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Colonial outposts also expanded inward from Benguela, but until the late 19th century the inroads from Luanda and Benguela were very limited.Four years later, a more progressive administration appointed by Lisbon abolished slavery altogether.The year before, the Portuguese had established relations with the Kongo, which stretched at the time from modern Gabon in the north to the Kwanza River in the south.

Angolan culture reflects centuries of Portuguese rule, namely in the predominance of the Portuguese language and the Catholic Church, combined with diverse indigenous influences.The toponym was derived by the Portuguese from the title ngola held by the kings of Ndongo.However, these decrees remained largely unenforceable, and the Portuguese were dependent on assistance from the Royal Navy to enforce their ban on the slave trade.This coincided with a series of renewed military expeditions on the hinterland, and by the mid nineteenth century Portugal had established its dominion as far east as the Congo River and as far south as Mossâmedes.However, the country soon descended into an even lengthier civil war that lasted until 2002.

It has since become a relatively stable unitary presidential republic.Ndongo was a kingdom in the highlands, between the Kwanza and Lukala Rivers, nominally tributary to the king of Kongo but which was seeking greater independence during the 16th century.Modern Angola was populated predominantly by nomadic Khoi and San prior to the first Bantu migrations.Angola has vast mineral and petroleum reserves, and its economy is among the fastest growing in the world, especially since the recent closure of the civil war.In spite of this, the standard of living remains low for the majority of the population, and life expectancy in Angola is among the lowest in the world, while infant mortality rates are among the highest.Benefiting from particularly favourable political circumstances in LĂ©opoldville, and especially from a common border with Zaire, Angolan political exiles were able to build up a power base among a large expatriate demographic from related families, clans, and tradition.