Case study: Angola

The sources that appear in the Grade 12 examination are often quite long and difficult. The sources in this task on the Congo are taken from the Supplementary History Paper Two that was written in March 2009. It is good practice for you to try to answer all the questions, and then check your answers.

There are four sources A, B, C and D. Each source has a separate set of questions and answers.

Examine the sources and then answer the questions that follow.


The following extract is from The Post Cold War Diplomacy in Angola: The Emergence of New Foci of Power by Dr. Skyne Uku-Wertimer.

Angola is potentially one of the richest countries in sub-Saharan Africa with extensive petroleum reserves, rich agricultural land and valuable mineral resources. Few countries in the world have experienced as well as sustained the degree of violent conflict seen in Angola.

Intervention has diminished but has not disappeared. Angola's abundant natural resources continue to attract outside interests from industrialized nations globally. In the competition for oil, diamonds and other precious resources in Angola, interests external to Angola continue to play a large and decisive role, both in suppressing conflict and in sustaining it.

The end of the Cold War changed the political landscape of Africa since the 1990s and opened new vistas for the continent, it helped in reshaping international relations as well as the emergence of new concepts of security and self interest. It eliminated the division of Africa into two ideological camps and eliminated a source of external support that was taken for granted.

Look at Source A and answer the following questions:

1. What were the Cold War ideological camps referred to in the source? Lists some of the countries that belonged in both ideological camps.

2. What other reason does the source suggest is a reason for the violent conflict in Angola?


The Civil War has ended in Angola, but most of the country is still in chaos. Almost half of the land in Angola is considered too dangerous to walk on. Nobody knows how many landmines lie beneath the soil of Angola. Some say it may be somewhere between 500,000 and one million, others say there may be as many as six million landmines.

A child bearing the effects of conflict and landmines in civil war torn Angola.


Look at Source B and answer the following questions:

1. What does Source B suggest about one of the legacies of the Civil War?

2. What impact would the image in Source B have on Angola's economy?

Look at Source C and answer the following questions:

1. What four images in the cartoon tell you about the state of Angola?

2. Explain the play on words the cartoon is using.


This cartoon shows the USSR releasing its control of Africa. (Source unknown)


Look at Source D and answer the following questions:

1. What message does the source convey?

2. Using the information from the source and your own knowledge, explain the accuracy of the cartoonist's portrayal of events in Africa.

3. Why is this cartoon a reflection of the history of Africa that goes beyond its presence in the Cold War?

Last updated : 12-Apr-2012

This article was produced by South African History Online on 22-Mar-2011

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