Angola 1983

By | September 11, 2023

In 1983, Angola was a nation in the midst of a protracted and devastating civil war that had been ongoing since its independence from Portugal in 1975. This conflict shaped the political, social, and economic landscape of the country during that period.

Political Landscape:

According to ethnicityology, Angola had gained independence from Portuguese colonial rule on November 11, 1975, but it immediately plunged into a civil war fueled by regional and ideological rivalries. In 1983, the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), led by President José Eduardo dos Santos, controlled the capital, Luanda, and much of the country’s western region.

The MPLA was a Marxist-Leninist party with the support of the Soviet Union and Cuba, while two other factions, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA), were backed by Western powers and South Africa, leading to a complex proxy war.

The civil war had devastating consequences for the country, causing widespread displacement, suffering, and destruction. The political situation was marked by instability and frequent shifts in territorial control.


The Angolan economy in 1983 was in shambles due to the ongoing civil war. Prior to independence, Angola had a relatively developed economy with a focus on agriculture, mining, and oil production. However, the war disrupted these sectors and hampered economic development.

The oil industry was one of Angola’s most critical sectors, and it faced significant challenges during the conflict. Many oil installations were damaged or destroyed, causing a decline in production. Moreover, the international oil market experienced fluctuations, affecting Angola’s revenue.

Agriculture, which had been a cornerstone of the pre-war economy, suffered due to the displacement of rural populations, landmines, and the destruction of infrastructure. Food shortages were widespread, and the country relied heavily on food aid.

Society and Culture:

Angolan society in 1983 was deeply affected by the civil war. The conflict led to the displacement of millions of people, both internally and as refugees in neighboring countries. The war had a particularly devastating impact on civilians, with reports of atrocities and human rights abuses committed by various factions.

The war also exacerbated ethnic and regional tensions, with different groups being pitted against each other in the struggle for power. This complicated the process of post-war reconciliation and nation-building.

In terms of culture, Angola was a diverse nation with a rich blend of ethnic groups, each contributing to its unique cultural tapestry. The war, however, disrupted cultural expressions, as many artists and intellectuals were displaced or silenced by the conflict.

Foreign Relations:

Angola’s civil war had significant implications for its relations with other countries. The MPLA government had the support of the Soviet Union, Cuba, and other Eastern Bloc countries, which provided military aid and advisers. On the other hand, UNITA and FNLA received support from the United States and South Africa.

The conflict in Angola was seen as part of the larger Cold War struggle for influence in Africa, making it a battleground for superpower rivalries.

Security Challenges:

Security challenges were pervasive throughout Angola in 1983 due to the ongoing civil war. The conflict had led to a breakdown of law and order, the proliferation of weapons, and the presence of various armed groups. Landmines were a particularly insidious problem, causing civilian casualties and hindering post-war reconstruction efforts.

Humanitarian crises were also widespread, with millions of people in need of basic necessities such as food, shelter, and medical care. The conflict disrupted essential services and led to poor living conditions for many Angolans.


In 1983, Angola was a nation grappling with the devastating consequences of a prolonged civil war. The conflict had taken a toll on the country’s political stability, economy, society, and culture. The MPLA government was in control of the capital and parts of the country, while various opposition factions continued to fight for control. Angola’s position as a Cold War battleground exacerbated its internal strife and hindered prospects for peace and stability.

The country’s rich cultural heritage and potential for economic development had been severely affected, and the path to recovery and reconciliation was fraught with challenges. Angola’s story in 1983 serves as a stark reminder of the human suffering and destruction that can result from protracted civil conflicts and the role of geopolitics in shaping the destiny of nations.

Location of Angola

According to paulfootwear, Angola is a vast and diverse country located on the southwestern coast of Africa. Its strategic geographical location, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, has played a significant role in shaping its history, culture, and economic activities. Here, we’ll explore the location of Angola in detail.

Geographical Overview:

  • Angola covers an area of approximately 1,246,700 square kilometers (481,354 square miles), making it the seventh-largest country in Africa and the 23rd largest in the world.
  • The country’s precise geographical coordinates are approximately 11.2027° S latitude and 17.8739° E longitude.

Borders and Neighboring Countries:

Angola shares its borders with several countries:

  1. Namibia (to the south): The border between Angola and Namibia is defined by the Kunene River, and it extends for approximately 1,376 kilometers (855 miles). This river forms a natural boundary between the two countries.
  2. Zambia (to the east): Angola’s eastern border with Zambia stretches for about 1,110 kilometers (690 miles) along the Cuando River and other waterways.
  3. Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, to the north): The northern border with the DRC runs for approximately 2,511 kilometers (1,560 miles) along the Congo River and land boundaries. This border region includes parts of the vast Congo Basin.
  4. Republic of the Congo (to the north): Angola shares a shorter border to the north with the Republic of the Congo, covering roughly 201 kilometers (125 miles).
  5. Atlantic Ocean (to the west): Angola has a lengthy coastline along the South Atlantic Ocean, which extends for approximately 1,600 kilometers (994 miles).

Geographical Features:

Angola’s landscape is characterized by a diverse range of geographical features:

  1. Coastline: Angola’s coastline along the South Atlantic Ocean is known for its extensive sandy beaches, cliffs, and coastal plains. Major cities and ports, such as Luanda and Lobito, are located along this coastline.
  2. Plateaus and Highlands: The central and southern regions of Angola are dominated by vast plateaus and highlands, including the Bié Plateau and the Huíla Plateau. These regions feature rolling hills, escarpments, and fertile valleys.
  3. Rivers: Angola has several major rivers, including the Cuanza, Cubango, and Cunene rivers. These rivers play a vital role in providing freshwater resources and supporting agriculture.
  4. Congo Basin: The northern part of Angola includes a portion of the Congo Basin, characterized by dense tropical rainforests and a network of rivers, including the Congo River.
  5. Desert: The southwestern part of Angola, known as the Namib Desert region, features arid landscapes, sand dunes, and unique desert flora and fauna.


Angola experiences a range of climate zones due to its vast size and geographical diversity:

  1. Coastal: The coastal regions have a temperate maritime climate with mild temperatures year-round. Luanda, the capital, falls within this zone.
  2. Plateaus and Highlands: These areas have a more temperate climate with distinct seasons, including cooler winters and warmer summers.
  3. Interior: The central and eastern regions experience a tropical savanna climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. Rainfall patterns vary across the country.
  4. Desert: The southwestern Namib Desert region has an arid desert climate with extremely low rainfall and high temperatures during the day.

Strategic Location:

Angola’s geographical location on the southwestern coast of Africa has historically made it a hub for maritime trade and regional influence. Its long coastline along the South Atlantic Ocean positions it as a significant maritime nation in the region. Angola’s ports serve as crucial gateways for trade, and its offshore oil reserves have made it an important player in the global energy market.

Additionally, Angola’s borders with multiple countries, including Namibia, Zambia, the DRC, and the Republic of the Congo, make it a key player in regional politics and diplomacy. It has been involved in initiatives to promote peace and stability in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

In conclusion, Angola’s location in southern Africa, with its diverse geography, coastline along the South Atlantic Ocean, and borders with multiple neighboring countries, has shaped its history, culture, and economic activities. The country’s strategic position has contributed to its role as a significant player in regional politics and trade, and its natural beauty and resources make it a country of both geographical and geopolitical importance.