What you need to know about Luanda
Luanda, formerly named São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda, 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 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.
Area: 113 km²
Population: 22.8 million
The national currency is the Kwanza.
The inhabitants of Luanda are primarily members of African ethnic groups, mainly Kimbundo, Ovimbundu, and Bakongo. The official and the most widely used language is Portuguese, although several Bantu languages are also used, mainly Kimbundu, Umbundu, and Kikongo.
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.
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.
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.
In 2013 Luanda together with Namibe city, hosted the 2013 FIRS Men’s Roller Hockey World Cup, the first time that a World Cup of roller hockey was held in Africa. however the most popular sports are the football, basketball and the handball.