Monday, March 4th, 2013

Oil in the Angolan President’s Family: Keeping it Global

A few months late to this story, the Wall Street Journal published a piece last Wednesday entitled “Angola Wealth Fund is Family Affair.” This was widely reported in the international press back in the fall when the Fundo Soberano de Angola was officially announced. The Fund, started with $5 billion, now puts Angola in line

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Documentary: Fuelling Poverty in Nigeria

Kicking off with an introduction from Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, the short documentary Fuelling Poverty amounts to a very brief Nigerian Fuel Subsidy 101 course. In thirty minutes, it covers the history of the issue and methodically...

Monday, September 17th, 2012

The world’s media watched (sort of) as Angola votes

The three most interesting things about the recent Angolan elections were: one, that we knew the result before election (the question was by how much). Two, why did the Angolan ruling party, MPLA, spent so much on...

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Goldman Sachs’s Angolan interests

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Cobalt International Energy, a Houston based company with investments in the Angolan oil sector, for possible violation of anti-corruption legislation. Last week the Financial Times reported that three Angolan officials –...

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

The Two Sudans

On July 6 2011, the world’s diplomatic elite flocked to one of the globe’s most underdeveloped regions to bask in the warm glow of the birth of a new nation. That South Sudan’s struggle for independence had...

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

‘The Oil Complex’

Video of a worthwhile lecture (recorded in February this year) by Berkeley geographer Michael Watts breaking down the workings of the oil industry.  In the lecture–titled “Dispossession and Oil Violence”– Watts riffs off David Harvey’s explanation of the...

Monday, June 13th, 2011

The Cost of Oil to Nigeria

“Nigeria is the world’s 8th largest producer of crude oil, yet remains one of its poorest nations — an estimated 70 percent of its 150 million residents live below the poverty line. The environment is paying a...

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

‘The Ballad of the Black Gold’

Keeping with the oil theme, here’s Talib Kweli, featuring his frequent collaborator Hi-Tek and Imani Uzuri, from June 2010.

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011


While I was in Toronto with Sean and Tsitsi Jaji for the Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) conference, I checked out Edward Burtynsky’s “Oil” at the Royal Ontario Museum Institute for Contemporary Culture (exhibition runs April...

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Snake Oil

Chevron knows a thing or two about good PR. Something Shell and BP neglected to their peril. Of course we know the difference between good PR and actual actions. Let’s hope these pretty girls’ lives won’t be...

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

‘A Time Bomb’ in the Niger Delta

Trailer for “Sweet Crude,” a new documentary on the violent and exploitative (for the local population) politics of oil and the struggles to control this lucrative resource in Nigeria’s Niger Delta.

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Shell Apologizes to Nigeria

My colleagues at The New School, The Yes Men, punks Shell last week.

Friday, November 27th, 2009

The Dictator’s Son

The New York Times recently (I am catching up on blogging this weekend) ran a front page story (complete with incriminating documents posted online) on the reasons why Teodoro Nguema Obiang, minister of agriculture and son of...

Sunday, October 4th, 2009


It’s the 49th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence from Britain this weekend. From the outset the colonial leaders wanted to prevent the country from developing, but the new leadership class has not been any different. The management of...

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009


The producers at Al Jazeera English’s “People and Power” program investigates the appropriation of profits from rich natural resources, mainly oil, by Congo-Brazzaville’s political leadership. The family of life President Denis Sassou Nguesso (he’s in power for...

Monday, August 31st, 2009


The latest statistics (they get updated once a month) from the Energy Information Administration, “the official energy statistics” of the United States government. Nigeria (769,000 barrels a day) and Angola (400,000 barrels a day) are the fifth...