Page last updated at 23:31 GMT, Saturday, 21 November 2009

Angola's president calls for crackdown on corruption

President Jose Eduardo dos Santos
Angola's leader is committed to tackling corruption

Angola's President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has called for a crackdown on government corruption.

The president, who has been in power for 30 years, said his country's oil wealth had been squandered by irresponsible officials.

Mr dos Santos said members of his MPLA party had been "too timid" in their attitude towards government spending.

Last week Angola was named by Transparency International as one of the world's most corrupt nations.

Mr dos Santos said the lack of supervision over spending had led to fraud and wasted public funds.

The thing is to agree to a sort of zero tolerance
Jose Eduardo dos Santos

In a speech to his party, he said: "Irresponsible people, people of bad faith, have taken advantage of this circumstance to squander resources and to carry out illicit and even damaging and fraudulent acts of management."

He called for further transparency and said good government required a lot more work.

"The thing is to agree to a sort of zero tolerance after the sixth congress," he said.

The party is due to hold a national congress next month.

Angola is Africa's biggest oil exporter, and investment from China has helped the economy make a remarkable recovery following decades of civil war.

But according to figures from the World Bank, most of the population lives on less than $2 (£1.2) a day.

Human rights groups have urged Mr dos Santos - who is reported to be one of the richest people in the country - to lead by example. He denies any wrong-doing.

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