In Angola, since 2006, a six-year education has been officially compulsory, but resource scarcity and widespread poverty mean that access is poor for the majority of the population. There are major differences regionally. Schools are poorly developed in rural areas, especially in the eastern and southern parts. During the Civil War, every fourth school building was destroyed, which has increased the burden on existing schools. Many of these have three-shift teaching in primitive premises. Teachers often have poor education and a high workload. The government has increased funding for the school system and is investing heavily in the education of more teachers and the construction of new schools. See TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA for TOEFL, ACT, SAT testing locations and high school codes in Angola.
Parallel to primary education, adult education and literacy have increased. About 70% of the population (2009) is estimated to be able to read, compared with 53% in 1990, but illiteracy is more prevalent among women than among men. There is generally a large shortage of educated labor. As a result, we have launched an investment in more technical vocational schools and an expansion of Agostinho Neto University in Luanda (the country’s only), which will have a capacity for 16,000 students.
Angola flag source: Countryaah.com
The Second War of Liberation
The international solidarity with the independence movements and Portugal’s military decline in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau, as well as internal difficulties in Portugal, caused the army to lose hope for a military victory. It paved the way for the internal revolt in the Portuguese military, which on April 25, 1974 brought Oliveira Salazar and Marcelo Caetano dictatorship to a fall in Portugal.
The Portuguese officer movement explicitly recognized the right of the African colonies to self-determination and independence, and invited MPLA, FNLA and UNITA to join with Portugal in a transitional government for independence. The basis for this transitional government was established with the Alvor Agreements in January 1975. At this time, however, the political and ideological disagreements between the three organizations were so insurmountable that the agreement was never implemented. FNLA received direct support from the US intelligence and military assistance from Zaire . UNITA was supported by the racist regime in South Africa and by the colonists, while the MPLA allied with the socialist countries.
President Spinola, who succeeded Caetano in Portugal, tried to prevent the MPLA from gaining power in Angola. He joined negotiations with Daniel Chipenda , who had broken with the MPLA in 1973 and formed a liberation movement in Cabinda Province, FLEC. However, following the fall of Spinola, the Portuguese officer movement recognized the MPLA (and not FLEC). FNLA and UNITA now launched a series of attacks against the MPLA’s positions in Luanda, leading to a fierce battle for the rule of the capital. In the north, FNLA was reinforced by units from Zaire’s regular army, UNITA received weapons and other supplies from Zambia and Zaire, and in October 1975, South African units moved in from Namibia to support the fight against the MPLA. On November 11, 1975, it was decided in advance to end the day of colonial rule. In Luanda, the MPLA proclaimed the People’s Republic of Angola with Agostinho Neto as president, while FNLA/UNITA in Huambo created another government. By early 1976, however, the FNLA was struck in the north, the South Africans were stopped 300 kilometers south of Luanda and during the spring of 1976, the MPLA gained control of most of the country. In the same year, the UN recognized the MPLA government as the country’s legitimate government. The MPLA’s victory in the civil and intervention wars was due to several factors: the high morale of the MPLA, the Liberation Army, supplies of heavy war materiel from the Soviet Union, and the support of several thousand Cuban soldiers.
The economic situation in the country was very serious. The war had paralyzed production in the northern and southern parts of the country. The 14 years of guerrilla war and one year of civil and intervention war had destroyed the entire infrastructure in Angola. The roughly 200,000 Portuguese who left the country before independence brought with them much of the technical equipment and means of transport and sabotaged the industry. Roads and bridges were destroyed, plantations and villages sweated, and it was not until 1977 that the transport system worked so well that food supplies could be transported from one part of the country to the other. The industry was undergoing reconstruction. The health care system that was exclusively built on the whites in the colonial era was reshaped. Schools were expanded while free education was introduced for all.
In this difficult situation, the Government of Angola began the reconstruction and the country’s main production centers, as well as the upgrading of the poorly prepared labor. In this way, a significant government sector developed, becoming the main engine of the economy. The banks and other sectors that were considered stretegical were nationalized.
Political clarification in MPLA
Politically, the MPLA’s minimum program – National Liberation – was met with the victory of “the Second Liberation War”. After 20 years of fighting, the MPLA had changed character, had widened and better contact with the population. It had an impact on the ideology. It had probably always had a socialist perspective, but had been subordinate to the minimum program. The Central Committee meeting in October 1976 decided that the MPLA should be based on “scientific socialism” – unlike many forms of “African socialism” which, according to President Neto at the time, were usually only a cover for neo-colonialism.
The revolution in Angola, which was initially neither proletarian nor one-sided bourgeois-nationalist, went with these decisions beyond national emancipation. The perspective now became a real economic independence with the abolition of national capitalism and its attachment to foreign multinational corporations. It was against this background that a number of banks, plantations and industries were nationalized.