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Of Equatorial Guinea and Presidential Appointments



This is why I don’t care who leads or bleeds Equatorial Guinea, a small West African nation with less than a million citizens. Undoubtedly, it is one of the richest and well governed oil-rich nations in Africa. According to a petroleum dataset obtained from PRIO/CSCW, oil was first discovered there in 1991, and so far, the West African nation oil gains have brought peace and stability to its citizens, unlike its neighbors — DR Congo, and other nations like Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria.

Although the Freedom House, an institution ranking countries with criteria on democracy, clearly classifies Equatorial Guinea as “not free,” ranking it as 7/7, I argue that political systems are unique and not universal. If democracy works best for the West, it may not apply same for other parts of the world with distinct political evolutions. Political systems are organic, and like democracy, they will all die. Francis Fukuyama, a reputed scholar in governance at Harvard argues that.

What Africa needs at the moment is peace, security and stability, while providing the basic critical mass for its citizens. And that is just what the current regime in that tiny country is doing. This country, with only two capitals, Bata, and Malabo, leaped frog from desperado to Eldorado within the twinkling of an eye. The regime secures it’s citizens from illegal immigrants from Cameroon and Gabon most especially, while citizens enjoy free housing in most cases, drive better cars, have great universities and better healthcare. What else should you ask for?

Looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, there are five stages of progress towards the ultimate stage of self-actualization. What that regime has done for its people has been its ability to move them up Marlow’s pyramid, at least to the third level. Cameroon is still on level one — physiological needs. We can not provide water, shelter, healthcare for our citizens.

I predict that as more and more people are getting empowered in Equatorial Guinea, there would come a time when they would ask for some political evolution. Right now, whether ghetto regime appoints the family member or not, does not really matter to its citizens, and that is what is important. It is only you and me who are not citizens but worry ourselves a lot. Why? Have we finished solving our own problems?

Allow them to accept what is best for them. And that is your hyper-hypocritical concerns for other citizens destroyed a peaceful and prosperous Libya, which till today, the U.S. leadership dubiously admits it make a “mistake” as Obama described earlier this year.

By Tapang Ivo Tanku

BaretaNews Statement:

Considering the democratic system in Africa and how Presidents across the continent carried on their duties, is it a good thing to encourage Presidents appointing family members into strategic posts of responsibilities? Do we then have any moral authority to question the administration of Paul Biya? Let us be aware that though Biya has succeeded in keeping his Beti clan to strategic positions in his government, his direct children and/or relatives have not been so directly involved in public life though they largely benefit from his regime. BaretaNews thinks that it is just not a good move appointing family relations into strategic positions. It defeats trust in government, especially in African governance system. The appointment of the son of the President as Vice-President is seen a succession step to continue the family hegemony. Others citizens deserved the right to be at the highest office of the land.

God is still saying something.

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