Store Selling Goods Made In Angola, Namibe Town, Angola
Namibe is a coastal city of southwesetrn Angola. It has about 130,000 inhabitants.
The city was originally called Mocamedes, in honour of the man that sent the two explorers Furtado and Mendes, exploting the bay in 1785. Yet the town was only founded in 1840. The area was mainly colonized y Portuguese settlers from Madeira and Brazil. During the 1850s the Portuguese government also gave sea passage and financial assistance to a large number of German colonists. Since 1966 an iron mine was exploited inland in Cassinga from which the production was exported by Mocameds harbor.
During the Civil War, after the departure of the Portuguese, the mine of Cassinga was under UNITA s control whereas the coast was under the control of the communist government of the MPLA,which made any export impossible. The port installations were unused but protected by communist Cuban soldiers and on the promontory behind the terminal, Soviet experts installed SAM-3 missile sites aimed towards South Africa in May 1981. When intelligence about this increase in military activity reached the USA, airplanes from South Africa completed bombing raids, knocking out the dangerous SAM missile sites at Namib sometime in 1981. In 1985 the city of Moçamedes changed its name to Namibe.
© Eric Lafforgue