UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Background: Britain's American colonies broke with the mother country in 1776 and were recognized as the new nation of the United States of America following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. During the 19th and 20th centuries, 37 new states were added to the original 13 as the nation expanded across the North American continent and acquired a number of overseas possessions. The two most traumatic experiences in the nation's history were the Civil War (1861-65), in which a northern Union of states defeated a secessionist Confederacy of 11 southern slave states, and the Great Depression of the 1930s, an economic downturn during which about a quarter of the labor force lost its jobs. Buoyed by victories in World Wars I and II and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the US remains the world's most powerful nation state. Since the end of World War II, the economy has achieved relatively steady growth, low unemployment and inflation, and rapid advances in technology.
Administrative divisions: 50 states and 1 district; Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia*, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Location: North America, bordering both the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean, between Canada and Mexico. (38 00 N, 97 00 W). USA is the World’s third-largest country by size (after Russia and Canada) and by population (after China and India); Mt. McKinley is highest point in North America and Death Valley the lowest point on the continent
Climate: mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest; low winter temperatures in the northwest are ameliorated occasionally in January and February by warm chinook winds from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains
Terrain: Vast central plain, mountains in west, hills and low mountains in east; rugged mountains and broad river valleys in Alaska; rugged, volcanic topography in Hawaii
Natural hazards: Tsunamis; volcanoes; earthquake activity around Pacific Basin; hurricanes along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts; tornadoes in the Midwest and Southeast; mud slides in California; forest fires in the west; flooding; permafrost in northern Alaska, a major impediment to development
Ethnic groups: white 79.96%, black 12.85%, Asian 4.43%, Amerindian and Alaska native 0.97%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.18%, two or more races 1.61%.
Languages: English 82.1%, Spanish 10.7%, other Indo-European 3.8%, Asian and Pacific island 2.7%, other 0.7%
Religions: Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4%
Population: 313,847,465 (July 2012 estimate.)
Economy - overview: The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world. In this market-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace. US business firms enjoy greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, to lay off surplus workers, and to develop new products. At the same time, they face higher barriers to enter their rivals' home markets than foreign firms face entering US markets. US firms are at or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers and in medical, aerospace, and military equipment; their advantage has narrowed since the end of World War II. The onrush of technology largely explains the gradual development of a "two-tier labor market" in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits.
Greeting: Greetings are casual with a handshake, a simple 'hello' and a smile. Handshakes are firm, brief and confident. Maintain eye contact during the greeting. Introduce everyone in your group. In formal circumstances, you may want to use titles and surnames as a courtesy until you are invited to move to a first name basis.
Business Dress: Appropriate business attire varies by region, day of the week or industry. people from the East dress more formally, while people in the West are more casual. Executives dress formally regardless of the part of the country. Attires on Fridays are Casual in many companies. For an initial meeting, conservative outfit is always recommended. Women can wear business suits, dresses or trouser-suits. Men should wear a business suit
Business Meetings: Arrive on time for meetings. Americans are extremely punctual and lateness is viewed as a sign of disrespect although Americans in the Southern and Western states, are more relaxed, but to be safe, always arrive on time. Business cards are exchanged without formal ritual and it is common for the recipient to put your card in their wallet, immediately.
Meetings follow the agenda and are taken seriously even when the atmosphere is casual. Americans are impressed by hard data and evidence. Presentation should be direct and to the point. They value logic and linear thinking and expect people to speak clearly and in a straightforward manner. Use Visual aids and statistics to back up your claims.
Americans are direct. It is common for Americans to attempt to reach an oral agreement at the first meeting. The emphasis is on getting a contract signed rather than building a relationship.
At the close of the meeting, consensus reached, responsibilities for implementation and follow up are summarized.
Americans will use the telephone to conduct business that would require a face-to-face meeting in most other countries. They do not insist upon seeing or getting to know the people with whom they do business
Gift Giving Etiquette: Americans give gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas and other major holidays. Gift giving is a simple event, except at Christmas. When invited to someone's home, it is polite to carry along gift. a small box of chocolates, a bottle of wine, a potted plant or flowers for the hostess is encouraged. Gifts may be opened when received.
Dining Etiquette: Arrive on time if invited for dinner. Remain standing until invited to sit down. Put your napkin in your lap as soon as you sit down. Table etiquette are fairly relaxed. The fork is held in the right hand and is used for eating. The fork is held tines down. The knife is used to cut or spread something. To use the knife, the fork is switched to the left hand. To continue eating, the fork is switched back to the right hand. Some foods are eaten by hand. Do not rest your elbows on the table.
Food is often served family-style, which means that it is in large serving dishes and passed around the table for everyone to serve themselves. Offers of specific foods or drinks can be turned down without offering an explanation. Wait for the hostess to give the sign before you begin eating.
Leave a small amount of food on your plate when you have finished eating.If you have not finished eating, cross your knife and fork on your plate with the fork over the knife. Indicate you have finished eating by laying your knife and fork parallel across the right side of your plate.
Facts and Statistics
Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,646 km (of which 225 km is the boundary of discontiguous Cabinda Province), Republic of the Congo 231 km, Namibia 1,427 km, Zambia 1,065 km
29,310,273 (July 2017 est.)
Ovimbundu 36%, Ambundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, Other African 22%, Mestico (Mixed European And Native African) 2%, Chinese 1%, European 1%,
Indigenous Beliefs 47%, Roman Catholic 38%, Protestant 15% (1998 Est.)
$192 billion (2017 est.)
GDP per capita
$6,800 (2017 est.)
Visa Requirements for Kenyans
Angola's economy is overwhelmingly driven by its oil sector. Oil production and its supporting activities contribute about 50% of GDP, more than 70% of government revenue, and more than 90% of the country's exports. Diamonds contribute an additional 5% to exports. Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for most of the people, but half of the country's food is still imported. Increased oil production supported growth averaging more than 17% per year from 2004 to 2008. A postwar reconstruction boom and resettlement of displaced persons has led to high rates of growth in construction and agriculture as well. Some of the country's infrastructure is still damaged or undeveloped from the 27-year-long civil war. However, the government since 2005 has used billions of dollars in credit lines from China, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Spain, and the EU to help rebuild Angola's public infrastructure. Land mines left from the war still mar the countryside, and as a result, the national military, international partners, and private Angolan firms all continue to remove them. The global recession that started in 2008 stalled economic growth. In particular, lower prices for oil and diamonds during the global recession slowed GDP growth to 2.4% in 2009, and many construction projects stopped because Luanda accrued $9 billion in arrears to foreign construction companies when government revenue fell in 2008 and 2009. Angola formally abandoned its currency peg in 2009, and in November 2009 signed onto an IMF Stand-By Arrangement loan of $1.4 billion to rebuild international reserves. Consumer inflation declined from 325% in 2000 to less than 9% in 2014. Falling oil prices and slower than expected growth in non-oil GDP have reduced growth prospects for 2015. Angola has responded by reducing government subsidies and by proposing import quotas and a more restrictive licensing regime. Corruption, especially in the extractive sectors, is a major long-term challenge. (CIA)
- Greetings are formal and courteous and start with a handshake.
- Greetings are often followed by social pleasantries such as polite questions about one’s health
- For women, avoid eye contact with men as it is not considered polite.
- You may use a person’s professional title when conversing.
- Government officials may be addressed as “Excellency” or "Excelencia" without using their surname.
- Business cards are given without formal ritual.
- Business Communication is formal and follows established rules of protocols.
- Do not remove your suit jacket unless invited to do so, as this is seen as too casual.
- Angolans prefer to do business with those they know and trust. Relations should be nurtured before pushing the business at hand.
- Agendas are not rigid and are just considered as a starting point for discussions rather than an itemized list of what will be covered.
- During discussions it is often difficult to get definite answers especially if the response would be negative.
- When speaking to someone senior in age or position, indirect eye contact demonstrates respect.
- When speaking with someone at your own cadre, direct eye contact shows sincerity.
- In general, women do not make direct eye contact when conversing with men.
- Business meetings are not always as private as they are in many other cultures. In fact, it may appear that there are several meetings taking place in the same room.
These are basic facts and may not represent the cultural profile of all Angolans countrywide.
- The most common greeting start with a hand shake followed by pleasantries. Greeting are never rushed.
- Close friends may embrace, kiss, or offer a friendly back-slap.
- It is important to take time to inquire about the person’s family and other matters of general interest during the greeting process.
- Always greet elders first and it is considered polite to bow when introduced to someone who is obviously older or more senior in rank.
- If you are invited to an Angolan's home, a small gift for the children is always appreciated.
- Angolans are extremely hospitable and enjoy entertaining friends and family in their homes.
- The Angolan style of entertaining preserves much of the Portuguese influence.
- Dinner invitation is often 8 p.m.
- If invited for dinner at home, dress well. This demonstrates respect towards your hosts.
- Shake hands with each guest individually.
- Avoid business discussions in social situations.
- Food is often served from a communal bowl.
- Allow the eldest person to serve first.