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Vol 4 (AAC) No 7

Published 1st May 2011


Shine on you crazy diamond

The diamond mines have been closely guarded by the Angolan elite and a Chinese company is set to make its first investment in Angola’s precious stones

The ownership and control of the multi-billion-dollar China Sonangol joint venture continue to baffle business people in Luanda. Ask officials from Beijing about China Sonangol and the response is an embarrassed disavowal and an insistence that it is purely a commercial entity. However, a few months of research into China Sonangol’s corporate structure have revealed clear links to the Chinese state and its agencies (AAC Vol 2 No 12). Having recruited African businessmen such as Guinea’s former Mines Minister Mahmoud Thiam, who knows Wall Street as well as Africa’s big mining houses, China Sonangol is expanding operations, winning political influence in Africa and pushing out more timid commercial competitors.

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