Saturday, May 18, 2013
President Obiang of Equatorial Guinea addressed the local and international media in a press conference held in Malabo on Tuesday, May 14th. During his speech, he called for greater participation and involvement in Equatorial Guinea's upcoming elections while also calling on African states to work together to bring progress and economic independence to the continent.
He also addressed the government's development plan called Horizon 2020. He stated that Equatorial Guinea is utilizing its oil wealth to build its political systems as well as health, agriculture, education, banking and transportation sectors. All the government ministries must meet benchmarks to get closer to meeting the goals of the President's Horizon 2020 plan to move Equatorial Guinea towards a self-sufficient and growing economy.
Friday, May 17, 2013
Minister of health, also leader of Socialist Party of Equatorial Guinea, says citizens have access to quality care.
The government of Equatorial Guinea is working to renovate all the hospitals in the country within the next four years, according to Minister of Health Tomás Mecheba Fernández Galilea
Mr. Fernández, who is also secretary general of the Socialist Party of Equatorial Guinea (PSGE), discussed the renovation project in a press conference with international media about his party’s platform and developments in the country’s health sector. The PSGE is part of Equatorial Guinea’s governing coalition.
According to Mr. Fernández, foreign companies have worked with the government to play an important role in improving health conditions in the country. “The government requires that all oil companies contribute toward social service projects. We have had excellent results with the work that Marathon Oil has done. They partnered with us to establish a malaria program that has benefited citizens throughout the country, we are planning to produce the malaria vaccine here in Equatorial Guinea,” he said.
He said that the public has good access to quality health care, and that the quality is improving and the access growing year by year. “We have the state-of-the-art La Paz hospitals in Bata and Malabo, which are available to everyone in the country,” he said. “They are not just for the elite. Everyone is welcome to go. We have several other hospitals that are available for our citizens at a lower cost than in neighboring countries. We offer treatments for AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis to all Equatoguineans at no cost.”
Equatorial Guinea’s political parties are currently campaigning for the elections to be held on May 26. This is a historic election, in which citizens will elect members of a new Senate established in accordance with the constitutional reforms of February 2012. Voters will also elect members of a new parliament as well as local council members.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Candidates Address International Media Regarding Upcoming Elections
Equatorial Guinea political parties today addressed the local and international media in a press conference held in the Equatorial Guinea Cultural Center in Malabo. Political candidates participating in the upcoming elections, from the opposition parties and the coalition, were able to share their platforms in an open and transparent setting. Candidates showed civility toward one another and shared ideas that reflected genuine democratic participation.
Richard Milam Acubiru, assistant director of communications for the Electoral Campaign for the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) said, “Our party is focused is on the maintenance of a political, economic and socio-cultural environment that works toward achieving a fast and balanced development with the ultimate goal of becoming an emergent country in 2020. Our platform focuses on the political, public, social, economic and infrastructure sectors to further develop the country.”
Francisco Mba, president of the Democratic and Progressive Alliance (ADP) party, which is part of the coalition, and current minister of transportation talked freely to the international media and said, “Equatorial Guinea is working hard to get close to other countries’ development, but countries in Europe for example are growing and developing at a much faster rate than we can. There’s still a lot of work to be done in Equatorial Guinea but we are on our way to becoming an emergent country. We fight to prove that today is better than when we lived under colonization and dictatorship. Today, the people of Equatorial Guinea live better and have more opportunities than in the past.” When talking about his experience in the coalition and working with other political parties, Mr. Mba said, “I’ve had a positive experience being part of the coalition. Coalition members sit together at a round table to discuss our ideas and how to carry them through. We come to a census through dialogue and camaraderie where every member is free to share their ideas.”
During the press conference, Andres Esono, communications secretary and Malabo major candidate for the opposition party, Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS) said, “We have been able to campaign freely and share our platform with the people in Equatorial Guinea. We have shared our ideas and have communicated how we plan to share the country’s resources in an equal way.” When talking about incidents during the electoral campaign, Mr. Esono said that some of their posters had been ripped from the walls around town.
Alfredo Mitogo, leader of the Popular Union (UP) party, which is part of the coalition, said that he would like to see non-governmental organizations work with Equatorial Guinea to “find solutions that help our country while supporting our laws and our people without altering our established laws.”
Jesus Loguna, opposition party and parliament candidate for the Popular Action of Equatorial Guinea (APGE) party said, “We have always participated in election events because we live in a democracy. We don’t want confrontation. Our objective is to be able to increase our natural resources development. We should invest more in exploiting our rich soils and expand our agriculture sector.” In reference to the financing of the party’s campaign, Mr. Loguna said, “We have received financing from the Ministry of Interior as well as from members of the party.”
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Obiang Calls for Great Participation and African Solidarity
President Obiang of Equatorial Guinea today addressed the local and international media in a press conference held in Malabo. He called for greater participation and involvement in Equatorial Guinea’s upcoming elections while also calling on African states to work together to bring progress and economic independence to the continent.
In reference to the election, President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo said that, “Equatorial Guinea’s political process is a learning process for our country. It needs to be tailored to Equatoguineans. We have not based it on other countries, but on our own.”
Obiang talked about the need for transparency in the elections and said, “The government and the political parties from the opposition conducted an electoral census to ensure the rights of voters and the legitimacy of the elections.”
The Ministry of the Interior and Corporations has provided financing to all of the political parties. Funding includes campaign advertising and travel costs.
Through a plan called Horizon 2020, Equatorial Guinea is utilizing its oil wealth to build its political systems as well as health, agriculture, education, banking and transportation sectors. All the government ministries must meet benchmarks to get closer to meeting the goals of the President’s Horizon 2020 plan to move Equatorial Guinea towards a self-sufficient and growing economy.
In reference to the economy in the nation, President Obiang continued, “Equatorial Guinea doesn’t have unemployment issues, but we are in need of more professional training for our population. We require all foreign companies working in Equatorial Guinea to hire 75 percent Equatoguinean employees. We need more training for our population to fill the skilled job offerings.”
“After 2020, our vision will shift from oil revenues and focus more on our other resources. Equatorial Guinea’s progress depends on Equatoguineans’ professionals, on their vision,” concluded President Obiang.
Government Finances Political Parties
In an address to the nation, President Obiang of Equatorial Guinea called all citizens to get involved in the upcoming elections, stating he expects civility, patriotism, citizenship, and responsibility during the elections. “In our emerging democracy, we encourage all candidates to campaign hard, but in a fair and transparent manner. We hope candidates do not fight against one another, but rather engage in a campaign of ideas that foster genuine democratic participation. The elections are not intended to raise tribal rivalries, hatred or offenses which violate the individual and collective rights of our country.”
In reference to the upcoming elections, U.S. Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea Mark L. Asquino stated, “I have had the opportunity to speak with President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo about the general elections that are coming up, which offer an opportunity to Equatorial Guinea to show that it is committed to democratic development, for which reason it is a very important date for the history of the country.”
Two political parties and a coalition of parties are participating in the election campaign. The political parties include the Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS) and the Popular Action of Equatorial Guinea (APGE) party, and the coalition includes the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) and the majority of the registered political parties in the country.
Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, National Director of the Electoral Campaign stated, “We are calling upon the People of Equatorial Guinea to demonstrate political maturity to the international community. The debate of ideas between parties must demonstrate leadership through civility and transparency. A successful election will help to showcase our growing civil society to the world.”
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Government seeks to encourage entrepreneurs by sharing risk
The government of Equatorial Guinea has established a new loan-guarantee program for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) as a means of encouraging entrepreneurs and stimulating the creation of new businesses in the country.
Under the program, known as the Pilot Partial Guarantee Fund for the Creation of Small and Medium Enterprises, the Government, the Ministry of the Economy will guarantee payment to the National Bank of Equatorial Guinea (BANGE) of loans to small and medium-sized entrepreneurs that are in default. BANGE is a private commercial bank.
The ministry will cover up to 40% of a loan made by BANGE to small and medium-sized enterprises, should the loan be in default. To do this, SMEs must meet a series of requirements when applying for a loan with BANGE, such as presenting a business plan or operating profit, among others.
The government announced the program at a ceremony on May 3, when Minister of the Economy Celestino Bonifacio Bakale Obiang and the director of the National Bank of Equatorial Guinea signed the official agreement.
The main objective of this initiative, according to Minister Bakale, is to "create jobs and create a competitive business environment."
During the ceremony, the Director of the National Institute for Enterprise Development and Promotion (INPYDE), Ricardo Maximum Torao Oyo, said that "the government is aware of the difficulties many small businesses face to obtain credit from banks, and the risks that they must assume the same, and it has made available all this fund, which provides a guarantee that money given to small businesses will be recovered in the event of insolvency.”
Minister of Finance Marcelino Owono Edu noted that the initiative comes from the desire of President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo to improve the country’s business environment, a critical step in the overall development of the nation. "Our current economic situation gives us an opportunity to do more things, and business development is the backbone in the goal we have set," said the minister. “This fund cannot be considered a mechanism to subsidize companies but as a means of sharing the financing risk between the public and the commercial banks.”
Friday, May 26, it will be the official start of the campaign for the legislative, senatorial and municipal elections to take place on May 26.
There will be three democratic options that the voters may choose: the first one, the great democratic coalition formed by the majority of the legally established parties: Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE), Liberal Democratic Convention (CLD); Socialist Party of Equatorial Guinea (PSGE), Progressive Democratic Alliance (ADP), Social Democratic Coalition Party (PCSD), Social Democratic Union (SDU) Popular Union (UP), Liberal Party (PL), Social Democratic Party (PSD), National Democratic Union (UDENA) and Social Democratic and Popular Convergence (CSDP). They all signed, on March 30, a large political coalition agreement to stand united in this election.
Moreover, the elections will also be attended by Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS) with its Secretary General, Placido Mico at the head, and Popular Action (AP) of Carmelo Mba Bacale.