Angola has been in the limelight recently, as reports of corruption at the highest levels have entered the public’s knowledge. Isabel dos Santos, the billionaire daughter of Angola’s former president, reportedly funneled money from numerous state enterprises on which she sat on the boards. With neighbouring countries like South Africa and Botswana entering the blockchain world and legislating on cryptocurrency practices, could Angola too benefit from digital currency in its fight against corruption?
The corruption of Isabel dos Santos
José Eduardo dos Santos served as the president of Angola from 1979 until 2017. For decades he secured power for his relatives and associations through intense nepotism, it has been reported. Amongst those who benefited monetarily during his reign was his daughter Isabel dos Santos. She served on the boards of many of the nation’s state-owned enterprises. Most notably, she sat on the board of country’s state-owned telecommunications company. The younger Dos Santos was subsequently investigated after her father’s fall from power. She was found guilty of mismanagement and had her assets frozen.
The people of Angola have remained largely in poverty since 2002 when the country emerged from a decades-long civil war.
The case for cryptocurrency
Like Lebanon, which has suffered from similar levels of corruption by the upper echelons of the political classes, Angola could use cryptocurrency to counter its intense deficits and lack of foreign currency reserves.
Angola is a country with immense reserves of diamonds and petrol. Like oil-rich Venezuela, it could possibly create a petrol-backed cryptocurrency. This would undoubtedly encourage investment in the country’s lacking infrastructure.
The introduction of cryptocurrency could also stabilise the country’s fiat currency, which has suffered from inflation and devaluation in recent years in efforts to curb price increases in the already ultra-expensive country, reports Medium.
Angola is now undergoing massive reforms and a democratisation of its state institutions. The new Angola might do well to follow the lead of South Africa and encourage national growth through the emergence of a large cryptocurrency market.