Cuanza or 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.
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