Thursday, October 31, 2013

President Obiang of Equatorial Guinea Meets with Pope

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea met with Pope Francis at the Vatican last week and exchanged with Vatican officials the instruments of ratification of an agreement with the Holy See on relations between the Catholic Church and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

The agreement was signed a year ago in the Basilica of Mongomo and enters into force with the exchange of instruments between the two parties.

According to Vatican Radio, the agreement confirms the good bilateral relations between the two states, recognizes the legal personality of the church and its institutions, and covers canonical marriage, places of worship, educational institutions, and spiritual assistance to the Catholic faithful in hospitals and prisons.

The Vatican described the meeting between President Obiang and the Pontiff as “cordial,” and said that Pope Francis had highlighted “the positive contribution of the Catholic Church in favour of the human, social, and cultural development of the country…, particularly in the fields of education and welfare, as was the collaboration with the State to improve the standard of living of the population.”

The United Nations estimates that Equatorial Guinea is 93% Christian and 87% Roman Catholic.

The U.S. Department of State reported in 2013, “The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom and, in practice, the government generally respected religious freedom…. There were no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.”

“We were well received by the Holy Father, who is very interested in our country and has sent greetings and blessings to the people of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea,” said President Obiang at a press conference held after his return from Rome.

After their meeting, President Obiang attended a mass at the tomb St. Peter. He returned to Equatorial Guinea shortly afterward on Sunday, October 27, and held a press conference to discuss the significance and success of the historic meeting.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Remarkable Development In Equatorial Guinea, Says Ambassador

Washington, D.C. Embassy Celebrates West African Nation’s Independence

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is committed “to fully develop the country democratically, economically and socially” and the results so far are impressive, said Ruben Maye Nsue Mangue, Equatorial Guinea’s ambassador to the United States.

The ambassador made the remarks at a reception at the Equatorial Guinea Embassy in Washington to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the West African nation’s independence.

During his welcome speech, Ambassador Nsue Mangue said that development in Equatorial Guinea is visible to everyone who has been able to visit the country. The government is heavily investing its oil resources in improving the standard of living of its citizens, which includes improving the education, infrastructure, health and other sectors.

“UNESCO reports that we have the highest adult literacy rate in Sub-Saharan Africa, at 93%,” Ambassador Nsue Mangue said. “In July, 153 nurses graduated the National University of Equatorial Guinea… Our infrastructure and road system have been entirely rebuilt over the last few years. Now, all our villages are connected to the cities and regional centers.” 

Equatorial Guinea has also made vast improvements in the health sector.

“Modern hospitals have been built and staffed in our capital, Malabo, and the largest city on the mainland, Bata, “the ambassador said. “Our country is one of the only two in Africa supporting malaria vaccine clinical trial aimed at eliminating malaria.”

Ambassador Nsue Mangue said that his government is aggressively pursuing electrification in Equatorial Guinea and that soon even the most remote villages will have electric power.

He said that Equatorial Guinea’s government wishes to strengthen its ties with the United States and work with the United States for the benefit of both nations.

U.S. Department of State representatives, including Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Cynthia Akuetteh, attended the event, as well as ambassadors, Marathon Oil representatives, and Equatorial Guinea’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Anatolio Ndong Mba.

Ambassador Nsue Mangue recently presented his credentials to President Obama. Previously, he was Equatorial Guinea’s ambassador to the African Union in Addis Ababa.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Equatorial Guinea Takes Significant Strides in Developing Country's Infrastructure

In anticipation of National Independence Day October 12, President Obiang of Equatorial Guinea oversaw the inauguration of three major works on Thursday, October 10, including the new headquarters for the Ministry of Finance and Information. 

First Lady Constancia Mangue de Obiang accompanied President Obiang at the inauguration, along with several other government officials including Vice President Ignacio Milam Tang and Second Vice President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue.

In addition to the Ministry of Finance building, which was built by the Chinese company Dailian, the President also inaugurated a new building for the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) in Malabo II. The new Secretary-General, Jeronimo Osa Osa Ecoro, welcomed the President at the opening ceremony and thanked him for his support in promoting development throughout the nation.

The President’s dedication to development was later showcased at the third inauguration that day for the boardwalk – a significant addition that will benefit all Equatoguineans, according to the President. “The boardwalk”, he said, “is a reflection of the country’s progress in industrialization, for all of the elements used were of local origin.”

President Obiang has taken great strides to improve national development and promote growth, which can be seen through these projects as well as future ones including the new headquarters for the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy, based in Mongomo.

The new building will incorporate the National School of Electricity of Equatorial Guinea (ENEGE), created in 2011 to provide training for national electrical technicians who would replace expatriate specialists throughout the country. By providing a new school building in conjunction with the new Ministry of Mines headquarters, the Government is showing its commitment to become an emerging country by 2020 – its ultimate goal.

Friday, October 4, 2013

President Obiang Calls for U.N. Security Council Reform

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.”


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Equatorial Guinea Supports Malaria Vaccine Trial

President Obiang Visits Sanaria Facilities in Support of the Country’s Fight Against Malaria

Equatorial Guinea’s President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo met with representatives of Sanaria Corporation in New York, last week to discuss progress on the upcoming malaria vaccine trial to take place in Equatorial Guinea. The president was in New York, to address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and meet with several heads of government and heads of state.

Equatorial Guinea is the second country in Africa to sponsor a malaria vaccine clinical trial. President Obiang reaffirmed the government's commitment to fight the disease, which is endemic in West and Central Africa. The West African nation has partnered with SanariaIfakara Health Institute (IHI), Marathon Equatorial Guinea Production Limited (MEGPL), Noble Energy, and Medical Care Development International (MCDI) for this vaccine trial.

Dr. Stephen Hoffman, President and founder of Sanaria, shared Sanaria’s mission with President Obiang and explained in detail the development of the vaccine trial.

President Obiang and the Equatorial Guinea delegation visited Sanaria’s laboratory, where they saw a demonstration of the production of the malaria vaccine (PfSPz) and witnessed the dissection to remove the sporozoites that cause malaria and are used to make the vaccine. They also observed the storage and cold chain transportation of the vaccine.

Marvin Rainsdon, MEGPL's general manager, expressed the research team’s appreciation for the support and commitment that the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy, the Ministry of Health and Social Security, Marathon, Noble Energy, AMPCO and EGLN have contributed to the research of the vaccine.

Chris Schwabe, representing MCDI, an organization that manages the Malaria Control Program on the island of Bioko, shared the achievements the country has experienced in the last ten years, and explained that the vaccine trial’s ultimate goal is to eliminate malaria in the next five years. This milestone research is part of the government’s efforts to improve the country’s public health.