Friday, October 31, 2014

Equatorial Guinea's Investments In Infrastructure In Line With Imf Recommendations

The government of Equatorial Guinea has heavily invested the country’s oil revenues in its infrastructure to enhance its growth potential.

The state-of-the art Sipopo Conference Center is an example of the return on investment Equatorial Guinea has received from investing its revenues in the infrastructure sector. The West African nation has extensive experience in hosting international conferences, forums and other events. The country is quickly becoming one of the top meeting venues on the African continent.

The country’s efforts have been encouraged by the IMF, which released a report on the Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting the need for the region to develop its infrastructure sector to enhance its growth potential and promote economic diversification and structural transformation.

The report also recommended that nations invest in improving the quality of education and training and adopt legal and regulatory reforms to support the creation of jobs in the private sector. Equatorial Guinea has invested heavily in education and currently boasts the highest literacy rates among adults and youth in Africa, according to UNESCO.

Equatorial Guinea has partnered with universities in Africa, Latin America, Europe, Asia to bring professors to the country and send Equatoguinean professors abroad for training and higher education. It has research and exchange agreements with Drexel University and Texas Tech University in the United States.

It has heavily invested in professional training at all levels. Foreign companies doing business in the country have been encouraged to spend resources in training local employees, which has resulted in an increased employment rate. The government has made education a top priority and it’s reflected in the Horizon 2020 development plan.

The IMf report concluded with concerns that the Ebola epidemic represents a barrier to growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. The government of Equatorial Guinea has spent more than US$13 million (600 million CFAs) in recent months to fight the Ebola virus. It has taken a number of preventive measures after it formed a national commission to lead anti-Ebola efforts. Equatorial Guinea took a proactive approach to the Ebola threat as it continues to affect neighboring regions.

Equatorial Guinea 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.

President Obiang will meet soon with Central Africa Heads of State to discuss security issues and the collective efforts of the region to fight the Ebola virus.