ANGOLAN President Eduardo dos Santos’ multibillionaire daughter Isabel is firming up her interest in the telecommunications sector as she recently sent her representatives to discuss investment opportunities with government officials, Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.
The businesswoman’s representatives were reportedly in the country two weeks ago and met with senior government officials from the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services to discuss investment opportunities, sources said.
“Madam Isabel Dos Santos’ representatives including her chief protocol officer were in the country to discuss opportunities in the telecoms sector at the ministry’s offices,” a source revealed.
Although details of the meeting were sketchy, Isabel’s company Unitel S.A is believed to be interested in acquiring a stake in Telecoms giant Telecel, whose local operation is hotly contested by a motley group of shareholders.
Isabel herself was in the country recently where she held meetings with several senior government officials.
“She was in the country and had a number of meetings but left on the same day,” an insider privy to her visit said.
ICT deputy minister Win Mlambo would neither confirm nor deny meeting Dos Santos’ representatives.
“There are quite a number of investors interested in the telecoms sector,” Mlambo said. “It is normal for there to be such interest because it is a lucrative business.”
Isabel is considered by Forbes magazine to be the richest woman in Africa with a fortune worth of over US$3,3 billion.
Isabel already has interests in a number of telecoms businesses mainly in Portugal and Angola.
According to international media reports, she has interests in Portugal where she owns close to 7% of oil and gas firm GalpEnergia along with Portuguese billionaire Americo Amorim, and has a controlling stake in Portuguese cable TV and telecom firm Nos SGPS.
Media reports indicate she made a US$1,5 billion bid for Portugal Telecom (PT) SGPS SA, a company that owns a 25,7% stake in Brazilian telecom operator Oi.