afrol News, 23 September - With new technology, the monopolist state media, often describing Dictator Teodoro Obiang Nguema as "God", now reaches every angle of the country. The technology provider is strongly criticised.
In Equatorial Guinea, no independent media exist. None at all; all are controlled by the government or Dictator Obiang's closest family. Existing media, with radio broadcasts being most important, in a North Korean way idolise President Obiang and demonise the opposition.
Now, the Norwegian company Nera Networks has provided the Equatoguinean state broadcaster 'RTVGE' with new telecommunication technology, enabling it to reach out to every corner and dispersed home in the impoverished country.
In the contract, worth euro 18 million, Nera Networks has just set up giant antennas on the island of Bioko, enabling 'RTVGE' to reach out to the population on the Rio Muni mainland. The major modernisation of the state broadcaster is seen as a further consolidation of President Obiang's total powers by Oslo-based Norwatch, which revealed the dubious deal.
'RTVGE' indeed has a track record of intimidating the population. Without any touch of irony, the state broadcaster a few years ago announced that President Obiang was "the god of Equatorial Guinea" and could "decide to kill without having to give anyone an account and without going to hell."
Norwatch gathered several critical comments to the fact that a Norwegian company making money by was strengthening the Obiang dictatorship. Analysts put the media monopoly of the Equatoguinean state broadcaster in direct connection with the Obiang family's ability to remain in power.
Trygve Dahle of Nera Networks however declined to see his company's Equatoguinean deal in such a negative light. "In general, we believe that communication technology will promote democracy and human rights and create a foundation for economic growth," he told Norwatch.
Nera's contract with the government of Equatorial Guinea however was not well received by Norwegian media, giving the case wide attention and criticising any cooperation with the dictatorship as ethically unwise.
The Equatoguinean government lately has spent large funds in public relations, using prestigious US communication experts to feed international media with positive news about the country and its ruling family.
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