2. Cabinda

1. Introduction

Flag of Angola

Last time, we learned about strange panhandle of Afghanistan. Today, we’ll move to the another continent, Africa. In Africa, there are tons of strange and weird borders. For today, we will going to look at the Cabinda Exclave of Angola.

  • Exclave: A part of a state that is geographically separated from the main part by the territory of one or more states.

2. Where? (Location)

Where is the Cabinda Exclave? If you look at the map of Africa… and look for Angola, you might not able to find Cabinda. That’s because it is separated from the Mainland Angola. In order to find the exclave, you have to follow the border between one of twin countries of Republic of the Congo (aka. RC) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (aka. DRC). If you follow the border line, you can find a small pinch of land between two countries near the Atlantic Ocean. This small land is not RC nor DRC, it’s part of Angola.

Map of Angola

3. Why? (History)

Flag of Portugal

I know this land which located between two Congos is part of Angola, but why??? Why is it part of Angola not Congo? Couldn’t this land be part of Congo? That is a cool idea, also a terrible idea. In not only Africa, but also whole world, every slice of land matters, because there is hundreds of histories behind of it. So let’s see the history of Cabinda. Although there were many African kingdoms in Cabinda and neighboring areas, the time when the current borders started to be created was after the the Portuguese arrived. After the Berlin Conference, just like other European colonists, Portugal started to claim nowadays Angola, Cabinda and few other places. (In this period, Belgium took the place between Angola and Cabinda, to make Congo (Belgian Colony at that time, nowadays DRC) have a access to the sea.) For a long time, Angola and Cabinda were two separated colonies within Portuguese Empire. However, in 1956, Portugal united Angola and Cabinda, which made two areas became one country for the first time. After Angolan Independence, the Cabinda has been part of Angola. And this has left for almost 60 years. (Of course, there is strong independence movement in Cabinda. And DRC who hates Angola distracting her EEZ, strongly supports it. However, because its owner Angola is still claiming and controlling this land, it will be hard for Cabinda to get independence.)

A Clock in Luanda, Angola

4. Important?

Capital of Angola, Luanda

Why is Angola holding onto this slice of land, although there are many conflicts and wars? That’s because of oil. You see, Angola is the second largest oil-producing country in the Sub-Saharan Africa right after Nigeria, and about 60% of its oil is from Cabinda. For countries like Angola who is developing, natural resources could be really important, because it is one of the only export goods for them. So that’s why Angola is not giving up her control over Cabinda.


5. Conclusion

Today we learned about Angola’s bank, Cabinda. It was a cool place and I was glad to learn about this place with you. Next time, we’ll hang out to new continent, South America. So, stay tuned.

Map of South America




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