Angola Independence Day is celebrated on November 11 every year in Angola, which is found on the west coast of the African continent. The country achieved independence from the Portuguese after a war that lasted over 13 years, which is known as the Angolan War of Independence. The war began when people rose against being forced to grow cotton by the Portuguese leaders and ended with a coup by the military that overthrew the dictatorship in Angola.
The day is a public holiday in Angola and is celebrated with parades, official ceremonies, and other festivities across the country.
History of Angola Independence Day
Angola Independence Day is commemorated every year in Angola to celebrate the day when the Angolan War for Independence officially ended and the Portuguese government signed the Alvor Agreement.
The Portuguese started making inroads into African countries with the intention to conquer them and use the countries for minerals, other resources, and slavery. They set up settlements in some countries and eventually started trying to conquer the territory that is now known as the country of Angola.
There were lots of battles and incursions, but Angola was formally taken over by the Portuguese, and was later given the status of an overseas dominion of Portugal.
Briefly, Angola was relegated to the status of a colony rather than dominion, and during that time the native residents of Angola began to become more aware of the way they were being discriminated against.
When Angola regained the status of dominion, the people began to develop a greater sense of nationalism and began forming groups and parties to ensure that they could protect their interests.
War broke out when the Portuguese tried to inflict forced cotton cultivation on the people. The people revolted, leading to an uprising, which was eventually suppressed. Then a guerilla war began, which lasted over 13 years, ending with the leftist army coup of the corporate dictatorship set up by the Portuguese.
Soon after that, the different parties and political factions entered an armed conflict with each other resulting in a civil war which formally ended with the Portuguese government signing the Alvor Agreement with the Angolan party which gave Angola independence from Portugal.
Angola Independence Day timeline
While the Portuguese have been around on the African continent since the 1500s, they only start their conquest in the 18th century.
The rebellion against the forced cultivation of cotton by the Portuguese government begins in February.
In April, the military forces of the Angolans overthrow the Estado Novo dictatorship set up by the Portuguese.
In January, the different political parties of Angola and the Portuguese governments sign the agreement giving Angola independence.
Angola Independence Day FAQs
Who won the Angolan Civil War?
The political faction M.P.L.A. won the civil war.
What did the Portuguese use Angola for?
The Portuguese were heavily involved in the slave trade and a lot of Angolan people were sold into slavery.
When did the Angolan War end?
The Angolan Civil War ended in 2002.
How to Observe Angola Independence Day
Go to the capital, Luanda
The majority of the parades and official ceremonies on Angola Independence Day happen in the capital. Head over to the Ingombota district, the National Assembly, to witness the ceremonies yourself!
Celebrate at home
Commemorate Angola Independence Day by making some traditional food and watching the ceremonies online. After all, this is a day to celebrate the best of Angola!
Learn more about Angola
Angola is a beautiful country, and a great way to commemorate Angolan independence is to learn about the country. Fire up your research skills and look up all things Angola on this day!
5 Important Facts About Angolan Independence
It was part of a wider war
The Portuguese overseas wars included the independence wars of Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique.
The war was multi-factional
There were three nationalist movements and a separatist movement that were all working towards gaining control of Angola.
The U.S. supplied arms to one faction
Concerned with the possibility of a Marxist government, the U.S. supplied arms to the UPA, which later became the F.L.N.A.
The Angolan Civil War lasted long
From May 1975 to 2002, the Angolan Civil War that began informally devastated the country over the next few years.
Other countries were also involved
Rhodesia, South Africa, and Britain were all involved in the conflict.
Why Angola Independence Day is Important
We love the people of Angola
We love our friends in Angola and we want to celebrate with them. We think participating in their independence day celebrations is a great way to bond with them.
We think the day is important
Independence wars are long and tough and the people have to deal with the consequences of being colonized. We think it’s important to celebrate the best of independence when the work of governing gets hard.
It’s a day to celebrate the culture
We love all things Angolan and what better day to celebrate Angolan culture than on Angola Independence Day? We want to spend the day understanding more about Angola.
Angola Independence Day dates