Luanda 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 has a metropolitan population of over 6 million. It is also the capital city of Luanda Province, and the world's third most populous Portuguese-speaking city, behind only São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, both in Brazil, and the most populous Portuguese-speaking capital city in the world, ahead of Brasília, Maputo and Lisbon.
The city is currently undergoing a major reconstruction, with many large developments taking place that will alter the cityscape significantly.
|POPULATION :||City: 2,825,311 / Metro: 6,542,942|
|TIME ZONE :||+1|
|LANGUAGE :||Portuguese (official), Bantu and other African languages|
|RELIGION :||Indigenous beliefs 47%, Roman Catholic 38%, Protestant 15%|
|AREA :||113 km2 (44 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||6 m (20 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||8°50′18″S 13°14′4″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.58% |
• Female: 50.42%
|ETHNIC :||Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, mestico (mixed European and native African) 2%, European 1%, other 22%|
|AREA CODE :||2|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+244 2|
Luanda, the capital of Angola, is on the Atlantic coast. Its current renaissance is a truly inspiring success story. Decades of conflict, which only really ended in 2002, had long held Angola back.
The start of the 21st century has seen a massive boom in construction in Luanda, where peace and stability have attracted numerous foreign companies to invest in offices in the city. The government of Angola, getting rich off revenue from oil, diamond, and other natural resources, is also investing heavily in and around Luanda, including large social housing high-rise blocks of flats to replace slums and existing dilapidated (and often bullet-ridden) tower blocks; extensive repaving; the construction of several six-lane highways leading out of the city; the reconstruction of railway lines leading out of the city; and a large new airport on the south side which had been set to open in 2011 but which is more than ten years in the making and still not open as of early 2016.
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.
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.
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 massive 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 has a mild semi-arid climate.
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.
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.
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.
Luanda Province is divided into 7 municipalities:
Icolo e Bengo