In 1975, Angola declared independence from Portugal. Following this, the country was immersed in a civil war, with a government of national unity being established in 1997. The president is the country's head of state. The oil sector is presently the economy's backbone. In recent years, the primary industries that have drawn international investment have been oil and fisheries.
Independence means that an individual nation states' rights have been granted by another power. This can be another country or the global organization UNITA. Independence also means that an individual cannot be controlled by another country or organization. For Angola this is very important because they have no natural resources that could possibly make them money like oil or minerals. They depend entirely on their own ability to work hard and become successful.
Colonialism has had many negative effects on Angola. First of all, it has made them dependent on other countries for their survival. Under colonial rule, Angola became known as the "Leopard Country" because of its coat of arms which has two black spots on a white background. These spots represent how Africa was seen as nothing more than a spot on the map of the world for these countries.
Because of this dependence, people didn't feel free to think about changing their situation. They knew that if they tried something new, they might not survive it.
The War of Independence in Angola All parties to the conflict perpetrated numerous crimes. In the end, the Portuguese won the ultimate military triumph, and the majority of Angola's territory was under Portuguese authority prior to the Carnation Revolution in Portugal. However, the war left the country devastated with 1 million people (4% of the population) out of work and 250,000 refugees.
An agreement known as the "Lusaka Protocol" was signed by UNITA and Cuba on 26 January 1979. Under its terms, all foreign troops would be withdrawn from Angola by 30 June 1980, and an interim government would be set up while elections were held. However, neither side respected this agreement and continued fighting after the deadline had passed.
In November 1985, a new agreement was reached at a peace conference in Nairobi, Kenya. Under its terms, all foreign troops would be removed from Angola by December 1990 and national elections would be held by February 1991. Again, neither side respected this agreement and further fighting ensued until 1994 when UNITA and Cuba broke off diplomatic relations. Although no longer allied against the Portuguese, UNITA refused to accept the results of the presidential election held that year and continued to fight against the MPLA until they were finally defeated in 1999.
These are just some of the events that occurred during this long and devastating war.
Angola was, in fact, a territory that made significant development after 1950. The Portuguese government constructed dams, roads, and schools, among other things. There was also an economic boom, which resulted in a significant growth in the European population. The number of white people climbed from 44,083 in 1940 to 172,529 in 1960.
This migration changed the racial composition of Angola, because black people became a minority. Before this migration, there were almost 1 million people in Angola. In 1960, there were only 500,000 Angolans, including black people and whites. Most blacks were enslaved and worked on plantations or in mines before being freed in 1975 when Portugal ended its colonial rule.
Many blacks moved to Lisbon or Porto to find work. This new population added more demand for education, which helped build some of Angola's biggest cities today: Luanda, Malanje, and Caxine.
The relationship between Portugal and Angola has always been very good. But it can be difficult to understand why Portugal would need Africa when there are so many countries around Europe who need help. The truth is that Portugal needed Africa then, just like now. It's not easy being a small country with limited resources at one end of the world. You need other countries to trade with, and Africa provided just such opportunities.
Portugal started as a small kingdom and grew strong by trading with other countries. It was in Africa where it found success.
The conflict began as soon as Angola gained independence from Portugal in November 1975. The National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), which had fought alongside UNITA against the MPLA during the independence struggle, had essentially little part in the Civil War. Its main goal was to secure freedom for negotiations with the government, but this attempt failed when the MPLA refused to engage in talks with an organization that it considered a terrorist group.
After its failure to secure a place at the negotiating table, the FNLA turned to violence once more. It launched a number of attacks on military bases and police stations across northern Angola where it felt that it had strong support from the local population. These attacks continued until 1987 when they were stopped by President José Eduardo dos Santos who brought the fighting to an end by granting amnesty to all prisoners including UNITA leaders.
In 1990, after the fall of South Africa's apartheid system, many South African-born members of the FNLA moved to Angola. They were given official status and were allowed to participate in the Civil War without having to leave the country like their opponents did. In 1992, South Africa's government sent a delegation to Angola to discuss ways to resolve the conflict but no agreement could be reached so another delegation was sent in 1993. This time there was progress made toward resolving the conflict but it wasn't enough for either side to accept the deal so nothing further came of it.