Zaire Province

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Zaire, province of Angola
Zaire, province of Angola
CapitalM'Banza Congo
 • GovernorPedro Makita Armando Júlia
 • Vice-Governor for the Political, Economic and Social SectorAntónio Félix Kialunguila
 • Vice-Governor for Technical Services and InfrastructuresÂngela Maria Botelho de Carvalho Diogo
 • Total40,130 km2 (15,490 sq mi)
 (2014 census)
 • Total567,225
 • Density15/km2 (40/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeAO-ZAI

Zaire is one of the 18 provinces of Angola. It occupies 40,130 square kilometres (15,490 sq mi) in the north west of the country and has a population of about 600,000 inhabitants. It is bordered on the west by the Atlantic Ocean, on the north by the Democratic Republic of Congo, on the east by the Uíge Province, and on the south by the Bengo Province.[1]


The Kongo people (or Bakongo) occupied the valley of the Congo (or Zaire) River in the mid-thirteenth century, and formed the Kingdom of Kongo, which existed from 1390 until 1891 as an independent state, and until 1914 as a vassal state of the Kingdom of Portugal.[2] In 1914, the Kongo monarchy was abolished after Portuguese suppression of several revolts.[3] From 1885, Portuguese Angola included the district of Congo, which was split in 1919 into the districts of Cabinda and Zaire, respectively north and south of the Congo/Zaire River.[4]

During the 1961–1974 Angolan War of Independence, a large fraction of the Bakongo fled to the Republic of Zaire. Many of these refugees and their offspring returned after the Alvor Agreement recognised Angolan independence.[2]


Historical and cultural monuments include:[5]

  • Kulumbimbi Museum: Ancient King's House in M'Banza Congo.
  • Yala Nkuw (Tree of force or blood): Place where the king of Kongo executed verdicts.
  • Ruins of the Cathedral: First Church of Angola, built in 1491. It was visited by Pope John Paul II.
  • Rico and Pinda Ports: They served as ports for exportation of slaves.
  • Ponta do Padrão: First port that served the Portuguese in 1482 for the discovery of Angola by Diogo Cão.


M'Banza Congo (formerly São Salvador do Congo) is the provincial capital. The city is located around 481 kilometres (299 mi) of Luanda and 314 kilometres (195 mi) of Uíge.

In total, the province of Zaire consists of 6 municipalities:

And it has 37 communes.[6]

Physical geography[edit]

Zaire Province has two seasons: from November to May, the rainy season; and from June to October, the dry season. The predominant types of weather in the province are tropical wet climate and semi-arid. The temperature in the area varies between 24 °C and 26 °C.[7]

Fauna and Flora of the region are very varied, with savannah and dense rainforests.[8] The main rivers of Zaire Province are: Congo, Mbridge, Lufunde, Zadi, Cuilo and Buenga.[9]


The national language spoken in the province is Kikongo and the predominant ethnic group in the region is Bakongo.[1]

According to preliminary data from the General Census of Population and Housing conducted in May 2014, Zaire Province has currently 567,225 inhabitants, corresponding to 2.3 percent of the Angolan population. In this province, reside 285,333 women and 281,892 men, with 26.1% of the population living in rural areas and the majority, 73.9%, living in urban areas. The data also point to a population density of 15 inhabitants per square kilometre (39/sq mi).[10]


Zaire Provincial Government consists of Governor José Joana André, and 3 Deputy Governors. Ângela Maria Botelho de Carvalho Diogo is the Deputy Governor for the area of Technical Services and Infrastructures; Alberto Maria Sabino is the Deputy Governor for the Economic Sector; and Rogério Eduardo Zabila is the Deputy Governor for Political and Social Sector.[11]


  • Oil
  • Mining: asphalt, iron, phosphates, lead, zinc
  • Agriculture: cashew nuts, cassava, castor-oil, citrus fruits, coffee, massambala, palm oil, pineapples, peanuts, rice, soybeans, sweet potatoes
  • Cattle farming
  • Fishing
  • Production of construction materials
  • Deposits: gold, silver, diamond



Zaire Province is served by three airports. Soyo Airport and Mbanza Congo Airport have paved runways and regular flights to Luanda. N'zeto Airport has a grass strip runway and is used for private flights.


The City celebrations take place on July 25 in M’'Banza Congo, and on April 5 in Soyo.[1]

Province typical dishes are sacafolha (made with cassava leaves), dishes made with fresh and dried fish accompanied by bombó funge, and dishes with game meat.[1]


Zaire Province has several natural points of interest, namely:[1]

  • The Spell Stone in Soyo.
  • Musserra Bay, 56 kilometres (35 mi) from N'Zeto: used for bathing and water sports.
  • Sirenes Beach in Soyo.
  • Beach of the Poor, located in a prime area of Soyo city, on the left bank of the Zaire River.
  • Congo River Mouth.
  • Mbdrige River Falls in Soyo: used to canoeing and rafting.
  • Pululu Channel in Kwanda.
  • Kimbumba Channel, located 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) east of Soyo.
  • Zau Evua Caves, 80 kilometres (50 mi) from M'Banza Congo.
  • Senga Caves.

List of Governors of Zaire[edit]


Name Years in office
Adolfo José Pedro * (2) 1976–1977
Gomes Almirante Dias * (6) 1977–1982
Jorge Barros Tchimpuati * (4) 1982–1984
Artur Vidal Gomes Kumbi Diezabo * (4) 1984–1987
Domingos Mutaleno * (2) 1987–1988
José Aníbal Lopes Rocha * (4) 1988–1991
Zeferino Estêvão Juliana * (5) 1991–1995
Ludy Kissassunda (10) 1995–2004
Pedro Sebastião (9) 2004–2012
José Joanes André (7) 2012–2018
Pedro Makita Armando Júlia (2) 2018–
  • From 1976 to 1991, the official name was Provincial Commissioner


  1. ^ a b c d e "Province/Zaire". Welcome to Angola.
  2. ^ a b Carlos Alberto Jr. (August 20, 2008). "Who are the Angolans" (in Portuguese). Diário da África.
  3. ^ José Carlos de Oliveira (April 7, 2014). "Facts and Historical Documents Relating to the Kingdom of Kongo in the Early Twentieth Century" (in Portuguese). Portal do Uíge e da Cultura Kongo.
  4. ^ Domingos Bembe, Miguel César (2014). Partilha do Poder no Enclave Angolano de Cabinda: Modelo e Processo (PDF) (Doctoral thesis) (in Portuguese). Lisbon: Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas, University of Lisbon. pp. 42–43.
  5. ^ "Zaire/Tourism/Monuments" (in Portuguese). Info-Angola.
  6. ^ "Zaire" (in Portuguese). Info-Angola.
  7. ^ "Zaire/Resources/Climate" (in Portuguese). Info-Angola.
  8. ^ "Zaire/Resources/Flora" (in Portuguese). Info-Angola.
  9. ^ "Zaire/Resources/Hidrography" (in Portuguese). Info-Angola.
  10. ^ "Province has more than 500,000 inhabitants" (in Portuguese). Angola Press Agency. October 21, 2014.
  11. ^ "Governor Profile" (in Portuguese). Governo Provincial do Zaire.
  12. ^ "Histórico dos Governadores" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 6 Mar 2019.


  • Elikia M'Bokolo (2003). África Negra. História das Civilizações, vol. I, Até ao Século XVIII. Lisboa: Vulgata (in Portuguese)
  • Elikia M'Bokolo (2007). África Negra. História das Civilizações, vol. II, Do Século XIX aos nossos dias. Lisboa: Colibri (in Portuguese)
  • Patrício Batsîkama (2010). As origens do Reino do Kongo. Luanda: Mayamba (in Portuguese)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 6°16′S 14°14′E / 6.267°S 14.233°E / -6.267; 14.233