Last week I wrote a fictional piece about some of the challenges that a company might face in complying with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Unfortunately some of the concepts I wrote about are faced by companies who do business in Africa, particularly in the extractive industries. The challenges were openly discussed by Manual Vicente, recently appointed as Angola’s Minister for Economic Co-ordination, in a recent Financial Times (FT) article, entitled “Man at centre of dash for African resources rejects corruption fears”, by Tom Burgis who interviewed Vicente. Vicente had previously been the head of the state-owned oil company Sonangol for 12 years. In this article Vicente addressed the criticism that the Angolan economic model “fuses personal and state interests in the hands of a small ruling class that brooks little dissent” through the required use by any international interest of a local partner to do business in Angola.
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