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port city, western Angola, on the Atlantic coast just north of the Catumbela estuary. Its bay, one of Africa's finest natural harbours, is protected by a 3-mile- (5-km-) long sandspit. The city, built on the sandspit and reclaimed land, was founded in 1843 by order of Maria II of Portugal, and its harbour works were begun in 1903. Development, however, was not stimulated until the completion in 1928 of the important Benguela Railway, which connected Lobito with the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo).