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04 Mar

Oil revenues have provided the Equatoguinean government with the money needed to do a much better job realizing their citizens’ economic and social rights.

Government officials have been derelict in taking this opportunity, using public funds for personal gain at the expense of providing key social services to the country’s population, and squandering other potential revenues through mismanagement.

The human toll of the continuing chronic underfunding in areas such as education and health becomes starkly apparent when comparing health and literacy levels over the past 10 years: where there was an opportunity for great advances on both fronts using the large oil revenues, the situation either worsened or improved only slightly and not in keeping with corresponding advances in other countries.

As this report shows, there is a serious policy disconnect between the official rhetoric and the reality on the ground in Equatorial Guinea.

Indeed, the EITI board should quickly remove Equatorial Guinea from its list of countries if it does not make meaningful progress in implementing the initiative and allowing civil society to participate in it.

But now it looks like Teodoro's world's Ken Silverstein reported that after a four-year investigation into alleged extortion and laundering of 0 million in the U. and "theft of public funds, or other corrupt conduct" back at home, the Justice Department has filed notice of a lawsuit involving the possible seizure of his California mansion and other assets.And French investigators just seized millions of dollars' worth of his sports cars, while the Spanish government is investigating the entire Obiang clan.But the broader populationjust above half a million people—enjoys little of the benefit and has not been lifted from poverty, while the elite directs the country’s newfound wealth into its own pockets: the president’s son spent more than US million between 20 on luxury houses and cars in South Africa and California, nearly a third of the total amount the government spent on social programs—including health, education, and housing—in 2005.Dating back to before the oil boom, the current regime’s efforts to control the country’s political space and economic resources have fuelled a culture of fear marked by repression of the opposition and military purges.Government recognition of the problems and statements suggesting a willingness to improve this situation have yet to move from rhetoric to action.