Revealed – the grandiose new capital city built deep in the jungle by 'dictator' of poverty-stricken Equatorial Guinea
President Teodoro Obiang wants 200,000 people to move to new city Oyala by 2020Believes multi-billion pound project will give him extra securityWas the target of a 2004 failed coup led by British mercenary Simon Mann
18:00 GMT, 17 December 2012
Africa's longest serving leader is building a new multi-billion pound capital city from scratch in the depths of the jungle – despite his people living on just 1.50 a day.
Equatorial Guinea president Teodoro Obiang wants his government to move to the new multi-billion capital called Oyala by 2020.
The library of the new International University of Central Africa, a 450-room luxury hotel and a golf course has already been built out of the virgin forest, although much of the project is running behind schedule.
The unusual library at the uncompleted International University of Central Africa in Oyala
The university is one of a number of buildings set for the new capital city
Road to Oyala: The highway is dubbed the 'Avenue of Justice'
President Obiang, pictured during an interview, wants 200,000 people to move to the new capital city by 2020
Mr Obiang wants 200,000 people to move to the city when it is complete. However, the country has a population of just 700,000 and the vast majority live on the other side of the country along the Atlantic coast.
The president told BBC News that he wants the security of the jungle as he fears the current capital Bata is vulnerable to a seaborne attack.
He was the target of an attempted
foreign-funded coup led by British former mercenary Simon Mann in 2004
and allegedly paid for in part by Mark Thatcher, son of former British
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Ngeuma wants the security of the new capital built in the jungle
Mann was eventually pardoned in 200 after serving four years in a Zimbabwean jail and time in Equatorial Guinea's notorious Black Beach prison.
Mr Obiang, who himself came to power after a successful coup against his own uncle 33 years ago, said: 'That coup attempt was organised by certain powers – we know all about it.
'Margaret Thatcher's son was involved. Aldso other well-known personalities. It is not possible that it was organised in Spain, London, South Africa and in the United States without the knowledge of the security services in those countries.'
Equatorial Guinea should
be per capita, one of the wealthiest nations on earth thanks to its wealth of oil, gas and timber.
It is ranked 20th in the world in terms of GDP per capita – ahead of the UK – but its population live on megre wages.
The president's critics have accused accuse him of systematic
corruption and repression but he says he is a champion of African development.
Members of the president's family have been accused of corruption and siphoning off huge sums of money.
action was recently launched against his playboy son Teodorin and last
year embarrasing pictures of his 11 supercars being seized in Paris were
It is alleged his alleged millions of dollars of state money was diverted into his personal account.
The president told BBC News: 'The process in Paris is a farce, a political set-up.'
Stephen Sackur's two-part report from Equatorial Guinea for BBC's
HARDtalk will be broadcast on the BBC News Channel and BBC World News
Channel tonight and tomorrow
The new capital city is being built 65km west of Mongomo
Coup: Mark Thatcher, left, allegedly partly funded the attempted 2004 coup which was led by mercenary Simon Mann, pictured right at Equatorial Guinea's Black Beach prison in Malabo
Poverty: Despite the country's vast natural timber and oil wealth most of the population live in poverty on just 1.50 a day