Angola is fast becoming a strategic actor in sub-Saharan Africa and is seeking to expand its interest outside the continent. Portugal and other lusophone countries are the prime targets.
The large size of Angolan investments abroad, namely in Portugal, is already reflected in the country’s statistics, which showed that in 2013 Angola was the only country in Africa that made more investments than those it received from abroad.
Angolan state oil company Sonangol has spearheaded Angolan investments abroad in recent years, notably in the energy sector in Portugal (Galp Energia), Brazil (oil exploration), Sao Tome and Principe and Cape Verde (fuel distribution and logistics). Some of the latest investments include banking, Sonangol being the main shareholder of the largest Portuguese private bank, Millennium bcp, as it recently accompanied a capital increase involving investment of almost 435 million euros, according to the Africa Intelligence Monitor.
More recently, Angolan private groups have begun to take an interest in the construction and banking sectors, especially in Portugal, with businesswoman Isabel dos Santos leading the way. The daughter of President José Eduardo dos Santos, listed by Forbes magazine as the first African female billionaire, shares control of Portuguese telecommunications operator Nos, with Portugal’s largest private group Sonae, is one of the largest shareholders of Banco BPI and continues to increase her investments. In addition, Angolan businesspeople have taken stakes in the media sector, as is the case of António Mosquito in the Controlinveste group and Álvaro Sobrinho in weekly newspaper Sol and, now, in daily newspaper “I”.