Angola vs. Namibia - Country Comparison
Angola and Namibia enjoy excellent relations of cooperation at bilateral level and within the framework of the Southern Africa Development. It begins with a brief overview of San-Bantu relations and the ways in which San interacted with the colonial and apartheid states in Angola and Namibia. The Republics of Angola and Namibia have had official relations since 18 September , the date of the signing of the General Agreement.
This in turn had social and economic consequences. In sum, these constructions of Khwe identity served to reinforce the construction of ethnic difference in West Caprivi, in contrast to government narratives that emphasized national, rather than ethnic, identity.
This suggests that at least to some extent there are comparisons and parallels to be drawn about their identity building processes in relation to the impact of military intervention. The experience of Namibian San since Independence may be salient for Angolan San in a context of post conflict nation-building since A brief discussion of the current state of affairs in Angola and recent elections highlights the specific issues that may arise as Angola embarks upon its own process of post-conflict nation-building McMillanUNSCConteh-Morgan San-Bantu Relations in the Pre-Colonial and Early Colonial Periods in southeast Angola and West Caprivi, Namibia 6Although early travellers' accounts are rich in detail, there is little thorough historical analysis of precolonial relations between San and Bantu groups in the area between the Kavango and Kwando rivers that now comprises southeast Angola and Namibia's Caprivistrip.
Khwe-Mbukushu relations appear to have subsequently become strained and more unequal. Despite the inadequacy of historical sources, in the context of broader literature about the emergence of inequality which marks San relationships with Bantu-speaking groups WilmsenGordonSuzmanWidlokit is likely that Mbukushu attempts at domination of Khwe in the early 20th century were successful.
It is also likely, based on oral accounts collected in the last decade, that practices such as intermarriage and exchange were, and still are, integral to this domination and, accordingly, that identities were more fluid than represented today RoussetBoden Inge Brinkman's analysis of San-Bantu relations in southeast Angola converges with this interpretation: Lavie, 7With the onset of colonialism, and later apartheid, West Caprivi was subject to flux and migration, to alliances and divisions, and to a limited number of government interventions.
These policies fostered the differential treatment of Khwe and Mbukushu, altered the balance of socio-political power between them, and affected their respective access to land and natural resources, often in favour of Khwe.
Southeast Angola was extremely marginalized in the growing colonial infrastructure, and received little in the way of the educational, economic, and medical benefits or services available in other regions of the country. The region's development was largely overlooked, leaving many inhabitants with little in the way of material resources Heywood As Brinkman describes, the decentralized nature of political power and limited colonial impact in the region contributed to a loose definition of ethnicity.
Ethnic identity was flexible and people frequently altered their self-description based on where they were or to whom they were speaking Brinkman A similarly loose distinction existed between people from the bush, vakamusenge; people from town, vakambongi; and vakamembo, people from the village.
In the pre- and early colonial era, most people lived in villages and the bush was left to the San. When the Portuguese built towns, few Angolans chose to live in them. This changed, however, with the advent of the independence struggle and the population shifts that accompanied it. There has been little research on the impact of these events upon San groups, estimated to number around 11, in the s Brenzinger NDor the ways in which San reacted to and interacted with the newly arrived forces.
Brinkman's oral history of the political economy and identity-building processes is valuable here and is one of the few analyses in English focused on the southeastern region during this period.
Her findings are based largely on her interviews with Angolan refugees living in Rundu, northern Namibia in the late s. Her almost exclusive reliance on oral histories from one group of refugees lacks certain details, such as the identification of specific San groups involved with the Portuguese army and the dates of particular events.
Brenzinger, for example, refers to four different Khoisan language groups, though the Khwe and! Xun speakers were certainly the vast majority Whilst an imperfect resource for analyzing the role of Angolan San in Angolan conflicts, the lack of research in this area renders it one of the more thorough accounts of the colonial war in the southeastern region.
Namibia wants border with Angola to remain permanently open - Politics - Angola Press - ANGOP
Brinkman argues that as populations shifted, the meanings of the words vakamusenge, vakambongi, and vakamembo changed and hardened. Whilst these terms were originally used flexibly without fixed connotations, the onset of the war meant that town and bush became diametrically opposed identities.
Whereas San had been the only people living in the bush prior to the war, life in the bush quickly became associated with the guerrilla forces, both MPLA and UNITA, their camps, and their village abductees.
The division was more than a matter of semantics: A small number of San had been abducted and taken to guerrilla camps, but for the most part were consigned to providing support to troops rather than bearing arms themselves or holding leadership positions. Portuguese forces sought recruits among the disaffected Angolans in the bush, offering food, clothing, and in some instances, pay. As was the case with the Khwe in Namibia, the Angolan San were appealing allies thanks to their excellent tracking skills and knowledge of the bush areas harbouring guerrillas GearonHallett Distrustful of the guerrillas and eager to reap the benefits offered by the Portuguese, many San joined the Portuguese army.
Many of the refugees who had lived in guerrilla camps during the independence war viewed the San as the most terrifying of all those fighting, believing that San would not only kill any black person they came upon, but mutilate their victims horribly.
Regardless of its veracity, the prevailing belief was that the San were out for revenge against the Bantus who had treated them poorly in the past. Even the Portuguese, who by many accounts acted brutally themselves, seemed to view the San as barbaric killers, a characteristic that fit in neatly with stereotypes of them as primitive people, similar to those later upheld by the SADF, with animal-like instincts.
Though not all soldiers received formal pay, they were fed, clothed, sheltered, and exempt from paying taxes. Additional rewards were given to those who informed the Portuguese about subversive activity and, according to Gordonto those who brought back physical evidence of their success in killing guerilla fighters.
For a people who had long been relegated to inferior status in an already-marginalized region, the chance for increased material well-being was likely difficult to pass up, while the political issues at stake had much less salience to people living so removed from the colonial centers. The social benefits of increased status and authority deriving from San being designated as locally knowledgeable and valuable trackers were probably also compelling motives for joining the Portuguese army.
The absence of primary testimony from the Angolan San themselves, however, means it is difficult to assess how and why they made the choices they did. After the war concluded inwhen UNITA surveyed the wishes of the southeastern population in an attempt to curry favor, many called for banishing the remaining San and for killing Khwe specifically in retribution for their collaboration with the Portuguese Brinkman This particular animus towards the Khwe may be because they, to a greater extent than other San groups, served in the Portuguese army in a fighting capacity and were thus visible symbols of the Portuguese offensive Sharp and Douglas The tensions that had existed between Khwe and Bantu were likely also exacerbated by the shift in town and bush identities and the subsequent violent estrangement of the two populations.
By that time, however, few San remained in Angola. Refugees report that as many as half of the some 11, San living in southeast Angola in the early s Brenzinger n. At that point, some of the! Brenzinger reports that between andafter the Portuguese withdrawal, approximately 6,! Two thousand of these, mostly Vasekele! The geographical shifts and displacements said to have taken place place during this time are spatially depicted in a series of maps by Brenzinger Brenzinger n.
From the late s, a crucial factor in the ongoing formation of contemporary identities, political authority and claims to resources in West Caprivi was this area's year occupation by the SADF, when the area was used as a springboard for operations into Angola against SWAPO forces. The military occupation deeply influenced the Khwe relationship both with other ethnic groups and later with the post-apartheid state Gordon Xun also called Vasekele from southern Angola GordonBoden Xun group, Omega, 21 August PW Botha was Defence Minister from Xun as ill-equipped to make informed decisions Kolata As Wilmsen reported, however,!
Xun were clearly aware of not just the material benefits of military conscription: Evidence suggests that the Khwe and!
Xun, with their respective identities, relationships and allegiances, had already been influenced by their experiences of the Angolan independence war and provided an additional pool of veteran recruits for the SADF.
Xun did not show the military prowess of the Khwe. Xun and Khwe were kept together.
These reinforced Khwe fears of and antagonism towards Bantu groups. Boden reports that 3 G. Salt was a commodity of lesser value, so carriers of salt received about half the salary of carriers of kupa. Magyar reported that slaves almost always transported personal items and food.
This burgeoning trade created wealth for African exporters and traders, but ultimately it paved the way for colonial conquest. In the midst of the rubber boom, ina Portuguese force defeated the army of King Ndunduma of Viye, ushering in a period of colonial expansion.
Increasing numbers of Portuguese traders, such as Silva Porto, established themselves in Ovimbundu kingdoms. In this context of the growing prominence of traders and missionaries, Ovimbundu kings lost authority and, ina faction in Mbailundo instigated a war to expel foreigner traders and to protest the decline in international rubber prices, which hurt Ovimbundu traders and their buying power with Portuguese merchants.
Portuguese forces conquered Mbailundu, thus ending political independence in the central highlands. The war in Mbailundu was part of a wider period of military conquest between and InPortuguese forces went to war with the Kwanyama on the southern frontier with the German colony of Southwest Africa present-day Namibiaalthough without a definitive victory.
As in the central highlands, the rubber boom attracted traders who challenged the authority of the chiefly families. When the rubber trade collapsed inthe tensions contributed to the outbreak of a civil war in the Kongo region. The Portuguese intervened with troops and the installation of colonial administration.
The decision initially hurt the sugar-plantation economy owned by Portuguese settlers, but soon new investment and protective tariffs for Angolan-produced sugar led to a growing sugar industry. Further to the south, in the desert regions south of Benguela, small populations of Herero-speaking pastoralists, such as the Kuvale and Ndombe, remained isolated from the main colonial settlements.
Slave labor contributed to a burgeoning fishing industry, agricultural enterprises, and a growing trade with the interior. Consolidating Colonialism In the early 20th century, Portugal consolidated its rule over Angola. Military campaigns suppressed the last pocket of resistance in the s. The government extended civil administration across the colony and granted land concessions to business interests to construct railways.
The concession gave the company control over the policing, administration, and provision of services in the Lunda province. The railway became the primary transport bringing goods and settlers from the coast to the central highlands including to the town of Huambo founded in and renamed Nova Lisboa in and transporting maize and other goods from the highlands to the port of Lobito.
To make sufficient labor available for the production of sugar, coffee, maize, cotton, sisal, and palm oil, the government used its administrative network to recruit forced labor for private employers. African farmers responded to market incentives to produce crops such as maize. Most of the percent growth in maize exports from Angola between and resulted from the output of African farmers.
Forced cotton production became extremely unpopular and led to a revolt by cotton farmers in the Baixa de Kassange region of Malanje Province in November—December These legal categories codified existing categories and practices. The process lacked centralized oversight; there was no standard exam, only a series of questions determined by the official involved.
Inonly 30, Africans—less than 1 percent of the 4. Achieving civilizado status exempted one from forced labor and allowed Portuguese authorities to hold up the tightly controlled access to citizenship as an example of what it deemed to be its civilizing mission in Angola. The Indigenato also protected white settlers from economic and political competition.
Africans generally despised the Indigenato system, which explains why the Portuguese government abolished it in after the outbreak of the nationalist war for independence.
The law enshrined the principle of forced labor for African subjects. The Indigenato of codified the principle of forced labor until Portuguese advocates of forced labor argued that it would make Angola profitable. In it they questioned the humanity of the colonial work regimen: The black is a miserable instrument of shameful interests, which impose on him a cruel regimen of the whip, injuring him with intellectual blows and physical force, until criminal excess sends him to the grave.
The black prefers prison to this kind of tyrannical, inhuman, violent and barbarous kind of work.
Nam-Angola trade relations to strengthen
Forced labor, however, continued to supply settler-owned businesses across Angola Figure 2. However, forced labor continued, and the state became a supplier of forced laborers to private industries. Employers such as the Cassequel Sugar Company in Catumbela contacted provincial administrators each year to indicate how many contratados they would need to meet their labor needs. Factory Workers in Angola, c. Sugar Company of Angola Photo Album.
Contract workers received nominal pay, but the consequences for refusing to fulfill the contract could be severe, including arrest, imprisonment, and longer and harsher terms of service. Oral histories conducted in with former contratados reveal why this labor system was one of the most hated aspects of colonial rule. Here is how Mr. Tchimbe Ngucika described his work as a contratado at Cassequel Sugar Company in the s: The work was by task, and if you did not complete your task for whatever reason you would be whipped chicotada.
History of Angola - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History
Each time I went there the system worked the same: The state itself used forced labor, including that of women and children, to construct and maintain an extensive road network. In short, Africans did the heavy work of building an extractive colonial economy without receiving fair wages or the benefits of citizenship. White settlers often saw access to forced labor as a right of conquest and insisted on maintaining a racial hierarchy.
Christian Missions and Angolan Christians The Catholic Church arrived with Portuguese explorers along the coast of the Kongo kingdom in the late 15th century. At the invitation of the Mani Kongo, the Portuguese dispatched Capuchin and Jesuit missionaries to convert the people of Kongo. In Portuguese Angola, missionary activities were limited to the coast and the region along the Kwanza River.
However, by the midth century, the church had almost vanished. A second missionary effort Catholic and Protestant took place beginning in the s, in many areas before the expansion of Portuguese hegemony into the interior.
As a result of the Berlin Conference, Portugal had to accept non-Catholic missionaries from other Western nations. The government assigned a certain region to each Protestant mission. British Baptists operated in northern Angola among Kikongo speakers beginning in American and Canadian Congregationalists worked among Umbundu speakers in the central highlands beginning in Inmissionaries of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States established missions in the region between Luanda and Malanje among Kimbundu speakers.
Besides these three primary, Protestant mission churches, a Swiss mission, the Mission Philafricaine, was also established in the southern highlands. In the early decades of the second wave of missionary activity, missionaries struggled to attract converts. However, by the time Portugal conquered the interior in the first two decades of the 20th century, substantial numbers of Angolans had adopted Christianity. Mission schools offered access to Western education, health care, industrial training, and—after —the possibility of civilizado status.
In the context of a colonial society offering virtually no opportunity for education or economic advancement to the vast majority of Africans, the missions offered an alternative means to self-enrichment and economic progress.
In the ABCFM, after nearly twenty-five years of work among Umbundu-speaking peoples in central Angola, recorded only church members. Portuguese colonial officials often distrusted Protestant missionaries, whom they suspected of subverting Portuguese control. Colonial authorities favored the Catholic Church and looked to it to further Portuguese culture and language in Angola. Inthe Portuguese government and the Holy See signed a concordat and a missionary accord.
Seminarians often became politically aware and joined the fight against colonialism for independence. Protestant missions were only allowed to open secondary schools in Many of the nationalists behind the war for independence begun in received their education in mission schools, including the leaders of each of the nationalist movements: Missions provided international networks, scholarships, and worldviews distinctly different from the dominant colonial perspective on Angola.
Colonial authorities scapegoated Protestant missions for the outbreak of war for independence in and closed the Baptist, the Methodist, and the North Angola Missions.
Economic and Political Developments after Substantial economic growth occurred in Angola after the Second World War when higher coffee prices brought prosperity to local planters. As world demand for coffee skyrocketed, Angolan output rose totons a year between and independence in Between andthe land area focused on coffee production grew fromtohectares.
Postwar prosperity led the Portuguese government to invest in large infrastructure projects in Angola including dams, transportation networks, and hydroelectric power stations. Afterthese projects would be highlighted on Angolan currency as the colonial government sought to convince Angolans to support the colonial state. By the mids, several mining operations had been developed for the extraction of iron ore, copper, and magnesium. Inthe Gulf Oil Company discovered extensive oil deposit off the coast of Cabinda.
By the early s, production from the Cabindan oil fields had reached almost ten million tons of oil per year. Economic expansion after World War II attracted growing numbers of voluntary immigrants from Portugal. The white population of Angola grew from about 9, in to 44, inand then grew rapidly toin andin White racism grew in the 20th century as a result of the contemporary current of social Darwinism, competition among white and black job seekers, and growing numbers of white settlers.
The main stage of the nationalist war for independence was political, and it involved Portugal and the three nationalist movements. Salazar opened Angola to foreign investment in an effort to hasten development and win the support of the Angolan people. The opening up of the economy to foreign investment, the discovery of oil, and the arrival of tens of thousands of Portuguese troops jumpstarted the economy.
Some scholars see the writings of late 19th- and early 20th-century Luso-African journalists as the beginnings of a nationalist sentiment that celebrated a distinct, often urban, creole Angolan identity. The associations had focused on social uplift, literacy, and the moral and intellectual development of members. Members discussed greater administrative and economic autonomy for Angola, but few advocated for independence.
By the s, nationalist ideas circulated among members of a range of cultural associations and churches. Musicians contributed to this growing cultural sovereignty with their semba music. Its unique beat gave this music its distinctively Angolan sound. The MPLA expounded a nationalist, non-racial, anti-imperialist, and Marxist ideology, and aligned the movement with socialist countries.
Armed resistance to the Estado Novo regime first began in a cotton-growing region of Malanje Province known as the Baixa de Kassange. In January the Portuguese military carried out intimidating maneuvers to send a message that the local population should return to work.
In defiance, workers attacked several shops, an administrative post, and a Catholic mission. The Portuguese army used force to end the attacks and to compel people back to work by mid-March.
Estimates of those killed in the reprisals ranged from Portuguese sources citing several dozen to nationalist sources claiming as many as 10, The MPLA claimed credit for the attack, although it appears to have played no role in its organization. On March 14—15,a much more serious challenge to Portuguese colonialism erupted in the coffee-growing areas of northern Angola. As a result of Portuguese confiscation of land totalingacres, about half the population of African smallholder coffee producers had been forced off their land during the s.
The land expropriation and the arrival of Umbundu-speaking workers caused widespread resentment among local Kikongo-speaking peasants. These conditions contributed to an outbreak of violence, orchestrated by the UPA, against the colonial state and white settlers in March The rebellion killed between and whites and perhaps as many as 1, Africans.
Participants in the revolt stated a mixture of messianic as well as nationalist objectives.