New Economic Prosperity Benefits Only President Mbasogo
A recent offshore oil boom resulted in the
economy's growth by 71.2% in 1997, the first year of the petroleum
bonanza, and it has sustained this phenomenal rate of growth. Between 2002
and 2005, the GDP skyrocketed from $1.27 billion to $25.69 billion. It is
unlikely, however, that the country's new wealth will benefit the average
citizen—the president's family and cronies control the industry.
In 2004, about 70 mercenaries, including
Eton-educated, former member of Britain's Special Air Services Simon Mann,
attempted to overthrow the authoritarian president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema
Mbasogo. The coup attempt failed, and those involved were arrested and
jailed. Mann was convicted in July 2008 and sentenced to 34 years in
prison. He was pardoned and released in November 2009.
Amid accusations of corruption and
mismanagement, the entire government of Prime Minister Ricardo Mangue
Obama Nfubea resigned in July 2008. President Obiang named Ignacio Milam Tang
as prime minister. President Obiang was reelected in November 2009.
U.S. State Dept. Country
Notes: Equatorial Guinea
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