Angola Old History

By | January 2, 2023

Angola is an independent nation in Central Africa. With the capital city of Luanda, Angola 2020 population is estimated at 32,866,283 according to countryaah. 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. For Angola political system, please check cancermatters.

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 societies.

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 and copper.

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 repressive regimes.


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 government

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 confirmed.


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 collection.

Angola Old History