Angola and Cronyism: Keeping Enormous Wealth within the Family
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The political elites in Angola, like other nations including Nigeria, is yet another bane to the people of Africa. This reality is based on mass corruption, siphoning and exploiting natural resources, preserving a rich elite based on family and political circles, and other issues related to extreme privilege. Therefore, nobody is shocked by the shenanigans of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos who is bent on keeping it within the family.
The latest issue related to mass cronyism applies to the leader of Angola appointing a family member to head Sonangol. In April, dos Santos fired the board of the state oil company. Following on from this, the president then installed his daughter Isabel dos Santos to head Sonangol, thereby strengthening control over a powerful sector within Angola.
According to various reports, including Forbes, it is estimated that his daughter Isabel is worth $3.3 billion dollars. Given this reality and the appointment of leading the state oil company Sonangol, then his daughter will amass further wealth.
Aslak Orre told the BBC that “The way he is channeling resources and public jobs to Isabel and his other children implies he is planning almost a monarchical succession… passing power from himself to one of his children.”
Since 1979 absolute power of the country is in the hands of the same president and clearly the stage is being set for cronyism to rule the day once he passes away. This reality is a sad fact about modern day Angola because the usual socialist revolutionary cause turns out to be the mass exploitation of wealth by a rich elite.
According to the International Monetary Fund, approximately $32 billion dollars somehow disappeared from the oil sector between 2007-2010. Of course, one can easily imagine where this money materialized.
Nations like America and China, and other countries that openly trade with the rich elites of this nation, also shame themselves. After all, until political elites are made accountable then the status quo of mass poverty and a rich elite will not only be maintained, but the gap will further increase.
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