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Angolan President Appoints Daughter as Head of the State Oil Company Sonangol

Angolan President, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has ruled the country since 1979, has appointed his daughter, Isabel dos Santos as head of the state oil company, Sonangol. This is coming after he sacked the entire board back in April 2016, when the company started struggling after low crude prices affected its revenue.

Isabel dos Santos, named by Forbes magazine as Africa’s richest woman, worth an estimated $3.3bn (£2.3bn), takes on the job after the entire board was sacked by her father in April.

Ms Dos Santos has large stakes in many of Angola’s strategic industries, including diamonds, banking, media and telecommunications, with large parts of her business empire based in Portugal.

She owns 7% of the Portuguese oil and gas company Galp Energia.

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A statement from her office said that she wanted to “ensure transparency” in the management of Songangol, and to improve the Angolan oil sector’s ability to compete globally.

Representatives for Ms Dos Santos deny that her wealth is largely due to her father’s position as president and has been acquired through state money and public funds.

Ms Dos Santos’ father is Africa’s second longest-serving leader, after Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

The southern African state is also rich in diamonds, which fuelled a 27-year civil war in the country.

Angola witnessed an economic boom since the end of a civil war in 2002. However, critics of the elected government say the wealth has only benefited a small elite.

Child and maternal mortality rates are among the highest in the world.

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