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Angola pumps oil

Video: Angola pumps some of the finest gasoline-grade oil in the world

Although Angola has one of the world's fastest growing economies, two-thirds of all Angolans survive on less than two dollars a day, according to the World Bank. 

Angola is listed as one of the world’s least transparent countries in the world, with little press freedom. Because of the country's oil wealth, the government is relatively impervious to external pressure to open the budget to scrutiny. So between the tight-lipped government and the oil companies whose earnings prop up the government, there is little accounting of where the oil earnings go. 

In a suprising turn, the oil company British Petroleum (BP) announced how much money it paid the Angolan government for its oil concessions. The company almost lost its drilling rights, but it stood firm. No other oil company has disclosed their payments, and the group Global Witness called BP’s disclosure "heroic."

Transparency International and other groups maintain that it is ultimately the consumer’s choice whether a country like Angola reforms its corruption or not. They say American consumers, who burn Angolan oil 30 percent of the time they drive their cars, can vote with their wallets when it comes time to buy gas. Transparency says consumers can take the responsibility to find out who are the more honest players in the oil industry and to support them.

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