What you need to know about Huambo

Huambo, formerly Nova Lisboa, is the capital of the province of Huambo in Angola. The city is located about 220 km E from Benguela and 600 km SE from Luanda. The city is the second largest in Angola, after the capital city, Luanda. Huambo is a main hub on the Caminho de Ferro de Benguela (CFB) (the Benguela Railway), which runs from the port of Lobito to the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s southernmost province, Katanga. Huambo is served by the Albano Machado Airport (formerly Nova Lisboa Airport).
Situated in the Angolan central highlands, Huambo is located near the headwaters of the Kunene River.

Population: 822,000
Area: 2 609 km²


The kwanza is the currency of Angola. Four different currencies using the name kwanza have circulated since 1977.
Huambo features a subtropical highland climate (Köppen: Cwb), with a wet season from October through April and a dry season between May and September. Despite its location in the tropics, due to its high altitude, Huambo features spring-like temperatures throughout the course of the year, a characteristic common among cities with this climate. The city sees plentiful precipitation during the course of the year, averaging nearly 1500 mm of rain. Temperatures in Huambo are only slightly higher than in city of Pretoria located almost 2000 km further south-east.

The main activity of the population is agriculture and the province was once considered the barn of Angola, with crop being the main maize.
The province was badly affected by the war and is under reconstruction and working to regain the country’s second industrial park.
Mineral reserves are yet to be explored and in terms of tourism is a region with enormous potential because of its rivers and elevations that allow ecotourism, adventure sports etc.

Approximately 40 primary and three secondary schools operate in Huambo city (2001). Five schools target displaced children. In Caála, seven schools target displaced children.

Approximately 25 basic health facilities are operational within the Province, run by the Government or humanitarian agencies, covering 547,500 people in Huambo city and the municipality of Caála. According to the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health, this represents an average of one facility per 20,778 people, close to the Angolan average of one health unit per 20,000 people. In Huambo, one health unit serves 18,000 people while in Caála, one unit covers 33,000 people. The provincial hospital is based in Huambo city.
Vaccination coverage in Huambo city is higher than in other municipalities. In Huambo city, 16 vaccination posts cover 89,800 children under five years of age (one post per 5,600 children). In Caála, two posts cover 19,700 children (2002).

The province is headed by a Governor, currently Faustino Muteka, assisted by two vice-governors (Social and Economical Affairs). The central Government is represented also by 3 Delegates who report to their Ministry and to the Governor: Finance, Justice and Interior. The rest of Ministerial Delegations became Directorates after a reform introduced in June 1998: Health, Education, Energy and Water, Urbanism, Agriculture, Social Assistance, strengthening thus even more the power of the Governor to whom they report. All 11 Municipalities are headed by the civilian Administrators, under whom come 35 Communal Administrators. These have their own politically appointed Regedores (textually, Rulers) and the traditional leaders, the Sobas, who have lost much of their ancestral significance in the decision – making process.