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Abril 22, 2007

La maldición del petróleo

Una muy interesante entrevista a Nicholas Shaxson, autor de "Poisoned Wells: The Dirty Politics of African Oil", sobre la maldición del petróleo en África.

A CIA official once told me that the consensus among Nigerians was that the country would have been better off if the oil was still in the ground. Has oil really been so detrimental to African countries that they'd be better off without it?

Angola's oil-laden budget this year is about the same size as all foreign aid to all of sub-Saharan Africa—but according to the United Nations, Angola's infant mortality is the second worst in the world, worse even than Afghanistan's. At the start of the last oil boom in 1970, one-third of Nigerians lived in poverty; now, four hundred billion dollars in oil and gas earnings later, two-thirds are poor. People often put the problem like this: oil money would be a blessing but politicians steal it, so people don't see the benefits. But it's much worse: the oil wealth not only doesn't reach ordinary people, but it actively makes them poorer. It took me years to really accept this counter-intuitive idea. But after all I've seen, I have no doubts.

Posted by Iñigo at Abril 22, 2007 02:04 PM

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