Report: Angola Continues to Cut Ties with Former First Family
Luanda, Angola–The Angolan government is selling diamond exploration rights that once belonged to the former president’s daughter to investors, Reuters reports.
According to a video clip viewed by the news agency, José Manuel Ganga Júnior, president of state-owned diamond company Endiama, told several mining companies in a meeting last month that Isabel dos Santos’ licenses had expired and now are open to new exploration partners.
While Endiama did not respond to a request for confirmation from National Jeweler by press time, it did confirm to Reuters that the video was authentic.
The licenses open to investors were for Camafuca-Camazambo, Mulepe, Sangamina, Chiri and Tchiegi, all located in the country’s northeastern diamond-producing provinces of Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul, Reuters said.
The Camafuca-Camazambo and Chiri licenses were the ones that had belonged to Dos Santos.
Russia’s Alrosa is currently the only major diamond company producing in Angola. It has a stake in the Catoca mine.
Dos Santos is the daughter of former Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and the richest woman in Africa with a current net worth of $2.7 billion, according to Forbes.
Her father named her as head of Sonangol, Angola’s state oil firm, in June 2016. Her husband, Sindika Dokolo, has a stake in Swiss jewelry brand De Grisogono.
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In September, Angola elected a new president, João Lourenço, and the government has been distancing the country from the business interests of his predecessor’s family in its effort to break up family monopolies and make the country more attractive to investors.
Lourenço removed Dos Santos as head of Sonangol in November. Sodiam, a subsidiary of Endiama, also divested its stake in De Grisogono after a board meeting Dec. 1, saying it was doing so for “reasons of public interest and legality.”