13 February, 2011

Sao Tome and Principe do not need oil to develop

With reports now stating that the oil wealth, that the island nation had for long hoped for as a stepping stone - to prosperity, will not be a reality for now. The tiny African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe in West Africa is unlikely to realise soon its long held dream that crude oil hidden beneath the waves offshore will lift its people out of poverty and into wealth.This is because big explorers that once jostled for drilling rights in the country of 163,000 people, nestled at the heart of a promising oil region, have backed off after a slew of dry wells, raising questions over how soon the dream will come true.

With its stunning beauty, its many agricultural and fish products and its small population of less than 200,000 people - the Island country does not really need oil to develop and lift its people out of poverty. If it focuses and properly manages its tourist potential, which has excellent attractions; if it improves and modernizes its agricultural and fishing system; if it encourages and supports small industries - Sao Tome and Principe can easily overcome its economic difficulties and improve the lives of its people. Above all, like what all other African countries need most, it is good, honest, responsible and transparent governance that can most make the island nation prosper.

Time and again, it has been proven that  - it is not a country's natural wealth that lifts it, but good and proper management of its resources and the honesty and hard work of a nation's leadership that propels it forward; greed, corruption, selfishness and dishonesty of leaders has been the greatest weakness and drawback of African countries. Come to think of it, which country in Africa with oil has prospered? It is countries without oil that are making progress and improving their peoples lives faster. Sao Tome and Principe, too, can plan to grow enough of its food needs instead of importing so much; which will save much needed money for other projects.

Read this related article: Shall we survive the oil curse?

Map and more news on Sao Toem and Pirincipe: Reuters

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