Is Angola the most corrupt country in Africa?


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Aug 7, 2009


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Angola, the second largest crude producer in sub-Sahara Africa, has gaps in its 2008 oil accounts amounting to billions of dollars and millions of barrels, according to a London-based anti-corruption group.

There is an $8.55 billion discrepancy between data published by the ministries of finance and petroleum, said a report published today by Global Witness. Sonangol, the state oil company, issued a third amount that was between the two.

While the southwest African country has published reams of data since 2004 under pressure for more transparency from donors such as the International Monetary Fund, the effort falls short because most of the figures are not independently verified and mistakes persist, campaigner Diarmid O’Sullivan said in a telephone interview.

“We’ve got no reason to think it’s because of any deliberate misrepresentation,” O’Sullivan said. “The problem is that the numbers are so confusing that there’s not a whole lot that people can do with them.”

Sonangol and the ministries of finance and petroleum did not reply to written requests from Global Witness to explain the accounting disparities, the group said. Officials at the three agencies did not respond to telephone requests today from Bloomberg News to comment on the report.

The calculations for 2008 oil income face the problem of “different volumes, average prices and exchange rates which seem to be used in different places,” O’Sullivan said. The group found the finance ministry reported $29.1 billion, the petroleum ministry $20.5 billion and Sonangol $24 billion.

To contact the reporter on this story: Colin McClelland in Toronto at

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