In the world of politics, dynastic rule is not an uncommon phenomenon. However, when it comes to familial ties in government, no country on the African continent has as unique a situation as Equatorial Guinea, where the current president’s son serves as the vice president. This makes Equatorial Guinea the only African country where such a scenario has occurred.
Located in Central Africa, Equatorial Guinea is a small country that gained independence from Spain in 1968. Since then, the country has been ruled by a series of strongmen leaders, with the current president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, taking power in a coup in 1979. Since then, President Obiang has held onto power for over 40 years, making him the longest-serving leader in Africa.
In 2016, President Obiang made a controversial move by appointing his son, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, as the vice president. The younger Obiang had previously served as the country’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, as well as the Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy. However, his appointment to the vice presidency was met with widespread criticism from both inside and outside of the country.
Many saw the move as a blatant attempt by President Obiang to consolidate power and pave the way for a family dynasty. The younger Obiang has been accused of corruption and human rights abuses, with reports alleging that he has amassed a fortune through embezzlement and other illicit means. Critics argue that his appointment as vice president is just another step in the family’s efforts to hold onto power.
Equatorial Guinea is not the only country in the world to have a father-son duo in power. In the Philippines, for example, former President Ferdinand Marcos was succeeded by his son, Bongbong Marcos, as governor of the province of Ilocos Norte. However, the situation in Equatorial Guinea is unique in that the younger Obiang holds the second-highest position in the country’s government.
The situation in Equatorial Guinea raises important questions about the nature of democracy and governance in Africa. Many argue that the prevalence of dynastic rule on the continent is a symptom of deeper problems, including weak institutions and a lack of accountability. In countries like Equatorial Guinea, where power is concentrated in the hands of a small ruling elite, there is little room for political opposition or meaningful public participation.
As the younger Obiang continues to hold the vice presidency, it remains to be seen whether the family dynasty will continue to hold onto power in Equatorial Guinea. Many have called for greater democracy and transparency in the country’s government, with some even advocating for a transition to a more democratic system of governance. However, given the entrenched power of the ruling family, such changes may be difficult to achieve.
In the meantime, the situation in Equatorial Guinea serves as a reminder of the challenges facing many African countries as they seek to build more democratic and accountable systems of governance. While the prevalence of dynastic rule may be a symptom of these challenges, it is ultimately up to the people of each country to push for change and demand a more open and inclusive political system………See More