Friday, September 27, 2013

Obiang Calls For U.N. Security Council Reform

U.N. is “impotent observer” while great powers act, says Equatorial Guinea’ President.
 African leader condemns terrorism and highlights advances in his country.

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo called yesterday for reform of the United Nations to create a more democratic and representative body.

In his remarks before the 68th U.N. General Assembly, the West African chief of state described as “incoherent” the idea of engaging in “indiscriminate destruction, to later plan reconstruction and reconciliation by outside parties.”

“On the international level,” he said, “we are very concerned about the United Nations’ so-called humanitarian intervention, which, far from guaranteeing the human rights and welfare of the affected peoples, are more oriented toward imposing political systems and democracies by undeclared interests, totally ignoring the intangible principles of national sovereignty and dignity of peoples.”

These actions occur “before the impotent gaze of the United Nations, whose role as arbiter and conciliator is being openly violated by special interests.”

He described “a kind of cold war between those who proclaim themselves to be moral authorities and the majority who claim their right to freedom of action to guide the destinies of their peoples.”

“Democracy is the maximum just expression of natural law,” he said, and an “act of sovereign popular will. We do not see how democracy can be imposed on any country.”

“Consequently,” he said, “there can be no other alternative than to reform these organs, especially the Security Council, in order to make them more democratic and so that they will protect with impartiality the interests of all nations.”

President Obiang condemned the recent terrorist attack in Kenya, calling it “a vile attack on the freedom and dignity of the Kenyan people.” He called on the U.N. to “take severe measures against crimes of this nature.”

He said that terrorism and war added to other woes affecting the developing world, including hunger and natural disasters, “causing human loss and forced displacement of large populations.”
Peace and security, therefore, are essential for development, he said, and have been major factors in building economic progress in his country.

“The political, economic, and sociocultural situation in Equatorial Guinea is positive and encouraging,” he said, “because the country enjoys fruitful peace and stability, carries out a harmonious political development, and is maturing as a genuine national democracy; all of this has allowed us to undertake important infrastructure projects that allow the people to participate directly in the general growth of the country.”

Currently the country is putting in place important political reforms in consensus with all the political institutions,” he said.

Equatorial Guinea, Malawi to Strengthen Cooperation

--> The presidents of Equatorial Guinea and Malawi took steps to increase cooperation during a meeting yesterday between Equatorial Guinea’s President, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, and Malawi’s President, Joyce Hilda Banda.

The two presidents met at the margins of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss increasing cooperation in trade and development.

Following the meeting, Mrs. Banda said that other African nations can learn much from successful development efforts in Equatorial Guinea.

“President Obiang is committed to changing the lives of ordinary people,” she said. “You go to Equatorial Guinea and see this--see buildings going up, new projects, development everywhere.”
Mrs. Banda said that Equatorial Guinea “is a country that has done well economically.” She said she believes Malawi can benefit from increased trade and stronger relations with Equatorial Guinea.

Mrs. Banda was elected to office in the midst of a severe economic crisis in Malawi and immediately took steps to devalue the kwacha, Malawi’s currency, and reign in government spending. She has made transparency in government and economic restructuring her top priorities.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Full Slate of Meetings for President Obiang at 68th U.N. General Assembly

Equatorial Guinea’s President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo will address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 26. President Obiang has a full schedule of other events this week, including several meetings with other heads of government and heads of state.

The Equatorial Guinea delegation, led by President Obiang, joins 130 Heads of State and Government, Vice Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and their delegations as they come together to discuss important international issues such as development, climate change, fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals, economy and global finance, food security and others.

President Obiang met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, earlier this week to discuss the progress of the activities being carried out by the UN in Equatorial Guinea. During the meeting, the Secretary-General reaffirmed the “UN’s commitment to continue to support the efforts of Equatorial Guinea and Gabon towards the peaceful settlement of their border dispute through referral to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a timely manner,” said a UN official statement.

Today, President Obiang held bilateral meetings with Cote d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouatarra, South Africa President Jacob Zuma, and Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller.

Equatorial Guinea's First Lady Inaugurates New Child Support Committee Building

Constancia Mangue Nsue de Obiang, First Lady of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, and the First Vice President for Presidential Affairs, Ignacio Milam Tang, inaugurated the new headquarters of the Committee for the Support of the Equatoguinean Child (CANIGE) in Malabo II last week.

CANIGE is an important institution in the country’s efforts to improve child development and education resources for its citizens.

CANIGE was established in 1984 at the beginning of the country’s efforts to fight marginalization and change attitudes toward women in Equatorial Guinea society. The First Lady has been one of CANIGE’s strongest supporters for nearly 30 years.

“I would like to highlight that our fight against marginalization was the inspiration behind the establishment of a non-governmental organization called CANIGE, Committee for the Support of the Equatoguinean Child,” the First Lady said during a recent award ceremony held by the Voice of African Mothers.  

“With the creation of CANIGE, we assumed the commitment to be fully involved in the care, protection, training and integral promotion of the Equatoguinean child… because we believe they should be the center of our individual and collective efforts in order to obtain the United Nations objectives for the development of the millennium.”

The First Lady has long championed efforts to promote social development, improve the status of women, and provide resources for children, at home and throughout the Africa continent.  She said that she hopes the new CANIGE building will become a center for developing programs to improve the quality of life for all Equatoguineans.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Equatorial Guinea to Launch Malaria Vaccine Trial

West African Nation Leads Fight Against Malaria

 Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Health and Social Security recently presented a design for a malaria vaccine trial as part of the government’s efforts to improve the country’s public health.

The West African Nation is the second country in Africa, after Tanzania, to sponsor a malaria vaccine clinical trial. Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Health and Social Security and the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy partnered with Sanaria, a U.S. biotechnology company that produces a vaccine based on an approach to immunization that has already proven highly protective in humans, and the Ifakara Health Institute (IHI), Tanzania’s health research organization. This first clinical trial will evaluate both the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.

During the clinical trial’s presentation, Minister of Health and Social Security, Diosdado Vicente Nsue Milang, expressed the government’s support and appreciation of the parties involved.

“Malaria is a global concern,” he said, “and although the situation has improved in many countries, it is still the most common cause of mortality in pregnant women and children under five years.”
Dr. Pither, Sanaria representative, and Salim Abdulla, Ifakara representative, explained how the malaria vaccine works and how it is developed. The trial admission is scheduled for the first quarter of 2014. Sanaria and the IHI expect that the clinical trials in Equatorial Guinea will show that the vaccine is safe and effective, and that it can provide protection to African populations where the disease is endemic.

The ultimate goal is to develop a vaccine that can be part of large campaigns aimed at eliminating the disease. The clinical trials in Equatorial Guinea could help achieve this goal and significantly advance the global fight against malaria.

Equatorial Guinea’s Ethics Review Committee is overseeing the protocol to ensure that the clinical trial follows Equatorial Guinea’s standards. After these reviews and the approval of the protocol, the committee members will participate in the African Forum on the Regulation of Vaccines to present the results to the other sixteen countries represented in this forum, which will review the protocol with Equatorial Guinea on October 15, 2014.

Equatorial Guinea’s Ministries of Health and Social Welfare, and Mines, Industry and Energy are sponsoring this clinical trial, along with Marathon Oil, Noble Energy, EGLNG and AMPCO.

The director of the National Program for the Fight Against Malaria,  Matilde Roca, and representatives of various international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Cuban Office of International Cooperation,  and Marathon Oil, among others.

The government's national malaria program includes free treatment for patients who test positive for malaria infection, with special attention paid to pregnant women, who  face higher risk.

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has 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 in 2012.

“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,” he said.

Roll Back Malaria has reported that Equatorial Guinea has decreased the prevalence of the malaria parasite in children by 57% in the last few years and has increased the number of bed nets and indoor spraying of insecticides from 4% to 95% of the country in that same period. Research carried out on the Island of Bioko by the government and Marathon Oil has shown reduced infant mortality in nearly one-third of the population. 

Another Roll Back Malaria report on Business Investing in Malaria Control: Economic Returns and a Healthy Workforce for Africa has shown how malaria control investment has significantly improved in Africa. “Companies in Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Mozambique, and Zambia have worked to prevent malaria among their workers and workers' dependents and have seen an excellent return on investment, with significant reductions in malaria-related illnesses and deaths, worker absenteeism, and malaria related spending,” the report said.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Equatorial Guinea Hosts Third Forum of Kings, Sultans, Sheikhs, Princes and Traditional Leaders

Prime Minister Calls for African Solidarity to Build their Political and Economic Independence

Equatorial Guinea hosted the third Forum of Kings, Sultans, Sheikhs, Princes and Traditional Leaders, from September 7 to 11, at the Sipopo Conference Center in the capital city of Malabo. The forum focused on protection of human rights, good governance, peacekeeping, agricultural development and support for African women.

During the closing ceremony, Equatorial Guinea’s Prime Minister for Administrative Coordination, Vicente Ehate Tomi, stressed the need for African governments to support the African Royal Fund. He also called for African solidarity toward building their political and economic independence.

The Malabo Declaration, which was read at the closing ceremony, supported the forum’s theme, “Traditional Cultural Values in Contemporary African Society.” The forum also dealt with the maintenance of institutions and cultural heritage, and the search for unity as a guarantee for a genuine union of the people.

Permanent Secretary-General of the Forum's Council, Jean Gervais Tchiffi Zie, granted the certificate of the South African Scientific Research Institute to President Obiang for his support of scientific and cultural research. President Obiang, who has made strong efforts to promote African unity and cooperation, made a donation to the Kings Fund and offered the city of Malabo to host the headquarters of Traditional Kings.

Equatorial Guinea’s development is based on the Horizon 2020 plan. The West African country is investing its oil resources to establish a diverse and independent economy and political system, and to prepare the country for the day when oil production declines.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Equatorial Guinea Invests in Human Resources Training Program

Prime Minister of the Government for Administrative
Coordination, Vicente Ehate Tomi, during his speech.
The Business Management course was part of the human resources training program for public administration civil servants. It was funded by the Equatorial Guinean government and organized by the World Bank in collaboration with the European University of Madrid.
Approximately 116 students took the course, which lasted three months. 

World Bank representative, Zouera Youssoufou, spoke of the course’s positive results and highlighted the importance of an improved educational system in Equatorial Guinea. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Interpol Withdraws Arrest Warrant Against Equatorial Guinea’s Vice-President

The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) recently withdrew an arrest warrant against Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, Second Vice President of Equatorial Guinea.

The international search and arrest warrant charged Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue with failing to appear in court in response to a summons that was part of the investigation spurred by a lawsuit filed in France by Transparency International against several African Heads of State. The arrest warrant was ordered last year by two French judges.

Last month, a United States federal judge granted the Vice President’s motion for summary judgment, which dismissed the U.S. government’s claims that the Vice President had violated the laws of Equatorial Guinea. The judge ruled that the U.S. government did not have probably cause to bring those charges. Last year, INTERPOL blocked a request from a French investigating magistrate for an international arrest warrant for the Second Vice President.

In a recent statement, the government of Equatorial Guinea said, “The Republic of Equatorial Guinea has always stated that both the summonses as well as the arrest warrant violated International Law, which confers absolute jurisdictional immunity to Heads of States.”

The statement also said, “The Republic of Equatorial Guinea is satisfied that the Law has been applied… While the Republic of Equatorial Guinea respects the independence of the French courts, it understands that the Law must be respected…”

The official statement from the Government of Equatorial Guinea follows:

The International Criminal Police Organization, INTERPOL, announced it had ended the dissemination, conducted at the request of France, of the arrest warrant issued on July 2012 by two judges in Paris, against His Excellency Teodoro NGUEMA OBIANG MANGUE, the Second Vice President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, on charges of failure to appear to a summons, to be heard as part of the investigation into the lawsuit by Transparency International against several African Heads of State and their entourage.
The Republic of Equatorial Guinea welcomes this decision.  

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea has always stated that both the summons and the arrest warrant were contrary to International Law, which confers absolute jurisdictional immunity to the Heads of States, as various jurisprudence cases of the States consider regularly, as does the International Court of Justice of The Hague.

INTERPOL's decision, if it were necessary, confirms that the arrest warrant violates International Law, so that this organization cannot execute it.

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea is satisfied that the Law has been applied and trusts that, because of the appeals presented, both in France and in the International Court of Justice, that a flagrant violation of the fundamental principles of the Law and international relations between sovereign States can be ended.
While the Republic of Equatorial Guinea respects the independence of the French courts, however, it understands that the Law must be respected and is surprised that in France there is still this clear violation of international law, and even more so in a case initiated by some NGOs whose motives are clearly political and aimed at destabilizing the institutions of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

Malabo, September 4, 2013

The Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Equatorial Guinea, Marathon Oil Collaborate to Improve Healthcare Infrastructure

The government of Equatorial Guinea has partnered with Marathon Oil Corporation to renovate the infrastructure of the Hospital of Malabo, including installing new air conditioning units, doors and windows and renovating the electrical installation.

Marathon Oil Corporation also presented a community health project last month to refurbish the Hospital of Malabo’s emergency room. The project was approved by the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

“Health encourages hope for the creation of a better future,” said Richard Biller, Marathon Oil representative, on the importance of community health projects.  Armando Rompao, Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy representative, expressed his appreciation to Marathon Oil for its continuous support toward the development of Equatorial Guinea. 

Equatorial Guinea has made vast improvements in the country’s healthcare system. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported last year that Equatorial Guinea and Botswana were leading Africa in per capita investments in health care. 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.

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has donated USD$1.5 million to the World Health Organization (WHO) to support research for global health.

Equatorial Guinea's Island of Bioko Featured in Ventures Africa Magazine

Ventures Africa magazine recently carried a featured story on the captivating natural landscapes of Equatorial Guinea’s Island of Bioko. The article highlighted the island’s white sand beaches, colorful vegetation and precious wood.

While it focused mostly on the West African nation’s climate, geographical location and natural beauty, the magazine also highlighted its offshore oil reserves, “as well as the fact of having the town of Malabo as the political capital of sub-Saharan country, which is also Africa’s third oil-producing country,” and said the island of “Bioko, the largest in the Gulf of Guinea, has become a strategic insular space.”

The temperature and altitude of the southern region of the island, Moka, “allows vegetable production and cattle breeding, creating an alpine landscape,” the magazine reported. “The southern part of the island, exposed to the southwest monsoon, receives an average of 10 meters of water, which maintains the rainforest.”

The magazine reported that the island of Bioko is well known for its biodiversity reserve. “On Bioko, 28 percent of mammals and 32 percent of endemic birds form subspecies, “ it said. “Also the maritime areas of Equatorial Guinea are one of the centers of gravity of the offshore exploitation of hydrocarbons in the region…”

Equatorial Guinea is a member of the Commission for the Conservation of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (COMIFAC). As part of the government’s efforts to preserve the country’s ecosystems and biodiversity, Equatorial Guinea participates in  the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and is a signatory of the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). Environmental conservation is part of a larger effort at reform outlined by President Obiang at the 2010 Global Forum in Cape Town, South Africa.