Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Equatorial Guinea to host Africa Cup of Nations

Equatorial Guinea will host the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN 2015), main Pan-African football competition, to be held in Malabo, Bata, Ebebiyin and Mongomo from January 17 to February 8. The West African nation also hosted the CAN in 2012.

The country is ready to welcome the national and expatriate players who will participate on the CAN 2015. The government of Equatorial Guinea has taken all the necessary preventive measures to avoid a possible case of Ebola.

Equatorial Guinea’s national team, the Nzalang, will be led by its recently appointed coach, Esteban Becker. A young Equatorial Guinean referee, Joaquin Ela Esono Eyang, will join well-known referees throughout the CAN 2015. Joaquin Ela Esono Eyang was born in 1985. His father had a long career as a referee and, after his death in 2000, Joaquin joined the referee school in 2002. In early 2013 he was promoted to the rank of international central referee of the FIFA (International Federation of Association Football).

The following list shows the members of the Nzalang national team. Goalkeepers: Aitor Embela (Malaga CF Juvenil A); Felipe Ovono Mbang "Arus" (CD Mongomo) and Carlos Mosibe (CA de Malabo). Defenses: Dani Evuy (no team); Diosdado Mbele (Leones Vegetarianos FC); Igor Engonga (CD Tropezon); Armando Bohale "Sipo" (AEK Larnaca); Miguel Angel Maye (Akonangui FC) and Rui Fernando (Hibernians FC). Midfielders: Emilio Nsue (Middlesbrough FC); Juvenal Edjogo (FC Santa Coloma); Iban Iyanga "Randy" (Iraklis Psachna FC); Ivan Zarandona (Rangers FC); Pablo Ganet (UD San Sebastian de los Reyes); Carlos Martin "Charly" (College Europa) and Viera Ellong (The Panthers FC). Forwards: Javier Balboa Osa (GD Estoril); Ivan Salvador (Valencia Mestalla); Ruben Belima (Real Madrid Castilla); Ivan Bolado (Pune City FC); Raul Fabiani (CD Olímpic); Kike Boula (RCD Mallorca B) and Ruben Dario (Leones Vegetarianos FC).

Ticket prices range from 500 CFA francs (less than 1 Euro) to 5,000 CFA francs in Ebebiyin and Mongomo, and from 1,000 CFA francs to 15,000 CFA francs in the VIP areas in Malabo and Bata.

Chuku Chuku, a friendly and colorful porcupine, one of the most characteristic species of the Equatoguinean forests, is the name of the official mascot of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Equatorial Guinea And Taleveras To Build Africa’s Largest Oil Storage Hub

The government of Equatorial Guinea has signed an agreement with Nigerian energy firm, Taleveras Group, to build an oil storage hub in the West African country.

 “The Bioko Island facility will have a total capacity of 1.34 million tonnes of storage for crude oil and products such as gasoline, naphtha, jet fuel and fuel oil. It will be the largest crude and products storage facility in Africa,” said Taleveras in a statement.

The terminal will be built at Punta Europa, which is located on Bioko Island, and will be able to service the key oil supply and demand centers throughout the region.

Equatorial Guinea is situated at the hub of the dynamic offshore West Africa Petroleum Province and is now established as a significant petroleum-producing nation. Vigorous exploration during the 1990's combined with rapid field development has resulted in daily production rising from less than 5,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in 1992 to a 2012 average that exceeded 410,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), which includes the country’s significant natural gas production.

Taleveras is a growing trading firm with more than $2 billion in credit lines. It offers a wide range of integrated and strategic solutions in fields such as energy, power, construction, and logistics on a global scale.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Equatorial Guinea Donates US$100,000 To Memorial To Victims Of Slavery And Transatlantic Slave Trade

The government of Equatorial Guinea has donated US$100,000 toward the construction of a permanent memorial to honor the victims of slavery and transatlantic slave trade. The memorial will be built on the grounds of the United Nations in New York.

Guillermina Mekuy Mba Obono, Equatorial Guinea’s Delegate Minister of Culture and Tourism, announced the donation today and said, “President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has responded positively to your call. The President of the Republic has asked me to express the gratitude of the people of Equatorial Guinea for your tireless efforts. I am the carrier of our contribution, which is symbolic, but for us, it expresses our firm commitment to this noble cause. We hope that this permanent memorial will embody the invincible spirit of our ancestors, their sons, their grandsons, their great grandsons, and all of their descendants.”

 “We are all part of the same family,” she said, “a large family, the family of humanity. At the foot of this memorial, all of us in the Caribbean, in Africa or elsewhere, we all say, cry together, sing together: Never, never, never again.”

Delegate Minister Mba Obono said that the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, its people, its government, and its president, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, are proud to be associated with this event.

“In honor of the victims of slavery, we participate in the restoration of the dignity of those who had been stripped of everything. A permanent memorial here at United Nations Headquarters is not only a powerful symbol for the education of future generations, but also a clear reminder to anyone who would like to forget. Equatorial Guinea is therefore determined to associate itself fully with the remembrance.”

Mba Obono recalled that the islands of Bioko and Annobón in Equatorial Guinea were important landing sites for the slave trade. “Black pearls – human pearls- were captured and…shipped to the Americas. Volcanic peaks, the green velvet of our rainforests, the luxuriance of our nature, the black sand of Bioko may have given some people a picture of a tropical paradise. But for decades, our people were subjected to the vilest exploitation of man by man.”

“Human trafficking was at the heart of deep structural inequalities, both economically and socially,” she said. “These injustices and inequalities continue to affect people of African descent throughout the world. Member states must sustain their efforts. Equatorial Guinea welcomes the initiative by the Caribbean states to erect a permanent memorial. Those who did fall under the yoke of slavery had few hiding places. What was left was their beliefs, their drums, their invincible determination not to die. They ran the risk of losing their identity, the reason for living.”

Equatorial Guinea Donates $100,000 To Build A Museum To House The Eric Edwards African Artifacts Collection

The government of Equatorial Guinea has donated US$100,000 toward the construction of the Cultural Museum of African Art, which will be located in the Bedford Stuyvesant, section of Brooklyn, N.Y. The museum will showcase the Eric Edwards African Artifacts collection.

Eric Edwards, a native of Brooklyn, has amassed one of the country’s largest collections of African art over the last 40 years. His collection, most of which is housed in a loft space in Brooklyn, consists of some 1,500 objects, including masks, statues and other artifacts such as garments, jewelry, weapons and household items used in African villages.

Guillermina Mekuy Mba Obono, Delegate Minister of Culture and Tourism visited and reviewed the collection in Brooklyn yesterday, as well as Medgar Evers College, where a few items of the collection are being displayed.

She was accompanied by Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba, permanent representative of Equatorial Guinea to the United Nations, and other officials from the UN mission and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

During their official visit to New York, the Equatorial Guinea delegation also attended the pledging event for the permanent memorial to honor the victims of slavery and transatlantic slave trade, and the launch of the international decade for people of African descent.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Equatorial Guinea Boosts Energy Projects

Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy recently invested in a supply center of electrical equipment in Mbini and signed an agreement with the Turkish company Karadeniz Holding, for the potential provision of a Powership (floating power plant) of 120 MW (megawatts) in early 2015, as part of the government’s efforts to further develop the energy sector.

“SEGESA Holding has seen the opportunity to give a decisive boost to the energy sector by diversifying its production and commercial activities,” said Gabriel Mbega Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy and Chairman of the Steering Committee for Restructuring SEGESA.

The government of Equatorial Guinea has established the Industrialization Plan of Equatorial Guinea (PEGI) 2020, aimed at creating a guide for the development of sustainable industry and a diversified economy. The new supply center of electrical equipment in the city of Mbini shows the Ministry’s commitment to the national industrialization plan.

The new logistics supply center for electrical materials establishes the creation of a joint venture between SEGESA HOLDING SA (division of the Electricity Company of Equatorial Guinea) and ASPI Group Equatorial Guinea, a subsidiary of the Bulgarian company ASPI GREEN ENERGY Ltd.

The new plant will supply materials according to the energy needs of Equatorial Guinea, being manufactured by leading producers in the field of electricity, with a certificate of quality and a material testing laboratory.

Minister Obiang Lima continued to say, “this project is a critical step taken by the Government of Equatorial Guinea to ensure enough electricity generation in the country.”

Friday, November 21, 2014

Equatorial Guinea hosts Second Africa Turkey Summit

Business leaders, ambassadors, ministers and delegations of Africa and Turkey came together at the Sipopo Conference Center in the capital city of Malabo for Second Africa Turkey Summit, which is being held on November 19-21, 2014.

Following the theme “the new model of partnership for durable development and integration,” Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Mauritanian President and Chairman of the African Union (AU), said, “The Africa-Turkey partnership is opportune. Africa has high rates of economic growth, with a rising young population.”

In the last decade, the trade between Sub-Saharan Africa and Turkey has increased considerably and it’s expected to continue to grow. The summit will discuss key partnerships in the health, cultural exchange, trade and investment, scholarships, peace and security sectors.

When talking about Africa Turkey partnership, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, “In 2013 Turkey's bilateral trade volume has reached $23 billion and our joint aim is to reach the target of $50 billion by 2018. Africa is clearly taking off. The continent has recorded an annual growth rate of over 5 percent. Turkish investments in Africa are employing local human resources, using local products as components and selling products in third countries.” He continued to say, “The summit will contribute enormously in enhancing political, cultural and economic partnership.”

The summit will review a joint implementation plan of the Africa-Turkey Partnership 2015-2018, as well as the Matrix of the Priority Principals of the Africa-Turkey Partnership during the same time period.

The summit will conclude with a Heads of State meeting on Friday, November 20.

Equatorial Guinea’s National Dialogue Successfully Amends Current Political Laws

Meeting brought together legalized and non-legalized political parties to discuss current laws amendments

The government of Equatorial Guinea held a national dialogue with the goal of reviewing and improving the current laws affecting the political parties of the country. All political parties and movements, including expatriate groups, were invited to participate. The meetings were held at the Sipopo Conference Center in the capital city of Malabo on November 7-15, 2014.

National dialogue participants reviewed the national laws affecting political participation, expression and organization, such as the Political Parties Law, the Meeting and Demonstration Law; the Binding Pact and its evaluation; as well as the Regulatory Law of Presidential Elections.

Participants were able to work on an agreement to facilitate the creation of political parties offer proposals for amendments to these laws, and offer initiates to open the political environment in the country. The Government has already agreed to the removal of the deposit of 30 million CFA francs to found a new political party and reduce the number of co-founders in different constituencies necessary.

After a weeklong series debates, participants agreed on some necessary changes. They made numerous modifications in the principal laws related to elections and political parties, relaxed the requirements to create political parties and stand for election, and established new rules to keep better track of the Binding Pact of parties, which will guide the development of multiparty democracy in Equatorial Guinea.

The legalized political parties that signed the final agreement included the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE), Popular Union (UP), Democratic Liberal Convention (CLD), Social Democratic Party (PSD), Progressive Democratic Alliance (ADP), Social Democratic Union (UDS), Democratic and Popular Social Convergence (CSDP), Party of the Democratic Social Coalition (PCSD), Popular Action of Equatorial Guinea (APGE), National Democratic Union (UDENA), Socialist Party of Equatorial Guinea (PSGE), and Liberal Party (PL).

The non-legalized signing parties were: Center Right Union (UCD), Independent Candidature (CI), Renewed Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDSR) Self-Determination Movement of the Island of Bioko (MAIB), Popular Union (UP), National Democratic Party (PND), National Liberation Front of Equatorial Guinea (FRENALIGE) and Faction of Popular Action of Equatorial Guinea (APGE). Among the independent activists: Ramon Ecoro, of Sweden and the group of the civil society coming from Gabon.

In his opening remarks, President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo said, “Democracy and national unity must be priorities in the problems that affect the nation, since it has been thanks to preserving the peace that the development and progress the country is experiencing has been guaranteed.” 

He continued to say, “Where there is no dialogue, there cannot be peace and stability; where there are no public liberties, there cannot be institutional development, like there is in Equatorial Guinea, despite the fact that we are a young country.” 

“The processes of consensual dialogue has guaranteed peace and development. Equatorial Guinea, which used to be a poor country and is now a model country of development in Africa, thanks to the peace that guarantees this continual progress. We have adopted the Horizon 2020 Development Plan in which the representatives of the Government, the political sector and civil society participate. All human work is susceptible to error. This dialogue was not called due to a crisis situation; it is a meeting that the Government has provided. In the country there is an atmosphere of peace, stability and national harmony,” added Obiang.

Obiang encouraged political parties to have a dialogue for the betterment of the country. “We are a young country that does not have the political experience of other older nations; for this reason it is necessary to listen to other compatriots that, from another point of view, express their disconformity with the evolution of our country.

“This political process has allowed the reform of the Constitution on three occasions,” the President said, “with the participation of all the political agents who expressed their willingness to participate in these changes; which have been backed in referendum by the people of Equatorial Guinea.”

While addressing the political parties, President Obiang said that this dialogue was not called because Equatorial Guinea is experiencing a crisis, and much less a state of war or of exception; it is a roundtable discussion that the Government promotes to listen to the politicians that disseminate distorted opinions on the Equatoguinean reality. 

Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, sent a congratulatory message to President Obiang applauding the national dialogue initiative and said this was “a good opportunity to explain constructive options, that ensure the progress of Africa.”

Prior to the national dialogue, President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo granted an amnesty to all citizens who had been convicted of political crimes, whether or not they have served or are serving sentences, and to those who have begun any disciplinary action that constitutes an obstacle to the exercise of political activities. The government  also covered airfare for expatriates through Equatorial Guinea’s national airline, Ceiba Intercontinental, on its Madrid-Malabo flights to encourage all political parties to participate in this historical meeting.

This was the fifth national dialogue the government of Equatorial Guinea has organized since its independence in 1979. It has granted three previous general amnesties.

Some opposition leaders walked out of the conference on the first working day, but returned later. Some groups and activists of the diaspora asked the Government to facilitate the legalization of their parties and release two prisoners they considered to be political. On Friday night, the Prime Minister, Vicente Ehate Tomi, confirmed that both issues had also been accepted by the Government, and the two prisoners were released on that same day.

Rules were also introduced so that the state communications media would reserve free promotion and advertising space for the different democratic factions, and their commitment to giving proportional and neutral treatment.

In his closing remarks, Obiang said, “We believe that the consensus that was reached has a national scope, since from now on its decisions will benefit the development of the democracy in our country and will strengthen all the political groups. This Dialogue has not acted to satisfy the desires of a political group, but rather of all the political forces of the Nation as a whole. We believe that the set of laws that protect public freedom was amply reviewed, and we have been able to listen to the important claims posed by the political forces. If any important decision has been taken by this dialogue, it has been thanks to the experience and political maturity of the active participation of everyone.”

Obiang discussed the economic situation in Equatorial Guinea and said that 30%, of revenue from oil remains in the country, while 70% goes out of the country to the exploration and extraction companies. “However,” he said, “we are adequately administering these resources.” 

He also referred to the country’s incipient economic recession. “The current economic recession, due to the fluctuation of the price of oil, along with the great development of infrastructure, advises a change of mentality, in order not to live with the income from oil, but rather to exploit our creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, and avoid the complacency of the so-called ‘Dutch disease.’” 

He warned, “We must cultivate a mentality of economic solvency of the citizens, in order to create a society capable of defending any economic recession.”

The national dialogue brought together the government of Equatorial Guinea, non-governmental organizations, ambassadors, other international and national observers, legalized political parties in the country: Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE), Popular Union (UP), Democratic Liberal Convention (CLD), Social Democrat Party (PSD), Progressive Democratic Alliance (ADP), National Democratic Union (UDN), Democratic and Popular Social Convergence (CSDP), Party of the Democratic Social Coalition (PCSD), Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS), Popular Action of Equatorial Guinea (APGE), National Democratic Union (UDN), Socialist Party of Equatorial Guinea (PSGE), Liberal Party (PL), National Liberation Front of Equatorial Guinea (FRENALIGE), Opposition Coalition for the Restoration of a Democratic State (CORED); the diaspora: the Independent Candidature (CI), the Self-Determination Movement of the Island of Bioko (MAIB), Republican Democrat Force (FDR) and the Center Right Union (UCD); other independent political parties in the interior of the country such as Center Right Union (UCD), Republican Democrat Force (FDR), Independent Candidature (CI) and others joined the national dialogue as well.