Friday, April 20, 2007

Untapped: the scramble for Africa's oil

Chad is twice the size of France. It has only 400km of paved roads. It exports oil but has not one petrol station. The Exxon establishment there has more electric power than the rest of the nation, which lives largely in the dark.

"West Africa is now the fastest growing oil region in the world. The US already gets more of its oil from Africa than it does from Saudi Arabia, and the situation in the Middle East hots up, everyone - including China - is looking for a more reliable source of oil.

"But what does the oil boom mean for Africa - could it be the thing that will finally lift the continent out of poverty?

"John Ghavinian travelled through twelve African countries - from Sudan, to Congo to Angola. He talked to warlords, industry executives, bandits, activists, priests, missionaries, oil-rig workers, scientists - and ordinary people. His quest was to find out how their lives and futures are being transformed by the oil boom."

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