Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Equatorial Guinea’s 2020 Development Plan Guiding Country Toward Emerging Economy

At a high level meeting on the Millennium Development Goals during the 65th United Nation’s General Assembly, Equatorial Guinea (Rep├║blica de Guinea Ecuatorial) demonstrated it’s ongoing commitment to overcoming the challenges posed by the global economic crisis in achieving the goals set out in the Millennium Declaration.

During his remarks to the Assembly, the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Francophonie, Pastor Micha Ondo Bile outlined various initiatives the country is undertaking to comply with its own Horizon 2020 development plan, which includes many of the benchmarks set in the UN Millennium Development Goals.

“To mitigate the effects of poverty and meet the Millennium Declaration, the Government of Equatorial Guinea has embarked on a strategic planning process long-term development, which has led to the holding of two national economic conferences,” said Minister Ondo Bile.

In recent years, Equatorial Guinea’s economic performance has been particularly outstanding, in large part to the discovery and operation of major oilfields. In order to diversify and ensure sustainability of the country’s economy – once reliant mainly on timber and cocoa exports – the government has convened two National Economic Conferences and defined new directions for economic and social policies to move the country toward an emergent and sustainable economy by 2020.

The “Horizon 2020” development plan, set in motion by President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in 2007, outlined 5 major goals:

  • Invest in strengthening economic growth;
  • Strengthen the development of structured investments;
  • Promote and strengthen the development of social policy actions;
  • Ensure a transparent social climate; and,
  • Develop the prospects for better monitoring and evaluation of poverty and living conditions of households.

“The vision of sustainable development by 2020 adopted by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea means achieving the Millennium Development Goals through the multiplication of our efforts, expanding the sources of production and training human resources to achieve appropriate levels of growth for a competitive economy, capable of eradicating poverty and hunger, as defined under the current Action Plan for the Development of Equatorial Guinea by Horizon 2020.”

One of the government-wide efforts to meet all the Millennium Development Goals set by United Nations, the Malaria Control Project on the Island of Bioko, funded by the government and a private consortium led by Marathon Oil Corporation, showed a reduction in infant mortality in nearly one third of the population. Equatorial Guinea's Island of Bioko achieved the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals for the reduction of child mortality by 2015 far ahead of schedule.

Numerous other initiatives in education, healthcare, infrastructure and economic development are underway in Equatorial Guinea to meet the Horizon 2020 and Millennium Development Goals.