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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Oil, sovereignty & self-determination: Equatorial Guinea & Western Sahara
Author:Campos, AliciaISNI
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Geographic terms:Equatorial Guinea
Western Sahara
Subjects:hydrocarbon policy
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03056240802411081
Abstract:Oil history in Equatorial Guinea and Western Sahara is very short: in Equatorial Guinea, major export production started in 1995, whereas in Western Sahara the industry is still in an exploratory phase. Equatorial Guinea is considered as the third or fourth oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa. In Western Sahara, the presence of oil, mostly offshore, at the beginning of the 21st century added another element to the conflict between the Moroccan government and the Polisario Front over the territory. What both opponents share is the idea that natural resources belong to those who hold sovereignty and that only the representatives of such sovereignty have a right to negotiate. In Equatorial Guinea, the agreements on the production of oil between the government and multinational companies were denounced on totally different grounds. Opposition parties and more recently transnational campaigns in favour of transparency in the extractive industries, have pointed out the mismanagement and the misappropriation of oil revenues by the ruling Nguema family. The comparison between Western Sahara and Equatorial Guinea shows how there is little support within international law for a better and more democratic management of mineral resources when sovereignty is not in question. In the case of Western Sahara, the interests of the population constitute a juridical argument for campaigns against situations similar to colonialism, up to the point of demanding the interruption of extractive activities. Whereas in the case of Equatorial Guinea, it seems only possible to refer to more general principles, in the hope that such principles become imperative norms in the future. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]