Equatorial Guinea

Is a traditional tribal leader a government official, and could giving money to him be considered bribery? These questions, which oil and gas company executives grappled with recently during a workshop in Equatorial Guinea, are more than an academic exercise. Oil seems to have enriched Equatorial Guinea's kleptocratic leaders alone, as citizens sank deeper into poverty, disease and hopelessness. The country's critics said the unprecedented workshop on ethics and international law was at best ...read more

It has got a sad record of disease, brutality and corruption, and fewer inhabitants than Sheffield. But Equatorial Guinea is one of the key targets of the west's new "scramble for Africa". This mini country located under the armpit of the West African coast has immense quantities of oil; it is currently exporting $4.5bn worth (about £2.5bn) a year. Yet such an astonishing bonanza appears to have done most of the country's citizens no good. Who then, is getting the benefit?

Some 15 people have died in a cholera outbreak in Malabo, the island capital of Equatorial Guinea, and nearly 1,000 more have fallen ill, officials at the World Health Organisation (WHO) said last Friday. “We have a confirmed epidemic of cholera,” Dr Kalambay Kalula, the WHO representative in Equatorial Guinea, told IRIN by telephone.

Sir Mark Thatcher pleaded guilty Thursday to unwittingly helping to finance a foiled coup plot in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea in exchange for a $506,000 fine and suspended jail sentence. Thatcher, the son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, admitted in the Cape High Court that he paid to charter a helicopter, which mercenaries planned to use in their attempted takeover. But he maintains he believed it was to be used for humanitarian purposes, according to his lawyers and a pers...read more

A few years ago it was an unknown blot on the map wedged between Cameroon and Gabon and home to roughly 525 000 people. But within a few years it has quietly rocketed up the rankings to become Africa's third largest oil producer. In 2004 it has firmly grabbed international attention with a coup plot that just keeps on unravelling.

The latest revelations on the Equatorial Guinea coup plot confirm earlier speculation that it was an 'open secret' within the global intelligence community. ...read more