With plenty of sarcasm and a very precise target, the Angolan businesswoman took to social media to respond to the Angolan President, who accused her of "discouraging investment" in the country. Tit-for-tat critiscicm between Isabel dos Santos and João Lourenço has become frequent in recent months
"Some people try to block the sun with a sieve [a Portuguese idiom used when accusing someone of trying to conceal or downplay obvious things], while others build a shelter to rest in the shade... and work to buy air conditioning. I belong to the second category." It was with these words - and with a picture taken in a construction site, wearing a helmet - that Isabel dos Santos replied, on Twitter and Instagram, to Angolan President João Lourenço, who accused her, at the end of his official visit to Berlin, of not encouraging investment in "her own country"
"I do not want to get involved in that kind of pettifogging with a national citizen who discourages investment in her home country. That's the only thing I want to say," João Lourenço said.
Without mentioning the name of the Angolan President, Isabel dos Santos was quick to respond: in addition to the comment about "the sun and the sieve," she took to Tweeter again to say she has never stopped investing in Angola. "Working at the construction site, supervising this new project from scratch. As an engineer, I'm present from beginning to end, at all stages of the construction works. I'm still investing in Angola and I still believe in Angolans.
This is another project that will generate more jobs for young people and new opportunities for small- and medium-sized producers to sell their products," Isabel dos Santos said, adding that she will support "other entrepreneurs and producers and come up with more initiatives". And she finished by arguing that domestic production is the only way to lower prices. "This construction site involves more than 100 Angolan technicians who work hard and build with quality, and at the end of the day they go home and feel proud of being part of Angola's growth."
Mutual criticism between João Lourenço and Isabel dos Santos is not new. In June, when João Lourenço visited Belgium, Isabel dos Santos took to social media to criticize Angola's lack of external attractiveness, due to the difficulty in repatriating dividends. "How can you expect investors to come if the foreign investors who are here are not allowed to transfer their profits in dollars?" In November 2017, João Lourenço exonerated Isabel dos Santos from her position as Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the state-owned oil company Sonangol.