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Rights Groups Demand Audit of Angola’s Finances

  • Ricci Shryock

Picture taken end of December 2007 showing an oil platform of the US Pride company situated off Angola.
Rights groups want officials of the International Monetary Fund to demand an independent audit of Angola’s finances. They say an estimated $41 billion in oil revenues has been unaccounted for in the country during the years 2007 and 2011.

Elias Isaac, country director of Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa-Angola, said his organization, along with the Revenue Watch Institute and Human Rights Watch has called on the IMF to audit Angola over the discrepancies.

“What we are requesting is that [the] IMF becomes more serious, more practical in their investigation and not just rely on generic information that the Angolan government is giving them,” said Issac.

Since a December 2011 IMF report concluded that it was unclear how an estimated $32 billion in oil proceeds was spent from 2007 to 2010, the Angolan government said it had traced most of the funds to infrastructure projects financed by the country’s state oil company, Sonangol.

Isaac said that the government has still not offered documentation that the money was spent on infrastructure projects.

“Has [the] IMF verified where these projects are? Have they quantified them? No. [They need to] go and verify… what is going on… where their projects are [and] what they cost?

In 2009, the IMF completed a $1.4 billion loan to Angola, which allows the IMF to track progress in the southwestern country.