Angola : Contract canceled for a company owned by Isabel dos Santos

July 24, 2018

The wealthy Isabel dos Santos (it would be the richest woman in Africa) is again in the sights of President Joao Lourenço, who canceled a contract to one of its companies. Here are explanations.

 

By Claude GBENYEDJI

At the origin of the new bone of contention between Isabel dos Santos ( in picture) Lourenco et, a juicy contract canceled one of its companies in June by the new strong man of the country.

Reason given by the administration Lourenço : Atlantic Ventures (the name of the company in question) is penalized for " failing to comply with the legal provisions "Of the Public Procurement Act. In other words, the company Isabel dos Santos has obtained this market without passing through the tender procedure.

But the criticism leveled at the company Isabel dos Santos does not stop there. According to statements made by the Angolan Minister of Transport, Atlantic Ventures has "no experience" in terms of construction, adding in passing that the project of such enterprise financing plan is "not credible".

Responding in a statement, Atlantic Ventures called the government decision " d’expropriation », Not without requiring " payment of compensation (…), which implies additional costs for the state and thus for the taxpayer ".

Atlantic Ventures had yet achieved this coveted market (the construction of a deepwater port in Barra do Dande, North West, along the Atlantic coast) in August 2017. It was a few weeks before the inauguration of the current president.

Things were pretty good for parts of society Isabel dos Santos. Indeed, the government of (which was directed by his father Eduardo dos Santos) issued a state guarantee of 1,5 billion. The goal : Give the necessary weapons to Atlantic Ventures to begin work as soon as possible.

The dos Santos targeted by power ?

But the arrival of the new power has changed everything and the dream of Isabel dos Santos is now ranked in the deep drawers of Directors Lourenço, that seems to sweep everything around it, like to clean to erase any influence dos Santos. And these are not the examples that are lacking.

A few months after its official inauguration (September 2017), President Lourenço had raised Isabel dos Santos to his duties as CEO of Sonangol (the state oil company). The billionaire was accused of embezzling money in the Sonagol. Accusations that it continues to reject.

A brother of Isabel dos Santos, denominated Filomeno José dos Santos, has been ejected from the direction of the sovereign funds of Angola. The son of the former president was subsequently charged with embezzlement. He is accused of fraudulently ordered a huge bank transfer amounting to 500 millions of dollars.

Former President Eduardo dos Santos (member of the MPLA, party to lead the country since independence in 1975) Angola led unchallenged during 38 years. During his reign, the former strong man of Luanda had put the economy of his country at the service of his relatives. Before coming to power, Joao Lourenço, also from the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), promised get the economy of his country on track and to end corruption and nepotism, things that characterized the old power.

Angola is an oil-rich country's economy relies heavily on this resource. It is the second biggest producer of black gold in Africa after Nigeria (1 707 000 crude barrels per day). Despite this, its population is also one of the poorest on the continent because of the poor distribution of dividends of this wealth and lack of economic diversification.

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