Angola and the British Spinning Wheel

When Africa’s richest woman is the daughter of the President of an oil-rich nation who has clung to power for nearly four decades, it’s not surprising that people might entertain the suspicion that her success could be due to factors over and beyond any particular business expertise. We imagine that empire-building must go so much more smoothly if one has unlimited funds (allegedly from the continual diversion of state funds into daddy’s secret bank accounts), the near-certainty that any bids for state contracts will trump all the competition, and a growing national and international network of complicit politicians, financiers, directors, business advisors, managers, and consultants to create an intricate, complex and almost-indecipherable network of corporations, shell companies and cartels to make it harder to follow the money trail. Enter Isabel dos Santos, the eldest child of the Angolan leader, who is understandably keen to recast herself as the internationally-recognized, award-winning […]

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