24.1.13

Self-made woman: Meet Africa's first female billionaire: Isabel Dos Santos is the daughter of the president of Angola

"Angola, a country of 18 million people, lies on the western coast of southern Africa and is rich in diamonds and oil.

Jose Eduardo dos Santos has been president of the country since 1979, four years after it gained independence from Portugal.

He recently changed the constitution to give himself a further ten years in power if his MPLA party is successful in the forthcoming elections.

The country was wracked by 27 years of civil war which finally ended in 2002 leading to a huge jump in oil revenues from $3 billion in 2002 to $66 billion in 2008.

Transparency International, the respected NGO that investigates government fraud, recently ranked Angola 168th out of 178 countries in its corruption perception index.

In an attempt to understand dos Santos's meteoric rise, Forbes asked Peter Lewis, a professor of African Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies to shed some light on Angolan business matters.
He said: 'The source of funds and corporate governance are very murky. The central problem in Angola is the complete lack of transparency. We can’t trace the provenance of these funds.

'When you tease out the ownership and controlling interests in Angola it reads like a Who’s Who of [the President’s] family members and party and military chiefs.'

Professor Lewis suggested that while the Angolan government appeared to be investing some money into the country's infrastructure it was awash in cash with $5 billion having already been documented in illicit financial flows.

A spokeswoman for Isabel dos Santos in Portugal insisted all her investments have been presented with maximum transparency from publicly listed companies."
E ela e o Sócrates...

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