Friday, November 30, 2012

Equatorial Guinea and Spain Agree to Increase Air Traffic Between Madrid and Malabo

Ceiba International and Iberia will operate a total of 15 flights per week
The governments of Equatorial Guinea and Spain recently signed an agreement to increase the number of passenger flights on the Malabo-Madrid route operated by Equatorial Guinea’s national airline, Ceiba Intercontinental, to eight flights per week. Ceiba currently operates three flights per week.

Agapito Mba Mokuy, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Equatorial Guinea, and Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, signed the agreement on Wednesday, November 28.

Ceiba Intercontinental made its historic first intercontinental flight on October 4 from Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, to Madrid. Ceiba is currently servicing the route with a newly acquired Boeing 777 aircraft. Spain’s airline, Iberia, recently announced it will increase the Malabo-Madrid route from three to seven flights per week.

Lufthansa and Air France offer service between Malabo and Frankfurt and Paris, respectively. Malabo is also served by royal Air Maroc and Ethiopian Airlines. Ceiba offers service from Malabo and Bata to several destinations in Africa. 

This agreement reflects the growth of the economy and the increased business activity in Equatorial Guinea, which is centered largely around petroleum and natural gas production. The government of Equatorial Guinea has launched a development plan with the goal of creating a sustainable and more diversified economy by 2020.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

FAO To Invest US$3 Million To Develop Poultry Farming In Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea joins the fight to end hunger in Africa

The government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have signed an agreement that calls for the FAO to invest US$3 million over three years to develop poultry farming in rural Equatorial Guinea.

This investment is part of the government’s efforts to develop the country’s agricultural sector and create income-generating activities in rural and urban areas. The goal of the government and the FAO is to develop a family-based poultry industry that employs modern practices. The program will provide training and resources for feeding and care of poultry stock, vaccination against diseases, and general veterinary care.

Miguel Oyono Ndong Mifumu, Agriculture Minister of Equatorial Guinea, and Athman Mravili, Malabo representative of the FAO, signed the agreement.

“The goal of this government program is to develop the agricultural regions of the country. This agreement will have a positive impact in rural areas, by supporting the work of its people,” said Miguel Ndong.

The agreement provides training in the provinces and extension and implementation of a system to deliver critical pharmaceuticals.

Equatorial Guinea’s President, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, announced on October 11 that his government had offered US$30 million to the FAO to assist African countries with food shortages and improve food security across the continent.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Equatorial Guinea Hosted 14th Ministerial Meeting Of The Gas Exporting Countries Forum

Malabo Forum addresses global environmental challenges and encourages cooperation  

Ministers of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) came together on November 21, 2012, in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, for the 14th Ministerial Meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.

The GECF is an international governmental organization that brings world’s leading gas producers together to increase the level of coordination and strengthen the collaboration among member countries. The first GECF was held in Tehran in 2001.

Gabriel Obiang Lima, Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy, and other participants from gas exporting countries discussed developments in the global natural gas market and the forum’s efforts to promote stable supply of natural gas to ensure the security of sustainable demand.

The forum highlighted the importance of natural gas as a green fuel and discussed the changing nature of gas-market dynamics, technologies, and renewable energy sources. The GECF also addressed global environmental challenges and encouraged member countries to cooperate with industry stakeholders to achieve the objectives of the GECF.

Twelve member countries attended the forum. In addition to host Equatorial Guinea, participants were Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, the Russian Federation, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela, while Norway, the Netherlands and Kazakhstan were present as observers. Equatorial Guinea participated in the First Summit of Heads of State and Government of Gas-Exporting Countries, held on November 15, 2011 in the city of Doha, Qatar.

The forum was held at the new conference center in Sipopo, just outside the capital city. Sipopo has hosted events associated with the African-South American Summit. It was the host of the African-South America Forum in 2011, at which ministers of foreign affairs from 65 countries came together, and it will host the summit next year. Last year, Equatorial Guinea hosted the African Union Summit, and this year it hosted the 9th Leon H. Sullivan Summit. Sipopo will once again be the center stage for international leaders when it hosts the 7th Summit for African Caribbean and Pacific Heads of State and Government (ACP)

Monday, November 26, 2012

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo Receives Honorary Degree From Benin Polytechnic University

The International Polytechnic University of Benin awarded President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea with the academic title Honoris Causa in Economic and Social Development Sciences.

The International Polytechnic University of Benin awarded President Obiang for his efforts to solve the problems of Africa during his time as Chairman of the African Union and for his Pan-Africanist spirit, the construction of the African Union city of Sipopo, as well as the continuous development of Equatorial Guinea. He also recalled to the credit of the President: the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea award, the contribution of $30 million to the FAO, United Nations, the contribution for aid to Somalia and other countries that have suffered natural disasters and the great organization of major events that have taken place recently in Equatorial Guinea, such as the African Union Summit and the men's and women's African Cup.

During the ceremony, President Obiang announced the construction of two university campuses in Malabo and Bata and the creation of an African American University in Equatorial Guinea.

Following this event, there was a graduation ceremony for the 267 university graduates of the National University of Equatorial Guinea (UNGE). UNGE’s student enrollment has reached 8,000 students.

President Obiang has received academic honorary degrees by the universities of YacambĂș (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela), Costa Rica, St. Petersburg (Russia) and National University of Equatorial Guinea, and the Study Center for Popular Democracy (CEDEPU) in Chile.

Permanent Mission Of Equatorial Guinea To The United Nations Celebrated The 44th Anniversary Of The Independence Of Equatorial Guinea

The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea to the United Nations celebrated the 44th anniversary of the independence of Equatorial Guinea, on November 9th, at the United Nations headquarters.

Anatolio Ndong Mba, Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of Equatorial Guinea to the United Nations, stressed the development the country is experiencing from the oil exploitation and the efforts of President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the Government and the people of Equatorial Guinea to become an emerging country by 2020.

During a press conference with the television to African-Caribbean (ACRTV) based in New York, Ambassador Ndong Mba spoke about the past and the present of Equatorial Guinea.

Victor Mooney, Executive Director of South African International Arts and promoter of the Goree Challenge Initiative, took the opportunity to give Ambassador Ndong Mba two proclamations of recognition to deliver them to the President of the Republic:
- His Excellency Mr. Ruben Diaz Jr., President of the Municipality of Bronx (New York) in recognition of the efforts made by H.E. the President of the Republic in fighting the AIDS pandemic;
- His Excellency Mr. Marty Markowitz, Borough President of the municipality of Brooklyn, New York, also in recognition of the leadership of H.E. the President of the Republic in the campaign against pandemics such as HIV/AIDS.of the Republic in the campaign against pandemics such as HIV / AIDS.

The ceremony was attended by ambassadors, permanent representatives accredited to the United Nations, diplomats, representatives of the Agencies of the United Nations, NGOs

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Equatorial Guinea to Host 7th Summit of African Caribbean and Pacific Heads of State and Government

Malabo Summit to reiterate ACP partnership and solidarity

Heads of State and delegates from the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries will come together from December 10-14, 2012, in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial guinea, for the 7th Summit for African Caribbean and Pacific Heads of State and Government (ACP).

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, along with African, Caribbean and Pacific group leaders will meet to strengthen South-South solidarity and collaboration, Millennium Development Goals, sustainable development programs in ACP communities, and to enhance ACP countries role in the global arena. This is another effort by the government to strengthen its cooperation ties with the international community.

“This is a great opportunity to show the world our organizational capacity, and also for those who visit our country for the first time, to see the true reality of Equatorial Guinea,” said Vicente Ehate Tomi, Equatorial Guinea Prime Minister.

This year’s ACP Summit theme will be “the future of the ACP group in a Changing World: Challenges and Opportunities,” and will focus on the future of ACP-EU relations, opportunities for ACP partnerships with emerging economies, intra-ACP trade, energy and sustainable economic development, and peace and security issues. The previous ACP Summit was held in Ghana in 2008 with a focus on the impact of the international financial hurricane of oil and food prices.

“I am convinced that the 7th Summit of ACP Heads of State and Government which will take place very soon in Equatorial Guinea will give us the chance to reaffirm this solidarity. I have no doubt that this meeting will, for us, be an opportunity to express our faith more strongly in the capacity of our Group to make the best of its partnership with the European Union, in defining more timely and innovative orientations for the Group,” said H.E Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon.

ACP is an association of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries formed to coordinate the agreements of the Lomé Convention of 1975, later included in the context of the objectives of the Cotonou Agreement, signed in 2000. Its objectives are to coordinate the activities of the ACP States, in the framework of the implementation of that agreement, and to define common positions of member countries in relation to the European Union (European Development Fund).

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, and in August the country was also the host of the 9th Leon H. Sullivan Summit, in Sipopo.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Equatorial Guinea Participates in 2012 Africagua Forum

Equatorial Guinea recently participated in the 2012 Africagua Forum held on the island of Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, on November 15-16, 2012. 

Equatorial Guinea along with representatives from Senegal, Cape Verde, Morocco and Mauritania, and more than 70 businessmen from Spain and Africa came together to the Canary Island and focused on the promotion of alternative energies associated with water.

Gregorio Boho Camo, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea and of the Central African Consular Chambers, highlighted oil as the greatest wealth of his country, “but that, however, does not solve every problem, hence the importance of renewable energy also for Equatorial Guinea.” Boho Camo took the opportunity of the opening ceremony to recommend Equatorial Guinea as the host of the third edition of Africagua.

The forum discussed cross-border cooperation programs carried out in some of the five countries present at the forum, and shared international purchases that Morocco plans to launch in the coming months. Equatorial Guinea and Senegal presented their programs and national projections from 2012 to 2020.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Course for Radio and Television Professionals in Bata

The Ministry of Information has organized three training projects in radio, television, and mobile units.  The projects are geared toward professionals of RTVGE and students interested in this sector.  They will also be taught by Spanish professionals.

The training courses last approximately nine months and are aimed to help people adapt to the latest technology and modern equipment recently installed at the Bata premises.  They also aim to train and create a technical team capable of handling the latest technology in television and radio to ensure quality production in the country. 

The launching of the new Channel 2 in Bata is another special objective of the courses, providing a comprehensive and practical curriculum.  The courses will also include knowledge of audiovisual language, editing, and production for radio technicians, camera operators, and many others.  

44th Anniversary of the Independence of Equatorial Guinea

H.E. Purificacion Angue Ondo, Ambassador of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea hosted a reception to celebrate the 44th  Anniversary of the Independence of Equatorial Guinea at the Embassy in Washington, D.C. on Friday, November 9, 2012.

The following guests joined Ambassador Angue Ondo at the reception: H.E. Serge Mombouli, Ambassador of Congo, H.E. Stanislas Mousa, Ambassador of Central Africa Republic, Ms. Mireilee Obame Nguema Moore, Embassy of Gabon, Mr. Aparicio Francisco, Political Consul from Embassy of Spain, H.E. Joseph Bienvenu Charles Foe, Ambassador of Cameroon, Pedro Arbona and Andrea Porter from MPRI, Jean Servais, Vice President of the African Forward Institute, Steven Koutsis, U.S. State Department Consular Affairs Officer, Don Yamamote, U.S. State Department Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Heather Pederson from Boeing, Tomiko Duggan, Director of Public Affairs for the Universal Peace Federation International, among others.

Click here for more photos of the reception.

Monday, November 5, 2012

American Businessman Talks About Investment In Equatorial Guinea

More than 25,000 Americans Work in Equatorial Guinea Today

Investing in Equatorial Guinea is a flexible and friendly process, according to American businessman John James.

In a recent interview with Focus Washington, John James, founder and chairman of JD James & Company, an advisory firm serving governments, government sponsored enterprises and the global private sector in West and Central Africa, said that Equatorial Guinea offers more flexibility to establish a business than other African countries because the government has deeply focused on the country’s development. James has lived and worked in Africa for more than ten years.

James said that Equatorial Guinea is one of the most dynamic stories in Africa, with the country having experienced a tremendous boom in oil production in the past 10 to 15 years.

The process of converting oil into development has been a major task for Equatorial Guinea. “Although they have a tax regime which is similar to the one in the United States, as a new company they are willing to give you, for example, a tax holiday on income taxes for 5, 10 or 15 years depending on the type of industry,” he said. 

Development has significantly increased in Equatorial Guinea. While comparing Equatorial Guinea investment with other African countries, James strongly recommended that American companies invest in the West African nation and said, “Both the business climate and the people have been very friendly. We have not seen any problems with the any of the American companies. Just about every major American company that there is, is either there or wants to go there. I have never heard one complaint.”

James believes that companies in Equatorial Guinea have the advantage of a clean slate, because the government has an entirely new process for welcoming and establishing businesses. “Development has only been underway for 10 to 12 years, and they need almost everything. They need technical support, training for their local workers. They have been very aggressive in getting outsiders to come and help them. Whether it’s consumer good, natural resources, surfaces, infrastructure--all of that is on the table in terms of American businesses.”

James says that the government has been investing tremendous amounts of money in education in order to create a capable, modern workforce, and he cautions people to remember that they are starting from a very low base point several years ago.

James also talked about the government’s initiatives to improve the economic conditions in the country, “The Head of State, President Obiang, has specifically said in his vision 2020 that his number one focus is to improve the standard of living for the entire country. In Equatorial Guinea, there’s an offshore island, which is where the capital is located, and then you have the mainland, where roughly 70% of the population is. And that balancing act of developing both parts has been a difficult one, but he and his government are doing everything they can to make sure there is an even distribution of the benefits of the oil.”

James says that there are no problems with repatriation of profits in Equatorial Guinea. Equatorial Guinea is a member of CEMAC, which is the Central African Economic and Monetary Community. The country uses the CFA franc, which is pegged to the Euro, so transactions can be done in the CFA, Euro or American Dollar. “The bulk of the industries that are in Equatorial Guinea are in fact American companies, we have more than 25,000 American workers in Equatorial Guinea today” said James.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Zinc Tour Expands To Insular Region Of Equatorial Guinea

Government continues to distribute zinc sheets and improve living conditions for poor

Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, Second Vice President of Equatorial Guinea, Head of Defense and State Security, expanded the national zinc sheet distribution to the Insular Region last week. 
The campaign, which is a government-led initiative, was designed to improve living conditions for impoverished families throughout the nation by donating zinc sheets to replace the nipa roofs. 
The zinc roof campaign has affected a number of regions throughout the nation, including Aconibe, Centro Sur, Wele-Nzas, and now the Insular Region. Thousands of zinc sheets have been donated in addition to other services.
“The zing sheet program is complemented by other social projects,” said Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, “such as the building of rural schools and teachers' houses, or health posts and water wells.”
Since it was initiated, the Second Vice President has supervised the tour and the implementation of various projects to enhance the living conditions of rural families and communities. He has traveled with a team of physicians during the campaign and had them treat individuals who were sick with limited access to resources.
This tour, along with the complementary development projects tied with it, exemplify the government’s efforts to address social welfare issues in Equatorial Guinea and promote better living conditions for those who are disadvantaged.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Interpol Declines To Honor French Judge’s Request For Arrest Of Equatorial Guinean Official

The International Criminal Police Organization, commonly known as INTERPOL, has informed the government of Equatorial Guinea that it has blocked a request by a French investigating magistrate for an international arrest warrant for the Second Vice President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue. 

In a statement issued this past weekend, INTERPOL said that “international police cooperation through INTERPOL’s channels would not be, in this case, consistent with the Constitution and Rules of the Organization.”

The investigative magistrate is pursuing charges brought by an NGO, not the French government, that a residence and furnishings in Paris were purchased by Vice President Nguema with the fruits of corruption. Vice President Nguema and the government of Equatorial Guinea have denied the charges.  The government of Equatorial Guinea has said that the property in question is diplomatic property owned by the state, and has charged the French government with violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.  In a related matter a member of the NGO that has made the allegations is, himself, avoiding an international arrest warrant.

In a statement, the government of Equatorial Guinea said, “This decision is a first recognition of international law that was always been demanded by the Government of Equatorial Guinea, and should be translated immediately into the abandonment of the legal process undertaken in recognition of the error committed by the French investigating magistrate, restoring to the Equatorial Guinean State all the confiscated goods.”

Student At American College Travels To Equatorial Guinea And Works With Tribal Villages

Luisa Lopes, College of Coastal Georgia student and Brazilian native, traveled to Equatorial Guinea this summer and worked with children living in tribal villages.

Lopes spent 21 days in Equatorial Guinea, where her father works as a human resources director for A.R.G., Brazilian civil construction company, while her mother, a former educator, is involved in social work and dedicates most of her time to Equatoguineans in tribal villages. She teaches them how to cook and use corn to make different meals, among other things. Corn is a readily available staple in Equatorial Guinea.

While Lopes mother visited the tribal villages, she was able to play with and teach personal hygiene to the local children, ages 2 to 16. Lopes enjoyed her experience in Equatorial Guinea and helping people at the tribal villages. “Lopes said she would like to return before her father's services are done in Africa – which could be sometime next year. She said the experience made her want to help others more in the future,” said an article from College of Coastal Georgia Athletic News.

Lopes’s parents have been in Equatorial Guinea for almost three years working and engaging with the community. Additionally, according to the College of Coastal Georgia Athletic News,“Lopes’s father's company also teaches the people how to grow their own food and store it properly so that it will be safe to eat. The company also raises rabbits and gives them to each of the villages to cook as meat to eat.”