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Africa’s richest woman Isabel dos Santos sacked from Angolan oil firm

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Angolan President Joao Lourenco has sacked Africa’s richest woman Isabel dos Santos as chair of the board of Angolan state oil firm Sonangol.

She was appointed to the post 2 years ago by his father and former president José Eduardo dos Santos.

She will be replaced by former Sonangol executive Carlos Saturnino who she fired last year. Observers says that the move could be aimed at weakening the influence of the Dos Santos family.

In recent weeks, the new President has fired the governor of the central bank, the head of diamond company Endiama and the boards of all three state-owned media companies.

Read:Chinese firm to construct major hydropower plant in Angola

Mr Lourenco has vowed to clean up Angola’s endemic graft, tackle nepotism and revive its economy.

Although Angola is Africa’s second largest oil producer its economy has been hit by a drop in oil prices.

Forbes estimates Ms Dos Santos wealth to be $2.5bn. She owns Angola’s largest mobile-phone company Unitel as well as a supermarket chain, and has stakes in Angolan lenders Banco BIC and BFA.

Early this month Forbes magazine ranked her 74th most powerful woman globally in 2017.

The 44-year-old Africa’s richest woman studied engineering at King’s College, London, and opened her first business, a restaurant called Miami Beach in Luanda, in 1997 when she was 24.

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