Africa Cup of Nations host Equatorial Guinea is the world's most unequal country

Inequality in Equatorial Guinea is so extreme it makes South Africa look like Sweden.

The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) host’s GDP per capita (on the basis of purchasing power parity) of approximately US$30 000, the highest in Africa by far, eclipses ours (US$11 500) and puts it on par with countries such as Italy or New Zealand.

The World Bank classifies Equatorial Guinea, along with others such as the United States and Australia, as a “high income economy”.

Estadio de Bata (capacity 35 700) is the largest stadium in Equatorial Guinea. It was built in 2007 and extensively renovated in 2011 for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

Oil production leads to eye-watering GDP growth

Equatorial Guinea (population 700 000), a country the size of Wales, had one of world's lowest levels of GDP per capita when large-scale oil production began in 1996. Today it’s Africa’s third largest oil producer after Nigeria (population 180-million) and Angola (population 20-million).

According to the World Bank, real GDP growth was 71.2 percent in 1997, the first year of extensive oil production, and averaged 23.6 percent between 1996 and 2008.

Breakneck growth has, however, failed to uplift the vast majority of Equatorial Guineans who continue to eke out a living in a nation with weak institutions and governance, and a terrible human rights record.

A slum on Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea.

Breath-taking wealth and life stealing poverty

South Africa, often mentioned as "the most unequal society on Earth", has a GDP per capita (PPP) of roughly US$11 000 while about 26 percent of our population lives on less than US$2 per day. Equatorial Guinea has a GDP per capita (PPP) of roughly $30 000 while 77 percent of its population lives on less than US$2 per day.

While Equatorial Guinea’s vast oil wealth puts it, on a per capita basis, on par with a country such as the United Arab Emirates it ranks a lowly 144th on the UN's 2014 Human Development Index. It's a rich country, but fewer than half the population has access to clean drinking water and 20 percent of children die before the age of five.

The authoritarian government consistently ranks as having among the worst human rights records in the world.

President Teodoro Obiang’s net worth of US$600-million, according to Forbes, makes him the wealthiest head of state in the world.


This article first appeared on 702 : Africa Cup of Nations host Equatorial Guinea is the world's most unequal country


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
[Watch] Cape Town drops jaws in The Kiffness’ lank kiff ‘Soul Safari’ video

[Watch] Cape Town drops jaws in The Kiffness’ lank kiff ‘Soul Safari’ video

Watch this stunning time-lapse music video featuring Cape Town looking pretty as only it can.

Prescribed assets: 'Are unions sleeping? Why are they not protecting members?'

Prescribed assets: 'Are unions sleeping? Why are they not protecting members?'

The ANC is eyeing your pension. Bruce Whitfield interviews Warren Ingram, a personal financial advisor at Galileo Capital.

Should Zimbabwe officially join South Africa in a monetary union?

Should Zimbabwe officially join South Africa in a monetary union?

What will happen to the rand if it does? Bruce Whitfield interviews Tim Nhamo, a currency specialist at Ironhead Trading.

Do you really earn peanuts? Use this handy salary comparison calculator

Do you really earn peanuts? Use this handy salary comparison calculator

Use this calculator to compare your salary to the world average and averages of 72 countries (including South Africa).

"The best place to be poor is where the richest people are" - Leon Louw

"The best place to be poor is where the richest people are" - Leon Louw

Jesus said poverty will always be with us. He was right, because poverty is relative, says the Free Market Foundation’s Leon Louw.

SA’s two richest people have wealth equal to the poorest 26.5-million - Oxfam

SA’s two richest people have wealth equal to the poorest 26.5-million - Oxfam

South Africa is a country of breath-taking wealth and life stealing poverty, according to an Oxfam report on extreme inequality.

Popular articles
[LISTEN] John Maytham gets a taste of life on board Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth

[LISTEN] John Maytham gets a taste of life on board Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth

John Maytham and his team hopped on board the luxury ocean liner, which has docked in Cape Town, during a special outdoor broadcast.

Looking for something new to do in CT? Why not consider cycling across the ocean

Looking for something new to do in CT? Why not consider cycling across the ocean

Cape Town Water Bikes is an unusual way to experience the coastline of the South Peninsula. Hop on a water bike and pedal away!

Zondo commission's secretary implicated in Bosasa scandal - report

Zondo commission's secretary implicated in Bosasa scandal - report

Eusebius McKaiser spoke to investigative journalist at News24 Kyle Cowan on the latest developments in the inquiry.

Eusebius: 'We are living in a worse nightmare than we thought'

Eusebius: 'We are living in a worse nightmare than we thought'

Eusebius McKaiser shares his views on the former COO at Bosasa, Angelo Agrizz's testimony at the Zondo Commission.

Bosasa's dirty laundry out in public and Sapo vows to cooperate

Bosasa's dirty laundry out in public and Sapo vows to cooperate

Allegations of massive corruption, tender fraud and blatant mismanagement have emerged at the state capture inquiry.

No more swiping without sweating! Discovery Vitality introduces new swipe system

No more swiping without sweating! Discovery Vitality introduces new swipe system

The health programme piloted a new tag system at the exit points in a bid to crack down on fake gym visits at a few fitness clubs.

Woman arrives in CT after driving from Scotland to SA in her old Morris Minor

Woman arrives in CT after driving from Scotland to SA in her old Morris Minor

The journey began in Aberdeen, her father's birthplace, in June last year and ended in Mother City over the weekend.