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#56DaysofAfrica -Angola & Djibouti

On this week's edition of #56DaysofAfrica, we will be highlighting the two countries of Angola and Djibouti.

" República de Angola"

Angola gained its independence after 14 years of armed resistance to Portuguese colonial rule. Three major movements fighting the war towards freedom were the Movimiento Popular de Liberación de Angola (MPLA), the Front for the National Liberation of Angola (FLNA) and National Union for Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). A 1974 military coup d’etat in Portugal established a military government that agreed, in the Alvor Accords, to hand power to a coalition of the three movements. Where in which all three movements signed the Alvor agreement in January 1975.

Ideological clashes led to armed conflict between the movements, with the Eastern bloc-backed MPLA eventually taking power once the Portuguese abandoned the capital city Luanda in 1975. With Angola remaining aligned with the Soviet Union and Cuba for the duration of the Cold War, Portugal granted Angola independence on 11 November 1975, at a time when multiple Angolan nationalist forces were fighting among themselves to establish control over the newly liberated state.

Language and culture

Luanda also spelled Loanda, formerly São Paulo de Luanda, is the capital of Angola. It is the country’s largest city and one of its busiest seaports. Founded in 1576 by Paulo Dias de Novais and initially settled by the Portuguese, Luanda became the administrative centre of the Portuguese colony of Angola in 1627 and was a major outlet for slave traffic to Brazil.

According to the 2014 Census, while the majority of Angolans speak Portuguese as the only official language, other languages spoken include Umbundu, Kikongo, Kimbundu, Chokwe, Nhaneca, Nganguela, Fiote, Kwanhama, Muhumbi, Luvale among others. Their ethnic groups include Ovimbundu, Mbundu, Bakongo and mestiço, Lunda-Chokwe, Nyaneka-Nkumbi, Ambo, Herero, San and Kwisi.

Youth Impact

Young people in Angola are progressively creating avenues of impact to members of their communities. For example, Kalemba Radical is an organization that focuses on improving the quality of life for children through extreme sports such as skimboarding with volunteers such as Angela Helena Carvalho de Sa who ventured into starting a mentoring program for young women called Projecto O Testemunho.

Another Angolan transformative youth leader is Lussevikueno Kihonda, the 2019 Ambassador of the Africa Matter Ambassador Program (AMAP) who works on empowering and upskilling of youth in Angola. Global Shapers Luanda under Luanda Hub consists of young leaders transforming the city of Luanda through collaborative projects aimed at creating impact and sustainable solutions, leveraging an international network of like-minded individuals.


The Pearl of the Gulf of Tadjoura”

Djibouti lies in between Somalia and Ethiopia as one of the last countries under the French colonial rule formerly known as French Somaliland, of which after World War II like all other French colonies, was given the status of overseas territory within the French Union. There were colony votes in 1958 to stay with France and again in a referendum in 1967. In 1977 a groundbreaking 98.8 per cent vote led to a much more peaceful transition to independence, relative to Angola's struggle for independence and hereafter the country became the Republic of Djibouti in 1977. Shortly after, the tricolour Djiboutian flag was hoisted outside presidential offices with immediate handing over the power to President Hassan Gouled Aptidon.

Language and culture

Djibouti City is the capital city with the second-largest economy in the Horn of Africa after Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Due to its location next to the world’s busiest coastal lanes, Djibouti has earned the name “The Pearl of the Gulf of Tadjoura" as ships are refuelled and transhipment is done from this lane as well as is the port used to import and export goods from Ethiopia. It was founded by the French in 1888 and was made a settlement for French Somaliland in 1896. The main languages in Djibouti are French, Arabic, Somali and Afar with their main ethnic groups being Afar and non-Issa Somalis, comprising Isaaq and Gadabuursi, and sub-clans of the Dir.

Youth Impact

Moumina Houssein Darar is an anti-terror investigator who has put away numerous al-Shabaab terrorists who received the Woman of Courage award in 2019. She has created a neighbourhood charity to help children in need, as well as to provide other services and assistance to help the local community.


Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to find out more information about Angola and Djibouti. Stay tuned for the next #56DaysofAfrica country highlight next week Monday! "We Are The Ones We've Been Waiting For"

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