Sneha Girap (Editor)

Huila Province

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Country  Angola
Area  79,023 km2
Capital  Lubango
Population  2,354,398

Huila is a province of Angola. It has an area of 79,023 square kilometres (30,511 sq mi) and a population of 2,354,398 (2014 census). Lubango is the capital of the province. Basket-making is a significant industry in the province; many make baskets out of reeds.


Map of Huila Province


Huila Province in the past, History of Huila Province

From the Portuguese Colonial War (1961–1975) to Angolas independence, and the subsequent civil war in Angola (1975-2002) Huila was directly affected only during relatively short periods of time. Cassinga was abandoned by its European supervisors, and the mine fell into neglect during the ensuing Angolan Civil War. The following year it was occupied by the Peoples Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), military wing of the South West African Peoples Organization. PLAN subsequently adopted Cassinga as a staging point for insurgent raids on South-West Africa, about 250 kilometres to the south. Their bases soon became a sanctuary for local refugees during the Namibian War of Independence.

In 1978, PLANs presence in Cassinga attracted the attention of the South African Defence Force. Operation Reindeer saw paratroops of the 44 Parachute Regiment supported by bomber and strike aircraft, and South Africa briefly occupied Cassinga during the Battle of Cassinga on May 4, 1978. The six-hour assault, claimed some 600 lives, leaving sixty Cuban military advisers and over five hundred South West African exiles dead. Cassinga was the site of more fighting during Operation Askari, in December 1983.

The post-colonial development in Angola has seen the establishment of two universities in Lubango (the state Universidade Mandume, named after a leader of the Ovambo in the fight against the occupation by the Portuguese, as well as a campus of the Universidade Privada de Angola. Tourism is emerging, largely involving white entrepreneurs from Namibia, which the provincial government is actively seeking to attract.


Huila Province is traversed by the northwesterly line of equal longitude and latitude. The province is bordered on the west by the provinces of Namibe and Benguela, to the north by Bie and Cuando Cubango, and to the south by the province of Cunene. The winding road known as Leba Hill, as well as Bicauri National Park are in Huila Province. Bicauri National Park was established in 1964 and covers an area of 790 km².


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