Angolan president fires dos Santos’ son as sovereign fund head

Thursday January 11 2018

Angolan President Joao Lourenco. AFP

Angolan President Joao Lourenco during at his first press briefing to mark 100 days in office since the election at the Presidential Palace in Luanda on January 8, 2017. AFP PHOTO | AMPE ROGERIO 

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Angolan President João Lourenço has fired his predecessor’s son, José Filomeno dos Santos, as the country’s head of the strategic $5 billion sovereign fund.

A presidential decree on Wednesday said Mr Filomeno dos Santos had been replaced by Mr Carlos Alberto Lopes, a former finance minister.

Former Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos appointed his eldest son as president of Fundo Soberano de Angola in 2013 soon after its creation in October 2012.

Since replacing dos Santos last August, President Lourenço has sacked Isabel dos Santos, the former president’s eldest daughter, as the chair of the board of the state-owned oil firm Sonangol. He replaced her with Carlos Saturnino, an oil industry veteran.

President Lourenço has also dismissed a number of dos Santos kin and allies from key government institutions in a move seen as wrestling control from his predecessor and asserting his authority.

Dos Santos ruled Angola for 38 years and his family and allies still control huge sectors of Africa’s second-largest oil producer.