Luanda, Angola

Luanda, Angola

According to abbreviationfinder, Luanda is the main city and capital of Angola; being also the main port of the country. It was founded by Portuguese explorer Paulo Dias de Novais the 25 of January of 1575, with the name of San Pablo de Luanda, because it is in a magnificent natural harbor. In 1618 the São Pedro da Barra fortress was built, and in 1634 the São Miguel fortress was built. Due to the great demographic growth experienced by the city, the price of land has skyrocketed and informal settlements have expanded the city to unite it with nearby towns such as Viana.. In Luanda there are food processing plants, paper, wood, textile, metal industries, cement factories and other construction materials, plastics, cigarettes and shoes.

Location

It is located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, in the homonymous province of which it is also the capital. At -8.8383333 degrees north latitude and 13.2344444 degrees west longitude.

History

Luanda, derives from the name of the island of Luanda. The word Luanda etymologically probably comes from the Bantu languages, where the prefix Lu denotes the presence of water and Andu (Ndandu) means surrounded by the sea. Thus, the place name refers to a place surrounded by water and sea when referring to the Island.

Luanda was founded by Portuguese explorer Paulo Dias de Novais the 25 of January of 1575, with the name of San Pablo de Luanda, because it is in a magnificent natural harbor. In 1618 the São Pedro da Barra fortress was built, and in 1634 the São Miguel fortress was built.

The city has been the administrative center of Angola since 1627, except between 1640 and 1648, when it was occupied by the Netherlands who renamed it Fort Aardenburgh. Between approximately 1550 and 1850 it was an important center of the slave trade with Brazil.

In 1889 the foundations were laid for further growth of the city when Governor Brito Capelo inaugurated an aqueduct that would provide the necessary water for the city, which until then was a rare commodity. After this the city suffered a great demographic growth until 1975, and even in 1972 it was known as the Paris of Africa because of the growth it had experienced. Currently the aqueduct is still in operation and carries water from the north to the city of Luanda.

Before the Angolan War of Independence broke out in 1975, Luanda was a modern city with a population mostly of Portuguese and mixed origin, specifically the Bakonga ethnic group.

After achieving independence from Portugal, and after the withdrawal of the colonial troops, the European population left the city due to the increase in citizen insecurity due to ethnic clashes between the MPLA (of communist ideology and without any affiliation tribal, strongly supported by Cuba), the FNLA (Leninist communist with Bakonga affiliation and support of Zaire) and UNITA (representative of the southern Omyama and supported by South Africa).

This forced emigration caused the infrastructure to decline due to a lack of qualified labor, as well as people with higher education, both necessary for the operation of the city and its maintenance. Currently, Brazilian and Portuguese construction companies (Odebrecht, Soares da Costa) rehabilitate the city and its infrastructures, often with materials of dubious quality. It is feared that many funds are being diverted due to corruption.

On the other hand, Chinese, Brazilian and Portuguese companies have launched into the development of Nueva Luanda, whose maximum good is the petrodollar, building apartment buildings and private areas for the upper-middle class of mestizo and black origin.

Characteristics

Population and society

The prolonged civil war that affected the southern and eastern provinces of the country drew large numbers of people to the capital. It is estimated by local authorities that the real population is above 7,000,000 residents, which has led to a serious demographic and urban planning problem. See population of Angola.

On the other hand, of those seven million, it is estimated that 80% live on just $ 400 a month in a country that has been described as the most expensive in the world. In fact, in 2010 the city was rated as the most expensive in the world, managing to surpass Tokyo.

Luanda is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Luanda.

Urban planning and infrastructures

Due to the great demographic growth experienced by the city, the price of land has skyrocketed and informal settlements have expanded the city to unite it with nearby towns such as Viana.

Only 20% of the city has a water sanitation service and only 30% of the houses have running water. Luanda is the starting point for the railway to Malanje in the east.

The city is served by the country’s main airport, the Quatro de Fevereiro airport. Currently, two highways of six lanes each are being built that will connect the city with Cacuaco, Viana, Samba, and the Kilamba Kiaxi district, where the city’s new airport will be built.

Economic development

In Luanda there are food processing plants, paper, wood, textile, metal industries, cement factories and other construction materials, plastics, cigarettes and shoes.

It also has oil refineries, although these facilities date from the 1960s and have not been converted. Angolan oil is exported crude and imported refined.

The port of Luanda allows exports of coffee, cotton, sugar, diamonds, iron and salt. However, it faces drawbacks such as saturation, lack of personnel and infrastructure, corruption and container theft.

Luanda, Angola