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Page added on November 30, 2006

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Could an ‘African Kuwait’ Be in the Making?

The discovery of oil in the small West African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe could help turn one of the poorest countries in the world into a sort of “African Kuwait.”

Estimates by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), considered “conservative” by economic analysts in Portugal, estimate that the seabed of the Gulf of Guinea surrounding the archipelago could yield 30,000 barrels of crude a day by 2013.

That amount of oil would bring in revenues of $92 million a year. Not bad for a country of 1,001 square kilometers and only 150,000 people, one-quarter of whom have emigrated to Portugal.

The rich undersea oil reserves struck in early 2003 may help Sao Tome and Principe graduate from the list of the world’s 30 poorest countries.


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