The Triple Crisis

Stories of African presidents shipping suitcases of cash to finance political campaigns abroad in exchange for patronage have made the headlines recently, prompting legal probes into illicit wealth accumulation. On February 14thFrance 24 reported that the French Police[1] searched the apartment of Theodoro Obiang Nguema, the President of Equatorial Guinea, whose family has accumulated massive wealth by mortgaging his country’s oil. In 2011, Global Witness reported that his flamboyant son Theodorin Obiang commissioned a personal super-yacht with a handsome price tag of $380 million, worth three times the country’s combined budget for health and education.[2] The French Justice system is also pursuing inquiries into the illicit wealth of Ali Bongo of Gabon and Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo. While they are dramatic, these stories reflect a deep seated tragedy of African resource-rich countries.  Read more…