Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Obiang Calls For Democratization and End to the “Rule of Force” at the UN

Says interventions by powerful countries have produced conflict and intolerance. Citing his country’s experience, he says countries should democratize at their own pace and with their own traditions.

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo issued a call for democratization of the United Nations today in his address to the 69th United Nations General Assembly, criticizing specifically the role of the Security Council and calling for the “democratization” of the world body.

He noted that the 2014 session of the General Assembly has the responsibility of solving the problems of poverty and hunger in the world; violence and armed conflict; terrorism, piracy and mercenary activities; and the major endemic diseases of the world. He said, however, that he doubted that the UN could seriously hope to solve these problems under its current system.

He said Equatorial Guinea was deeply concerned over the Ebola outbreak in Africa and the growth of terrorism and sectarian conflicts, but said, “The United Nations could never provide a definitive solution to these problems as long as the Security Council is not governed by rules that respect the spirit of democracy and justice …The United Nations could not give a satisfactory solution to these problems as long as the current system of the rule of force subsists in international relations.”

Obiang said his own country had engaged in a long period of popular consultation that has produced a steady movement toward greater democracy as well as peace and development that has raised living standards.

“In Equatorial Guinea, we say that democracy is not an import and cannot be designed from offices in other countries,” he said. “Democracy is formed with the positive values ​​that characterize a society, and only the people are authorized to define the model for their needs and chart the path of development.”

He said that Equatorial Guinea in 1982 adopted a program called of Democratic Experiment in which the citizens themselves, through village councils, participated in the design of its political development. He said the result has been “the current environment of peace, stability and economic prosperity, through successive political reforms.”

Thanks to the peace and political stability that have reigned in the country over the last 30 years, the government has been able to develop the country’s natural resources of the country, allowing it to aspire to become an emergent economy by the year 2020. He gave specific thanks to countries that have assisted Equatorial Guinea in its development: The United States, China, Russia, Brazil, Morocco, Cuba and France.

He contrasted his country’s experience with the experiences of countries that have experienced conflict after outside intervention.

“We need to clearly differentiate what is internal support for a genuine democratic process and what is interference that is done through pressures that result in the misunderstanding, intolerance, exclusion, resentment among citizens,” he said.

“The Republic of Equatorial Guinea is very concerned about the proliferation of acts of intervention that do not respect the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of states,” Obiang said. “These interventions interrupt the natural democratic process in the countries concerned and do not take into account the essential features of the idiosyncrasies of these societies, fueling divisions and sociopolitical instability.”

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Equatorial Guinea Outlines Environmental Plan

Forest conservation, hydroelectric power, and ending the flaring of natural gas form key parts of the strategy.
President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea told delegates at the United Nations 2014 Summit on Climate Change that his country has adopted a five-point plan to conserve the natural environment and contribute to global efforts to slow the rate of global warming.

In his address to the Summit, President Obiang said his government had oriented its socioeconomic development policies toward sustainability.

“Equatorial Guinea is a developing country that lives practically thanks to Mother Nature,” he said. “It does not know the problems of environmental degradation and it aspires to the new development technologies that guarantee the people’s well-being.”

He said that the country has adopted a five-point that establishes the basis for a sustainable economy and contributes to the global fight against climate change and its effects. Under the plan, the government of Equatorial Guinea is taking the following steps:

1. Producing electrical energy through a system of hydroelectric and turbo gas generation, using the gas produced by the petroleum industry.

2. Ending the practice of flaring gas into the atmosphere and convert that gas into butane, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other derivatives. He said his government tis negotiating with neighboring countries to absorb the gas that they are currently flaring.

3. Replacing thermal power plants that produce carbon dioxide with hydroelectric plants based in river basins of the country.

4. To conserve ecosystems, Equatorial Guinea has created large natural reserves—Ureka on Bioko Island and Monte Alén on the mainland.

5. “In light of the imminent danger that the excessive use of timber could provoke further desertification,” the government has reduced the exploitation of its forest reserves by 25 percent and requires value-added processing of wood.

“The forestry policy of the government is aimed at protecting endangered species and conserving ecosystems through legal norms that protect species that have been declared in danger of extinction,” he said. The policies on forests and natural areas are in line with the recommendations of the Central African Forest commission (COMIFAC).

Monday, September 22, 2014

President Obiang to Attend UN Climate Change Summit During 69th UN General Assembly

Equatorial Guinea’s President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo will attend the UN Climate Change Summit on September 23, as well as meet with other heads of government and heads of state this week. President Obiang will address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 24.

The Equatorial Guinea delegation, led by President Obiang, will join other Heads of State and Government, Vice Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and their delegations as they discuss their commitments to a UN action plan aimed at placing people at the center of development and consider new population challenges.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, visited Equatorial Guinea earlier this year during the African Union Summit, which was held in the West African Nation. During the Summit, President Obiang and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon dedicated a new UN building, which houses all UN agencies in the country.

Equatorial Guinea Resumes Flights To Neighboring African Countries

Equatorial Guinea has resumed regional flights to neighboring African countries by its national air carrier, Ceiba International, after taking control measures to safeguard public health.

The temporary suspension of the Ceiba International flights was a precautionary measure adopted by the government, but it resumed the flights after it obtained equipment to detect and confront a possible Ebola outbreak. The flights were resumed in order to break the isolation of the affected neighboring countries, which need commercial air service in order to receive supplies and maintain commercial ties with the rest of the continent.

The Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea has invested more than 1 million Euros in the acquisition of healthcare materials, including ambulatory hospitals, ambulances, thermographic cameras for the airports of Malabo and Bata, protection suits, disinfection material, waterproof boots, protection glasses and laser thermometers, among other articles, aimed at confronting a possible Ebola outbreak in the country. Two quarantine areas and specially equipped isolation chambers have also been prepared in the cities of Malabo and Bata.

After verifying the size of the current Ebola outbreak, which has already caused the deaths of some 2,400 persons, the Government of Equatorial Guinea created a special committee for the control and prevention of this disease, and has organized awareness tours on Ebola throughout the entire national territory.

Equatorial Guinea also made a gesture of solidarity to its neighbors earlier this month, when President Obiang announced the donation of 2 million U.S. dollars to the WHO as a grant for the programs to combat Ebola. He made the announcement during the ceremony to present the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinean Prize for Research in Life Sciences. 

Equatorial Guinea Discovers New Gas Well In Bioko Island

Country to expand LNG project

Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy, Gabriel Obiang Mbaga, recently announced the discovery of a new gas well off the coast of the Island of Bioko. The new gas well will allow the ministry to expand the Floating Installation of Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) project in the country.

“I am extremely pleased that the increase in recoverable reserves in Block R, as a result of the drilling of the Silenus East-1 well may result in a potential expansion of the Block R FLNG project from a 2.5mm TPA to a 3.0mm TPA project. We are currently in negotiations to conclude the Block R gas terms and confirm the midstream partners, with the development of the first project of Floating Installation of Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) planned for early 2019.”

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has established the strengthening of the energy sector in Equatorial Guinea as a national priority. Equatorial Guinea LNG Holdings Limited (EG LNG), a national liquefied natural gas company, began operations in 2007 and has shown excellent results.

In the last decade, the West African Nation has become one of the major regional powers in hydrocarbon extraction and processing, leading to an unprecedented economic boom and transformation, which has been noted by the ICE Economic Bulletin. The development of the country’s energy sector plays a mayor role in taking the country closer to become an emergent and sustainable economy by 2020.

The well was discovered by Ophir Energy, which estimates that the Silenus East -1 discovery includes recoverable reserve of 405 bcf (billion cubic feet) of gas, with de-risked prospects for similar prospects in the area. Ophir’s initial assessment is that the recoverable reservoirs in the broader Silenus area, including this discovery, are approximately 1.2 TCF (trillion cubic feet).

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Equatorial Guinea Spends US$13 Million to fight Ebola Disease

The government of Equatorial Guinea has spent more than US$13 million (600 million CFAs) in recent weeks to fight the Ebola virus, according to the Ministry of Health. The government has taken a number of preventive measures after it formed a national commission to lead anti-Ebola efforts.

Equatorial Guinea has taken a proactive approach to the Ebola threat as it continues to affect neighboring regions. It has purchased special ambulances, ambulatory hospitals (tents) and thermographic cameras for airports (which will be used to detect whether an arrival has had a fever in the prior 72 hours), trained health personnel assigned to these health units, and purchased drugs for palliative treatment and laser thermometers for all the borders, among other initiatives.

Equatorial Guinea has also received aid from the World Health Organization (WHO), which recently donated protective equipment for prevention of the Ebola hemorrhagic fever to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. The Ministry received suits, waterproof boots, gloves, masks, goggles, aprons and miscellaneous disposable material, among others to add the government’s current resources.

As part of he government of Equatorial Guinea’s efforts to be prepared to fight the Ebola virus, it has temporarily cancelled regional flights to Cameroon, by its national air carrier, Ceiba International. The West African nation has also suspended the issuance of visas from neighboring countries and cancelled flights to Cotonou (Benin); Accra (Ghana); Lome (Togo); Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and Dakar (Senegal) last month.