The influence-peddling of Grupo Gema

When Pope Benedict XVI visited Angola in March 2009, President José Eduardo dos Santos made a speech in which he proclaimed the virtues of private economic initiative. He called on Angolan businesspeople and shareholders to invest in projects of national interest “that seek to combat unemployment, poverty, and homelessness, and to improve the goods and services on offer”. Dos Santos nevertheless emphasised the need to keep private business separate from state business. He said he was ready to fight against the misappropriation of public goods by state functionaries. Grupo Gema has been one of the fastest-growing private initiatives over the past few years in Angola. It controls part of the drinks market in Angola through its partnership with SABMiller in Coca-Cola Luanda Bottling, and through its role in Ucerba, which is a major shareholder in the country’s biggest breweries: Cuca, Nocal and Eka.  In the petroleum sector the group, through […]

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