Monday, October 19, 2015

Obiang Owns the Country

Equatorial Guinea is the wealthiest country on the African continent. This Spanish-speaking nation of just under 800,000 people is not only the wealthiest country in Africa — in terms of gross domestic product per capita (a country’s income divided by the population), with a $14.31 billion GDP — but also ranks 38th worldwide. It’s higher than countries like Chile, Brazil and Poland. The source of its wealth is oil. Almost 60 percent of the country is covered in trees, and forestry (both legal and illegal) used to be its highest source of income. That has plummeted to a paltry 5 percent of total revenue. Now it’s Africa’s third-largest oil exporter, with Exxon Mobil Corp. driving production. But no one knows exactly how much oil revenue the country has — President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo refuses to disclose his earnings.

President Obiang owns mansions from the French Riviera to Cape Town. His son, Teodoro “Teodorin” Nguema Obiang Mangue, is a colonel-meets-wannabe-rapper-meets-playboy-meets-trust-fund-baby. Also known as vice president, Teodorin is more famous for partying than politics. He spent a year in an ESL class at Pepperdine University, racking up more than $50,000 in hotel and restaurant bills before dropping out. But he was still living easy; he had a $30 million oceanfront home in Malibu, and one in nearby Bel Air too. In case the short drive between properties was too cumbersome in his Ferrari, Bugatti or dozens of other cars, Teodorin could hop in his $38.5 million Gulfstream jet. The Equatorial Fresh Prince even owned his own record label, TNO Entertainment LLC

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