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Bie, province of Angola
|• Total||70,314 km2 (27,148 sq mi)|
|Population (2014 census)|
|• Density||19/km2 (49/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||AO-BIE|
Bié is a province of Angola located on the Bié Plateau in central part of country. Its capital is Kuito, which was called Silva Porto until independence from Portugal in 1975. The province has an area of 70,314 square kilometres (27,148 sq mi) and a population of 1,338,923. Municipalities in the province include Andulo, Camacupa, Catabola, Chinguar, Chitembo, Cuemba, Cunhinga, Kuito, and Nharea. The current governor of Bié is José Amaro Tati.
Bié has boundaries with the province of Malanje, to the northeast with the province of Lunda Sul, to Moxico, to the south with Cuando Cubango and to the west with the provinces of Huila, Huambo and Cuanza Sul.
The province was once an important commercial link between the Portuguese traders at the port of Benguela on the Atlantic Ocean and the Ovimbundu in the interior. The capital and other cities in the province remain important commercial centers in Angola.
Bié province is perhaps best known as the place where the family of Angolan political leader Jonas Savimbi came from. Savimbi, although born in Moxico Province near Bié, was ethnically Bieno, i.e. of a subgroup of the Ovimbundu. He led the UNITA movement first in the anti-colonial war against the Portuguese, and then in the Civil War against the ruling MPLA before he was killed in combat in 2002. Savimbi gained global notoriety as a United States ally during the Cold War.
Bié is one of the regions that was heavily affected by the Civil War. Agriculture came to a halt in several areas, and part of the rural population fled to the cities. The province capital Kuito was in part destroyed by bombing, as were roads and other infrastructures. Since 2002, reconstruction efforts have been important, but as of early 2011 much remained to be done.