President Teodoro Obiang Nguema hosted this summer’s African Union summit in the miniscule nation of Equatorial Guinea. His government spent several times the annual education budget to build a resort to house the visiting African presidents. They in turn approved a motion calling on Unesco to name a prize after Nguema.
Two senior diplomats in Paris, who are part of the negotiations on the Unesco executive board and who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter, said Nguema manipulated the AU forum to unify support from Africa for the prize.
The Unesco-Obiang prize has prompted outrage because Nguema’s’s regime is accused of human rights abuses. AP