Angola president sacks Dos Santos son from plum job

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Joao Lourenco, presidential candidate for the ruling MPLA party, speaks at a media conference in Luanda, Angola, August 22, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Eisenhammer
Joao Lourenco, presidential candidate for the ruling MPLA party, speaks at a media conference in Luanda, Angola, August 22, 2017. REUTERS

Angolan President Joao Lourenço has removed the son of his predecessor Jose Eduardo dos Santos as head of the country’s $5 billion sovereign wealth fund.

This is the latest in a series of moves that sidelined dos Santos allies.

Lourenço, who took office in September when dos Santos stepped down after nearly four decades in power, has swiftly wrested control of key areas of the state by pushing aside powerful figures associated with the former president.

He announced that he was replacing the board of the fund, including its head Jose Filomeno dos Santos, after an external inquiry into the fund’s performance and governance.

The new board chairman is former finance minister, Carlos Alberto Lopes.

Last month, Lourenço dismissed the former president’s daughter, Isabel dos Santos, as chairwoman of the state oil company Sonangol.

Oil accounts for a third of Angola’s gross domestic product and more than 95 percent of its exports, according to the World Bank, making the leadership of Sonangol one of the most important and powerful jobs in the country.

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