Previously published at Mondoblog.org
Good evening dear oil, you have a considerable number of nicknames that I have trouble even finding the right one. Somewhere, you are also called black gold, but that is mainly in the mainstream media. Anyway, I’ll spare you this debate for another occasion.
I am writing to you in the middle of the night from my darkened room in Mao’s city. I apologise for this inconvenience, it is not of my own volition. It is the fault of the National Electricity Company (SNE). Because they think that at 11pm they have to cut the power. This has left me in a state of disarray at night, where the only thing left to do is to go to bed. But I decided to write you these few lines.
In this regard, I am writing to you to check up on you and to wish you all the best for this year when you will be celebrating your twentieth birthday in Chad. You are already coming of age. I know that you are well and that you still have many good days ahead of you, while thousands of Chadians are struggling to get by on a daily basis. And so far, our living conditions are not good.
However, when you were born in 2003 (editor’s note: the start of the export of 140,000 barrels per day), they swore by all the saints that your arrival could put an end to our poverty. Some of the ‘strong’ men of the time even predicted that the future generation would live in opulence, and that the period of indigence was over. That was their motto.
As soon as you came, our country changed its name, just like the big producing nations like Saudi Arabia or Qatar. In the meantime, the workers in the Doba oilfields were talking about it in the main streets of N’Djaména. While there is not even an asphalt road between the capital and your hometown, Doba.
What have we not been told about you? Your birth was a joy and a smile on everyone’s lips. This has brought many privileges to a group of individuals, but without any real benefits for Chad. I’m not trying to flatter you, but I’m just repeating what they said.
You embodied the bundles of euros and dollars. Your income has enabled the lawless men of yesterday to become multimillionaires today. With accounts in tax havens.
This money was used to buy heavy weapons and big V8 motorbikes instead, which are very popular in the streets of N’Djaména. And even to marry beautiful women. These big guns were also used to settle accounts with the malcontents who went into rebellion, whom we preferred to call ‘mercenaries’.
In the meantime, poverty has not stopped climbing the ladder. And our country is ranked last in all development indices. This is not to say that you are a curse. But it is living proof of the mismanagement of your revenues.
However, the majority of Chadians live a harsh reality of a market inflation, insecurity, injustice, and high cost of living. As a result, people are dying in poor conditions in our hospitals. And because of the lack of good care. While the ruling elite is treated in the most prestigious hospitals in Europe.
Anyway, welcome to your twenties. There are so many things to tell that if I start describing you, we’ll spend more than a day. In the meantime, we prefer to cross our arms and wait until 20XX so that things can change by themselves in Chad, inshaallah.