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).