Rich biodiversity has been found in the Angolan river, according to research reported on the Science and Development Network website. Angola's first biodiversity tally of the Kwanza River has so far found 50 fish species. Researchers from the National Fishing Research Institute and the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity say genetic testing may reveal new species.
The river gives its name to two provinces of Angola: Cuanza Norte, which lies on the river's north bank, and Cuanza Sul, on the south bank. It is also a source of hydroelectric power for Angola, in the form of the Capanda Dam in Malanje Province, finished in 2004. The dam also provides water for irrigation of sugarcane and other crops in the lower Cuanza valley. The rivers's lower course is navigable for about 240 kilometres (150 mi) and was the original route of Portuguese penetration into north Angola.
The Cambambe Hydroelectric Power Station is a second dam on the Cuanza river.
The Angolan monetary currency is named after the river. The Barra do Kwanza, the mouth of the river, is gradually being developed to appeal to tourists and day-trippers from the capital, Luanda situated some 60 km to the north. Even a golf course is under development. Overnight accommodation is available but, due to very limited availability and high demand, pre booking is essential. Sport fishing is excellent, notably Tarpon. 90 kg examples are not unusual. The river, from the bridge to the sea, forms the Northern border of the Quissama National Park.
- "Sub-Saharan Africa news in brief: 13–25 March, 2008". SciDev.Net (website). Accessed May 2010.
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