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Updated Apr 29, 2020
A picture taken on February 17, 2020 shows the headquarters with the logo of Angolan oil company Sonangol EP. Osvaldo Silva / AFP
The headquarters of Angolan oil company Sonangol in Luanda. (Osvaldo Silva/AFP)

 

Sonangol, Angola’s state-owned corporate group overseeing petroleum and natural gas exploitation, has begun to call for tenders to sell off some of its assets. Executive administrator Sebastião Gaspar Martins says Sonangol needs to get rid of activities that are not directly related to its core business. This includes divesting itself of majority stakes it holds in Sonatide Marine Limited and Sonatide Marine Angola Limitada, enterprises focused on maritime transport, and minority stakes held in seven other companies linked to the petroleum industry.

Asset sell-offs will go on until the end of May, which is part of President João Lourenço’s efforts to diversify the Angolan economy, so far driven by its oil sector.

 

Angola will feel a far worse sting now that oil prices have fallen to unprecedented lows.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to slow economic growth across the continent, but Angola is among the countries that will feel a far worse sting now that oil prices have fallen to unprecedented lows.

 

Luanda Leaks Fallout

President Lourenço is also confronted with the need to rehabilitate the reputation of Angola’s state-owned enterprises, after the Luanda Leaks revealed that the family of former president José Eduardo dos Santos directly profited from insider deals with entities like Sonangol to amass fortunes, with little to none of that money benefitting the Angolan people.

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