Monday, November 25, 2013

Equatorial Guinea Hosts International Hip Hop Festival

On November 27, Equatorial Guinea will host its 7th International Hip Hop Festival in its capital, Malabo. For several days, hip hop artists will perform at one of three cultural centers, including the Spanish, French and Equatorial Guinean centers.

Artists will include Jamin, Metrico and Negro Bey, along with international artists, such as Spanish band SFDK.

The Spanish Cultural Center of Spain in Malabo – AECID and the Cultural Institute of French Expression (ICEF) started the festival, which has since become of the country’s most popular festivals.

The festival will last throughout the weekend and end on December 1st with performances by national artists, including Negro Bey who will present from his latest album “Reliquia.”

There will be a press conference on November 27th at the Hotel Sofitel Sipopo with the artists.

To learn more about the cultural festival, you can visit its Facebook page Festival Malabo HipHop.

Equatorial Guinea And Russia Discuss Technical, Security And Defense Collaboration

Equatorial Guinea’s President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo recently met with the Russian Ambassador in Equatorial Guinea, Nikolay Ratsi Borinskty to discuss cooperation in the technical, security and defense sectors.

During the meeting, President Obiang and Ambassador Ratsi Borinskty talked about the willingness of both countries to promote and strengthen common bonds, and the importance of security in the Central African subregion.

A few weeks ago, Equatorial Guinea’s Second Vice President for Defense and State Security, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, met with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao to discuss strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation projects in such sectors as defense and security. During the meeting, Vice President Yuanchao announced China will donate 3.8 billion CFA Francs to fund cooperation and security projects in Equatorial Guinea.

Friday, November 22, 2013

China to Increase Cooperation in Equatorial Guinea

China to donate 3.8 billion CFA Francs toward projects in Equatorial Guinea

After meeting with Equatorial Guinea’s Second Vice President for Defense and State Security, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao announced China will donate 3.8 billion CFA Francs to fund cooperation and security projects in Equatorial Guinea.

During Vice President Nguema Obiang Mangue’s visit, he officially opened an Honorary Consulate in Hong Kong as part of the country’s efforts to attract foreign investment.

As head of defense and state security, Vice President Nguema Obiang Mangue exercises oversight and policy guidance over the nation’s defense and military forces, police institutions, and immigration. While in China, he met with companies in the security and construction sectors.

Vice President Nguema Obiang Mangue shared with local news media information about his successful meetings with the Chinese government, saying he was pleased with China’s economic contribution and support, and described the relations between the two states as exemplary.

Vice President Yuanchao told Vice President Nguema Obiang Mangue that his country wished to continue offering courses, workshops and study tours to Equatorial Guinea’s public servants. They also discussed strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation projects in such sectors as infrastructure, oil industry, healthcare, education, shipping, agriculture, livestock, fisheries, human resources, among others.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Equatorial Guinea Seeks Full, Systematic Implementation Of Accord On Free Movement

Technical and administrative conditions of the agreement must be in place before nations will be able to manage the free movement of people.

The Government of Equatorial Guinea favors full implementation of the Free Movement Agreement of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) Area, and will support efforts of CEMAC countries to implement all conditions and technical requirements leading to an eventual free movement of persons among the signatory states, the government said in a statement issued yesterday.

The government of Equatorial Guinea decided not to apply the agreement in its territory during a meeting of the Council of Ministers on November 8. The government explained afterward that there are still several requirements and condition—to be carried out in stages—that CEMAC States must meet and comply with. In addition, the agreement must be approved by both houses of Equatorial Guinea’s Parliament.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Agapito Mba Mokuy summoned the Ambassadors of the CEMAC countries accredited in Equatorial Guinea to a meeting at the foreign ministry on November 11 to explain the government’s position.

The Minister explained that Equatorial Guinea's position is that because the recommendations that were made by the Heads of State of the CEMAC zone have not yet been fully implemented, it would be premature for the agreement to enter into force. Many of the requirements are intended to prepare the way for the orderly free movement of persons. Until they are in effect, the area risked a chaotic movement of people.

The agreement requires the development of a CEMAC biometric passport in the different diplomatic, official and service categories; the creation of model of CEMAC visas for third countries; the acquisition of equipment in all the land, sea and air borders of the community capable of reading biometric passports; the creation of a monitoring and evaluation committee on immigration; the construction of a cooperation center for police and customs for the exchange of information in order to facilitate and monitor the movements of people; the creation of a monitoring committee made up of border police from civil society, territorial administration, and regional integration and the CEMAC Commission that would assess the community decisions and human behavior; and the creation of a data-collection center to facilitate criminal investigations at the borders.

The Government also believes it is essential to establish the required committee of police chiefs of Central Africa, whose purpose is to assess the difficulties related to free movement of persons within the CEMAC area.

Finally, the Government believes it is necessary to organize a training program for law enforcement and security forces in the member countries in order to strengthen their capacities in management and migration issues.

The Government of Equatorial Guinea has consistently favored integration in Central Africa and across the African continent and has been a leading proponent of cooperation within CEMAC.

Equatorial Guinea Participates in Africagua 2013 Summit

Last Thursday, November 7, 2013, Equatorial Guinea’s Ambassador to Spain, Purificacion Angue Ondo Avomo, spoke at the 3rd annual Africagua Canaries summit.

Africagua is the International Forum for Water and Renewable Energy held in the Canary Islands. It brings together over two hundred businessmen from Europe and Africa to discuss opportunities in the water and renewable energy industries, including representatives from the European Commission, the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

In addition to business leaders in the industry, officials also participated in the summit, such as the President of the Canary Islands, Paulino Rivero.

The program included panel discussions, workshops and exhibits that are designed to develop and strengthen relations between various businesses and governments from the region.

Equatorial Guinea Statement Regarding Soccer Match Criticism

The news that Equatorial Guinea’ National soccer team, Nzalang, will play a friendly game against world and European champion, Spain’s national soccer team, La Roja, on Saturday, November 16, has created criticism from some political parties and institutions in Spain.

The Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE), through its Secretary-General, Jeronimo Osa Osa Ecoro, has shared the following statement regarding the controversy that the upcoming friendly match has arisen.

The full text of the statement follows:

We consider that this sports event is just that: a sports event between two national teams of two nations that are united by some very important historical and cultural links. In fact, one must recall that for many years Equatorial Guinea was part of Spain, and both States share a top-level treasure: the Spanish language.

Like the entire Equatoguinean population, we are excited and grateful for the fact that the best national team of the world will visit our country and play soccer in the Malabo Stadium, where they will be welcomed with absolute and total enthusiasm by the thousands of fans that await them here. In this exceptional soccer match, the players of La Roja will not only find supporters against them, but the contrary: they will find a stadium completely devoted to the Spanish players and very thankful for their visit.

We profoundly and fully regret that, once again, certain political parties and other Spanish institutions have politicized this sports event, taking advantage of it for political reasons, pitting two countries against each other, and in order to generate controversy and create tension with an ally country such as Equatorial Guinea. Once again, we observe the ignorance of some of these parties that use brutal qualifiers to speak of our country, ignoring the social, economic and political development that Equatorial Guinea has experienced in recent years. We urge all of them to become better informed about Equatorial Guinea.

Furthermore, as Equatoguineans and not as politicians, it is aberrant to us that these politicians want to deprive the Equatorial Guinean population –in their supposed defense- of the great privilege of enjoying this match, as if soccer or any other sport were exclusively the entitlement of only a few. Perhaps all these political parties –which appear to be so democratic-consider that soccer should be a privilege of only those that merit their blessing.

From the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea, we think that soccer, like any other sport, is an asset of humanity that should serve to unite and not to separate, and that it should be enjoyed and shared by all human beings, regardless of their race, nationalities or ideologies.

Jeronimo Osa Osa Ecoro
Secretary-General of the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Equatorial Guinea Strengthens Relations with China in Official Visit

Second Vice President Meets with Chinese Vice President

Equatorial Guinea’s Second Vice President for Defense and State SecurityTeodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, met with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao, this week to discuss improving ties between Malabo and Beijing.

During the meeting, Vice President Nguema Obiang Mangue, said Equatorial Guinea and China are good friends and that he hoped to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in such sectors as infrastructure, oil industry and healthcare.

The Global Times reported that Vice President Yuanchao said that both sides are in an important stage of development and “voiced hope for the two nations to deepen political mutual trust, expand pragmatic cooperation in various fields such as oil industry, credit and loans, engineering and personnel training to upgrade bilateral ties to a new level."

During Vice President Nguema Obiang Mangue’s stay in China, he will visit three cities where he will meet with state authorities to learn about development in China and discuss opportunities for business and investment.

London Celebrates First Week of Equatorial Guinea Culture

Exhibit showcases West African nation’s traditional and modern art

Guillermina Mekuy, Delegate Minister of Culture and Tourism of Equatorial Guinea, accompanied Ambassador of Equatorial Guinea in the UK, Mari Cruz Evuna Ademe, to the inaugural cultural week of Equatorial Guinea in London.

The event took place on November 4, 2013 at the Pall Mall Gallery, where there was a celebration of Equatoguinean culture that included an exhibit dedicated specifically to sculptor Leandro Mbomio who recently passed away.

In addition, there were performances by some of the nation’s most well known artists such as Ceiba Ballet and Piruchi Apo.

Ambassador Mari Cruz Evuna Ademe expressed her satisfaction with the exhibit and stated that she believes art and culture have the ability to bring people together and build strong relations. “I hope that this exhibit will help develop an understanding of my country here in the UK,” she said.

The Delegate Minister of Culture and Tourism supported the Ambassador by saying that Equatorial Guinea believes “in the integration with other countries” and that President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is working to turn the country into a tourist and cultural destination and strengthen its role in the international community. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Africa Must Have a Fair Presence in the UN Security Council by 2015, Says Equatorial Guinea

UN body should reflect changes in the world since UN’s founding in 1945, ambassador tells General Assembly

Anatolio Ndong Mba, Equatorial Guinea Permanent Representative to the United Nations, has called for Africa and other continents to have a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

The ambassador made the remarks during the debates over equitable participation of members in the UN Security Council, which took place at the 68th UN General Assembly Plenary Session on November 7.

A UN recent statement highlighted debate speakers’ call for a permanent Africa seat in the UN Security Council. “The expansion of the Security Council with more balanced and equitable representation, especially regarding Africa, had gained broad support among delegates, as the General Assembly concluded its debate on reform of the 15-member body.”

During his speech, Ambassador Ndong Mba said that reform had been discussed for many decades and that it is time to recognize the right of countries in all regions to be represented on the Security Council. He noted that it was right for Africa to have a permanent seat. “Isn’t it fair to recognize the rights of all countries, and all regions to have a proper and lawful representation in the Security Council of the United Nations?” Ambassador Ndong Mba said. “Is it not time that the African continent, which is the region with more member states, be acknowledged the right to have permanent representatives in the Security Council and the right to veto?”

He said it was inconceivable that the African continent, which has more than a billion people, didn’t have a seat on the Security Council.

Ambassador Ndong Mba called for negotiations that would “lead…the United Nations [to adapt] to the challenges and obstacles of an international order totally different from what existed 68 years ago, a new world very different from when the United Nations was established, a world that is not the product of war but of technological innovations, a world within the UN rights advocates, dialogue, democracy, transparency, good governance. It is therefore a reality that must be configured within the institutions of the United Nations in general and the Security Council in particular.”

Ambassador Ndong Mba repeated President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo’s statement during the 68th UNGA: “We need to be honest with ourselves, with a just and equitable system, democracy must reign amongst the UN organs, as an epicenter of an international community that seeks peace, order and development.”

“My country and government believe that all the States, regions, and interest groups are called to speak in the context of this reform process, for an equal, objective and impartial representation on the Security Council and the United Nations system. This is our desire, the desire for a restructuring of the Security Council in particular and the United Nations system, taking into account the interests of all states and geographical regions that form the international community,” said Ambassador Ndong Mba.

Equatorial Guinea to Maintain Visa Requirements for CEMAC Citizens

Government opts out of Agreement on Free Movement of Persons and Goods in order to preserve local employment opportunities.

The government of Equatorial Guinea recently announced its decision to not apply the Agreement on Free Movement of Persons and Goods in the Area of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) in the country. Equatorial Guinea maintains that applying the agreement in Equatorial Guinea would undermine its efforts to provide employment opportunities for its citizens, one of its top priorities.

Equatorial Guinea has made strong efforts to manage illegal immigration in recent years and has adopted several procedures and restrictions for foreign workers in order to ensure that foreigners do not take employment opportunities from its citizens.

Last year, Teodoro Nguema Obiang MangueSecond Vice President, in charge of National Defense and State Security, announced the restriction on the distribution of visas to foreign workers seeking jobs that could be performed by Equatoguinean citizens, much like immigration-control regimes in effect in the United States, the countries of the European Union, and other countries. 

“We want to encourage and support national employment,” said the Vice President on a state television announcement. “We will enforce labor laws, which state that foreign employees cannot exceed 10 percent of a company’s staff,” he said.

The agreement would have allowed citizens from the member countries--Gabon, Congo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of Chad and Equatorial Guinea--to be able to move freely among the six CEMAC member states without the need to obtain the corresponding entry visas. This agreement would have come into effect on January 1, 2014.

The country has also tightened its border procedures to prevent people entering the country illegally. Earlier last year, the government tightened border procedures with Cameroon. Two years ago, Equatorial Guinea addressed border issues with Gabon. Both countries met at the UN to discuss their border issues in a peaceful manner.

Equatorial Guinea’s flourishing economy continues to attract foreign migrants from neighboring countries seeking employment opportunities. The government policy will not affect jobs for which there are no qualified Equatoguineans, but the government strongly encourages companies to train local workers for skills that are now lacking in the workforce. 

The decision was approved during the Extraordinary Ministerial Council held on November 8, 2013, held at the People's Palace of Malabo, chaired by the President of the Republic, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Equatorial Guinea Graduates 400 I.T. Students from TICGE Center

TIGCE Center to provide home-grown IT professionals

Four hundred students received diplomas in information technology at a graduation ceremony last week at Equatorial Guinea’s Center for Information Technology and Communication (TICGE). Prime Minister of Government for Administrative Coordination Vicente Ehate Tomi represented President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo at the graduation.

Agapito Mba Mokuy, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, also attended the graduation ceremony to express the government’s support of the program and to underscore the need to strengthen the nation’s technology sector.

In his speech, Foreign Minister Mba Mokuy said that the program is a result of President Obiang’s efforts to reduce the country’s digital gap.

Leo Heileman, Equatorial Guinea country director of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), attended on behalf UN system agencies. UNDP is one of the supporters of the project.

The TICGE project was founded in February 2012 in Malabo as part of the Action Plan of the World Summit on the Information Society through Popularization of Information and Communication Technology.

The Obiang’s Administration hopes to spur development and create opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship through programs such as the TICGE project. Strengthening the technology sector is one of the Government’s top priorities. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Equatorial Guinea's Second Vice President Holds Talks on Security Cooperation in Visit to South Africa

Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, Second Vice President for Defense and State Security of Equatorial Guinea, traveled to South Africa this week for talks aimed at strengthening security cooperation between the two countries and reviewing the security situation in Africa.

Mr. Nguema met with President Jacob Zuma and Secretary of Defense Dr. Sam Makhudu Gulube as well as with directors of the company Denel Group, to explore opportunities to purchase military equipment.

Delegates Meet in Equatorial Guinea to Plan 53rd OAPI Summit

Experts visit Malabo to discuss plans for the upcoming assembly next December
Delegates from the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) arrived in Malabo last week to discuss plans for the 53rd OAPI session, which will be held in Equatorial Guinea next December.

Director-General Dr. Paulin Edou Edou is leading the delegation, which first met with summit organizers, including President Anacleto Olo Mibuy from the Council of Scientific and Technological Research of Equatorial Guinea (CICTE), to discuss the logistics and planning of the upcoming assembly.

During its visit, the delegation will pay particular attention to addressing matters of finance, accommodation, communication and health, among other topics of importance. In addition, they will also visit various tourist and cultural attractions throughout the country.

The Government of Equatorial Guinea has taken significant strides recently to take an active role in the international community and support efforts to increase international cooperation in political, economic, cultural and scientific matters, including by hosting international events. Along with hosting next year’s summit, Equatorial Guinea will also assume the presidency of the OAPI organization in 2014, making next year’s summit even more important for the nation.