Monday, March 2, 2015

Government Of Equatorial Guinea Refutes Claims Made By Amnesty International

Report of executions is “false,” allegations of poor prison conditions are disputed.

The Government of Equatorial Guinea has strongly denied allegations about the country contained in Amnesty International’s Annual Report 2014/15, including the allegation that it had executed nine prisoners in January 2014.

In a statement issued by Minister of Information Teobaldo Nchaso Matomba on February 26, the government said, “This information is totally false, since neither in January nor in all of 2014, were any executions carried out in Equatorial Guinea.” AI's report had said, "Nine prisoners were executed in January shortly before a temporary moratorium on the death penalty was declared.”

The government stated that AI did not cite “even one of the names of the people supposedly executed, no dates, no causes, no details,” and officially requested a public correction of the record.

The Government of Equatorial Guinea also denied that it had arrested any political opponents in 2014 and asserted that there had not been “a single case of solitary confinement, much less with the aggravators of denial of trial or medical assistance mentioned by AI. Similarly, we deny the allegations of torture that appear in the report,” the government said.

“Over the past year, the Government of Equatorial Guinea has worked closely with international organizations to improve the conditions of prisoners and prison centers, which now offer good food, television and physicians, doctor offices and other health care,” the government said. “It is also a fact that the representatives of the National Human Rights Commission, the Attorney General, and the International Red Cross made regular inspection visits to prisons, police stations and other holding and/or arrest centers in the Country.”

Minister Nchaso’s statement says that the country’s “National Security Authorities have published manuals in which arrests and torture are strictly prohibited, under penalties and measures that include even the separation from the service and other punishing measures.”
He also noted that the Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva had approved the Universal Periodic Review of Equatorial Guinea. “Our country accepted 80 of the 132 Recommendations and conditioned the ratification of the Rome Statute on grounds that were covered by…the unanimous decision adopted by the African Union.”

The government also clarified the status of some individuals cited in the report, saying that three prisoners that AI reported as having been sentenced to long prison terms had been released under a “general amnesty granted to all those convicted of political crimes and who were in legal proceedings for the same offenses.”

The government said that one person cited by AI as a prisoner of conscience “was tried and convicted years ago for diverting the salary of all the Military members of the Continental Region and attempted rebellion in the army.”

The full test of the government’s statement can be read here. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

New Equatorial Guinea Ambassador To The United States Presents Credentials To President Obama

Miguel Ntutumu Evuna Andeme presented his credentials as Equatorial Guinea’s ambassador to the United States to President Barack Obama on February 23, 2015.

Before being named ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Evuna Andeme was the General Director of Cabinet at the Department of Missions in the Presidency of the Republic in Malabo, where his responsibilities included preparing statements, speeches and correspondence for the president. Previously, he was Director General for Administrative Affairs for the Presidency and a procurement and contracts advisor for Hess Corporation in Equatorial Guinea.

Ambassador Ntutumu Evuna received a bachelor’s degree in international studies from La Roche College in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 2003. While at La Roche, he co-founded the International Forum of African Students.

He was accompanied at the White House ceremony by his wife and five children.

The presentation of credentials is a traditional ceremony that marks the formal beginning of an ambassador’s service in Washington.

The United States and Equatorial Guinea have maintained diplomatic relations since the Equatorial Guinea’s independence from Spain in 1968. American companies have been instrumental in developing the country’s petroleum sector, which has been the engine of explosive economic growth and social development. Today, Equatorial Guinea boast the highest literacy rate in Africa and the second-highest highest per capita spending on health. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

President Obiang Did Not Attend Carnival In Rio De Janeiro, Equatorial Guinea Says

Brazilian companies sponsored samba. Government provided cultural materials and national ballet troupe.

The government of Equatorial Guinea has issued a statement refuting press reports that President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo had attended the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro and that the government had sponsored a samba. Several news organizations, including The Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press, had carried that erroneous information.

The Ministry of Information, Press and Radio confirmed that President Obiang was in Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon, at a meeting of African leaders discussing ways to combat the threat of Boiko Haram in West Africa. It said that a group of Brazilian companies doing business in Equatorial Guinea had sponsored the samba, Beija Flor, which dedicated its performance to the government of Equatorial Guinea.

It said the government of Equatorial Guinea “supplied material for the show, as well as information on our country, its art and culture.” It said the National Ballet of Equatorial Guinea, Ceiba, participated with Beija Flor.

“Despite what was published by numerous international media, the initiative of paying this homage to Equatorial Guinea did not come from the Government of Equatorial Guinea, or from the Presidency of the Republic,” the government statement said. “It deals with an initiative that emerged from the Brazilian companies that operate in Equatorial Guinea, along with the school Beija Flor. An initiative that we supported.”

The statement asserted that The Wall Street Journal had erroneously identified President Obiang in a photo taken at the Carnival celebrations. “The person that is seen in the photo is Jose Mba Obama, Vice Minister of the Government,” the statement said.

“H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has been carrying out his agenda in African and national matters,” the statement said. “He has been in Yaounde (Cameroon) participating in the Extraordinary Meeting on Security of the ECCAS, in order to seek solutions to confront the danger of Boko Haram. A truly important and transcendental meeting for the security of Africa.”

The Carnival of Rio de Janerio offered a special homage to the African continent and Equatorial Guinea, through the presentation of the Beija Flor Samba School, with the slogan: “Africa: happy, strong and full of color.”

See the full text of the government statement here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Equatorial Guinea To Launch The American University Of Central Africa

Government seeks advice from StoneHill Education and Boston University School of Education

The government of Equatorial Guinea has partnered with StoneHill Education, an educational consultancy firm to launch the American University of Central Africa in the city of Oyala, Equatorial Guinea, this fall.

The Ministry of Education, led by Jesus Engonga Ndong, Minister of Education and Science, has been working with Stonehill Education, Unicon and the Boston University School of Education to lay the foundations for the American University of Central Africa.

Sherina Hosein Mohammed, StoneHill Education President, said, “StoneHill Education started working in this project three years ago, first meeting with the President of Equatorial Guinea and the Minister of Education to understand clearly what was needed and to offer the best possible solution.”

“The leaders in Equatorial Guinea have an amazing vision for their country and their people,” she said, “and are investing a lot of time, effort and money to make it a reality. All of this in line with the Horizon 2020, a comprehensive footprint for the country’s growth.”

Stonehill Education studied and analyzed the country, the economic sectors, the industry needs, the people and the existing educational situation and made a proposal that was tailored to the reality and needs of Equatorial Guinea.

“With this particular project we are offering a private layer of management in a publicly owned educational institution. We would assist from initial planning, program development, marketing, recruitment of faculty and of students, university management system (including Learning management Systems), facilities management, consultancy in the supply of furniture, laboratories, residences,” said Mohammed.

“Another area that is crucial for any new university is to start the development of their network and links with other universities and institutions. We aim to expand the collaborations, the student exchanges, the faculty training, etc. For example, StoneHill Education is working to partner with the School of Education of Boston University for technical assistance in developing the programs for the School of Education at AUCA. AUCA will impact the lives of many. The future education sector in EG will become more international,” concluded President Mohammed.

Dr. Hardin Coleman, Dean and Professor of Counseling Psychology and Human Development at Boston University, hopes to work with the initial teacher educators to help them put the curriculum into practice. Dr. Coleman has had the opportunity to visit Equatorial Guinea and was impressed by the University and the quality of education that the West African nation has.

“I came away from my visit impressed by the facility and the government’s commitment to improving the quality of primary education in Equatorial Guinea through improving the preparation of primary school teachers in Equatorial Guinea and Central Africa,” said. “I am very impressed by the desire to improve the education system within a multilingual and multicultural context.  We look forward to working with Stonehill Education to develop a high-quality curriculum to be used by the faculty at the school of education.”

The government of Equatorial Guinea has heavily invested its oil revenues in the country by focusing on improving education, developing human capital and diversifying its economy. Education has been a top priority for the government in Equatorial Guinea. The country has an adult literacy rate of nearly 100%--the highest in Africa. Since 1979, citizens of Equatorial Guinea have received more than 500,000 scholarships to study in universities and professional and technical-training programs outside the country. This figure includes multiple scholarship recipients and people who have remained outside the country.

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.”