Thursday, September 27, 2012

Obiang Urges Respect for the Rule of Law at 67th UN General Assembly

International law is “essential element for peace and security”

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea called the rule of law an “essential element to form a world of peace, security and stability among nations” in an address at the Treaty Event for the 67th United Nations General Assembly.

President Obiang stated that in Equatorial Guinea, respect for the rule of law is a firm principle and constant aspiration of the government. Upholding the law is the primary responsibility of a nation’s political system, he said.

He said his nation’s recent constitutional reform  “grants broad freedoms to the people, provides governmental regulation and protects human rights.” In order to ensure that the people’s most important social, political and economic interests are represented, Equatorial Guinea established a bicameral Parliament and an advisory board for the President of the Republic.

In addition, Equatorial Guinea strengthened the independence of the nation’s judiciary system and appointed supervising bodies that maintain control of economic activity and monitor human rights.

President Obiang lauded the significant role the United Nations plays in promoting international collaboration among the member states and in preventing violations of international law. “Internal political processes,” he said, “are the exclusive responsibility of the state, and the United Nations should only intervene to reconcile and pacify cases of armed conflict.”

President Obiang’s speech resonated with United Nations’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s request, made in a September 21 speech to the General Assembly’s high level meeting on the Rule of Law, that member states work together to ratify treaties to enhance rule of law around the globe and be accountable for compliance with international law.

The annual treaty event, held since 2000, is an awareness-raising occasion led by the UN Secretary-General. It is intended to sign or become party to multilateral
Treaties and promote participation in the UN international treaty framework internationally.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

President Obiang Stresses Shared Responsibility In Fight Against Aids In Africa

Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo confirmed his support for shared responsibility and global solidarity in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria at the session on Sustainable Solutions for the AIDS Response in Africa during the 67th United Nations General Assembly today.

“I can assure you that my country, Equatorial Guinea, is steadfast in its support for the statement made ​​by the Heads of State and Government of the 29th African Union Ordinary Assembly Session in Addis Ababa in July 2012 in favor of a roadmap for shared responsibility and global solidarity in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria,” said President Obiang in his speech.

President Obiang recognized the persistent efforts by governments to mitigate and eradicate pandemics that affect the African continent. “Malaria, for example, is a major cause of infant mortality in many countries, particularly in Africa. AIDS is now a global problem that is slowly eroding the potential and socio-economic engine in many countries in our community, in particular the African continent. This disease is killing our demographic layers such as youth, urban and rural populations, which constitute the workforce and our human capital.”

In his address, President Obiang encouraged other governments to continue to fight against AIDS, appealing to the solidarity and support of the international community. “With the humanitarian spirit that characterizes the people of Equatorial Guinea, we join the effort with initiatives such as the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Award for research in life sciences, which encourages the international scientific community to seek remedies for diseases that threaten the welfare and human existence, such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.”

Equatorial Guinea is also funding national programs such as preventive education against AIDS, condom distribution, and financing of anti retrovirals for afflicted populations.

“A new roadmap presents a set of practical African solutions condensing shared responsibility and global solidarity for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria responses in Africa. The solutions are organized around three pillars: diversified financing, access to medicines, and advanced health offices,” said Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

Hillary Clinton, United States Secretary of State, acknowledged that African leaders are stepping up to help their own people and assured them that the Untied States will continue to support its partners. She continued to say “We have to be smart about the resources we deploy. We have to work together and learn from each other.” 

Today, President Obiang met with Luc Gnacadja, executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, Dr. Ikililou, President of Comoros and Jigmi Y. Thinley, Prime Minister of Bhutan.

As former Chairperson of the African Union, President Obiang served as a keynote speaker at a high-level reception to celebrate the achievements of the UN decade to Roll Back Malaria last year. Equatorial Guinea has one of Africa’s most successful programs to fight the spread of malaria and has reduced the incidence of the disease by 57% in just four years.

The anti-malaria project, sponsored by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Marathon Oil Corporation, and Medical Care Development International (MCDI), is currently focused on the island of Bioko, where more than half the population of Equatorial Guinea lives, and has been extended to 2013 to develop local capacity and build campaign on the mainland. The program to control malaria is part of a broader effort by the government, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, to improve public health in the West African nation.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Equatorial Guinea Prepared To Host The Third Africa-South America Summit

Equatorial Guinea is making plans to receive heads of state and other government leaders from Africa and South America for the Third Summit of Heads of State of ASA, to be held in November in the capital city of Malabo.

The ASA Summit will be held at the Sipopo Conference Center, where Equatorial Guinea has hosted other large international events such as the 2011 African Union Summit, 2011 ASA Forum and the 2012 Leon H. Sullivan Summit. This year’s ASA summit will include delegations from up to 55 countries that will come together to develop tangible objectives for strategic partnerships aimed to benefit both regions.

The third ASA Summit follows the second meeting in 2009, where President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo called for a new African-South American economic order focused on promoting security and economic development through a strong partnership described as “an association of countries willing to defend their political, economic and socio-cultural interests….”

ASA summits are to be held every two years, alternating between venues in Africa and South America, according to the Abuja Declaration, signed at the first Africa-South America Summit in 2006.

Successful Zinc-Roof Donation Campaign Concludes on Continental Region of Equatorial Guinea

Nation’s Second Vice President has led effort to distribute thousands of permanent roofs.  

The Government of Equatorial Guinea’s zinc-roof initiative reached its conclusion in the continental region of Equatorial Guinea on September 15.

The Second Vice President and Head of Defense and State Security, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, who has led the initiative since August 2011, concluded the mainland efforts of the zinc-roof donation campaign in the city of Bata, located on the insular region of Equatorial Guinea. The last town to receive its zinc roofs was Machinda (Bata), which received more than 6,000 zinc sheets, 400 roof ridges, 4,950 pounds of nails, and more than 440 pounds of rubber for the replacement of nipa roofs.

To further improve the living conditions within these rural communities, Vice President Mangue has been traveling throughout the campaign with a team of doctors who have performed medical examinations for the local populations and arranged treatment for the sick. The tour aimed to deliver zinc sheets as well as to communicate directly with rural populations in order to address additional needs such as health care and education. In each town, the people have been able to request the health-care and education services they feel are needed.

The zinc-roof initiative, aimed at disadvantaged families and rural citizens with nipa roofs, has distributed more than 1 million zinc sheets across the country since its inception in August 2011. The campaign is scheduled to continue on the island of Bioko.

Equatorial Guinea Focuses On Problem-Solving, Bilateral Cooperation At UN General Assembly

President Obiang meets with UN Officials, Heads of State

Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo had a busy round of meetings during the 67th United Nations General Assembly, including a key meeting with Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon.

President Obiang met with the UN Secretary-General to discuss the settlement of the border dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. The UN has been mediating the dispute between the two friendly neighbors, and Ban Ki-Moon and President Obiang announced that the dispute will be submitted to the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

While in New York, President Obiang has also met with Vuk Jeremic, President of the General Assembly; Dr. Dervis Eroglu, President of Northern Cyprus; Atifete Jahjaga, President of Kosovo; and Jose Graziano Da Silva, Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

Equatorial Guinea hosts a number of UN programs in its territory, including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UNICEF, and the UN Development Programme, which has conducted a national census with funding from the government.

President Obiang’s Horizon 2020 development plan established sustainable- development goals for Equatorial Guinea to be completed by the year by 2020 in the areas of potable water, education, health, food, security, communication, infrastructure, tourism development, and environmental conservation.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Equatorial Guinea's Minister of Foreign Affairs Discusses Education, Health and International Cooperation in Equatorial Guinea

Agapito Mba Mokuy, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation participated on an open forum to demystify Equatorial Guinea at the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation Summit, held on August 20-23 in the capital city of Malabo.

Minister of Foreign Affairs said that in the past, Equatorial Guinea virtually had no schools, but that they have developed a strong education program and now have some of the best universities in the region. According to Minister Mba Mokuy, UNESCO released statistics saying that the country’s literacy rate is 93 percent. “All of this is thanks to the one leading the Republic of Equatorial Guinea – Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.”

Minister Mba Mokuy continued to talk about other programs that have significantly improved within the nation in the last 50 years. He discussed the level at which the government has invested in its health sector, stating that Equatorial Guinea has invested more in the field than any other African country. He closed by addressing the country’s position in the international community and how it has improved as a result of President Obiang’s efforts to enhance national development.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Equatorial Guinea’s Minister Of Foreign Affairs Discusses Political And Economic Freedom in Equatorial Guinea

Agapito Mba Mokuy, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation participated on an open forum to demystify Equatorial Guinea at the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation Summit, held on August 20-23 in the capital city of Malabo.

Minister of Foreign Affairs said that people do not remember how many political parties there are in the country. All these parties are part of the current government. “There are members of opposition parties. If this is not democratic freedom, I wonder what kind of democratic freedom do people want?,” continued to say Minister Mba Mokuy.

Minister Mba Mokuy also talked about economic freedom in Equatorial Guinea. Guinea is a country where even if one is a member of the government, they can hold stock in a company. This allows many Guineans the economic capacity to invest in both Equatorial Guinea and abroad. “Some countries are bothered when they see Guineans investing abroad and wonder, ‘Where do they get the means to do that?’ Guineans have many means. It is all thanks to the efforts of someone who is criticized every day in the press. This results in a country that is moving forward – Equatorial Guinea. If this is not considered freedom in the economic sense, I wonder if they only have a special definition of it for Equatorial Guinea.” 

Equatorial Guinea’s Minister Of Foreign Affairs Discusses The State Of Freedom And Democracy In Equatorial Guinea

Agapito Mba Mokuy, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation participated on an open forum to demystify Equatorial Guinea at the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation Summit, held on August 20-23 in the capital city of Malabo.

Minister of Foreign Affairs highlighted some aspects of the criticism that Equatorial Guinea has overseas. There is talk of no democratic freedoms in Equatorial Guinea. It's easy to say, but you know that before President Obiang came to power, the churches were closed in Equatorial Guinea, there was no religious freedom in Equatorial Guinea. Today, we have churches everywhere. I wake up in the morning by loud people here I live, and when I see, there is a church everywhere,” said Agapito Mba Mokuy.

All the churches have the freedom to practice in Equatorial Guinea. Minister Mba Mokuy continued to say, “In a democracy, this is called freedom of religion. And you cannot accuse this person (Obiang), this country, that has made ​​the switch to not have churches, to close all possibilities of freedom of worship to where we are today, that is not making progress. If this is not democracy, I wonder what the definition of democratic principles is.”

First International Feature Film Shot In Equatorial Guinea

Participation of local film crew gives vital experience to home-grown talent

For the first time in its history, Equatorial Guinea is the locale for an international feature-length film.. For the past two months, scenes of Where the Road Runs Out have been filmed on location in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea.

The film is being produced by the Dutch production company Firenze Film in conjunction with the Motion Picture Association of Equatorial Guinea (ACIGE). A young Equatorial Guinean film crew is participating in the production. The screenplay, written by David Hughes (A Night at the Museum with McFly), also features scenes outside of the central African country, with additional filming taking place in South Africa and The Netherlands.

Where the Road Runs Out is South African film maker Rudolf Buitendach’s tenth film as director, and the movie stars renowned Ivorian actor Isaach De BankolĂ© (Casino Royale), winner of a Cesar Award, along with Juliet Landau, daughter of Martin Landau, and Stelio Savante, who starred opposite Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind in 2001.

Equatorial Guinea welcomes film production companies. Its unspoiled coasts and interior, abundant wildlife, and picturesque cities offer attractive locations, and it boasts a modern infrastructure that allows for easy transportation of people and equipment. The Motion Picture Association of Equatorial Guinea assists foreign film producers in finding talent and locations and in navigating government requirements.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Equatorial Guinea’s Minister Of Promotion Of Women Talks About Challenges And Initiatives For Improving The Sector

In a recent interview, Leonor Epam Biribe, Minister of Social Affairs and Promotion of Women, discussed her government’s initiatives for improving the status and condition of women in Equatorial Guinea.

The government of Equatorial Guinea has invested heavily in programs that benefit women and to address some of the challenges the female population faces. “My goals are now the same as before: to continue working in favor of women and children,” said Minister Epam Biribe.

Women have noticed positive changes in recent years as the government has invested in housing, training of women, and programs that benefit families. “Many things have improved,” said Minister Epam Biribe. “Our effort has not gone to waste, and women are now aware of the effort made by this ministry and value it. Many women receive professional training and enroll in talks and many courses we organize. These projects have been able to improve their performance and capacity.”

Because education is fundamental to improving opportunities and living standards, Equatorial Guinea has carried out a campaign aimed at parents over several years that stressed the importance of educating both men and women. “The results can be seen in the enrollment of schools and universities that are very high in women, almost the same number as in men,” said Minister Epam Biribe. “That is a very significant accomplishment.”

Equatorial Guinea’s First Lady, Constancia Mangue Nsue de Obiang, has helped change the view that society has of women in Equatorial Guinea. Educating women is one of her top priorities. Her continuous involvement in activities to promote social development has made her a leading figure in changing the status of women in Equatorial Guinea. “She has provided many grants and loans through associations, boosting the economy of women,” said Minister Biribe.

Minister Leonor Epam Biribe started working in the Social Affairs and Promotion of Women sector in 1998. She has worked with the Association of Women, was president of the Secondhand Clothes Market. She was the first Inspector General of Services of the Ministry, Regional Delegate, State Secretary and Vice Minister. Minister Biribe is the current National Executive President of the Women's Organization of the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Equatorial Guinea's Minister of Foreign Affairs Describes the Harsh Conditions in the Country Before the Presidency of Obiang Nguema Mbasogo

Agapito Mba Mokuy, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation participated on an open forum to demystify Equatorial Guinea at the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation Summit, held on August 20-23 in the capital city of Malabo.

Minister of Foreign Affairs said that it's easy to judge a country but to judge a country, to judge a man; people have to look at its historical context. “Equatorial Guinea comes from 200 years of colonial slavery. In 1968, when Equatorial Guinea gained its independence, the country only had three professionals with graduate level. I say it again, three professionals, it was a historical scandal. This is how Equatorial Guinea was left in 1968.”

“We had no universities, no schools, we had no professionals. Equatorial Guinea gained its independence and went through 11 years of the strongest dictatorship history has ever known. Personally, I say it was predictable. A country that was left with only three professionals, with no college, what did people expect,” continued to say Minister Mokuy.

In 1979, President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo inherited this country from the ruin, from utter ruin and he began to do everything possible to restore the dignity of the Equatoguineans. There were no schools, no universities, no intellectuals. Everything they had was destroyed, they had no religious freedoms. Churches were closed. Nor had they means, they had no oil.

The Guinean economy depended mainly on cocoa and coffee, which was not much. Production in those years was 36,000 to 40,000 metric tons. This production was described as intellectual work. Settlers, Nigerians who lived in Equatorial Guinea, produced the cocoa in those days. Minister Mokuy said, “But who took over the production after they left? The colonists didn’t prepare the Guineans professionally, nor did we have the manpower. Guinea did not have much. What happens? Cocoa production declines, those are the things the President had to go through, all these difficulties, this everyday thinking of ‘What can I do to lift the economy?’ It is this persistence that leads us to discover oil at the end.”

Equatorial Guinea's Minister of Foreign Affairs Confronts Prevailing Myths About Equatorial Guinea

Agapito Mba Mokuy, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation participated on an open forum to demystify Equatorial Guinea at the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation Summit, held on August 20-23 in the capital city of Malabo.

The Minister provided information on Equatorial Guinea to allow guests, especially the non-Guineans visiting Equatorial Guinea for the first time, make their own opinion.

Minister of Foreign Affairs remembers a girl of about 11 years, who asked him where Equatorial Guinea was, while he was giving a presentation at a school in the United States. “The question that this girl asked, it has been asked throughout my career. This question has been asked to many Guineans, where is Equatorial Guinea, until recently. That question encompasses something, the mystery for many, misinformation, and I say it again, until recently. When speaking of Equatorial Guinea, people did not know it and those who knew it knew it wrong,” said Agapito Mba Mokuy.

“Equatorial Guinea is accused in the media of many things, that it is a poor country, where people live in misery, there’s no light, not even a plane, the only one living is the President and the other people do not have anything to eat. We see this in the press. But I think those who have come to Equatorial Guinea have seen otherwise,” continued to say Minister Mokuy. “This is a President who has been suffered when people say they don’t know where Equatorial Guinea is, when talking about all the miseries, the difficulties experienced by the people of Equatorial Guinea in its history. This President has suffered to restore dignity to Guineans. Recently, to call someone Ecuato was an insult. Today, Equatoguineano commands respect thanks to President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Atlanta Businessman Says Equatorial Guinea is Land of Opportunities

Atlanta businessman Kwame Som-Pimpong described Equatorial Guinea as a country on the move that offers many opportunities after a recent visit to the country. In an opinion piece on Global Atlanta (, Mr. Som Pmpong, who is co-founder of Afara Global LLC, a consultancy that connects small business to opportunities on the African continent, said that after spending a week in Equatorial Guinea and speaking at length with up-and-coming leaders, his perception of the West African nation has changed in a positive way.

“Despite criticisms, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has used oil revenues to improve road infrastructure, increase access to education and position the country as an economic cornerstone on the African continent,” he wrote. “The real fuel that will drive the country into the future, as in other parts of Africa, is its cadre of young, energetic entrepreneurs.”

While in Equatorial Guinea, he met with young professionals such as N.J. Ayuk, Managing Partner of Centurion LLP, the largest law firm in the country, who shared his desire “to see Equatorial Guinea develop its legal structures and financial sector to the level of a Seychelles or Mauritius - competing with those countries as a financial gateway to the African continent. Mr. Ayuk also shared his wish “to improve education of the country's citizens, a key step toward reaching the country's goals.”

“All these conversations, coupled with my experience on the ground, excite me about the future in Equatorial Guinea,” wrote Mr. Som-Pimpong. “I have been able to meet several young professionals who have considerable influence now and others who are fighting to build their work. I definitely plan to witness how the vim of its citizens elevates the country toward its lofty potential.”

Friday, September 7, 2012

Equatorial Guinea Minister of Education Talks About Preparing Children for the Future

In a recent interview, Mari Carmen Ecoro, Minister of Education and Science, discussed how Equatorial Guinea is developing life skills for children through early childhood education.

As the Minister of Education, Mari Carmen Ecoro’s plan to prepare children for the future includes developing self-esteem, refining motor skills and taking pride in their background and heritage. “It doesn’t matter where Equatoguineans might end up in the world, they will be as competent as anyone else, that is my primary goal as the Minister of Education,” said Mari Carmen Ecoro.

The Ministry of Education’s goal, at the national level, is to improve infrastructure. The ministry strives to ensure schools have cafeterias, lunchrooms, gymnasiums, science laboratories, art departments, and dedicated teacher’s rooms. “They go together, the quality of training of teachers and the school must also provide a good learning environment. The government has approved the plan and we hope to see these improvements in three years,” said Minister Ecoro.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Equatorial Guinea's Minister of Education Talks About Challenges and Successes in Education

In a recent interview, Mari Carmen Ecoro, Minister of Education and Science, discussed several ongoing initiatives for improving education as well as previous educational accomplishments of Equatorial Guinea.

One of Equatorial Guinea’s most effective initiatives for improving education has been to meet and exceed United Nations standards achieving high literacy rates and primary education goals.

The government has invested heavily on educational development and training, and it continues to be a top priority. One of the government’s greatest accomplishments in education is the addition of a pre-school level to the current system. “In less than four years, the pre-school level has become a formal part of education. UNICEF previously ran it. The government made the decision to start educating children from an early stage instead of waiting until primary school,” said Mari Carmen Ecoro.

The Minister of Education continued to say, “We have seen the improvement that pre-school level has brought to Equatorial Guinea. We can see children from three or four years old with the ability to read, unlike before where children had to wait until they were seven or eight to go to school.”

Minister Ecoro is a psychologist with expertise in mental health, negotiation and conflict resolution, and behavior modification. She received a bachelor’s degree from Queens College and a master’s degree from Columbia University.

Equatorial Guinea's Minister of Education Talks About Improving the Teaching Profession

In a recent interview, Mari Carmen Ecoro, Minister of Education and Science, discussed new strategies for increasing quality of teacher training and enhancing the student experience.

Equatorial Guinea is raising the competency and quality of the teaching profession at the university level. The National University of Equatorial Guinea (UNGE) offers summer programs promoting overseas exchange. UNGE has agreements with universities in the United States, Spain, Cuba, Dominican Republic, China, and others, which host UNGE professors for week-long programs to learn and improve their teaching skills.

Mari Carmen Ecoro said, “Professors from these schools also come to Equatorial Guinea. We have cultural exchange programs and offer internships to students coming from abroad. Through our PRODEGE program, we have teachers from primary schools that go to Latin America to take courses to refine their teaching skills.”

Equatorial Guinea’s teachers learn in collaborative environments from international experts to improve the teaching increase child development. “The teachers’ programs are helping the education system and show Equatorial Guinea’s teachers how others are carrying out the duties of the teaching profession. Other countries are also coming to Equatorial Guinea to learn from us,” said Minister Ecoro.

Equatorial Guinea Minister of Education Talks About Challenges and Successes in Education

In a recent interview, Mari Carmen Ecoro, minister of education and science, discussed Equatorial Guinea’s high literacy rate at 93 percent and educational challenges facing the African nation.

Equatorial Guinea’s literacy rate is the product of cooperation and partnership with world-renowned universities in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia, notes Ecoro. “Whatever they offer us as a cooperation, we tailor that to the objectives of the government had identified. Sometimes, when you learn from the best, the best seem to forget that they are the providers of the knowledge. We exceeded the expectations. We learned it from the best and we use it so it can benefit us,” said Ecoro.

Ecoro also commented that the greatest opportunity lies in the ministry’s commitment to putting children first, and everything else second. “Yesterday, there was another minister of education, today, I’m the Minister of Education, and tomorrow there can be someone else. It is important to keep in mind that we are here to serve and not the other way around.”