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 25 of the last 30 years and just “won” another seven year term). In the oil rich country (nearly 1 million barrels of oil worth $48 million sold in February this year), the majority of the population to live in poverty.

The story is interesting for the banking skills of Sassou and his crew (who playing poor convince the IMF and World Bank to give them loans), how the information came to light (from a mixture of predictable and unusual sources with their own motives, both altruistic and selfish), the strange twist, as well as the web of actors that aids and abets the Congo regime. It will surprise you.  It is also about how Congolese activists try to keep their government accountable.

This has nothing to do with the so-called resource curse.

The second part of the program:


Why is Al Jazeera English not available in the United States?

Further Reading

A private city

Eko Atlantic in Lagos, like Tatu City in Nairobi, Kenya; Hope City in Accra, Ghana; and Cité le Fleuve in Kinshasa, DRC, point to the rise of private cities. What does it mean for the rest of us?

What she wore

The exhibition, ‘Men Lebsa Neber,’ features a staggering collection of the clothes and stories of rape survivors across Ethiopia.