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Angola is a member state of the United Nations, OPEC, African Union, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the Latin Union and the Southern African Development Community.
A highly multiethnic country, Angola's 25.8 million people span various tribal groups, customs, and traditions.
Portugal's refusal to address increasing Angolan demands for self-determination provoked an armed conflict which erupted in 1961 with the Baixa de Cassanje revolt and gradually evolved into a protracted war of independence that persisted for the next twelve years.
Independence was achieved in 1975 under a communist one-party state backed by the Soviet Union and Cuba after a protracted anti-colonial struggle.The exclave province of Cabinda has borders with the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Although its territory has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Era, what is now the modern country of Angola was influenced by Portuguese colonisation, which began with, and was for centuries limited to, coastal settlements and trading posts established beginning in the 16th century.In the 19th century, European settlers slowly and hesitantly began to establish themselves in the interior.Life for European colonists was difficult and progress proved to be slow.Iliffe notes that "Portuguese records of Angola from the 16th century show that a great famine occurred on average every seventy years; accompanied by epidemic disease, it might kill one-third or one-half of the population, destroying the demographic growth of a generation and forcing colonists back into the river valleys".
Paulo Dias de Novais founded São Paulo de Loanda (Luanda) in 1575 with a hundred families of settlers and four hundred soldiers.