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

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
How to overcome the fear of failure (and other tips from a serial entrepreneur)

How to overcome the fear of failure (and other tips from a serial entrepreneur)

Nic Haralambous knows a thing or three about starting a small business with almost no money. He offers this advice…

Auschwitz concentration camp liberated on this day (27 January) in 1945

Auschwitz concentration camp liberated on this day (27 January) in 1945

The Red Army liberated Auschwitz - Nazi Germany’s largest concentration camp – on this day, 72 years ago.

How Boney M. came to rule (to this day!) the airwaves during Christmas

How Boney M. came to rule (to this day!) the airwaves during Christmas

Boney M. dominates the airwaves (and instore radio) during the Christmas holidays. Music guru Sean Brokensha on how it happened…

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] Van Breda's call to emergency services: 'My family and I were attacked'

[LISTEN] Van Breda's call to emergency services: 'My family and I were attacked'

The chilling call Henri van Breda made to emergency services on the night his mother, father and big brother were hacked to death.

SANDF soldier arrested for robbery on trial for attempted murder

SANDF soldier arrested for robbery on trial for attempted murder

Operations chief, General Barney Hlatshwayo's personal driver was arrested on Tuesday.

[WATCH] 'These thugs need to be arrested and rot in jail'- Bongani Bingwa

[WATCH] 'These thugs need to be arrested and rot in jail'- Bongani Bingwa

Bongani Bingwa shares his thoughts on the Panyaza Lesufi 'effigy' incident on Wednesday.

Everything you know about success is (mostly) wrong

Everything you know about success is (mostly) wrong

Allon Raiz on “Barking up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science behind Why Everything You Know about Success Is (Mostly) Wrong”.

Defence: State has failed to prove that Van Breda killed his family

Defence: State has failed to prove that Van Breda killed his family

Henri van Breda’s legal team presented its closing arguments in the Western Cape High Court.

Hope Ramaphosa: Cyril never lifted a finger to me, he wouldn't beat a woman

Hope Ramaphosa: Cyril never lifted a finger to me, he wouldn't beat a woman

Cyril Ramaphosa's ex-wife says abuse allegations spread by EFF leader Julius Malema are an attempt to tarnish his reputation.

Is Shakespeare still relevant to SA's school curriculum?

Is Shakespeare still relevant to SA's school curriculum?

How relevant is Shakespeare in SA's English literature which is written in a manner that no one speaks today?

3 reasons for the petrol price hike (and why it will hurt more than you think)

3 reasons for the petrol price hike (and why it will hurt more than you think)

Economist Dawie Roodt says that the petrol price hike is going to boost the cycle of inflation and force interest rates up.