Zaire, province of Angola
|• Governor||José Joanes André|
|• Total||40,130 km2 (15,490 sq mi)|
|Population (2014 census)|
|• Density||14/km2 (37/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||AO-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.
The Bakongo people occupied the valley of the Congo River in the mid-thirteenth century, and formed the Kingdom of Kongo. This kingdom existed from 1390 until 1891 as an independent state, and from 1891 to 1914 as a vassal state of the Kingdom of Portugal. In 1914, the Kongo monarchy was abolished, following the Portuguese victory against several revolts of this kingdom.
During the Portuguese Colonial War, much of the Bakongo people fled to the then Zaire, leading to a considerable decrease of the presence presence of this ethnic group in Angolan soil. However, after the Independence of Angola, many refugees (and their descendants) returned to Angola.
Zaire Province has a rich historical and cultural heritage, namely:
- 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.
In total, the province of Zaire consists of 6 municipalities:
And it has 37 communes.
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).
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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
Zaire Province has several natural points of interest, namely:
- 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.
- "Province/Zaire". Welcome to Angola.
- Carlos Alberto Jr. (August 20, 2008). "Who are the Angolans" (in Portuguese). Diário da África.
- 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.
- "Zaire/Tourism/Monuments" (in Portuguese). Info-Angola.
- "Zaire" (in Portuguese). Info-Angola.
- "Province has more than 500,000 inhabitants" (in Portuguese). Angola Press Agency. October 21, 2014.
- "Governor Profile" (in Portuguese). Governo Provincial do Zaire.
- 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)