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Ken Wiwa, Nigerian author and activist, dies at 47

Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian

Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian

Gone, far too soon.

“The president of Nigeria has joined politicians, environmental activists and others to pay tribute to Ken Wiwa, the Ogoni leader and critic of Shell and other western oil companies in the Niger delta, who has died from a stroke in London.” Read the full story in The Guardian.

“Educated in Nigeria and Britain, Mr. Wiwa moved to Canada in 1999 and became a writer-in-residence at Massey College in the University of Toronto. He wrote features and columns for The Globe and Mail and was twice nominated for a National Newspaper Award….He wrote for many other international media, including The Guardian and the New York Times, and produced and narrated radio and television documentaries for CBC and BBC.

“Mr. Wiwa returned to Nigeria in 2005. Believing that he could help Nigeria more effectively by working within the government, he served as a special assistant to three Nigerian presidents, including Goodluck Jonathan, with whom he worked closely. He worked as a special assistant on issues such as conflict resolution, reconciliation and international relations. Much of his work focused on the Niger Delta, still plagued by the environmental disasters that his father had tried to prevent.” Read the full story in The Globe and Mail.


Shell Shareholders at Risk from Billion Dollar Nigerian Oil Scandal, says Global Witness

shell oil barrel

Following is a press release from Global Witness:

Shell‘s role in a billion dollar corruption scandal in Nigeria poses significant hidden risks for investors, Global Witness said at the company’s 2015 AGM. The warning comes as the oil major is lobbying the UK and US authorities to undermine the implementation of new transparency laws which would consign such secretive deals to history.

The corruption at the heart of the deal deprived the Nigerian state of over U.S. $1.1 billion, triggered investigations by authorities in three countries, and could potentially lead to Shell and its Italian partner Eni losing access to the oil block.


Deepwater Horizon spill: Five years later, endless problems

The oil slick as seen from space by NASA's Terra satellite on 24 May 2010

The oil slick as seen from space by NASA’s Terra satellite on 24 May 2010

Five years have passed since BP’s Macondo well exploded leading to the largest offshore spill in U.S. history. The story of the Deepwater Horizon spill no longer draws much media attention, but the problems have not gone away.


    Oil...A Pipeline to Prosperity?

    Oil…A Pipeline to Prosperity?

    I have produced a short film for PBS/Frontline World to mark the 10th anniversary of World Bank engagement in the Chad-Cameroon Oil Development and Pipeline Project. The film, “Cameroon: Pipeline to Prosperity?” revisits the story of the “model” oil for development project. Ten years ago the oil companies and the World Bank promised that this project would break the resource curse and prove to the world that oil could be a force for good…

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