Isabel dos Santos, Africa’s richest woman and the daughter of Angola’s former president, has been re-elected to the board of Unitel, the Angolan telecoms company said on Tuesday.
The decision comes after speculation that dos Santos could have been ousted in a shareholder dispute at the company that dominates Angola’s telecoms market.
Ownership of Unitel is split equally between Isabel dos Santos, Brazilian telecoms company Oi, Angolan state oil company Sonangol and Angolan businessman and former government official Leopoldino do Nascimento.
The three Angolan owners previously always voted as a block, but Sonangol recently indicated that it was looking to sell its stake and wanted to reduce the influence of dos Santos.
Isabel dos Santos stays in the Board of Directors of Unitel SA for the mandate 2018-2020, the Angolan Telecom company market leader pic.twitter.com/ujze0JDUh9— Isabel Dos Santos (@isabelaangola) March 19, 2019
It is uncertain whether dos Santos can hang on as Unitel chairwoman at the new board’s first meeting, due to take place by May 6.
Dos Santos has suffered a fall from grace since her father, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, was replaced by President Joao Lourenco in September 2017.
Lourenco has since moved to push aside powerful figures associated with his predecessor and sacked Isabel dos Santos as chairwoman at Sonangol.
The rest of the newly appointed Unitel board, which will serve until 2021, are Amilcar Safeca, Miguel Geraldes, Joao Boa Quipipa and Luiz Rosa, the statement said.