It is quite rare for African national oil companies (NOCs) to liberalize, especially in countries that are heavily dependent on oil revenues. Yet Angola, whose stability was sent reeling by the oil price crash of 2015-2016, is making great strides in transforming the national champion Sonangol into a more accountable and competitive business entity. With this, the new presidential administration hopes, the whole of Angola’s oil production would swing back to growth (or at least settle for a lengthy stagnation). The scope is genuinely ambitious – the new government wants to restructure Sonangol, terminate the company’s sole right privileges, sell off some off its assets including several fields, as well as to create a National Oil and Gas Agency, which would take over Sonangol’s regulatory and license-granting competence. In most cases numbers are more than enough to explain such a swift policy turn, in the case of Angola it […]