Corruption in Angola

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Corruption in Angola is a pervasive phenomenon, hindering economic growth and government-sponsored liberalization programs.[1]

A world map of the 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International

1970 - 1990[edit]

The Soviet press, despite the close relationship between Angola and the USSR, accused the ruling MPLA party of clientelism, corruption, and nepotism, accusing the government of illicitly accumulating US$1 billion. Ogoniok said that "corruption has flourished on a scale which is unprecedented even in Africa... the ruling party in Angola... being pro-communist by nature, was ready to sacrifice everything and everybody."[2]

1990 - 2000[edit]

Main article: 1990s in Angola

In April 1999 Gustavo Costa, a journalist for Expresso, wrote an article entitled Corruption Makes Victims, accusing José Leitāo, the chief presidential advisor, of embezzling government revenue. Police arrested Costa and charged him with difamação and injúria. The Angolan Supreme Court found him guilty, sentencing him to eight-months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and fined him $2,000.[3] Rafael Marques, a journalist and human rights activist, wrote "The Lipstick of the Dictatorship", an article criticizing corruption in the Angolan government and President José Eduardo dos Santos, on July 3.[4][5]

The National Criminal Investigation Division (NCID) questioned him on October 13 for several hours before releasing him. Later that day Morais[who?] gave an interview with Rádio Ecclésia (fr) and repeated his criticism of the dos Santos government. Twenty armed members of the Rapid Intervention Police arrested him along with Aguiar dos Santos, the publisher of Agora, and Antonio José Freitas, Agora staff reporter, on charges of defamation on October 16, 1999. Marques said dos Santos bore responsibility for the "destruction of the country... for the promotion of incompetence, embezzlement and corruption as political and social values."[4][5]

In May 1999 the World Bank threatened to cut off aid to Angola if the government did not take serious steps to counter corruption, beginning with an audit of the petroleum and diamonds industries, Angola's primary sources of income.[6]

2000 - 2010[edit]

Main article: 2000s in Angola

In 2002 the International Monetary Fund found the Angolan government could not account for more than US$900 million in 2001 due to "extensive corruption". Bestos de Almeida, spokesman for the Angolan Finance Ministry, denied any financial inconsistency existed.[7] Transparency International's (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2003 found the governments of Angola and Zimbabwe the most corrupt in Southern Africa. On a scale of 0 to 10 with 0 the most corrupt and 10 the most transparent, TI rated Angola 1.8 and Zimbabwe 2.3, some of the highest corruption ratings in the world.[8]

In 2004, Human Rights Watch found the government could not account for US$4 billion spent between 1997 and 2002.[9] Transparency International ranked Angola 142 out of 163 countries in the Corruption Perception Index just after Venezuela and before the Republic of the Congo with a 2.2 rating.[10] The Heritage Foundation gave a 47.1% "free" rating in its Index of Economic Freedom in 2008.[11] An International Human Rights Watch officials described Angola as having an ongoing corruption problem. Transparency International ranked Angola 1.9 in their 2010 corruption perception index, making Angola the fourth most corrupt country in Southern Africa and one of the top 12 worldwide.

Financial fraud at BNA[edit]

In the largest financial fraud in Angola until then, the Central Bank of Angola was the location of an alleged fraud case of about $160 million transferred to overseas accounts in 2009. Several money transfers were discovered from the Angolan treasury account at Banco Espírito Santo in London to bank accounts abroad controlled by the suspects. When the bill reached the minimum values of the BNA[clarification needed], it was the BES London itself that warned the authorities of Angola of the successive outflows of money. The case of fraud was revealed by the Portuguese newspaper Diário de Notícias in June 2011. Several individuals at the Angolan Finance Ministry and the BNA in Luande were sentenced to up to eight years in prison in 2011[who?]. There are still investigations going on in Portugal and Angola.[12][13]

2010 - present[edit]

Human Rights Watch has reported and the Angolan government has subsequently admitted, that US$32 billion in oil revenue (a quarter of Angola’s GDP) went missing[when?] and could not be accounted for. A 2010 US senate report[14] into corruption and money laundering found that, "Aguinaldo Jaime, who served as the governor of the National Bank of Angola from 1999 to 2002, initiated a series of suspicious US$ 50 million transactions with US banks. For each attempt, the banks, concerned about the likelihood of fraud, ultimately rejected the transfer or returned the money shortly after receiving it. The government could not account for approximately US$ 2.4 billion over the period of Jaime’s three-year tenure as central bank governor.”[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gates, Henry Louis; Anthony Appiah (1999). Page Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience. p. 624. 
  2. ^ Light, Margot (1993). Troubled Friendships: Moscow's Third World Ventures. p. 77. 
  3. ^ James, W. Martin (2004). Historical Dictionary of Angola. p. 41. 
  4. ^ a b "Marques gets six months for defaming president". Committee to Protect Journalists. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  5. ^ a b "Views of the Human Rights Committee under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Eighty-third session, Communication No. 1128/2002". Open Society Institute via United Nations Human Rights Committee. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  6. ^ Vines, Alex (1999). Angola Unravels: The Rise and Fall of the Lusaka Peace Process. Human Rights Watch. p. 93. 
  7. ^ Justin Pearce (2002-10-18). "IMF: Angola's 'missing millions'". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  8. ^ "ZIMBABWE: Corruption increasing, Transparency International". IRIN Africa. 2003. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  9. ^ "Angola: New OPEC Member Should Tackle Corruption Not Critics". Human Rights Watch. 2006. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  10. ^ J. Graf Lambsdorff (2006). "Corruption Perceptions Index 2006". Transparency International. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  11. ^ "Index of Economic Freedom". The Heritage Foundation. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  12. ^ Angola Sentences Former Central Bank Officials to Jail for Fraud Bloomberg Online, retrieved 2 August 2011
  13. ^ Milhões do Banco de Angola deram a volta ao mundo ("Millions of the Central Bank of Angola on the way round the world") Diário de Notícias, 3 February 2012, page 19 (Portuguese)
  14. ^ Corruption still fuels Angola's poverty, 13 April 2012
  15. ^ The Eurofiscal Corruption Contest – The Portuguese Entry Golem XIV, 15 June 2012

External links[edit]