Portugal Seeks Angolan Investment

The Portuguese once ruled an empire that included Brazil, Angola and Mozambique, among other smaller possessions. But since the loss of empire Lisbon has fared rather poorly. First it was the Brazilians who managed to economically dominate their former colonizers. The Angolans are beginning to also get in the game. Angola is one of the top three oil producers in Africa, and has the third largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The BBC reports:

Portugal’s prime minister is travelling to oil-rich Angola, which is boosting its investment in its former colonial power caught up in the eurozone debt crisis.

Angolan presidential aide Carlos Maria Feijo said Portugal’s privatisation scheme would be discussed. The International Monetary Fund has ordered Portugal to sell state companies to qualify for a bailout.

Angola’s investments in Portugal have risen sharply in recent years.

The figure in 2009 stood at $156m (£99m), compared to $2.1m in 2002, according to the Portuguese Institute of International Relations and Security (IPRIS), a Lisbon-based think-tank.

Angolan companies own the equivalent of 3.8% of companies listed on Portugal’s stock exchange, from banks to telecoms and energy, it says.

More on this here.

HT Louise Redvers

saving rift valley railways

I hope some day someone will write a novel about how one Mr. Roy Puffet, a rather nondescript South African, managed to rake in millions at the expense of East African tax payers in the Rift Valley Railways (RVR) deal. The railway company is now in the hands of Egyptian investors and as Mr. Kisero of The Nation points out, I hope the Egyptians will make good of their promise and invest in making RVR good for the Kenyan economy.

The RVR deal is a lesson in bureaucratic incompetence. The Kenyan treasury sat by as sneaky businessmen like Mr. Puffet cut deals and made millions without doing anything in the way of improving the Kenyan railway system. In a country led by sane people we would have expected someone to take some responsibility over this. But not in Kenya. I bet someone high up in the Kenyan treasury was in cahoots with Mr. Puffet.