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US Secretary Of State Pompeo Blasts Corruption, Promotes U.S. Business In Africa Trip

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced corruption and touted American business on Monday during the second leg of an African tour in Angola, where the government is seeking to claw back billions of dollars looted from state coffers.

Pompeo is aiming to promote U.S. investment as an alternative to Chinese loans while assuaging concerns over a planned U.S military withdrawal and the expansion of visa restrictions targeting four African countries.

In Angola’s capital Luanda, Pompeo met with President Joao Lourenco, who took office in 2017 promising wide-ranging economic reforms and a crackdown on the endemic graft that marked his predecessor Jose Eduardo dos Santos’ four-decade rule.

“Here in Angola, damage from corruption is pretty clear,” he told a group of businessmen following that meeting. “This reform agenda that the president put in place has to stick.”

Portugal’s public prosecutor has ordered the seizure of bank accounts belonging to Isabel dos Santos, the former president’s billionaire daughter, who is a suspect in an Angolan fraud investigation.

Reputedly the richest woman in Africa, she has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Angola, with sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest economy and its second-largest oil producer is ranked as one of the world’s most corrupt nations, in 165th place on a list of 180 countries, according to anti-corruption group Transparency International.

U.S. oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron have significant stakes in Angolan oil fields.

Reuters

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