Monday, April 29, 2013

Equatorial Guinea and Turkey Strengthen Trade Relations

The Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea is working with the Turkish Government to enhance trade relations, including signing a free trade agreement.

Celestino Bonifacio Bakale Obiang, Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Economy and Business Promotion, led a delegation to Brussels last week to discuss the trade agreement with members of the Turkish Government. The Director of the Minister’s Office, Luis Bocung Asumu, and the Director of Commerce, Rosendo Ondo Obiang, accompanied Minister Bakale Obiang to Brussels.

During the meeting, Minister Bakale Obiang said that Equatorial Guinea was interested in signing the agreement. He expressed his goal to increase foreign investment in the country and boost the national economy.

The trade agreement Turkey proposed to Equatorial Guinea has already been signed with a number of other African countries, including Cameroon, Congo and Ghana. The agreement is reflective of the two countries’ efforts to improve bilateral relations, which they have been trying to develop for several years. 

In 2008, Equatorial Guinea participated in the First Turkey-Africa Cooperation Summit in Istanbul, and in 2010, a Turkish delegation visited Equatorial Guinea to explore business opportunities.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Obiang Makes Plea For African UN Veto

Proposal would give African nations the final say over Security Council actions in Africa.

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea made a plea today to give African nations a veto over UN Security council actions on the continent. He did not give details.

“The Republic of Equatorial Guinea asks the international community to…allow Africa to obtain its protection in the Security Council with the right of a veto in its favor. So that Africa can decide for itself before this high organ of world security, and also for transparency in its actions,” he said. 

President Obiang made his suggestion this morning in an address before the Special Session of the U.N. General Assembly on the Peaceful Resolution of Conflicts in Africa.

Obiang noted that the long history of pre-colonial Africa was not characterized by wars among African peoples, and in the years since colonization, wars have been a result of the division of Africa by colonial powers. “The situation of belligerence in Africa is generally one of purely internal conflicts that are apparently difficult for affected governments to resolve,” he said. 

“Why do African states have to confront powers outside Africa to resolve its internal conflicts?” Obiang asked. He laid some blame at the feet of “the African political class,” which, he said, “continues to believe that Africa cannot subsist without the intervention of the old colonial powers.” 

President Obiang said that non-intervention did not “justify that a government might consciously work against its own people,” but “neither did it justify that the good judgment of African governments to submit to consensus by dialogue and negotiation are continually constrained by foreign intervention, blocking and impeding any solution negotiated by those very Africans.” 

President Obiang, a recent president of the African Union, has consistently called for African nations to take greater responsibility for resolving the continent’s problems and for foreign powers to stand back and allow Africa to settle its own affairs. Since leaving office, he has been a leading voice for African interests in international forums and has emerged among African leaders as an articulate spokesman for Africa.

“Let us cut this umbilical cord of permanent dependency,” he said.

Monday, April 22, 2013

U.S. Federal Judge Dismisses Case Brought Against Equatorial Guinea Vice President

A federal judge has dismissed a suit brought by the Justice Department to seize a Gulfstream jet owned by Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, second vice president of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and the son of the country’s president.
U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras ruled Friday that the government had failed to meet its burden of proof by linking the jet to specific illegal acts. The case was a civil forfeiture suit brought under a law allowing the government to seize assets of foreign nationals that are the fruit of criminal activity or corruption.

In June 2012, a federal judge in Los Angeles dismissed a similar complaint brought by the Justice Department against Mr. Nguema seeking to seize property in Los Angeles. In that decision, judge also ruled that the Department of Justice had failed to present information to show that Mr. Nguema’s funds were obtained through illegal activity or that he had participated in any illegal activity.

He described the charges in the complaint as “vague” and called the complaint “devoid of any facts that might support allegations that Nguema directly participated in extortion, misappropriation, theft or embezzlement.”

“I am pleased, l of course, by this ruling,” said Mr. Nguema. “I have great respect for the United States and its justice system. The law must work for everyone, and two separate federal judges have now dismissed cases brought against me. From the beginning, we sought to cooperate with the Department of Justice as it conducted its investigation, but my attorneys’ efforts were rejected. I regret that we have had to go this far, but I am prepared to continue to fight to defend myself of these unfounded charges.”

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Equatorial Guinea Congratulates Ceiba’s Expansion to Madrid

After successfully adding a Malabo-Madrid line, Ceiba Intercontinental Airlines opened a new customer service office in Madrid last Thursday, April 11. Agustin Nze Nfumu, the Minister of Information for the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, represented President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo at the inauguration of the new office.

In a speech during the inauguration, Agustin Nze described the new office as an opportunity to strengthen relations between the two regions and celebrate their Hispanic heritage. He also said that, “this Ceiba office is the door that gives [Spaniards] a first welcome to Equatorial Guinea, a welcome that all Equatorial Guineans will personally give them when they come to visit us.”

Following the opening of the new office, Ceiba Intercontinental announced that it will include three new Boeing 737s to its fleet. In addition to three Boeing 737s, Ceiba’s directors are looking for other units to incorporate, which would allow them to add new routes.

According to Agustin Nze, the expansion of Ceiba Intercontinental is representative of Equatorial Guinea’s recent efforts to play a bigger role in the international community and strengthen relations with other countries. It provides the government the opportunity to increase cultural exchange and show the world how Equatorial Guinea is developing economically and socially.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

National University of Equatorial Guinea Signs Student Exchange Program Agreement with University of Castilla

The National University of Equatorial Guinea (UNGE) and the University of Castilla-La Mancha, in Spain, signed an agreement this week to establish an exchange program for their students.

There was a delegation from both institutions at the signing of the agreement. Representing the University of Castilla was the Director of the School of Mining and Industrial Engineering, Jose Maria Iraizoz Fernandez, along with the Deputy Director of Strategic Planning and External Relations, Demetrio Fuentes Ferrera, and the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea in the Basque Country, Miguel Macarro Herrero. Carlos Nse Nsuga represented the UNGE delegation.  

According to Nse Nsuga, the agreement will be similar to those already signed with Spanish academic institutions such as the Polytechnic University of Valencia. He also announced that a delegation from UNGE will travel to Madrid soon to establish a soccer school within the university school of teacher training.

Equatorial Guinea Supports Young Entrepreneurs with Loans

On March 30, 2013, Equatorial Guinea’s Second Vice President, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, pledged to financially support young entrepreneurs through loans with the CCIBANK Bank.

As President of the Youth Foundation of the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea, Nguema Obiang Mangue, is working to negotiate the total loan value with the bank. The expected value of the loan is two billion CFA francs. 

Nguema Obiang Mangue expressed his desire to promote solidarity and national development through these loans. He said that the program aligns with the country’s Horizon 2020 plan, which was established in 2007 to stimulate economic growth and development.