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Kwanza(both: kwän`zä), river, 600 mi (966 km) long, rising in central Angola and flowing NW and W to the Atlantic. Its lower course, which is navigable for c.160 mi (257 km), was the original route of Portuguese penetration into N Angola. The large Cambambe project, on the lower Cuanza, produces hydroelectric power and supplies water for irrigation. Sugarcane is grown in the lower Cuanza valley.
(also, Kwanza), a river in Angola. Length, 960 km; basin area, 147, 700 sq km. Originating on the Bie plateau, it flows through a deep valley to the north and then to the northwest and west. The river has numerous rapids and waterfalls. In the lower course it flows through a coastal lowland and becomes navigable (for 258 km from the mouth). The Cuanza discharges into the Atlantic Ocean, south of the city of Luanda. The river is deep during the rainy season. The Cambambe hydroelectric power plant is located on the river’s middle course.