Tuesday, 12 December, 2017

Angola's president shifts Sonangol head, board

Angola's newly elected president Joao Lourenco delivers his first speech at the Angola Nation Assembly in Luanda Angola's newly elected president Joao Lourenco delivers his first speech at the Angola Nation Assembly in Luanda
Noah Ferguson | 18 November, 2017, 03:03

Isabel dos Santos, daughter of former President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, was sacked along with the entire board of directors on Wednesday, the company said, in a statement.

Dos Santos, who's career in investment and corporate finance has seen her become a controlling shareholder of a Portuguese telecommunications firm, is now ranked as the richest woman in Africa, with an estimated net worth of R49 billion.

In her statement, Isabel dos Santos also highlighted how the board of directors that was dismissed reduced the company's debt to $7 billion from $13 billion, and cut the production cost of a barrel of oil by half to $7. Her father appointed her about 18 months ago to head Sonangol, where she led an efficiency drive after the continent's third-largest economy was rocked by low commodity prices. The country has always been plagued by corruption and a deep divide between rich and poor.

His replacement, President Lourenco, commonly known as JLo, has promised to take a stance against corruption by weakening the enduring influence of the Dos Santos family.

"In the best case, this can lead to better governance and reforms which are in the public interest, while there's also the risk that the new elite simply replaces the outgoing one at the top of the table".

"A culture of transparency and openness to Angolan society was also implemented at Sonangol, allowing a constant audit to the management team actions and the direction of this company", she said in the statement.

He won election In August after the elder dos Santos stepped down from a rule that began in 1979.

Lourenco formerly served as the defense minister in Dos Santos' regime and is part of the MPLA, which has been the ruling party for nearly 40 years.

Dos Santos, who is estimated to be worth $2.5bn, owns Angola's largest mobile-phone company Unitel as well as a supermarket chain, and has stakes in Angolan lenders Banco BIC and BFA.

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