An Atlas of African Affairs

By Andrew Boyd; Patrick Van Rensburg | Go to book overview

34. Angola and Mozambique

Portugal's 'overseas provinces' were the only African territories controlled from Europe -- apart from Spain's vestigial colonies (2, 21) -- in which there had, in 1961, been no political change in response to African demands. The same authoritarian system as in Portugal itself had repressed legal opposition and silenced dissent. But in 1961 there was a violent rising in northern Angola, where the (Ba-)Kongo people have been particularly affected by the sight of their fellow tribesmen gaining independence across the border in the ex-Belgian and ex-French Congos (24). ( Cabinda, the small Portuguese enclave north of the Congo mouth (pop. 52,000), is also peopled mainly by the Bakongo.) Many whites in isolated places were killed, and the Portuguese, rushing in thousands of troops, took ruthless reprisals on a scale that drove over 100,000 Africans into the Congo as refugees.

Mozambique (61/2 million) and Angola (4.7 million) base their economy on sugar, coffee, cotton, copra, sisal, palm oil and other tropical products (and diamonds from the Kasai river in Angola), and also earn large sums from transit trade. The Benguela railway (mainly British built and owned -- 32) is an outlet for Katanga and Rhodesian minerals; Lourenço Marques and Beira are ports for the Transvaal, Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and the former draws tourists from South Africa. Hundreds of thousands of Mozambique Africans work in South Africa, some under official arrangements which limit their period of work in the Rand mines, while many cross the border illegally, drawn by the higher earnings to be got in the Union; thousands more work in the Rhodesias.

No legal 'colour bar' has been applied in Portuguese Africa; but, education being scanty and living standards very low, only about 40,000 Africans have qualified as assimilados by learning Portuguese and adopting European ways and thus attained the same legal status as the 280,000 whites and people of mixed blood (mistos). In Mozambique most land is reserved for the Africans, but in Angola there has been organized colonization by Portuguese farmers (largely peasant families, working small farms; about 60,000 white immigrants have come in in recent years). The Portuguese have been on these coasts for over 400 years, but only in the late 19th century did they occupy the hinterland. Since then, the system of compulsory contract labour has been generally applied. Enforced with severe penalties, this system keeps wages low, and provides labour even for the notorious cocoa plantations on São Tome island (21).

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An Atlas of African Affairs
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Foreword 7
  • A. Population 10
  • B. Regions and Barriers 12
  • C. Languages and Peoples 14
  • D. European and Asian Settlement 20
  • E. 'Pre-European' History 22
  • F. Europeans on the Coast 24
  • G. the European 'scramble' 26
  • H. the New Political Map 28
  • I. British and French Heritages 30
  • J. United Nations Activity 32
  • K. Pan-Africanism and Regional Unity 34
  • L. Africa Overseas 36
  • M. Education 38
  • N. Health and Pests 40
  • O. Minerals 42
  • P. Transport 44
  • Q. Power, Development And Research 46
  • 1. the Maghreb 48
  • 2. Morocco and Mauritania 50
  • 3. Algeria 52
  • 4. Tunisia and Libya 54
  • 5. Egypt and Its Neighbours 57
  • 6. Suez Canal 58
  • 7. Suez-Sinai Conflict, 1956 60
  • 8. the Nile 62
  • 9. Egypt 64
  • 10. the Sudan 66
  • 11. Ethiopia 68
  • 12. the Somalis 70
  • 13. West Africa 72
  • 14. Ex-French Africa 74
  • 15. Ex-French West Africa 76
  • 16. 'Equatorial' Africa 78
  • 17. Commonwealth West Africa 80
  • 18- Senegambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia 82
  • 19. Ghana and Its Neighbours 84
  • 20. Nigeria 86
  • 21. Cameroons 88
  • 22. Two Congos 90
  • 23. Post-Belgian Congo 92
  • 24. Lower Congo 94
  • 25. Between the Lakes 96
  • 26. Ruanda-Urundi 98
  • 27. British East and Central Africa 100
  • 28. Uganda 102
  • 29. Kenya 104
  • 30. Tanganyika and Zanzibar 106
  • 31. the Rhodesias 108
  • 32. Katanga and Copperbelt 110
  • 33. Nyasaland 112
  • 34. Angola and Mozambique 114
  • 35. Malagasy (madagascar) 116
  • 36. South Africa and Its Neighbours 118
  • 37. Protectorates and S.W. Africa 120
  • 38. Eastern South Africa 122
  • Index 125
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