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The economic condition of Africa

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  1. Introduction
  2. Political unrest and the finding of oil
  3. Riggs Bank and Equatorial Guinea
  4. Investing in a foreign country
  5. The issue of bribery
  6. The country of EG
  7. The conditions of citizens of EG
  8. The role of the U.S. companies
  9. Conclusion

Africa, from what I've learned, seems to be a place of change, some for the better and some for the worse. With this change comes a lot of political turmoil and with that turmoil and the promise of riches at the expense of their country comes corruption. One country with which I've had a lot of interest in since reading about it last semester is Equatorial Guinea.

EG is one of the smallest countries in mainland Africa. It is run by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasago and the 1982 constitution (that was made while he was in power) gives him extensive powers, thereby making him unchallengeable in his rule of the country. He has the power of naming and dismissing members of the cabinet (just like the Leader instills fear in his government officials who continually try to please him by one upping each other), making laws by decree (as the Leader, whatever he says goes), dissolving the Chamber of Representatives (I'm sure if they threaten him too much), negotiating and ratifying treaties and calling legislative elections.

[...] A security team was then hired by Exxon Mobil owned by the president's brother, Armengol Ondo Nguema, who, as well, had been accused of human rights abuses within his security forces. In a report released in 1999, the State Department said that due to orders from Ondo, security forces ?urinated on prisoners, kicked them in the ribs, sliced their ears with knives, and smeared oil over their naked bodies in order to attract stinging ants.? This sounds a lot like the Leaders trusted minister of the state Sikiokuu who has his political enemies (who seem to change from one moment to the next) locked in prison, beaten and just ghastly tortured with no checks from anyone to show that what he is doing is a crime against humanity. [...]

[...] The companies that violate these international corruption laws are often hard to pick out though because so much of the dealing is done under the table by equally corrupt U.S. businessmen. EG is run by the president, and as I said before, human rights activists have said that oil company payments have helped keep him in power since he took over in a military coup in 1979. State department reports have reported his regime for human rights violations such as torture (Tajirka), beatings and abuse of prisoners and suspects (Virjinnia), sometimes even resulting in death (the Ruler was ruthless often beating suspects to death and ordering death to any that opposed his rule). [...]

[...] But in the case of African countries, where coups are a real possibility and leadership responsibilities are left to those who usually take power by immoral means, there will more then likely not, be corruption. Since 1997, the amount of oil produced in EG has increased seven times to about 360,000 barrels a day. It is the 3rd leading country in production of oil in sub-Saharan Africa, and gets most of its income from the production of oil. Of course bribery is not a new issue, as a 1977 investigation by the SEC found that more then 400 U.S. [...]

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