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Angola: Where Self-Preservation Is Disguised as Reform

Jun 1, 2016 | 09:00 GMT
Angola: Where Self-Preservation Is Disguised as Reform
By presidential decree, Angolan energy giant Sonangol will cease activity in the oil and natural gas industry, becoming instead Angola's concessionaire for oil and natural gas contracts.
(MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)

Even as Angola's long-standing president prepares to step down, he is working furiously to eliminate any threats to his family's interests before leaving office in 2018. On May 26, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos issued a decree that Sonangol, the African country's energy giant, will halt its activity in the oil and natural gas industry as well as other sectors of the economy. Instead, the company will focus its efforts on acting as Angola's concessionaire for oil and natural gas contracts. The move marks the latest in a string of steps taken by Luanda in recent months to restructure its energy industry as Angola copes with the financial consequences of low oil prices. However, it also serves another purpose: to limit the emergence of a potential power rival to a president in the twilight of his rule. ...

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