Luanda, formerly named São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda, is the capital and largest city in Angola, and the country's most populous and important city, primary port and major industrial, cultural and urban centre. Located on Angola's coast with the Atlantic Ocean, Luanda is both Angola's chief seaport and its administrative centre. It is also the capital city of Luanda Province and the most populous Portuguese-speaking capital city in the world.
The city is currently undergoing a major reconstruction, with many large developments taking place that will alter its cityscape significantly.
Location of Luanda in Angola
|• City||113 km2 (44 sq mi)|
|• Metro||2,417 km2 (933 sq mi)|
|Elevation||6 m (20 ft)|
|• Density||22,000/km2 (57,000/sq mi)|
|• Metro density||3,200/km2 (8,400/sq mi)|
Portuguese explorer Paulo Dias de Novais founded Luanda on 25 January 1576 as "São Paulo da Assumpção de Loanda", with one hundred families of settlers and four hundred soldiers. In 1618, the Portuguese built the fortress called Fortaleza São Pedro da Barra, and they subsequently built two more: Fortaleza de São Miguel (1634) and Forte de São Francisco do Penedo (1765-6). Of these, the Fortaleza de São Miguel is the best preserved.
Luanda was Portugal's bridgehead from 1627, except during the Dutch rule of Luanda, from 1640 to 1648, as Fort Aardenburgh. The city served as the centre of slave trade to Brazil from circa 1550 to 1836. The slave trade was conducted mostly with the Portuguese colony of Brazil; Brazilian ships were the most numerous in the port of Luanda. This slave trade also involved local merchants and warriors who profited from the trade. During this period, no large scale territorial conquest was intended by the Portuguese; only a few minor settlements were established in the immediate hinterland of Luanda, some on the last stretch of the Kwanza River.
In the 17th century, the Imbangala became the main rivals of the Mbundu in supplying slaves to the Luanda market. In the 1750s, between 5,000 and 10,000 slaves were annually sold. By this time, Angola, a Portuguese colony, was in fact like a colony of Brazil, paradoxically another Portuguese colony. A strong degree of Brazilian influence was noted in Luanda until the Independence of Brazil in 1822. In the 19th century, still under Portuguese rule, Luanda experienced a major economic revolution. The slave trade was abolished in 1836, and in 1844, Angola's ports were opened to foreign shipping. By 1850, Luanda was one of the greatest and most developed Portuguese cities in the vast Portuguese Empire outside Continental Portugal, full of trading companies, exporting (together with Benguela) palm and peanut oil, wax, copal, timber, ivory, cotton, coffee, and cocoa, among many other products. Maize, tobacco, dried meat, and cassava flour are also produced locally. The Angolan bourgeoisie was born by this time.
In 1889, Governor Brito Capelo opened the gates of an aqueduct which supplied the city with water, a formerly scarce resource, laying the foundation for major growth. Like most of Portuguese Angola, the cosmopolitan city of Luanda was not affected by the Portuguese Colonial War (1961–1974); economic growth and development in the entire region reached record highs during this period. In 1972, a report called Luanda the "Paris of Africa". Throughout Portugal's Estado Novo period, Luanda grew from a town of 61,208 with 14.6% of those inhabitants being white in 1940, to a wealthy cosmopolitan major city of 475,328 in 1970 with 124,814 Europeans (26.3%) and around 50,000 mixed race inhabitants. Luanda has also become one of the world's most expensive cities.
By the time of Angolan independence in 1975, Luanda was a modern city. The majority of its population was African, but it was dominated by a strong minority of white Portuguese origin. After the Carnation Revolution in Lisbon on April 25, 1974, with the advent of independence and the start of the Angolan Civil War (1975–2002), most of the white Portuguese Luandans left as refugees, principally for Portugal, with many travelling overland to South Africa. There was an immediate crisis, however, as the local African population lacked the skills and knowledge needed to run the city and maintain its well-developed infrastructure. The large numbers of skilled technicians among the force of Cuban soldiers sent in to support the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) government in the Angolan Civil War were able to make a valuable contribution to restoring and maintaining basic services in the city. In the following years, however, slums called musseques — which had existed for decades — began to grow out of proportion and stretched several kilometres beyond Luanda's former city limits as a result of the decades-long civil war, and because of the rise of deep social inequalities due to large-scale migration of civil war refugees from other Angolan regions. For decades, Luanda's facilities were not adequately expanded to handle this huge increase in the city's population. After 2002, with the end of the civil war and high economic growth rates fuelled by the wealth provided by the increasing oil and diamond production, major reconstruction started.
Luanda is divided into two parts, the Baixa de Luanda (lower Luanda, the old city) and the Cidade Alta (upper city or the new part). The Baixa de Luanda is situated next to the port, and has narrow streets and old colonial buildings. However, new constructions have by now covered large areas beyond these traditional limits, and a number of previously independent nuclei — like Viana — were incorporated into the city.
Since 2016, Luanda Province is divided into 9 municipalities:
All of the municipalities except those transferred from Bengo Province in 2011; namely Icolo e Bengo, and Quiçama, may be considered part of Greater Luanda. They comprise the 2,417 km2 area that was formerly the limits of Luanda Province before the transfers.
The city of Luanda is divided in seven urban districts: Ingombota, Kilamba Kiaxi, Maianga, Ngola Kiluanj, Rangel, Samba e Sambizanga.
A completely new satellite city, called Luanda Sul has been built. In Camama, Zango and Kilamba Kiaxi, more high-rise developments are to be built. The capital Luanda is growing constantly - and in addition, increasingly beyond the official city limits and even provincial boundaries.
Luanda is the seat of a Roman Catholic archbishop. It is also the location of most of Angola's educational institutions, including the private Catholic University of Angola and the public University of Agostinho Neto. It is also the home of the colonial Governor's Palace and the Estádio da Cidadela (the "Citadel Stadium"), Angola's main stadium, with a total seating capacity of 60,000.
Luanda Sul is a satellite city of Luanda. A small stream flows in southern Luanda Sul, starting near the Quatro de Fevereiro Airport and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. Luanda International School is in Viana.
Luanda has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification: BSh). The climate is warm to hot but surprisingly dry, owing to the cool Benguela Current, which prevents moisture from easily condensing into rain. Frequent fog prevents temperatures from falling at night even during the completely dry months from June to October. Luanda has an annual rainfall of 405 millimetres (15.9 in), but the variability is among the highest in the world, with a co-efficient of variation above 40 percent. Observed records since 1858 range from 55 millimetres (2.2 in) in 1958 to 851 millimetres (33.5 in) in 1916. The short rainy season in March and April depends on a northerly counter current bringing moisture to the city: it has been shown clearly that weakness in the Benguela current can increase rainfall about sixfold compared with years when that current is strong.
The inhabitants of Luanda are primarily members of African ethnic groups, mainly Ambundu, Ovimbundu, and Bakongo. The official and the most widely used language is Portuguese, although several Bantu languages are also used, chiefly Kimbundu, Umbundu, and Kikongo. There is a sizable minority population of European origin, especially Portuguese (about 260,000), as well as Brazilians and other Latin Americans. Over the last decades, a significant Chinese community has formed, as has a much smaller Vietnamese community. There is a sprinkling of immigrants from other African countries as well, including a small expatriate South African community. A small number of people of Luanda are of mixed race — European/Portuguese and native African. In recent years, mainly since the mid-2000s, immigration from Portugal has increased due to Portugal's recession and poor economic situation.
The population of Luanda has grown dramatically in recent years, due in large part to war-time migration to the city, which is safe compared to the rest of the country. Luanda, however, in 2006 saw an increase in violent crime, particularly in the shanty towns that surround the colonial urban core.
Around one-third of Angolans live in Luanda, 53% of whom live in poverty. Living conditions in Luanda are poor for most of the people, with essential services such as safe drinking water and electricity still in short supply, and severe shortcomings in traffic conditions. On the other hand, luxury constructions for the benefit of the wealthy minority are booming. Luanda is one of the world's most expensive cities for resident foreigners.
New import tariffs imposed in March 2014 made Luanda even more expensive. As an example, a half-litre tub of vanilla ice-cream at the supermarket was reported to cost US$31. The higher import tariffs applied to hundreds of items, from garlic to cars. The stated aim was to try to diversify the heavily oil-dependent economy and nurture farming and industry, sectors which have remained weak. These tariffs have caused much hardship in a country where the average salary was US$260 per month in 2010, the latest year for which data was available. However, the average salary in the booming oil industry was over 20 times higher at US$5,400 per month.
Manufacturing includes processed foods, beverages, textiles, cement and other building materials, plastic products, metalware, cigarettes, and shoes/clothes. Petroleum (found in nearby off-shore deposits) is refined in the city, although this facility was repeatedly damaged during the Angolan Civil War of 1975–2002. Luanda has an excellent natural harbour; the chief exports are coffee, cotton, sugar, diamonds, iron, and salt. The city also has a thriving building industry, an effect of the nationwide economic boom experienced since 2002, when political stability returned with the end of the civil war. Economic growth is largely supported by oil extraction activities, although great diversification is taking place. Large investment (domestic and international), along with strong economic growth, has dramatically increased construction of all economic sectors in the city of Luanda. In 2007, the first modern shopping mall in Angola was established in the city at Belas Shopping mall.
The main airport of Luanda is Quatro de Fevereiro Airport, which is the largest in the country. Currently, a new international airport, Angola International Airport is under construction southeast of the city, a few kilometres from Viana, which was expected to be opened in 2011. However, as the Angolan government did not continue to make the payments due to the Chinese enterprise in charge of the construction, the firm suspended its work in 2010.
The port of Luanda serves as the largest port of Angola, and connects Angola to the rest of the world. Major expansion of this port is also taking place. In 2014, a new port is being developed at Dande, about 30 km to the north.
Luanda's roads are in a poor state of repair, but are currently undergoing an extensive reconstruction process by the government in order to relieve traffic congestion in the city. Major road repairs can be found taking place in nearly every neighbourhood, including a major 6-lane highway connected Luanda to Viana.
Public transit is provided by the suburban services of the Luanda Railway, by the public company TCUL, and by a large fleet of privately owned collective taxis as white-blue painted minibuses called Candongueiro.
Candongueiros are usually Toyota Hiace vans, that are built to carry 12 people, although the candongueiros usually carry at least 15 people. They charge from 100 to 200 kwanzas per trip. They are known to disobey traffic rules, for example not stopping at signs and driving over pavements and aisles. Their stop points, known as "paragens" are often the places cause significant traffic because they often double park.
There is also a private bus company Transportes Urbanos Rodoviarios de Angola - TURA, working routes in Luanda.
The central government supposedly allocates funds to all regions of the country, but the capital region receives the bulk of these funds. Since the end of the Angolan Civil War (1975–2002), stability has been widespread in the country, and major reconstruction has been going on since 2002 in those parts of the country that were damaged during the civil war. Luanda has been of major concern because its population had multiplied and had far outgrown the capacity of the city, especially because much of its infrastructure (water, electricity, roads etc.) had become obsolete and degraded.
Major social housing is also being constructed to house those who reside in slums, which dominate the landscape of Luanda. A large Chinese firm has been given a contract to construct the majority of replacement housing in Luanda. The Angolan minister of health recently stated poverty in Angola will be overcome by an increase in jobs and the housing of every citizen.
International schools in Luanda:
In 2013 Luanda together with Namibe, today's Moçâmedes, hosted the 2013 FIRS Men's Roller Hockey World Cup, the first time that a World Cup of roller hockey was held in Africa. The city is home to the Desportivo do Bengo football club.
Luanda makes widespread use of an unusual variant of the median U-turn type intersection. This eliminates the need for traffic lights and encourages free flow traffic on many main roads around the city. The intersection operates by not permitting the left turn at intersections. Angola drives on the right. A driver entering from a minor road wanting to turn left is required to join the main road traffic and proceed a U-turn and then backtrack in the opposite direction and then make a safe right turn.
The Government of Angola takes a bold view of property rights and has been known to relocate property owners at short notice, where the land is required to make space for the bulged u-turns.
It is unclear whether this intersection design has been in use prior or since the civil war.
The Luanda traffic is notoriously congested with gridlock and so arguably this intersection worsens the situation by lengthening the routes.
Luanda is twinned with:
Angola ( (listen); Portuguese: [ɐ̃ˈɡɔlɐ]), officially the Republic of Angola (Portuguese: República de Angola; Kikongo, Kimbundu and Umbundu: Repubilika ya Ngola), is a west-coast country of south-central Africa. It is the seventh-largest country in Africa, bordered by Namibia to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Zambia to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Angola has an exclave province, the province of Cabinda that borders the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The capital and largest city of Angola is Luanda.
Although inhabited since the Paleolithic Era, what is now Angola was molded by Portuguese colonisation. It began with, and was for centuries limited to, coastal settlements and trading posts established starting in the 16th century. In the 19th century, European settlers slowly and hesitantly began to establish themselves in the interior. The Portuguese colony that became Angola did not have its present borders until the early 20th century because of resistance by groups such as the Cuamato, the Kwanyama and the Mbunda.
After a protracted anti-colonial struggle, independence was achieved in 1975 as the Marxist–Leninist People's Republic of Angola, a one-party state supported by the Soviet Union and Cuba. The civil war between the ruling People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the insurgent anti-communist National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), supported by the United States and South Africa, lasted until 2002. The sovereign state has since become a relatively stable unitary, presidential constitutional republic.
Angola has vast mineral and petroleum reserves, and its economy is among the fastest-growing in the world, especially since the end of the civil war; however, the standard of living remains low for most of the population, and life expectancy in Angola is among the lowest in the world, while infant mortality is among the highest. Angola's economic growth is highly uneven, with most of the nation's wealth concentrated in a disproportionately small sector of the population.Angola is a member state of the United Nations, OPEC, African Union, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, and the Southern African Development Community. A highly multiethnic country, Angola's 25.8 million people span tribal groups, customs, and traditions. Angolan culture reflects centuries of Portuguese rule, in the predominance of the Portuguese language and of the Catholic Church.Angolan Basketball League
The Angolan Men's Basketball League, (in Portuguese) Campeonato Nacional de Basquetebol em Séniores Masculinos is the top tier men’s basketball league in Angola. Formerly known as BAI Basket, BIC Basket, and now Unitel Basket, named after its major sponsors, formerly Banco Africano de Investimentos, Banco de Investimento e Crédito and now Unitel, the competition is organized by the Angolan Basketball Federation.
In 2014, the Angolan Basketball Federation signed a sponsoring deal with Angola's Banco de Investimento e Crédito, which it claimed to be more favourable than the one with Banco Africano de Investimentos. Such agreement caused the league to be renamed as BIC Basket.Primeiro de Agosto has been the most successful club in Angola with a total 17 titles won, followed by Petro de Luanda, with 12, ASA, 3, Recreativo do Libolo and Sporting Clube de Luanda, 2, whereas Clube Ferroviário de Luanda have won a title.Angolan Roller Hockey League
The Angolan Roller Hockey Championship is the top tier Roller Hockey Clubs Championship in Angola.Atlético Petróleos de Luanda
Atlético Petróleos de Luanda, best known as Petro Atlético de Luanda, or simply Petro Atlético or Petro de Luanda, is a traditional football club from Luanda, Angola, founded in 1980. The club won its first title, the Angolan League, in 1982 and is the most successful team in the country.
In its initial days, the club was known as Petroclube.
Four players from Petro Atlético represented Angola at their first World Cup in 2006: Lebo Lebo, Lamá, Zé Kalanga and Delgado.
The club has also a basketball team. Many basketball players of the team, participated with Angola national basketball team in the Olympics 2008.Atlético Petróleos de Luanda (basketball)
Atlético Petróleos de Luanda is an Angolan multisports club based in Luanda. The club's men's basketball team competes at the local level, at the Luanda Provincial Basketball Championship and at the Angola National Basketball Championship a.k.a. BIC Basket as well as at continental level, at the annual African Basketball Club Champions League competitions.Belas, Luanda
Belas is one of the seven municipalities that make up the province of Luanda, as per the new administrative division of the province (the others being, Luanda, Cazenga, Cacuaco, Viana, Icolo e Bengo and Quiçama).
Belas was created by an administrative reform voted by the Angolan parliament on March 31, 2011. The seat of the municipality is Kilamba and the municipality administrator is Mrs. Joana Antónia Quintas.Bengo Province
Bengo is a province of Angola. Its capital is Caxito. According to 1988 statistics, there were 18,700 people living in urban areas with 137,400 in rural areas, with a total of 156,100 residents. It has an area of 31,371 square kilometres, and its population at the 2014 Census was 351,579. The province had been created in 1980 by dividing the original province Luanda into Bengo and the then smaller province Luanda.Cacuaco
Cacuaco is one of the seven municipalities that make up the province of Luanda, as per the new administrative division of the province (the others being, Luanda, Belas, Cazenga, Viana, Icolo e Bengo and Quiçama). It is a suburb of the capital, Luanda. It has a population of 600,000.Cazenga
Cazenga is the most densely populated of the seven municipalities that make up the province of Luanda, as per the new administrative division of the province (the others being, Luanda, Belas, Cacuaco, Viana, Icolo e Bengo and Quiçama). It has a population of 880,369 inhabitants in 2014 Census, with an estimated 1,011,397 in 2018, covering an area of 37 km2.G.D. Interclube
Grupo Desportivo Interclube, usually known as Interclube or Inter de Luanda, is an Angolan football club based in Luanda. The club is attached to the Angolan police force. Interclube is the only club based in Luanda with a stadium of its own as all the remaining clubs in the capital play their home matches at the state-owned 11 de Novembro, Cidadela and Coqueiros. The stadium, built in 2004, has an 8,000-seat capacity.Girabola
Girabola, or Campeonato Nacional de Futebol em Séniores Masculinos, is the top division of Angolan football. It is organized by the Angolan Football Federation.The league winner and runner-up qualify for the CAF Champions League.Luanda Municipality
The Municipality of Luanda is one of the seven municipalities that make up the province of Luanda, Angola, as per the new administrative division of the province (the others being Belas, Cazenga, Cacuaco, Viana, Icolo e Bengo and Quiçama). It covers roughly 116 km2 (2nd smallest in province) and includes Ilha do Capo. The population of 2,165,867 in 2014 Census, and projected to be 2,487,444 in 2018 per Instituto Nacional de Estatística, República de Angola.Luanda Province
Luanda is a province of Angola.
Luanda is the capital of the province and the country of Angola.Miss Angola
Miss Angola is a national beauty pageant in Angola.Quatro de Fevereiro Airport
Quatro de Fevereiro International Airport (Portuguese: Aeroporto Internacional 4 de Fevereiro), (IATA: LAD, ICAO: FNLU) is the main international airport of Angola. It is located in the southern part of the capital Luanda, situated in the Luanda Province. Quatro de Fevereiro means 4 February, which is an important national holiday in Angola, marking the start of the armed struggle against the Portuguese colonial regime on 4 February 1961. In 2009, about 1.8 million passengers were counted.Quiçama
Quiçama (Portuguese spelling), Kissama or Kisama (Bantu spelling) is one of the seven municípios (city council
or municipality) that make up the province of Luanda, as per the new administrative division of the province (the others being, Luanda, Belas, Cazenga, Cacuaco, Viana and Icolo e Bengo).
It covers an area of 12,046 square kilometres (4,651 sq mi) and its estimated population as of 2006 is 29,905 inhabitants. The municipal seat is the village of Muxima.
Quiçama is bordered to the north by the municipalities of Viana and Icolo e Bengo, to the east by the municipalities of Cambambe, Libolo and Quibala, to the south by the municipalities of Quilenda and Porto Amboim, and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean.
Part of the municipality is occupied by the Quiçama National Park (Portuguese: Parque Nacional da Quiçama).Taça de Angola
The Angolan football Cup is the main "knockout" cup competition in Angolan football.
The competition was established in 1980, whose format, in the first two editions, consisted of teams made up of the best players in each province, the so-called (selecção provincial). Starting from the 1982 season, the competition officially adopted the current club format.
The club format was established in 1982 following an unofficial cup competition won by Nacional de Benguela in 1980 and by TAAG in 1981. It is a knockout (one or two-leg elimination) tournament.Viana, Luanda
Viana is a town and one of the seven municipalities that make up the province of Luanda, as per the new administrative division of the province (the others being, Belas, Cazenga, Cacuaco, Icolo e Bengo and Quiçama). Viana lies 15 to 30 kilometers east as a suburb of the capital Luanda and is home to 68.000 inhabitants including about 6,000 long-term refugees, primarily from Katanga Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Viana is about a 90-minute drive from downtown Luanda.
The town was founded on 13 December 1963. Because of the proximity to the metropolitan city, Viana has experienced in recent years a very large increase in population and industry.Ícolo e Bengo
Ícolo e Bengo (English: Icolo and Bengo)
is a city council (município
or municipality) in the province of Luanda in Angola.
|Climate data for Luanda (1961–1990, extremes 1879–present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||33.9
|Average high °C (°F)||29.5
|Daily mean °C (°F)||26.7
|Average low °C (°F)||23.9
|Record low °C (°F)||18.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||30
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||4||5||9||11||2||0||0||1||3||5||8||5||53|
|Average relative humidity (%)||80||78||80||83||83||82||83||85||84||81||82||81||82|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||217.0||203.4||207.7||192.0||229.4||207.0||167.4||148.8||150.0||167.4||186.0||201.5||2,277.6|
|Mean daily sunshine hours||7.0||7.2||6.7||6.4||7.4||6.9||5.4||4.8||5.0||5.4||6.2||6.5||6.2|
|Source #1: Deutscher Wetterdienst|
|Source #2: Meteo Climat (record highs and lows)|
|Cuando Cubango Province|
|Cuanza Norte Province|
|Cuanza Sul Province|
|Lunda Norte Province|
|Lunda Sul Province|
Capitals of African states