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African Film Series presents Equatorial Guinea: Drowning In Oil?

As part of the Global Studies degree program's African Film Series and in conjunction with African-American History Month, Penn State Berks will present Equatorial Guinea: Drowning In Oil? on Wednesday, February 11, at 1:15 p.m. in room 101 of the Franco Building. The film is free and open to the public.


Equatorial Guinea: Drowning in Oil?, a film by Lluis Jene and Enric Miro, tells the story of how U.S. oil companies arrived in Equitorial Guinea in West Africa and found petroleum in 1995. Guinea has now become the third biggest oil producing nation in sub-Saharan Africa, with production at 300,000 barrels a day. Because of its location, away from the Arabian peninsula, Guinea is important to the U.S. since it helps the U.S. in its goal to diversify its sources of oil.

Throughout its Spanish colonial past and until the discovery of oil, the raising of cocoa crops was the only economic activity. Sarah Wykes, Global Witness NGO says that "...although the country will have about $700 million in oil revenues per year there has been no improvement in the development of the country. It isn't benefiting the people of Guinea." Where is the money going? John Bennett, the ex-US Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea says that President Obiang, considered a dictator by many, is stealing much of the oil money (estimated at $1.5 to 2 billion over the past nine years) and depositing it offshore. Besides financial corruption, the government suppresses and even imprisons the leaders of the political opposition. The human rights violations and the lack of democracy are tolerated by the governments of the West in order to support U.S. oil interests.

For more information about the African Film Series, contact Dr. Randall Fegley, Assistant Professor of History and co-coordinator of the Global Studies degree program, at 610-396-6092 or via e-mail at raf8@psu.edu.


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