Angola Between 1935 and 1956

According to, the population has increased from 3,738,010 residents of 1940 to 4,145,266 a decade later, then exceeding 4,300,000 in 1956, with percentages of increase never reached in the past. Although the black race groups represent the absolute majority (98%), the increase of the white population has been very considerable, due to the ever increasing rates of immigrants; from 44,033 residents in 1940 it went to 78,826 in 1950 and to 110,000 in 1956, especially concentrated in the urban centers of the coast, which thus underwent a very rapid development (for example, Luanda went from 9,000 white residents in 1940 to 34,000 in 1956).

All economic activities are in significant progress: among the traditional crops of tropical countries, that of coffee reached an annual production of over 800,000 q in 1956-57; also increased the income of the cotton plantations (almost 200,000 q of products, of which 60,000 of textile fiber), cane (over 500,000 q of sugar), corn and castor. The product of fishing activities (where about 2,500 whites and 14,000 indigenous people are employed, with just under 2,000 boats) has risen to 400-500 tons per year.

Numerous new initiatives in the industrial sector; alongside the extraction of diamonds, the exploitation of local oil fields has developed, with the installation of a refinery capable of processing 60,000 tons of crude oil per year; Numerous industrial sites have also been installed: cement and brick factories, sugar refineries, breweries, tobacco factories, oil mills, dairy processing. Added to this is the production of electricity, with the use of water resources that has just begun: today 80 million kWh are produced, of which 30 million of water origin, thanks to the plants on the Danele and Catumbela rivers; other plants are under construction on Cunene, Lucala, Luchimo and Cuanza; the latter alone will provide nearly 3 billion kWh per year.

History. – Already declared an integral part of Portugal in 1935, it assumed the name of Portuguese overseas province with the law of 11 June 1951. It has the right to elect three deputies to the National Assembly of Lisbon, who may also be non-residents in the province. The centralized political conception of the Portuguese corporate state, in which the executive power predominates over the legislative one, has an impact on the constitution of Angola. Under the Organic Law for Overseas Provinces of 1953, which entered into force in the autumn of 1955, the Governor General is the highest authority, which has no controls or limitations by local bodies, while it is strictly controlled by the Ministry for the overseas, especially in financial matters; in theory, it can legislate by decree on all matters that are not within the competence of the National Assembly and the ministry. The same law created a Legislative Council and modified the already existing Governing Council.

On 4 July 1946 the Angola it was divided into 5 districts with a total of 16 intendencias, which in turn are divided into constituencies and these into places. There are further subdivisions of posts, which, where there are Portuguese and assimilados in considerable numbers, take the name of concelho. Few administrative offices are entrusted to indigenous leaders.

However, the principle of equalizing the overseas provinces to the metropolitan ones and of a single Portuguese citizenship for all residents has, in practice, notable limitations in the former. In fact, full Portuguese citizenship is granted only to the residents of the Angola, as of the other overseas provinces, indigenous or immigrants, who are in possession of certain requirements, which with the law of 1954 were made even more rigorous. Those who have obtained the certificate of full citizenship are called assimilados and together with the Portuguese of metropolitan origin they form the category of populaçdao civilazada. All the other residents make up the populaçao não civilazada. For various reasons, many of those who would be entitled to the certificate of assimilados do not ask for it; in general, however, those who are not Catholics can hardly obtain it. To get an idea of ​​the situation, the following data are sufficient: according to the 1950 census, out of a total population of 4,145,266 residents, only 135,355 belonged to the populaÇao civilizada, of which 78,826 whites, 26,335 mestizos, 30,089 blacks, 85 others. Such a de facto situation, which practically distinguishes between “Portuguese citizens” and “Portuguese natives”, contrary to the principle of equal rights between Portuguese and Africans, has raised various criticisms within the UN bodies themselves, even if it is admitted that in the Portuguese overseas provinces there is no form of social barrier of color, which instead exists in other African territories, where even the natives enjoy equal rights with Europeans.

From 1945 onwards, taking up projects already formulated in 1938 but poorly implemented, the government of Lisbon made a notable effort to increase Portuguese immigration to Angola, subsidizing an agricultural colonization plan on the Huila plateau. In 1945 and 1951, organic projects with related funds were approved. On average, about 2,000 Portuguese a year were transferred to Angola, but it seems that only a small part of them managed to resist and become permanent farmers. The two six-year national development plans (1952-59, 1959-64) overlap these projects, half of which is reserved for the development of overseas provinces.

Angola Between 1935 and 1956