Angola’s President, Jose dos Santos, has named his daughter, Isabel dos Santos, head of the state oil company, Sonangol, after he sacked the entire board in April this year.
Isabel is Africa’s richest woman according to Forbes magazine and is worth an estimated $3.3bn
A large part of her business empire is based in Portugal but she also has large shares in many of Angola’s important industries, including diamonds, banking, media and telecommunications sectors.
Critics accuse President Dos Santos, who has ruled the country since 1979, of being increasingly authoritarian. But spokespersons for his daughter denied her wealth was due to her father’s position as president.
President Jose Dos Santos is Africa’s second longest-serving leader, after Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Mbasogo.
In March, the 73-year-old president said he was planning to step down in 2018 even though he has failed to follow through on similar commitments made in the past.
An Angolan analyst, Aslak Orre, has alleged that the appointment was politically motivated given the president’s age and the fact that his son, Jose, is head of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, created to make investments using the country’s oil wealth.
“The way he is channeling resources and public jobs to Isabel and his other children implies he is planning almost a monarchical succession… passing power from himself to one of his children,” he said.
Angola is also rich in diamonds, which was the major reason for a 27-year civil war in the country that ended in 2002.
The country has witnessed an economic boom since the end of the war but the wealth has only reportedly benefited only a few elite.
Angola and Nigeria are the two largest oil producing countries in Africa.