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jean-claude-bastos-de-morais3

‘Entrepreneur prize not bankrolled by Angolan sovereign wealth fund’

Swiss Angolan entrepreneur Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais says his Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) has not received any donation from Angola’s sovereign wealth fund which his company manages.

The (IPA) is an annual competition which honours leading entrepreneurs and innovators on the continent and is run by the African Innovation Foundation.

Angolan President João Lourenço last week sacked former president Eduardo dos Santos’s son José Filomeno dos Santos as head of the sovereign wealth fund.

Dos Santos junior has a close relationship with Bastos de Morais, whose company Quantum Global manages Angola’s sovereign wealth fund.

‘The IPA is not related nor receives donations from the Angolan sovereign wealth fund or Quantum Global’

Today in an emailed response to questions from Ventureburn Bastos de Morais said the IPA is fully covered by donations from himself and other partners including host countries and private sector sponsors.

“The IPA is not related nor receives donations from the Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA) or Quantum Global,” he said.

However, while the IPA does not receive any donation from Angola’s sovereign wealth fund, the African Innovation Foundation, does work in collaboration with the sovereign wealth fund to implement social projects in Angola through the Social Impact Program for Angola (SIPA), an email from the IPA’s communication team said.

The next IPA event is scheduled to take place between the end of June and early July, though the dates and the host country are both still to be confirmed, he said. The 2017 event took place in Accra, Ghana in July last year.

Read more: Egyptian wins $100 000 Innovation Prize for Africa with smart magnetic bearings

“We are seeing that the IPA initiative continues to have a great impact on African innovators and innovation ecosystems, and we are committed to continuing to host IPA in the coming years as well,” he added.

An article by UK newspaper The Guardian in November last year, citing the Paradise Papers, claimed Angola’s sovereign wealth fund invested in at least four investments in which the Swiss Angolan entrepreneur held an interest. At the time Bastos de Morais denied that he stands to benefit from any of these investments.

In his response today Bastos de Morais claims that Quantum Global was selected as the asset manager because it performed “extremely well” on an investment management mandate for the Angolan Central Bank during the country’s recession in 2016.

“Other asset management companies were at that time losing money whereas Quantum invested in a way that yielded profit. In view of this success and its expertise investing in the continent, Quantum was naturally considered as one of the frontrunners for the FSDEA mandate,” he said.

*Editor’s note (16/01/2018): The story was updated after Ventureburn subsequently received an email from the the Innovation Prize for Africa’s communication team that while the IPA itself does not receive any donation from Angola’s sovereign wealth fund, the African Innovation Fund does work in collaboration with the fund to implement social projects in Angola through the Social Impact Program for Angola (SIPA).