Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Americans Travel To Equatorial Guinea And Feature Country In Travel Series “Passport Life”

Creative youth collective explores modern Malabo

Bryan Blue, part of the American youth delegation during the Leon H. Sullivan Summit, which took place in Equatorial Guinea last August, has shared his view of the country through a video series named Passport Life.

Blue shows viewers scenes of Equatorial Guinea, where he discovered American-style conveniences and quality meals, traditional music and dancers, and Malabo’s state-of-the-art airport, as well as the good weather of Equatorial Guinea. The creative team behind “Wage War,” new lifestyle brand that aims to ‘fight against the mediocre and the conformists’ and believes in finding one’s own truth by means of travel, was recently in Equatorial Guinea to film the first episode of their series, “Passport Life”, which was published on YouTube on October 18.

Equatorial Guinea visitors have been able to see the country with their own eyes and reach their own conclusions. The country is developing at a fast pace and it has provided the African diaspora with an opportunity to strengthen partnership with the international community.

Equatorial Guinea has assumed an increasingly active role in international affairs in the past year. It hosted the Africa Cup of Nations soccer tournament, the tournament’s 16-nation draw in the nation’s modern conference center, Sipopo. Sipopo has also hosted events associated with the African-South American Summit. It was the host of the African-South America Forum, at which ministers of foreign affairs from 65 countries came together, and it will host the summit at a later date this year. In June and July, Equatorial Guinea hosted the African Union Summit, also in Sipopo.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Conference in Equatorial Guinea Promotes Women's Development and Integration in Society

President Obiang highlights importance of women during Regional Conference of the Network of Women Parliamentarians of Central Africa and Europe 

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea called for an improvement in women’s rights during the Regional Conference of the Network of Women Parliamentarians of Central Africa and Europe last week at the Sipopo Conference Center.

During the inauguration ceremony on October 24, President Obiang stated that women were vital members of society who significantly contribute to the country’s growth and development. Since 1979, the government has worked to integrate women into society by improving their rights and addressing issues women faced within the region, said Obiang. However, “the underdevelopment suffered by the country did not offer any opportunity for self-realization of individuals, much less socially marginalized women,” he continued.

President Obiang highlighted the recent improvement in the status of women – mentioning the number of women who now hold senior positions in the government and the private sector. He also acknowledged that despite the improvement, there are still a number of issues women face in the country that need to be addressed. For example, the level of professional training for men and women still remains unequal.

Additional speakers included female leaders such as the Minister of Education and Science, Maria del Carmen Ekoro, and Maria Teresa Avoro, Dean of the National University of Equatorial Guinea (UNGE), who discussed ways to improve education and employment opportunities for women. UNICEF Communications Officer Felipe Esono Krohnert also spoke during the conference, addressing female literacy, which he said is one of the main indicators that make women more vulnerable.

Attendees helped bring the conference to a close the following day by collaborating on the development of 2013 initiatives to improve women’s rights and the establishment of training centers specifically geared toward women.

Equatorial Guinea has hosted a number of programs recently to promote the progress of social welfare domestically and elsewhere in Africa. Earlier this month, the government sponsored an International Leadership Conference that focused on education as well as health and economic improvement.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Equatorial Guinea Ministry Of Health And Social Welfare And UNICEF Refute Erroneous Aids Prevalence Figures

Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and UNICEF have officially refuted erroneous AIDS prevalence figures published by some international media.

In its official statement, UNICEF said, “..we wish to dissociate ourselves from such erroneous information published by the press, and to refute it, because UNICEF never alluded to any data statistics on HIV/AIDS in Equatorial Guinea.”

UNICEF said that a presentation given by one of its officials had been”misrepresented” in some press reports. The UN organization said that it works with the government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea “in a framework of trust, respect, transparency and consensus in favor of their common interests, which are to promote the development and welfare of the population, especially for the most disadvantaged.”

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. Equatorial Guinea has also provided technical assistance to the local United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to improve the effectiveness of its assistance program and has implemented a host of health programs geared toward improving the health of Equatorial Guineans. Basic health indicators such as rates of infant and child mortality have been improving steadily in the country, and the government is widely recognized for its efforts to eradicate malaria.

Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Official Statement, signed by Tomás Mecheba Fernández, Minister of Health and Social Welfare, is as follows:

Refuting the false information on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Equatorial Guinea
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare categorically denies having given the figures that have been published in some international media on the seroprevalence of HIV/AIDS in Equatorial Guinea, which, according to this information, was between 30,000 and 60,000 infected people.

These numbers are completely wrong and, at this time, the draft DHS (Demographic and Health Survey) is being finalized, which specifies all health parameters, and which will be published later this year, once it has been reviewed and formally approved by the Government. Consequently, the data given is purely speculative and given with the intention of creating negative propaganda against the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

UNICEF Official Statement, signed by Felipe Esono Krohnert, Acting Official in Charge, is as follows:

1. UNICEF, as an International Organization of the United Nations, is one of the Development Partners contributing, along with the Equatorial Guinean Government and Civil Society, to the country's development, with emphasis on vulnerable populations such as children and women.
2. Within its Cooperation Program for 2012, UNICEF, in coordination with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Promotion of Women, scheduled the organization of the "Workshop on Harmonization and Strengthening of NGOs in the fight against HIV/AIDS". This event was previously announced to the heads of the General Directorate of Multisectoral Coordination against HIV/AIDS for their knowledge and involvement.
3. In the opening ceremony of the Seminar with NGOs, headed by the Presidential Advisor of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Promotion of Women, the Official in Charge of UNICEF spoke, who in short referred to the following:
A. The mandate of UNICEF for Children as an International Body of the United Nations that promotes the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women;
B. The collaboration with the Government to achieve the goals of the National Development Plan Horizon 2020, where one of the priorities is "Health for All".
C. The Role of NGOs to accompany the Country Development Program, and
D. The rules and procedures used by UNICEF in cooperation with its partners.
4. Although the speech by the Official in Charge of UNICEF was very brief on these points, we regret having received information that National and International Press have misrepresented this speech and have attributed to UNICEF the affirmation of the existence of a seroprevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in Equatorial Guinea in numbers ranging from 30,000 to 60,000 persons infected.
5. Within the fidelity and transparency that characterizes the work of UNICEF internationally and particularly in Equatorial Guinea, we wish to dissociate ourselves from such erroneous information published by the press, and to refute it, because UNICEF never alluded to any data statistics on HIV/AIDS in Equatorial Guinea. At the same time, we express our solidarity with the authorities of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare on the ethical principle of not disseminating statistical data that have not been officially verified and validated by the sponsoring Ministry of Health of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

Finally, we express the availability of this Representation of UNICEF to continue working with the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea as it has been doing, in a framework of trust, respect, transparency and consensus in favor of our common interests, which are to promote the development and welfare of the population, especially for the most disadvantaged.

We are confident that this Official Note has served to make clear that UNICEF had nothing to do with this unfortunate misunderstanding, and I take this opportunity to express to Your Excellency my highest consideration.

Friday, October 19, 2012

New Newspaper in Equatorial Guinea has Journalistic and Teaching Missions

  Journalism professor and students produce independent publication

Professors and students at the National University of Equatorial Guinea (UNGE) have launched an independent newspaper that has a mission to inform the public and train a new generation of journalists.

Bernardino Ndze Biyoa, editor of the independent newspaper El Lector, is a professor of communications at UNGE’s Malabo campus.

“We saw that with El Lector, we could do something different. That is, working on the same subject matters as other media, but with a different editorial line, more objective and directed to the population,” he said.

Ndze Biyoa describes the government’s response to El Lector as “very positive.” The government reaches out to El Lector for coverage of issues and events at home and abroad, and the newspaper counts most government ministers and President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo as regular readers.

“We are working very well together,” said Ndze Biyoa. “We have not had any problems.”

El Lector also has an educational mission because reporters are college students studying journalism. Journalism is a relatively new profession in Equatorial Guinea, and most of the people in the national media have not been trained in the craft of news reporting and writing. As a university professor, Ndze Biyoa works with journalism students to give them practical experience through the newspaper.

“We go over the theory in class and practice on the work they do at the newspaper. We select the best pieces and we publish them,” He said.

Ndze Biyoa says that El Lector’s fundamental challenge is economic. He started the newspaper with personal funds and support from friends. To meet current expenses, El Lector seeks advertising and news from companies in Equatorial Guinea and sells the paper at kiosks, grocery stores and other locations in the country

“The revenue we make, we need to leave it mostly for the paper to keep it running, Mr. Ndze Biyoa said. “When there’s something left over, we distribute it among the writers. At the moment, they don’t get a paycheck; we incentivize them to continue to work. If we had the resources, we would have salaries and everyone would get a normal paycheck.”

Ndze Biyoa says he wants to create a website to be able to reach people in Europe and Asia. “It’s something we are working on for next year, and we’re trying to save money. For instance, if we had 2 million CFAs, next year we could have a website.”

El Lector is currently published twice a month and provides social, economic, and cultural news. It was established a year and-a-half ago as an effort to provide more independent and non-governmental focused news to Equatoguinean citizens.

Equatorial Guinea Promotes Improvement in Social Welfare at International Leadership Conference

President Obiang invites African and U.S. experts to participate in discussion on enhancing various sectors in Equatorial Guinea

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea – October 19, 2012 – President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea called for an improvement in social welfare during the second day of the International Leadership Conference, which took place this week in the capital city of Malabo. U.S. experts and African leaders were invited to address a variety of topics, such as education, health and tourism, and ways in which the sectors could be further enhanced within the country and the African region.

“These sessions were designed to bring together specialists from the United States and Africa and promote discussion on a number of issues,” President Obiang said. “I believe that we can gain valuable insight and knowledge from our guests, which I hope will contribute to a better future for Equatorial Guinea and for Africa.”

The first group of meetings on the second day focused on Ecotourism, Art and Culture, during which leaders, such as Mayor James L. Walls, President of the World Conference of Mayors, and Jose Mba Obama, Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism, presented ideas on how to increase American tourism to Africa and enhance the sector nationally through continued infrastructure development. Ken Johnson, Director of the Institute for Intercultural African Management, talked about the strategic importance of ecotourism and how it diversifies and enhances the economy. 

Later in the day, representatives from Equatorial Guinea and health experts from the U.S. convened to discuss major health issues in Africa, specifically in Equatorial Guinea, and how U.S. involvement can help combat such problems.

“The U.S. has valuable expertise and resources to offer in this particular field,” said Equatorial Guinea’s Vice-Minister of Health, Miguel Obiang Abeso, “and we greatly appreciate their support.”

The Vice-Minister said that Equatorial Guinea has made major strides in combating national health problems, referencing the country’s significant decline in infant mortality and the free distribution of malaria drugs among the population.

He stated that in order to effectively prevent the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, the country’s leaders needed to work together in educating the public and changing social behavior as well as making pharmaceuticals more accessible. David Wutoh, President of Healthcare Consulting and Logistic in Laurel, MD, United States, discussed local production of pharmaceuticals and how it benefits the community.

Following the health meeting was a session on education, which permitted teachers and specialists from different American universities to focus on the critical role education plays in the progress of a country. Robert Jennings, the President of Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, among others, addressed the development of the education sector for African Americans in the United States, and how their experiences could be applied to Equatorial Guinea.

In addition, they talked about the value of educational exchanges between Africa and North America. In fact, Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Education, Maria del Carmen Ecoro, later met with education specialists from the U.S. to develop agreements with African educational institutions that would increase bilateral cooperation.

Throughout the remaining days of the International Leadership Conference, the U.S. and African participants will continue to share knowledge and promote collaborative efforts. They will utilize the expertise and experiences of the U.S. representatives to find solutions to current issues and promote development within Equatorial Guinea and Africa.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Equatorial Guinea Calls for Closer U.S. Cultural and Business Ties

  President Obiang highlights importance of American investment in driving Equatorial Guinea’s economic growth.
International Leadership Conference unites African leaders with African diaspora.
Equatorial Guinean President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo called this week for a strengthening of commercial ties and cultural exchanges with the United States—and particularly with African-Americans – as a key to Africa’s development. He made the remarks at the opening of the International Leadership Conference, co-sponsored by Equatorial Guinea, GB Energy and the World Mayors Conference, which is taking place in the Sipopo Conference Center of the capital city of Malabo from October 15-20.

“This meeting is an opportunity for the continent to deepen its contacts with the African- American community and create opportunities for development. Africa bears a strong appreciation, respect and confidence in the American people for their fearlessness, dynamism, realism and spirit of excellence in all their undertakings,” President Obiang said.

He said that the country’s rapid development is due in large part to the investment American companies made in the oil sector: “Equatorial Guinea today has become…the fourth most developed country on the African continent. American assistance could be the solution for Africa.”

“Our government highly values ​​the contributions of American citizens in our development, and we believe this momentum can be carried throughout Africa. America has a great ability to do so, given its extensive experience in the development of technology,” he said.

The conference brought African-American political leaders together s with leaders in government and business from throughout Africa. 

This is the second time within the last two months that Equatorial Guinea has hosted a meeting focused on uniting Africans with the African diaspora. Malabo was host to the Ninth Leon H. Sullivan Foundation Summit in August.

Addressing himself specifically to the African diaspora and the importance of uniting people on two continents, he said, “Let’s work together for a better future, to unite what others have separated,” During his speech, President Obiang stressed the importance of this strategic meeting between Africans and African-Americans, recalling the commitment of Equatorial Guinea to “grant citizenship to African-Americans wishing to settle here, either to work or do business.”

The conference is focused specifically on local communities and is being attended by mayors and other municipal and local officials from the United States, the Caribbean  and Africa.

Addressing the need for a greater exchange of knowledge and experience at the local level, President Obiang said, “We need to foster a mutual knowledge of local communities, to promote town twinning with communities in the United States. We believe that working together with American community leaders on issues such as education, health, energy, environment, tourism, mining, etc., will foster a mutual understanding of the methods and practices that elevate the values ​​of African-American and African cultures. It is a crucial link to build closer cooperation and solidarity between Africa and America.” 

The International Community Leaders Conference brings experts and leaders in different sectors with the goal to create a platform to promote the exchange of ideas, concepts and proposals that support the development of Equatorial Guinea. The conference is centered in progress made in Equatorial Guinea, especially in the country's industrialization plan.

Mayors and entrepreneurs, experts and professionals from North America delivered presentations on the most important issues of development and offered their expertise to African delegates. The conference included forums on municipalities, ecotourism, culture, arts and health, education, energy, mining and environment.

The U.S. delegation numbered 96, including Dr. James L. Walls, Jr., mayor, District Heights, Md., and president of the World Conference of Mayors; John McGowan, mayor, Union Springs, Ala.; Tawana Lynn Keels, chair-elect of the National Black Caucus of School Board Members, Princeton, Ohio; Thomas Masters, mayor, Riviera Beach, Fla.; Deborah Denard Delgado, council member, National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO); Mary Ajoku, mayor,  Cruger, Miss.; Melony Griffith, member of the Maryland General Assembly; Adam McFadden, councilman, Rochester, New York; Hanifa Shabazz, councilwoman, Wilmington, Del.; and Johnny Ford, mayor, Tuskegee, Ala.

The conference also had delegations from Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria, Liberia, Gambia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Burkina Faso.

Through financial investments and the transfer of knowledge, the African diaspora is having a significant impact on African development. During his closing speech at the Leon H. Sullivan Summit this past August, President Obiang said, “The African Diaspora is almost like another continent, and it can contribute to the development of the African economy. The developed countries need resources and Africa needs development.”

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.

Equatorial Guinea Statement on International Arrest Warrant for Daniel Lebegue

The Justice System of Equatorial Guinea has issued a statement regarding the international arrest warrant received by INTERPOL for the detention of Daniel Lebegue.

A full text of the statement follows:

The Justice System of Equatorial Guinea informs the national and international public that on today's date, Tuesday, October 16 of the current year, the International Criminal Police Organization, more commonly known as Interpol, and the Security Forces of the Equatoguinean State have received an Arrest Warrant for the French citizen Daniel Lebegue.

This decision comes as a result of the evidence scrutinized by the justice system that Mr. Lebegue has been hiding under the guise of a businessman, when in reality he is a highly dangerous individual who, for several years, has been dedicated to illegal and Mafia-style business activities, and who, in an attempt to camouflage them, engages in practices of defamation and libel against personalities and institutions of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, which tries to verify the nature of his business.

In this regard, the justice system can only express its satisfaction for the arrest warrant against an individual that, in reiterated occasions has refused to appear before the Courts of the country to respond for his actions and that in his nine years in Equatorial Guinea has fraudulently amassed enormous economic benefits from the company Technip SA and several subcontracts obtained from the oil companies.

Furthermore, the justice system calls on the countries friends of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and to the organizations that fight against economic delinquency to collaborate with Interpol for the capture in any part of the world of Mr. Lebegue.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Equatorial Guinea Marks National Day with Inauguration of 5th International Airport

Government promotes infrastructure development with ‘new gateway’ to country

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea – October 15, 2012 –Equatorial Guinea marked its Independence Day October 12 with the inauguration of a new airport, the President Obiang Nguema International Airport, located at Mongomeyen, in the mainland province of Wele-Nzas. This is the country’s fifth international airport, designed to connect the nation’s geographically isolated areas to the main population centers.

“This new international airport, the fifth in our country, is a new gateway to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea,” said John Nko Mbula, Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, “and its opening marks a new milestone in the economic and social development of Equatorial Guinea.”

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo presided over the inauguration.

Minister of Civil Aviation Fausto Abeso Fuma, called the new airport the best equipped in all of Central Africa.

It has a runway 3,000 meters long that includes three turning loops, and it features an access road and new-generation navigation equipment. The runway can handle aircraft in the Boeing 747-400 class. The new airport took 72 months to complete and was fully funded by the Government of Equatorial Guinea, costing over 190 billion CFA francs.

It is one of many recent government initiatives intended to promote economic and infrastructure development throughout the region. In addition to the President Obiang Nguema International Airport, the government of Equatorial Guinea also supervised the development of the new AU headquarters in Addis Ababa as well as the tourism complex, Elik Melen, in Bata.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Equatorial Guinea Gives US$30 Million to FAO for Food AID in Africa

Equatorial Guinea joins the fight to end hunger in Africa

Equatorial Guinea has offered US$30 million to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to assist African countries with food shortages and improve food security across the continent. The donation comes after a meeting between the President of Equatorial Guinea and Jose Graziano Da Silva, Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization at the 67th United Nations General Assembly in September.

"We believe that with this contribution, the FAO will advance plans to end hunger in Africa," said President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. The remarks were made during the ‘first stone’ ceremony held to inaugurate new infrastructure projects in the province of Wele-Nzas. The President of Equatorial Guinea also made reference to the accusations from international press of Equatorial Guineans allowing its people to live in poverty. In this regard, President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo said that even major economic powers have poverty, “but what does not exist in Equatorial Guinea is misery.”

Equatorial Guinea, which claimed independence from Spain 44 years ago today, has expressed concern for the issue of food security in the past. In the context of the Regional Conference for Africa 2012, held in April in the Republic of Congo, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, then Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of Equatorial Guinea, communicated Equatorial Guinea’s sense of responsibility, stating, “Equatorial Guinea is committed to improving food security for its people and for the region.  We are currently implementing government programs that will both ensure the increasing development of intra-African trade and help local communities prosper.”

Additionally, President Obiang Nguema reminded the international community that the priority for Equatorial Guinea is to meet the development goals established for 2020, stating that, “[We are] controlling our resources perfectly and the result is the financing of the large infrastructure projects that the country undertakes.”

Equatorial Guinea Inaugurates New High-Capacity Power Plant in Djibloho

Entire country now has access to electrical power

Equatorial Guinea has inaugurated a new electricity plant in the city of Djibloho that forms the final major element in its plan to extend electrical power to the entire nation.  President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo dedicated the plant in an official ceremony on October 11.

“The importance of this project is to ensure a better life for all of our citizens […],” President Obiang stated at the ceremony. “Today we are going to overcome a challenge, electricity for everything, energy for everyone; some took it as an impossible deed, but today Equatorial Guinea now has energy for all of its citizens.”

The Djibloho Hydroelectric and Distribution Plant is one of the nation’s largest investments in infrastructure to date, and will generate more than 220 kilowatts to supply electricity to the mainland. The plant also helps the nation diversify its energy supply, which is largely depended on hydrocarbons.

The electrical plant is part of Equatorial Guinea’s multi-year program to improve the country’s infrastructure. The new, state-of-the-art electricity plant will play an important role in meeting Horizon 2020 development goals that aim to make Equatorial Guinea an emergent and sustainable economy by 2020.

“Energy is [now] in almost every corner of the nation, in all provinces, provincial capitals, districts and towns,” Said President Obiang.

Equatorial Guinea is currently working on connecting the remaining villages that are without electricity to the national electrical grid.

Construction on the project, which received support from the government of China, began in 2008. Equatorial Guinean technicians received training to ensure proper local operation of the plant.

Seminar About the AIDS Virus in Equatorial Guinea

A three day seminar was held in Malabo addressing the AIDS in Equatorial Guinea. Multiple organizations and government representatives met to learn how to fight and prevent the spread of AIDS.

The seminar was broken down in blocks and helped raise awareness about the epidemic.  It also aimed to help organizations figure out their roles in AIDS prevention.

Ramón Bongono, the Presidential Advisor on Social Affairs, reminded everyone that the desires of the government, UNICEF, and organizations all rely on a team effort if they want to manage and combat the AIDS epidemic.

Information from: The Equatorial Guinean Office of Information and Press

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Equatorial Guinea Airline Inaugurates Service To Europe

Ceiba Intercontinental Adds Malabo – Madrid Route

Equatorial Guinea’s national airline, Ceiba Intercontinental, made its historic first intercontinental flight on October 4 from Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, to Madrid. Ceiba will service the route with a newly acquired Boeing 777 aircraft.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation of Equatorial Guinea purchased the aircraft as the first step in the government’s efforts to meet the growing demand for air service to the country and support its growing economy.

“Flying to Madrid from Malabo, on board an aircraft of this type and owned by Equatorial Guinea, is a dream come true,” said Fausto Abeso Fuma, Delegate Minister of Aviation.

Upon his arrival in Spain on the inaugural flight, Agustín Nze Nfumu, Minister of Information, Press and Radio, said, “This flight demonstrates once again to the people of Equatorial Guinea that when President Obiang makes a promise, he fulfills it.” He said the new route “is about opening ourselves to the world, and opening the doors of the world to Equatorial Guinea. It is also a great contribution, and pride, that the plane is ours, of Equatorial Guinea. Equatorial Guineans who start taking this flight will feel the satisfaction of being able to fly on a plane from our own country.”

Ceiba has scheduled three flights a week on the new Madrid-Malabo route and expects to transport about 150,000 kilos of cargo a year. Ceiba Intercontinental is part of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA).

On the official presentation of the Boeing 777, on June 4, President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo recalled the importance of the national airline, Ceiba, providing competitive transcontinental flights that can help reduce air transportation prices, which he described as necessary and increasingly more pressing as Equatorial Guinea’s economy continues to expand.

Ceiba currently offers scheduled service from Bata and Malabo in Equatorial Guinea to several cities in West and Central Africa, including Accra, Ghana; Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Brazzaville, Congo; Douala, Cameroun; Libreville, Gabon; Cotonou, Benin; and Lomé, Togo.

Iberia, Air France and Lufthansa currently offer regular scheduled passenger service between Europe and Malabo.

Fausto Abeso Fuma, Delegate Minister of Aviation, Agustin Nze Nfumu, Minister of Information, Press and Radio, and Santiago Nsobeya, Director of Ceiba, were on the inaugural Malabo-Madrid flight.

The inaugural flight was received by the Director of Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD), the Ambassador of Equatorial Guinea in Spain, Narciso Ntugu Abeso and other guests.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Accuser Of Equatorial Guinea’s Vice President To Face Trial In France For Defamation

Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue says charges are without foundation.
Government of Equatorial Guinea questions motives behind charges.

A French judge has agreed to investigate charges of criminal defamation brought by the Second Vice President of Equatorial Guinea against Daniel Lebégue, president of Transparency International of France. 

Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue’s complaint with the French court charges that Mr. Lebégue has been making unfounded charges in the French justice system and the media for years without proof and for the sole purpose of damaging the reputation of the President of Equatorial Guinea and his family and driving the President from office.

Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue is the son of the President of Equatorial Guinea, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Mr. Lebégue specifically charges the Vice President and his family with using public funds to acquire personal property in France.

Mr. Lebègue did not comply with a summons earlier this year to appear in an Equatorial Guinean court to answer charges about his personal business activities in Equatorial Guinea and offer evidence for his accusations against the country’s leaders.  Mr. Lebégue was a director of the French oil-services company Technip, which has done business in Equatorial Guinea.

“This trial will demonstrate the absence of any evidence of wrongdoing attributed to the Vice President and to highlight the true motives of Mr. Lebègue, who has just been fired from Technip,” the government of Equatorial Guinea said in a statement.

Equatorial Guinea Will Restrict Foreign Workers To Boost Local Employment, Says Vice President

Government will strictly enforce labor laws that restrict number of foreign employees in a company

Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, Second Vice President, in charge of National Defense and State Security, announced that he would restrict the distribution of work visas to foreigners seeking jobs that could be performed by an Equatoguinean citizen. The announcement was made September 17 on state television.

“We want to encourage and support national employment. Many countries have work visa restrictions in order to ensure that foreign workers don’t take needed jobs from citizens,” said Nguema Obiang Mangue.

The Second Vice President said that many Equatoguineans are having difficulty finding work, while expatriates are finding jobs more easily. He would enforce labor laws, he said, which state that foreign employees cannot exceed 10 percent of a company’s staff. Anyone who violated these laws would be punished.

Equatorial Guinea’s booming economy has attracted a significant number of migrants from neighboring countries seeking employment. The government policy will not affect jobs for which there are no qualified Equatoguineans, but companies will be encouraged to train local workers for skills that are now lacking in the workforce.  

By enforcing the nation’s labor laws, the Second Vice President said, the government will give nationals a greater opportunity to find employment. This initiative is a continuation of the government’s efforts to improve Equatoguineans’ living conditions, as seen in the zinc roof campaign and additional rural sustainable-development programs.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Equatorial Guinea And Spain Cooperate To Build Capacity In The Public Health System

Ministry of Health and Social Welfare trains 62 nurses

Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has concluded the training of 62 nurses as part of the government’s efforts to improve the public health care system in Equatorial Guinea. The latest program was carried out in cooperation with the Foundation for the Development of Nursing (FUDEN) and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID).

The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare invested in the nurse-training program, which began in Bata in 2011, to improve and increase the nursing workforce. The Ministry has also assumed responsibility for reintroducing auxiliary nurses, who are now to be designated nursing assistants.

The nursing training has been done in collaboration with the National University of Equatorial Guinea.  The students have received theoretical and practical courses during a two-term program.

Margarita Solana, FUDEN nurse involved in this project, said, “The training enables auxiliary nurses to learn and improve health, as it enables better patient care. She continued to say, “It is satisfying to see how nurses want to improve, increase their knowledge and boost the performance of their hospital.”

“Equatorial Guinea continues to strive to improve the health sector and this is notable by our ongoing training courses,” said Minister of Health and Social Welfare Tomás Mecheba Fernández. We have trained 62 nurses in Bata and 47 in Malabo in collaboration with FUDEN and AECID to provide better health care in the country,”
Equatorial Guinea is set to prepare a new generation of health care professionals, and this program is one of several training courses aimed at improving the profession’s capabilities. For instance, groups of medical students have traveled to universities around the world, including those of Cuba, Morocco and China, to advance their medical skills. The government of Equatorial Guinea is seeking additional opportunities to cooperate with its international counterparts and investing in capacity-building in the health sector.

President Obiang Stresses Shared Responsibility In Fight Against Aids In Africa

Speech Transcript:

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. We are in favor of a roadmap for shared responsibility and global solidarity in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

The world is witness to the reality around us.

We recognize the constant efforts that governments give to mitigate and eradicate the pandemics that pandemics who harass the community of nations. Malaria, for example, is a major cause of infant mortality in many countries, particularly in the African continent.

The AIDS pandemic affects more than 34 million people in the world, from which more than 20 million are in Africa representing 67% of the people affected by this disease worldwide.

The realities and dangers of AIDS are serious and complex. 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.

Distinguished authorities in this room, we want to encourage governments even more to continue the fight against AIDS by 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.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue Promises A Change In Labor Relations

Equatorial Guinea Holds Inaugural Labor Conference

The Government of Equatorial Guinea held its first Labor Conference to address labor issues as part of its efforts to move toward a sustainable economy. Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, Second Vice President, in charge of National Defense and State Security, promised a change in labor relations and improved training for Equatoguineans. The conference took place in the Sipopo Conference Center located in the capital city of Malabo, from September 29 to October 1.

Second Vice President Obiang Mangue addressed the problems of the workers and the situations suffered by young people during their job search process. “The purpose of this First Labor Conference is to achieve satisfactory results for workers and those who are unemployed. The constant demand for employment by Equatoguineans has prompted me to look for strategies to try to be the voice of those without voice. The presence of members of the Government and other agencies here is to provide input on the employment issue to improve the country,” said the Second Vice President.

In his speech, President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo said that “the development process in Equatorial Guinea is complex and difficult, because it is not about developing labor techniques drawing on the experiences of developed countries, nor adopting the laws by comparative principle, in order to create conditions favorable to workers. We are facing the need to analyze in depth what Equatorial Guinea has been in the past, the present and what it aspires to be in the future.”

“We must analyze and understand what we have in the productive sector, the ability to increase this sector and the effectiveness of available workforce, as well as the possibilities of its increase in the future in order to achieve an approximation of the employment systems and labor regulations that suit our country. Equatorial Guinea is a country that has begun its journey of development without any financial means,” continued Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, “and it has been difficult to get foreign capital established in the country, which has cost and continues to cost sacrifices to the developing economy, because of the lack of national businessmen in the country and the lack of technicians and specialists.”

The Labor Conference is one of Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue’s initiatives as Second Vice President.

Equatorial Guinea Sets Sights On Improving Professional Capacity And Upgrading Facilities In Health Sector

Minister of Health and Social Welfare discusses improvements in national health services through the education of Equatorial Guinean health care professionals

There is “a huge effort from the Head of State and Government to purchase medicines, medical supplies, and medical equipment, but we also need to ensure that management is conducted responsibly, and we have people of integrity in leadership positions,” according to the Minister of Health and Social Welfare of Equatorial Guinea, Tomas Mecheba Fernández. Mecheba Fernández made his comments on the state of the country’s health sector during an interview at the new headquarters of the Ministry of Information, Press and Radio on September 20.

Equatorial Guinea is looking forward to preparing a new generation of health care professionals, and is currently conducting training courses aimed at improving the profession’s capabilities. For instance, groups of medical students have traveled to universities around the world, including those of Cuba, Morocco and China, to advance their medical skills.

As an example of increasing public health efforts, the Minister said that Equatorial Guinea delivers food to the sick in different cities such as Malabo, Bata, Baney, Riaba, Niefang, Kogo, and Mbini, at a cost of more than eight million CFA francs each month. In terms of the current health services offered in Equatorial Guinea, he said that the number of operating clinics is sufficient and there are “two hospitals with highly advanced medical technology.” He added that Equatorial Guinea is carrying out a “vast program of renovation, construction and equipping of the National Health Service.”

Equatorial Guinea has also provided technical assistance to the local United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to improve the effectiveness of its assistance program and has implemented a host of health programs geared toward improving the health of Equatorial Guineans. Basic health indicators such as rates of infant and child mortality have been improving steadily in the country, and the government is widely recognized for its efforts to eradicate malaria.