Burma Cyclone Death Toll Climbs Beyond 34,000
|Workers slowly pave Malabo II|
But in a slum not far away, a woman is angry because the water pipe she usually accesses behind her shed is not working for a third straight day.
Clothes pile up in a muddy heap. Children run naked.
The woman refuses to give her name or a full interview.
She says it is obvious she has nothing at all. "Nothing, nothing," she repeats.
People are afraid to speak here. When giving accreditation to foreign journalists, officials at the Information and Tourism Ministry say slums are off limits, and that only tourist areas can be photographed.
|Residents have no running water|
A ruling party spokesman said foreigners like to exaggerate problems. He did not want to be recorded, but he explained he was very proud of all the roads that are being built across Equatorial Guinea.
The National Director of the Central African States Bank, Mariola Bindang Obiang, agreed to an interview. But she refused to give the percentage of money at the bank that comes from Equatorial Guinea.
|Central Banker Mariola Bindang Obiang|
The Equatorial Guinea fund is believed to represent more than half the total in the bank, when it was just a fraction of a percent before the oil boom started in the mid-1990s.
The bank serves the six central African countries that form the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa; the Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo.
Obiang is more comfortable speaking about the government's long-term plan for development.
|Contrast of two Malabos|
She says since the oil sector brings cash, but not very many jobs, the government has to figure out how to target more labor-intensive sectors for investment.
"What we will do now is see, since the conference took place in Bata, up to the following year, how what is described in this document will be implemented in the different sectors of the economy," she said. "I think in that way the revenues that are being produced in the oil sector will get to the rest of the population."
At a recent political rally in Malabo, the opposition complained that a small minority in power, starting with long-time President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, controls most of the oil wealth.
|Most struggle to get by|
But the ruling party won 99 out of 100 parliament seats and most seats in municipal bodies as well in recent elections, meaning the opposition has virtually no say or control on where and how the new oil money is being spent.
One foreign diplomat also complained that decisions on how to spend revenue are very state driven and not market-oriented.