Even as it suffers military setbacks in Congo- Kinshasa and Congo-Brazzaville and back home in the central highlands, the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola is pressing ahead with its regional ambitions. The state oil company Sonangol’s Chief Executive Joaquim David has gathered foreign backing for a 150,000 - 300,000 barrel a day oil refinery, primarily for the export market. The huge cost of the project - estimated at over US$2 billion - means Luanda needs foreign credits and probably a foreign technical partner to assist with marketing. The grandiose project fits perfectly with Angola’s regional strategy, in particular the incorporation of Sonangol (Congo) in Kinshasa with President Laurent Kabila’s Minister of State, Pierre-Victor Mpoyo as its chief executive. This deal gave Sonangol the right to run upstream and downstream operations in Congo, and built on Luanda’s earlier products marketing deals with Benin and Côte d’Ivoire.
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