Press Release / Dec. 5, 1999

A Crude Awakening- How Angolan state corruption and the lack of oil company and banking transparency has contributed to Angola’s humanitarian and development catastrophe

Global Witness’ today launched a campaign to put pressure on multinational corporations for the way in which they operate in countries that are in or emerging from conflict. Focusing on Angola, the report: ‘A Crude Awakening-The Role of the Oil and Banking Industries in Angola’s Civil War and the Plunder of State Assets, details the full extent of how Angola’s long suffering population are being systematically abused in favour of corporate profits and personal gain. “As Angola is set for a massive US$18billion in oil company investment over the next four years, the starving and war-torn population will see little if no benefit from these vast amounts of money in terms of the most basic human needs,” said Simon Taylor of Global Witness.

Corruption by the Angolan political and military elite, who are siphoning off much needed state resources, whilst the country relies on international humanitarian aid, together with the lack of corporate transparency and accountability by oil multinationals such as France’s Elf Acquitaine, the UKs BP-Amoco and the USs Chevron and Exxon/Mobil coupled with murky multimillion dollar loans from private banking and investment firms, has ensured that Angola has remained at the lowest rungs of humanitarian development as we approach the dawning of the new millennium.

“The oil multinationals and international financial institutions need to urgently adopt a policy of full transparency and accountability, thus supporting IMF attempts to forge transparency and accountability for Angolan Government revenue and expenditure, “ said Alex Yearsley of Global Witness and “It is time to test the rhetoric of the oil multinationals regarding their much publicised claims to corporate transparency and social responsibility”.