Angola's early history is largely unknown.
However, the researchers know that the first peoples who
settled in the area that is today Angola were the
gathering and hunting people khoi and san. The Bantu
people who now make up a large majority of the country's
population migrated much later. The Portuguese arrived
in the area in the late 1400s and in 1885 Angola became
a Portuguese colony.
Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Angola, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
San (also called bushmen) is believed to have lived
in large parts of southern Africa for 25,000 years. A
small group of pygmies is believed to have existed in
the rainforest in the northeastern part of the country
for 10,000 years. The researchers expect that fishing
communities originated from the year 7000 BC. These were
of great importance for the emergence of organized
communities with village leaders, clans and inheritance
rights. The clans could be matrilinear, that is, kinship
and inheritance follows the mother's family, or
patrilineal, following the father's family.
From around 800 AD Angola began to be increasingly
populated by diet-speaking people who migrated from the
north and east. Gradually, the kingdom emerged and
developed into relatively rich and well-developed
The most advanced communities were Congo in the west
and Lunda in the east. These, in turn, had subordinate
kingdoms to them, such as the many small kingdoms of
central Angola. Around 1750, almost the whole country
was covered by such smaller kingdoms.
Portuguese sailor Diogo Cão discovered the area in
1483. In the following decades, a relatively friendly
exchange of goods took place between the Portuguese and
the local kings. The Portuguese gave the kingdoms
military support and knowledge of construction
technology in exchange for goods such as ivory, spices
Eventually, however, slave trade came to dominate the
Portuguese activities. It was partly based on already
established local traditions. For example, forced labor
was common for the king. When, above all, the vast
Congolese kingdom was weakened, the Portuguese exploited
this to bring slaves to their large South American
colony of Brazil.
The slave trade reached its peak in the late 1600s,
but it was first abolished in 1883. By then, perhaps
three million people - the data vary - had been removed
from Angola and probably only half of them had survived
the journey across the Atlantic. The cruel trafficking
of people led to a cultural, social and economic
depletion of the area.
At the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, Portugal was
recognized as the area that today constitutes Angola.
Thus, Europeans drew boundaries around people who had
previously lived under different conditions. It was not
until the 1920s that colonial power gained some
centrally cohesive control over the colony. Portugal
exploited Angola's immense natural wealth. Unutilized
Portuguese labor and undesirable people in the
motherland were sent to the colony while cheap African
labor was utilized.
A military coup in Portugal in 1926 was followed by
the dictatorial Salazar regime, which meant increased
repression in the Portuguese colonies. Tens of thousands
of Angolans fled their country and in Angola the number
of colonizers increased rapidly - from a few thousand
around 1910 to nearly 50,000 three decades later. Many
Angolan cities were renamed after Portuguese heroes.
Activists start hunger strike
The young activists arrested in June are launching a
hunger strike in protest of their trial being dragged
out over time.
26 countries enter into new free trade agreement
Angola agrees with 25 other countries to form a new
Tripartite Free Trade Area , covering most of
Africa, from Egypt in the north to South Africa in the
south. Before the agreement can enter into force further
negotiations are required and the agreement is approved
by the national parliaments.
New arrest of opposition supporters
Seventeen young opposition supporters, including
renowned rapper Luaty Beirao, are arrested and
prosecuted for planning a coup against President dos
Santos. They are picked up by police in connection with
a book circle meeting. One of the books that was to be
studied was about using non-violent methods against
Jail for journalist
Journalist Rafael Marques is sentenced to six months'
conditional imprisonment for slander. The Court orders
Marques to withdraw its controversial book from the
market (see March 2015).
The opposition makes accusations against the
The opposition accuses the government of killing
1,000 people in connection with a campaign against a
Christian sect in central Angola. The government rejects
the information, saying that 22 people lost their lives
when police tried to arrest the sect's leaders. The area
is locked off, and none of the versions can be
Human rights organization criticizes the regime
The International Human Rights Organization
International Federation for Human Rights (IFHR) and an
Angolan activist group write in a report that the
government's persecution of human rights activists and
journalists has increased. Just before the report is
published, two activists are arrested in the Cabinda
province, accused of rioting. One of them is the
journalist Rafael Marques, who has written a book on
corruption, torture and other abuses in the diamond
industry (see also Mass Media). A number of generals are
identified in the book, one of whom is close friend of
President dos Santos.
Substantial reduction of subsidies
The government cuts fuel subsidies by almost 60
percent. It has previously introduced job cuts in the
public sector as a result of budgetary problems (see
January 2015). The fall in oil prices
has prompted international financial institutions to
lower Angola's credit rating.
The budget is renegotiated
The dramatic fall in oil prices since the summer of
2014 has caused the MPLA government to renegotiate the
budget for 2015. The planned budget was the first since
the end of the civil war in 2002 that would have
channeled more money to the public sector than to the
military. However, the budget assumed an oil price of
just over $ 80 per barrel, and in January the price is
about half. The budget negotiations include, among other
things, reduced fuel subsidies and improved tax