations in 1993 with Angola, which had become independent from Portugal in 1975. Post-independence, Angola saw 27 years of civil war among groups backed at various times by countries that included the United States, the Soviet Union, Cuba, China, and South Africa. Angola has had two presidents since independence. The first president came to power in 1975; upon his 1979 death, the second president assumed power. Multiparty elections were held in 1992 under a process supervised by the United Nations, but the results were disputed and civil war continued until the 2002 death of one holdout guerilla leader. A new constitution was adopted in 2010 and elections were held in 2012.

Angola has a strong and capable military. Although the country is sub-Saharan Africa's second-largest oil producer and has great agricultural potential, two-thirds of the population live in poverty. U.S. foreign policy goals in Angola are to promote and strengthen Angola’s democratic institutions, promote economic prosperity, improve health, and consolidate peace and security, including maritime security. The United States has worked with Angola to remove thousands of landmines and help war refugees and internally displaced people return to their homes.

In 2009 Secretary Clinton declared Angola a “strategic partner” of the United States, one of three that the Obama Administration has identified on the African continent (the other two are Nigeria and South Africa). The U.S. – Angola Strategic Partnership Dialogue (SPD) was formalized with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in Washington in July 2010. Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Chikoti met for the first high level Strategic Dialogue in December 2014 in Washington, D.C. Secretary Kerry met President dos Santos during his visit to Luanda in May 2014.

U.S. Assistance to Angola

U.S. assistance seeks to focus on preventing major infectious diseases, strengthening health systems, increasing access to family planning and reproductive health services, and building capacity within nongovernmental organizations working in health advocacy and health service delivery. U.S. assistance also promotes stabilization and security sector reform.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Angola is the third-largest trading partner of the United States in sub-Saharan Africa, mainly because of its petroleum exports. U.S. imports from Angola are dominated by petroleum, with some diamonds.  U.S. exports to Angola include machinery, aircraft, poultry, and iron and steel products. Angola is a partner country with Power Africa.  Angola is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The United States and Angola have signed a trade and investment framework agreement, which seeks to promote greater trade and investment between the two countries.

Angola's Membership in International Organizations

Angola and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Angola also is an observer to the Organization of American States and is currently on the United Nations Security Council. They also serve as the chair of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Angola is Helen La Lime. Other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Angola maintains an embassy in the United States at 2100-2108 16th St., NW, Washington, DC 20009 (tel. 202-785-1156).

More information about Angola is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Angola Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Angola Page
U.S. Embassy: Angola
USAID Angola Page
History of U.S. Relations With Angola
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information