Sebastiao Gaspar Martins will replace Saturnino as chair of the oil producer, a statement from the president’s office said.
The statement did not give a reason for the change, but it comes a day after Lourenço promised a rapid resolution to the shortage of fuel that is plaguing the capital of Luanda and cities across the southern African country.
In spite of producing around 1.5 million barrels of oil per day, Angola relies on imports for 80 per cent of its demand for refined products such as petrol and diesel.
Sonangol, Angola’s largest and most influential company, blamed the shortage on difficulties in accessing hard currency, as well as unpaid debts owed to the energy company by industrial clients.
The new chairman, Gaspar Martins, is an oil industry veteran who has worked at Sonangol for nearly 40 years. The engineer most recently served on Sonangol’s board as an executive administrator.
Angolan president defends increase of domestic production
The Angolan Head of State, who was speaking at the meeting with representatives of the civil society, said the strategy aims to increase the level of employment and family income.
Lourenco also considered fundamental the concentration of knowledge and experience in accelerating the implementation of the National Production, Export Diversification and Import Substitution Program, which aims, among other aspects, to boost the national economy.
The Angolan president stressed the need to work towards food self-sufficiency through the production of basic goods of greater consumption, adding that incentives should be given to businessmen and women who invest in local production.
“For them, let the remaining barriers be removed, so that they have priority to access credit and foreign exchange, to import the machinery and raw materials they need,” the president said.
Angolan agri-producers provided with 120 mln USD financial aid in credit lines
Angola announced a plan to offer financial support to its agricultural sector by providing credit lines worth 120 million U.S. dollars, in a bid to bolster access to inputs.
The financial support will be made available by Angola’s Savings and Credit Bank (BPC) and channeled to importers, said Arnito Agostinho, the CEO of the National Institute of Support to Small and Medium Enterprises (INAPEM), on Tuesday.
Speaking at the consultation meeting with agricultural input traders, Agostinho said the credit line will be refundable in 24 months with a six-month grace period at an annual interest rate of 9 percent.
Since the financial support comes from public funds, the official said, roughly 1,960 micro, small and medium-sized companies should benefit.
According to the authorities, the financing would help agricultural producers buy inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and machines to get through the next agricultural season, which in the southern African country begins within three months.
Two Angolan nationals nabbed in Namibia for wildlife crimes
Two Angolan nationals had been arrested in Namibia after they were found in possession of six elephant tusks and 112 porcupine quills, the environment ministry said on Tuesday.
Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said in a statement that the suspects are charged with contravening sections of the Controlled Wildlife Products and Trade Act 9 of 2008, as amended.
The two suspects were remanded in custody following their appearance at the Rundu Magistrates’ Court last week.
Namibia has lost 11 rhinos and one elephant to poaching since the beginning of the year, according to the latest figures provided by the ministry.
Secretary Michael R. Pompeo’s Meeting with Angolan President Lourenço
The following is attributable to Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus:
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met today with Angolan President João Lourenço in Luanda, Angola. Secretary Pompeo and President Lourenço agreed to broaden and deepen the U.S.-Angola bilateral partnership. The Secretary welcomed continued political and economic reforms undertaken by President Lourenço since taking office in 2017, including improving governance and the business environment, while increasing transparency and combating corruption. The Secretary and the President discussed means of boosting commercial ties, the value of U.S. private sector investment, and opportunities presented by the new U.S. International Development Finance Corporation. The Secretary also noted the importance of combating trafficking in persons. Secretary Pompeo and President Lourenço agreed to continue collaboration on humanitarian demining. On global issues, the two discussed the role of China in Africa.
Angolan peasants to benefit from FAO training
(Xinhua/NAN) Peasants from Angola’s southern Huila province will be trained in a United Nations project to help them better adapt to climate change, the committee in charge of the programme announced on Wednesday.
More than 100,000 farmers will benefit from the project by the year 2021, said the committee under the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.
The project counts on FAO technical assistance and a funding of $6.6 million from the Global Environment Fund (GEF).
The project, using field schools, aims to empower rural communities to adapt to climate change. (Xinhua/NAN)
Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde
Nations Cup: Angolan Embassy waives visa fees for Amputee Football Federation
The Angolan Embassy in Lagos has waives visa fees for the national amputee football team that will participate in the upcoming 2019 Cup of Nations for Amputee Football (CANAF), holding in Luanda from Oct. 1 to Oct. 16.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Angola Embassy waived the visa fees for the CANAF–bound contingent billed to travel on Sept. 30.
The federation’s President, Isah Suilaiman, who praised the embassy for its support, said that the gesture by the Angolan authorities was of immense help to NAFF.
“We actually approached various bodies for necessary assistance in the course of our preparation for this tournament, of which the Angolan Embassy is one of them and they promised to get back to us.
“We are indeed grateful to the Angolan Embassy for their tremendous support which has saved us visa fees expenses for footballers and officials,’’ he said.
Isah told that the federation’s board was making frantic efforts to tidy up arrangements for the contingent to depart on time for the tournament which kicks off on Oct. 1.
He, however, said that the federation was still expecting a positive responses from the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, individuals, corporate bodies and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
“We also have our big brother NFF who supported us when we went to the World Cup last year in Mexico. They gave us necessary support and we are praying that they should come to our aid this time around.
“And we are confident that the president and Nigerians will not let the Amputee Football Federation down because we are going there to represent Nigeria,’’ he added.
The NAFF boss said that he had attended some of the team’s training sessions and was impressed with the performances of the footballers, noting that the coaches were doing a good job.
Also, Victor Nwenwe, national coach of NAFF, told that in spite of the numerous challenges they had encountered, the footballers were in good spirit and have remained committed to camp rules and programmes.
Nwenwe said the footballers who were camped at the National Institute for Sports, National Stadium, Lagos, trained twice daily, as part of measures to intensify their readiness.
“We might not be enjoying the best that we are supposed to, but we are focused and the boys are doing very well in the programmes which are aimed towards a good outing,’’ he said.
(Edited by Emmanuel Okara/Peter Ejiofor)
Swiss authorities unblock $60m seized in Angolan probe
Zurich, July 13 , 2018 Swiss authorities have released around 60 million dollars seized in an investigation into the suspected laundering of money diverted from Angola’s sovereign wealth fund and its central bank, federal prosecutors said on Friday.
Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) opened criminal proceedings in April in response to reports that assets held by the National Bank of Angola and the Fondo Soberano de Angola, the sovereign wealth fund, had been misappropriated.
Prosecutors had said in May that authorities had raided several locations in Switzerland.
“In these proceedings, which are still ongoing, the OAG initially froze around 210 million dollars of assets.
The OAG has already unfrozen 60 million dollars held by the Angolan sovereign wealth fund.
The funds were unfrozen because their use by unauthorised third parties could be ruled out,” the agency said after the attorneys general of both countries met in Bern on Thursday to discuss cooperation.
Angola’s five billion dollars sovereign wealth fund has been embroiled in a dispute with its former boss, the ex-president’s son Jose Filomeno dos Santos, and the Swiss-based asset manager contracted to invest money for the fund, Quantum Global.
The fund, which has taken its fight to British courts, has accused Quantum Global of mismanagement and sought a global freeze on its assets as well as an order for banks to reveal information on any accounts held in its name or on its behalf.
Quantum Global, which is led by Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, a long-term business partner of Jose dos Santos, denies wrongdoing.
The company has denounced what it calls “intimidating tactics”, saying the money it has under management is properly accounted for, and that the fund has violated its long-term contractual obligations.
Angolan lawmakers discuss draft law to repatriate stolen monies
“Nobody knows how much money is out there, otherwise there would be no need to be here today to make this law, it would be a waste of time.
“The state would have the means to get that money,” said Marcy Lopes, the secretary of the President of the Republic for Political, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, when responding to parliamentarians in the National Assembly session.
The draft law on the repatriation of money abroad is an initiative of the government and the draft Law on the Extraordinary Regime of Asset Regulation, proposed by UNITA, the largest opposition party.
In December 2017, Angolan President Joao Lourenco urged government officials to repatriate money illegally held overseas by the beginning of this year or risk prosecution.
Lourenco said that those who act on his advice will not be questioned about the reasons for having the money outside the country, nor prosecuted.
The president warned that at the end of the grace period, the state will confiscate the money and bring it back to the country to benefit all Angolans and spur domestic investment.
Former Angolan president to resign as head of ruling party – Report
Former Angolan President, Jose Dos-Santos is to stand down as head of the country’s ruling party after almost four decades, Portuguese media reported on Friday.
Quoting a statement from the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), news agency Lusa said Dos-Santos, 75, would stand down at a party congress in September.
Current President Joao Lourenco will be a candidate for the position, which will be decided by a meeting of the party’s governing body, chaired by Dos-Santos, the report said.
Dos-Santos ruled the south-west African country with a firm hand for almost 38 years. He did not stand in last 2017 presidential election.
The MPLA won the election and former Defence Minister, Joao Lourenco, 64, took over as president.
Although Angola is Africa’s second-biggest oil producing country after Nigeria, it is one of the poorest countries in the world, according to UN statistics.
Edited by: Fatima Sule/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
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