Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Equatorial Guinea To Host Economic Forum in Washington, D.C.

Forum will provide insight on country’s investment opportunities

The Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea will host an economic forum in partnership with the Corporate Council on Africa and Greenberg Traurig, LLP in Washington, D.C. on August 8, 2014.

The economic forum will provide insight on the country’s commercial activity, present investment opportunities, and introduce investment incentives to attendees. The panel will discuss the President’s Horizon 2020 development program, and the next steps towards reaching the objectives of PEGI 2020.

Equatorial Guinea will bring experts from several economic sectors to showcase the different opportunities that it has to offer, to accelerate economic transformation and maximize the country’s resources. Presentations and discussions from government representatives will serve as an opportunity to showcase government’s commitment to fostering an enabling environment for foreign investment from the United States.

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo will address the forum and welcome business leaders, investors, as well as political leaders from the United States and Africa, who will be in the capital for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit hosted by President Barack Obama on August 4-6.

The Equatorial Guinea delegation will hold three sessions during the economic forum: 1) international cooperation, where Agapito Mba Mokuy, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, will address the audience and discuss the partnership between the United States and Equatorial Guinea; 2) planning of resources as a key factor for social development, where guests will learn about the country’s strategic Horizon 2020 development plan, health system and other institutions; and 3) diversification, an opportunity for partnership aimed at sharing information about the country’s business environment and investment opportunities in the agriculture and forestry sector.

The impact of social programs executed in partnership with U.S. corporations will be discussed at the forum, including the Marathon Oil-led Bioko Island Malaria Control Project, Hess Corporation’s Program for Educational Development of Equatorial Guinea, and Exxon Mobil’s Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program.

To learn more about the economic forum, please visit http://www.egindc.com/

Friday, July 25, 2014

Equatorial Guinea Joins Community Of Portuguese Language Countries

West African Nation is Sixth African Country to Join Community

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea officially joined the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) at the 10th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the CPLP held on July 23, 2014 in Dili, East Timor.

“The Heads of State and Government adopt the adhesion of Equatorial Guinea as a member State of the CPLP, reiterating the commitment of the community to continue to support the authorities in full compliance with the statutory provisions of the CPLP, in terms of adoption and the effective use of the Portuguese language, the adoption of the moratorium on the death penalty until its abolition, and other interests of the CPLP in the national legislation of Equatorial Guinea,” stated the Dili Declaration, which was signed by the CPLC attending presidents.

During his remarks, President Obiang talked about the historical ties between Equatorial Guinea and the lusophone community as one of the reasons his country joined the organization, as well as the need to strengthen trade and cultural exchanges with the states of the institution.

President Obiang recalled that Equatorial Guinea was under the rule of Portugal from 1648 to 1778, when it was transferred to the kingdom of Spain by the treaties of San Ildefonso and El Pardo.

Equatorial Guinea now joins CPLP members Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe and East Timor. During the summit, the presidency of the CPLP passed from Mozambique to East Timor, whose President will lead the Portuguese-speaking community until 2016.

Equatorial Guinea is the sixth African country to join the CPLC, which was founded in 1996 and now has nine member countries. The summit aims to promote cooperation among the member countries. Equatorial Guinea has been an observer nation since 2006. Portuguese will become the third official language of the country, following Spanish and French.

Under the theme “The CPLP and globalization,” the CPLP recognized the need to provide the CPLP with a strategy on economic and business cooperation to identify possible mechanisms for the support of investment and business within the Community with a view to energize the insertion of the CPLP in the context of Globalization.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

President Obiang to Attend U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

Equatorial Guinea’s President, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, will join African Heads of State at the inaugural U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit aimed at fostering stronger ties between the Untied States and Africa, both economically and politically. The summit will be held in Washington, D.C. on August 4-6, 2014.

Under the theme “Investing in the Next Generation,” the summit will provide an opportunity to discuss ways of stimulating growth, unlocking opportunities, and creating an enabling environment for the next generation.

African heads of state will discuss continent-wide issues, such as security and terrorism, with United States President Barack Obama and promote regional initiatives such as shared electricity. This summit will highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people.

In a recent interview with Voice of America, Erastus Mwencha, deputy chairperson of the AU Commission, said the summit will provide Africa and the United States an opportunity to enter into a strategic partnership. He also said African leaders look forward to discussing with President Obama issues such as investing in the continent’s future and peace and security.  

This summit is the first of its kind. This is the first time that most African heads of state will be in Washington, D.C. at one time. All but Zimbabwe, Central Africa Republic, Eritrea, and Western Sahara of the 54 nations of Africa have been invited and most are expected to attend.

President Obiang has led many youth initiatives in Equatorial Guinea and has made education, training and human capital investment a top priority for its government. Special attention has been paid to the next generation, and the government has promoted conferences and events around this subject. At the Youth Congress, held in 2010, attendees discussed the many challenges facing Equatorial Guinea's youth and formulated recommendations to address numerous areas of concern, including access to low-income housing and higher education for the country's citizens.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Spanish Prime Minister Asks African Leaders For More Trade And Investment At African Union Summit

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey asked African leaders, including Equatorial Guinea’s President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, to consider his country a partner for growth at the assembly of the 23rd African Union Summit, held in Malabo.

In a speech at the opening session of the Assembly of Heads of State of the African Union Summit (AUS), Rajoy told the African leaders that he was in Equatorial Guinea to ask for more trade and investment with African countries.

“I am not here to offer anything because I do not have anything that Africans cannot give themselves. I come here to ask that you count Spain as a partner for your growth. I come to ask for more trade and more investment between our countries, and I come to reiterate that Spain wants to participate in the rebirth of Africa,” said Rajoy.

Rajoy said that Africa’s growth offered Europe a path of recovery while it battled an economic crisis. Over the past decade, Spain’s trade with Africa has grown by 250 percent. “Our investment in Africa is still small, but it has not stopped growing, even during the crisis. It should be normal for Spain to have much stronger relations with this continent than what they are now. We want to invest in Africa. The more prosperous Africa is, the more prosperous Spain will be,” said Rajoy.

“Peace, democracy and economic openness have allowed Africa to move forward,” Rajoy said.

Rajoy’s visit marks the highest-level Spanish trip to Equatorial Guinea in 23 years. Rajoy and Obiang met Wednesday before the assembly began.

In addition to Rajoy, the Secretary General of the United Nations, presidents of Egypt and the Palestinian State, and the Vice President of Cuba participated in the opening session.

The 23rd African Union Summit focuses on Agriculture and Food Security. The Summit will conclude this afternoon after a week of meetings.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

President Obiang Asks For Greater Investment in Agricultural Sector

Equatorial Guinea’s President, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, asked African countries to invest heavily in their agricultural sector to decrease their dependence on the developed world, ensure food security, and significantly reduce hunger in their countries. He made his remarks at the closing session of the Assembly of Heads of State of the African Union (AU).

President Obiang said that Africa should reorient itself to ensure its independence and security of African states through the safe production of its own consumer goods. “Africa cannot be content to continue with the current dependence on the economies of the developed world. Africa is sailing upstream against a dependency that prevents them from moving toward sustainable development. Africa should rethink its relationship with the developed world to reduce as far as possible the gap that prevents access to development,” said Obiang.

“The development of agriculture can greatly reduce this dependence,” he said. “Africa can ensure food security and significantly reduce hunger in our countries. Africa should heavily invest in agricultural development to transform itself in order to accelerate growth to increase production and productivity,” said Obiang.

President Obiang proposed to the African Union the establishment of a program that focuses on the organization and exploitation of markets to promote trade and food security and to eradicate hunger, malnutrition and rural poverty. This will also reinforce the fight against climate change and agriculture.

He said that Equatorial Guinea is already investing in its agricultural sector. “As part of our diversification plan, Equatorial Guinea currently focuses on [agricultural] production to achieve these goals. It is imperative to ensure the security and stability of our states, since agriculture is the most vulnerable sector in times of instability, war and terrorism.” said Obiang

“It’s no coincidence that this session focuses on the issue of agriculture and food security in Africa. We cannot talk about the development of Africa if there is no agricultural development to ensure food security and avoid lifelong dependence on imports of consumer products.”

He noted that Africa counts on the support of organizations focused on agriculture and ways to improve the sector, and urged continued support for those organizations.
“The African Union must recognize and financially support the structures of non-governmental organizations, businesses and institutions created in Africa to support agriculture, such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).”

Obiang linked democratic and economic development. “Africa must contribute to a democratic development aimed at achieving economic development of society and the welfare of its citizens. It must be a democracy that seeks conflict reduction, he said.”

Obiang also urged his fellow Africans to prioritize South-South cooperation, a cooperation that respects the principles of equality.

“The last decade has marked considerable advancements of the African states. Many of them aspire to economic emergence in the near future. Nonetheless, the continent continues to be a victim of endemic diseases and insecurity that require a unified solution of the states.”

Obiang said it was a great honor for Equatorial Guinea to host the 23rd African Union Summit at “a moment that is crucial for the world nations as they struggle to find solutions to economic crises, security, hunger and poverty, and climate change that affect the world.” He said,  “The participation of the heads of state and numerous guests in this summit shows the interest and commitment that Africa and its partners have to find solutions to current issues.”

A session on agriculture and food security under the slogan “Transforming Africa's Agriculture, for Shared Prosperity and Improved livelihoods, through Harnessing Opportunities” was held in the afternoon.

President Obiang Reaffirms Support For African Peer Review Mechanism

Equatorial Guinea President Chairs 21st Forum of Heads of State and Governments at African Union Summit

President Obiang reaffirmed the interest of his country in continuing with the guidelines established in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and developing projects to help member countries develop more modern, economies, enjoy sustainable development, and establish modern and transparent legal and regulatory structures.

He made his remarks during the 21st Forum of the Heads of State and Governments at the annual African Union Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea’s capital. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia and President of APRM, also chaired the forum and explained the work that the organization has carried out to help bring African nations’ laws into compliance with the guidelines.

The APRM was established by the African Union in the framework of the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). APRM aims to foster the adoption of policies, standards and practices that lead to political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development and accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration through experience sharing and reinforcement of successful and best practices, including identifying deficiencies and assessment of requirements for capacity building.

Today, President Obiang closed the session of the Assembly of Heads of State of the African Union (AU). The secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, Egyptian President, Abdel Fatah El-Sissi, Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, among others joined President Obiang during the opening ceremony.

Obiang, Ban Ki-Moon Dedicate New Un Building In Equatorial Guinea

Government of Equatorial Guinea Provides Building to House UN Agencies in Country.

Equatorial Guinea’s President, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, yesterday presented a new building, funded by the Government of Equatorial Guinea, to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who is visiting the county to attend the 23rd African Union Summit (AUS).

President Obiang recalled that the United Nations has spent decades working hand in hand in the development of Equatorial Guinea since the country gained its independence from Spain in 1968. He said that UN agencies such as the UNDP, FAO and UNICEF have been critically important in raising the standard of living and generally improving the quality of life for citizens of the country..

“Today we are installing the UN agencies with the donation of this building located in the same place where we are building a new city,” Obiang said in reference to the new district called Malabo II, where the new UN headquarter is located. “Although we do not count on unlimited resources, we believe that instead of investing in big nuclear and space fighting projects, we must invest in the power of humanity.”

Equatorial Guinea has forged a close relationship with the UN on several fronts. Most recently, the government donated thirty million dollars to the Solidarity Fund to Fight Hunger in Africa. During the UN building inauguration, the Director General of the FAO, Jose Graziano da Silva, signed agreements with the representatives of 26 African countries to implement projects with this solidarity fund.