Angola to expand the remit of its Ministry of Telecommunications

The country will merge two government departments to create a more powerful regulatory authority
Angola, Africa, Regulation, Telecoms

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Angola is set to merge its Ministry of Telecommunications and Information with its Ministry of Mass Media, in a government reshuffle that could have a significant impact on the country’s telecoms sector.

As part of the reshuffle, the newly merged department will now have two secretaries of state: Nuno dos Anjos Caldas Albino, Secretary of State for Mass Media, and Mário Augusto da Silva Oliveira, Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Information Technologies.

Angola’s strategic location on the south western coast of Africa makes it an important destination for transcontinental subsea connectivity between Africa and Latin America, with a number of subsea routes terminating in the country.

The country’s telecoms sector is currently embroiled in an international dispute involving the daughter of Angola’s former leader, Isabel Dos Santos. A Portuguese court has ordered the seizure of a 26 per cent stake held by Dos Santos in Portuguese telco NOS. In December 2019, the Angolan government froze Dos Santos’ assets in the country, after prosecutors alleged that she engaged in deals with state owned companies that cost the government $1.14 billion in lost revenues.

The latest government shakeup could be seen as an effort to unify the countries competing regulatory bodies and centralise power.

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