Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Oil Strikes in Gabon

Gabon's dependence on oil is the main source of its (relative) economic stability. The problem is that the income gained from the exploitation of this natural resource has not been re-invested in modernizing or diversifying the economy; thus Gabon remains heavily reliant on its offshore oil stores. Also, the current president- Ali Ben Bongo- and his father (Omar Bongo, the former president for 40+ years!), have been criticized for amassing vast fortunes during their terms in office, and have been accused of embezzling oil revenues- i.e., your basic corrupted government...

Now, workers for the oil unions are pretty ticked because many of the oil companies are using foreign workers instead of nationals. All Gabonese oil union workers started striking today and people are lined up cars deep at petrol stations, hoping to fill up before it's all gone (this reminds me a lot of the petrol strikes in the UK in 2000, when I remember there being mass panic and everyone was paying way too much for it- by the way unleaded petrol is about $7/gallon over there).

Pray that the almost inevitable protests and demonstrations will be peaceful and that panic will not overtake the country.

No comments:

Post a Comment