Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Africa Today and Tomorrow: Equatorial Guinea Hosts 9th Leon H. Sullivan Summit

Equatorial Guinea has hosted the first day of the 9th Biennial Leon H. Sullivan Foundation Summit, which is being held in Malabo’s Sipopo Conference Center from August 20-24, 2012.

Opening speech by H.E. the President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.
This year’s Sullivan Summit is focused on the continent’s development objectives under the theme of “Africa Rising,” and will address critical human rights issues as they relate to food security, human security, freedom of the press, education, civil-society development, gender empowerment, innovation and youth development, and building economies of opportunity.

“The African Diaspora is almost like another continent, and it can contribute to the development of the African economy,” said President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. “The developed countries need resources and Africa needs development.”

President Obiang continued to say “It’s true we have problems but it also needs to be recognized that we have reached significant progress in the areas of education, healthcare, technologies, infrastructure and others. Equatorial Guinea offers great business opportunities, good climate, and natural resources.”

Through financial investments and the transfer of knowledge, the African Diaspora is having a significant impact on African development.

Today’s Sullivan Summit Plenary Session has focused primarily on reuniting the African Diaspora in order to form key partnerships that will shape African growth.

Equatorial Guinea has been increasingly active in African affairs in recent years. It has used its oil resources to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to its African neighbors, and it has conducted a robust regional foreign policy featuring bilateral summits, citizen exchanges, technical assistance and investment promotion. It has also hosted a number of regional conferences in its new facilities in Sipopo.

At the 2011 Sullivan Honors Awards, President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who received the Beacon for Africa award, discussed human rights programs in the context of African integration and development, stating, “The positive effects of these programs have resulted in an increased school ratio, life expectancy, malaria reductions, as well as the progressive increase of technical and professional staff.”