Friday, July 30, 2010
(To see video of Minister Ehate Tomi's interview, visit: http://qorv.is/Yib)
"There is a network that connects all the provinces today…but we are making major investments to further develop the transmission and to improve service," said Vicente Ehate Tomi, Equatorial Guinea's Minister of Transport, Technology, Posts and Telecommunications. "We are also carrying out a submarine fiber optic cable project to connect the two major cities in the country, Malabo and Bata. This project has cost the state a large sum of money and will allow for a better flow of communication between the island and the mainland region."
In addition to the fiber optic cable project, Equatorial Guinea is participating in a project supported by France Telecom and 14 African operators, known as ACE (Africa Coast to Europe), which will extend another fiber optic cable starting in France to link Europe to Africa. The project, promoted by France Telecom Orange, will feature a 17,000 km cable and is expected to be operational as early as 2012. It will connect more than 23 countries.
"We are working with speed to develop and quickly implement the projects to meet the goals set forth for this Ministry by the National Economic Conference," said Minister Ehate Tomi. "We believe we will do this much sooner than the 2020 target, even by 2015."
Minister Ehate Tomi also pointed to other mid-sized projects that are already underway, including the dissemination of new technologies and the computerization of the country as a fundamental goal of the Horizon 2020 plan and development of Equatorial Guinea.
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Ramon Esono Ebale started off the event with the creation of the "Happening Tag," a colorful mural. Sculptor Gabriel Mokolo also presented the installation "Children of Iron." At the same time, craftsmen from the city of Fez, showed different ways of working in wood, leather and mirrors, and photographers Lolley Fabien, Jean-Michel Ruiz and Cecile Treal showcased a dynamic set of images of Equatorial Guinea and Morocco.
Betty Akna played the piano to open the night's performances, followed by Bolebo System who played guitar, bass, drums and traditional percussion. Moroccan group Gnawi also performed and announced Equatorial Guinea as one of its tour destination countries.
The evening concluded with a performance of the Equatorial Guinean national ballet troop, "Ceiba," and a Moroccan percussionists group Bramel'z.
(For video of the Congress and panel sessions, visit www.youtube.com/equatorialguineanews)
"We want our young people to distinguish themselves by focusing on the values of honor, dignity and defending the interests of the people of Equatorial Guinea," said President of Equatorial Guinea Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who presided over the Congress. He also advocated for the preservation of peace, political stability, training and compliance with the ideology to "do good and avoid evil."
Hundreds of youth and PDGE district councils were in attendance. Guinean government officials, diplomatic corps, various representatives of neighboring African governments -- including Gabon, Ghana, Morocco, Angola and Cameroon -- the United Nations and representatives of opposition parties were also present during the three days.
The Minister of Agriculture said that the main purpose of the youth associations in the country is to promote leadership, and to serve and defend the interests of the people of Equatorial Guinea. The first Youth Congress was themed, "Together building the future in confidence."
The four main objectives of the Youth Congress were to:
- Create an environment that gives an opportunity for the voices of the country's youth to be heard.
- Renew the structure and the functions of the party to accommodate and reflect the present times.
- Attract young people to actively participate in the political process.
- Wisely and gradually prepare for a generational change in an orderly and harmonious manner, with a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect between young and old.
In his line of objectives, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue said: "We should give ourselves in our entirety to activities in productive sectors such as agriculture, sea and river fishing, crafts, trade, small, medium and industrial enterprises that allow youth a level of responsible living, and to move away from political and economic corruption."
He suggested that a "pact of trust between generations" should exist, because to "ignore the essential nature of the link between the elderly and young people is to ignore the realities of the history of our peoples and of humanity... The PDGE youth must leave this Congress with a fresh mind and be certain that our ancestors have brought us national freedom and independence. A change of mentality is needed."
The Congress kicked off with remarks by President Obiang and the Minister of Agriculture and welcome words from the delegations of the Democratic Party of Gabon and Gabon's Youth Association, Democratic Congress of Ghana, Democratic Reunification of Cameroonian People, Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, and Governmental Independence Party of the Kingdom of Morocco. Delegates also heard from the National University of Equatorial Guinea (UNGE) and the Scientific and Technological Research Council (CICTE).
On the second day of the Congress, national experts, party leaders and top government officials, addressed various topics of interest during panel discussions and took questions from the audience. Panel sessions on Youth and National Identity, Youth and Education, Youth and Access to Jobs, Youth and Access to Housing, Youth and Agriculture Sector and Business Culture, and Youth and Professional Development addressed current challenges and provided recommendations. On the final day, closing remarks were delivered by President Obiang and the Minister of Agriculture was sworn in as president of the Youth Federation of the PDGE.
Friday, July 23, 2010
At the First Special Ordinary Congress of the National Youth Federation in Bata, a resolution was approved to elect Minister Nguema as Chairman of the group for a period of five years. The resolution also makes him the Vice President of the PDGE.
The event featured various groups, including delegates from different districts of youth organizations and youth associations of the nationwide party. In addition, students representing various academic institutions, such as the National University of Equatorial Guinea, Institute for Media Education of Malabo and Bata, participated in the Congress. The attending groups nominated Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue as the Chairman of the National Youth Federation.
After Minister Nguema was sworn into the Chairman position and congratulated by the attending organizations, he expressed excitement for having been freely and democratically elected to this position, which was created according to the general statutes of the Party. This is part of a broader effort by the government to improve the democratic election process for its citizens.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Research carried out by the Malaria Control Project team on the Island of Bioko, funded by the government of Equatorial Guinea and a private consortium led by Marathon Oil Corporation, showed a reduction in infant mortality in nearly one third of the population. These results demonstrate an increase in child survival after four years of intensive malaria control, results that were recently showcased in the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Equatorial Guinea's Island of Bioko has achieved the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals for the reduction of child mortality by 2015 far ahead of schedule.
The government's national malaria program includes free treatment for patients that test positive for malaria infection, with special attention paid to pregnant women since they face higher risk, distribution of government sponsored insecticide-treated mosquito nets and preventative treatments against malaria. This is part of a broader effort by the government and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to improve public health for its citizens.
Prevention plays a very important role in the fight against malaria; the government has launched a free mass spraying of houses on the Island of Bioko and more than half of the continental area, with plans to spread across the whole region. Further, as part of the public information campaigns, teams distribute informative brochures, leaflets and talk to people about prevention measures.
The Malaria Control Project is a fundamental part of the government-wide effort to meet all the Millennium Development Goals set by United Nations.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Equatorial Guinea's Minister of Agriculture Discusses Investment and Education with Spain's Ambassador
A key initiative of Minister Nguema Obiang Mangue is to build Equatorial Guinea's agriculture sector as a way to promote economic diversification in Equatorial Guinea, as well as job creation for the country's citizens. In the meeting with Spain's Ambassador, Minister Nguema Obiang Mangue cited numerous opportunities for Spanish investors and reiterated the Ministry's support of foreign investment.
Minister Nguema Obiang Mangue further discussed the diverse geographic and climatic conditions in Equatorial Guinea, both on the island of Bioko and the continental area, which require an in-depth study to better understand opportunities that exist and to identify agricultural products that would thrive in each region. The Minister of Agriculture agreed that Spain could bring to bear its experience in Equatorial Guinea to help find solutions for each region.
After the meeting, Minister Nguema Obiang Mangue thanked Ambassador Gomez-Acebo for his visit and congratulated him for the achievements of the Spanish team at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
President Obiang Establishes Headquarters of African Center for Science, Technology and Innovation in Equatorial Guinea
"We need to end the injustice, such as that concerning the [UNESCO] prize, because many Africans are dying of AIDS and children are dying from malaria," said President Obiang during the signing ceremony. "We want to find ways to solve the problems affecting the continent, but we are noticing that some organizations and non-African states are strongly criticizing this prize. I do not know if it's because of my name or because they are unwilling to work with us as we strive to find solutions for our continent. It is clear that we must rise up and work out our own future. This center is something we have been dreaming of for a long time."
Following the signing of the agreement, Chairman Jean Ping explained the importance of the establishment of the center and stated that it will showcase research and science in Africa. He further thanked President Obiang for supporting this initiative that will benefit all Africans.
The arrangements for the creation of the headquarters of the African Center for Science, Technology and Innovation have been underway for more than two years. President Obiang proposed this initiative to the African Union and offered to host the headquarters in Equatorial Guinea.
The African Center for Science, Technology and Innovation will serve as a place for African scientists to conduct research and find solutions to address health issues in Africa and contribute to the development of different economic sectors. Equatorial Guinea Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pastor Micha Ondo Bile and Minister of Education, Filiberto Ntutumu, as well as members of the African Union delegation were also present at the signing ceremony.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
(For video on President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's visit to Equatorial Guinea, visit www.youtube.com/equatorialguineanews)
The Brazilian President arrived in the capital city of Malabo on July 4 and was greeted by President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and various high-ranking members of the Equatorial Guinean Government at Malabo International Airport. The following day, the Brazilian delegation's activities began early in the morning with a meeting of businessmen from both countries to discuss the exchange of common interests. President Obiang welcomed the Brazilian President with full military honors, followed by an hour-long private meeting and a signing ceremony of five cooperation agreements presided by the two heads of state.
The meeting between the two heads of state was characterized by an atmosphere of friendship. As part of the visit, President Lula da Silva and President Obiang examined the means to strengthen ties between the two countries, exchanged views on various issues, including international relations, with a particular emphasis on United Nations reform, the global economic crisis, climate change and transnational threats that plague humanity in general.
Both presidents expressed their agreement to safeguard democratic principles, cooperate against organized crime and to combat other challenges facing both nations. President Obiang was pleased with the support of the Government of Brazil concerning the candidacy of Equatorial Guinea as a full member of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP). President Obiang hoped that Equatorial Guinea would become a member of the Community in time for the next CPLP Summit to be held July 2011 in Luanda, Angola.
The two countries issued a Joint Communique, highlighting the good relations that exist between the two and called upon developed countries to "ensure that measures taken to remedy the worldwide economic crisis not affect the economies of developing countries."
The heads of state reaffirmed the need for close cooperation in combating international organized crime, terrorism, mercenaries, piracy, drug trafficking and human trafficking, money laundering and other cross-border crimes by renewing their determination to contribute fully to the efforts of the international community to combat and eradicate these issues.
The two delegations identified important sectors for cooperation, including Fisheries Development, Agro-forestry, Infrastructure and Public Works, Human Resources Training. The five cooperation agreements signed by the two countries were:
•Agreement on the Establishment of a Joint Commission on Cooperation
•Agreement on the Abolition of Visas for Holders of Diplomatic Passports, Nationals, officials or service members
•Agreement on Defense Cooperation
•Agreement on paid employment for dependents of diplomatic, consular, military, administrative and technical staff of diplomatic missions, consulates and at international organizations
•Memorandum of Understanding on training and exchange of experiences in the Diplomatic and Consular spheres
Immediately after the signing of the agreements, the two delegations participated in a luncheon during which both presidents recalled the common historical characteristics that unite the two states and hopes that continued relations would lead to new agreements in the future.
Brazilian President Lula da Silva said: "Equatorial Guinea has tremendous potential to strengthen trade relations" and recalled the important bilateral trade growth in recent years. He continued: "With the creation of the Joint Commission we will increase bilateral trade and further advance our exchange, which is why we have brought a large business delegation with representatives in areas of infrastructure, agricultural machinery, telecommunications, aerospace, energy, etc."
President Obiang thanked the Brazilian President for his visit and expressed his country's admiration for the growth that has taken place in Brazil in recent years. "For us, the Republic of Brazil is a country that serves as a reference development model and it is a goal for Equatorial Guinea to be a reference country by Horizon 2020."
Following the luncheon, President da Silva and President Obiang visited some of the energy facilities of Punta Europa, including the Marathon plant, and Equatorial Guinea LNG Holdings Limited (EG LNG), a national liquefied natural gas company. The Brazilian president was particularly interested in the advanced facilities of EG LNG, which owns the only suspension bridge in the liquefied natural gas industry in the world. EG LNG began operations in 2007 and has shown excellent results.
After the visit, the Brazilian delegation departed Malabo with a farewell by President Obiang and members of the Equatorial Guinea Government.
Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva was the first Brazilian president to visit Equatorial Guinea 36 years after the establishment of relations between both states. The opening of the Embassy of Equatorial Guinea in Brasilia in 2005 and the Embassy of Brazil in Malabo in 2006 have significantly contributed to a stronger and more open cooperation between the two countries.
For video on President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva's visit to Equatorial Guinea, visit www.youtube.com/equatorialguineanews.
The meeting was an opportunity to further discuss the possibility of receiving technical assistance from U.S. experts on transportation security. Ambassador Fernandez informed the Minister that a delegation of technical experts is scheduled to arrive in the country at the end July.
"We are looking forward to the opportunity to benefit from the technical expertise of the United States. We want to promote the highest levels of safety and security at our airports for the benefit of visitors and citizens alike," Minister Tomi said.
Programs to improve transportation, security and technology are part of a broader reform effort by President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Trade between the two countries has increased significantly in recent years. In June 2009, Brazil's Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Miguel Jorge, also visited Equatorial Guinea accompanied by a large delegation of businessmen from his country. So far this year, Equatorial Guinea has signed several contracts with Brazilian companies across various sectors, including infrastructure and construction projects, education and sports.
Diplomatic relations between Equatorial Guinea and Brazil were established in 1974. The opening of the Embassy of Equatorial Guinea in Brasilia in 2005 and the Embassy of Brazil in Malabo in 2006 have significantly contributed to a stronger and more open cooperation between the two countries.
Equatorial Guinea's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pastor Micha Ondo Bile, traveled to Brazil in 2005 to conduct an official visit, during which bilateral relations and diplomatic relations were expanded.
The President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo also visited the Brazilian state in February 2008, an occasion on which he met with President Lula da Silva. Prior to this visit, President Obiang also participated in the Conference of Intellectuals from Africa and the Diaspora held in the city of Salvador de Bahia in 2006.
"The Government will invite the International Red Cross to install its headquarters in Equatorial Guinea and assist in reviewing and assessing all allegations of human rights violations in the country," President Obiang said in an address to the Forum. "We will also ask for your help in monitoring our Criminal Justice System and prisons to ensure the humane and appropriate treatment for those convicted of crimes."
Equatorial Guinea has already begun reform efforts by bringing the country's jails up to international standards.
"We report that the Government has upgraded the jails and has adopted regulations and standards as an ongoing effort to meet international requirements," President Obiang said.
President Obiang delivered a historic speech at the 2010 Global Forum in Cape Town, South Africa. Hosted by CNN, Time and Fortune, the Forum gathered world leaders, CEOs and the media to discuss substantive issues and opportunities in the developing world.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
As a member of the Commission for the Conservation of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (COMIFAC), parts of Equatorial Guinea, including Monte Alen National Park (ECOFAC), have been declared reserves for its forests and biodiversity protection zones.
"We have reduced wood export to below that of oil exploitation. Indeed, the government asked the African Union to monitor and intervene in the activities of NGOs interested in the environment to ensure we have a program for preservation," President Obiang said.
President Obiang also vowed to continue to protect against the hunting of monkeys and other endangered species.
"We will continue to take other protective measures already in place, such as the prohibition of hunting of monkeys and other endangered species. We will ask for assistance from interested organizations to support the population that is affected by these measures," President Obiang said.
As part of the effort to preserve its ecosystems and biodiversity, Equatorial Guinea was recently welcomed by The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) as a member of CMS. Environmental conservation is part of a larger effort to reform outlined by President Obiang at the Forum.
President Obiang made clear his intentions to review and continue programs already in place as well as to create new programs to bring Equatorial Guinea into the future.
"We will invite a delegation from the African Union to help us review and continue the reforms we have already initiated of our legal institutions, and to prepare and adopt a new legal code that drives the country into the future and ensures judicial credibility," President Obiang said in the speech.
During the address, President Obiang also touched upon press freedom and the Government's intention to support the activities of the Free Press Association of Equatorial Guinea (ASOPGE).
"Press freedom is guaranteed by law. Accordingly, we have the Free Press Association of Equatorial Guinea (ASOPGE). The Government will take measures to support the financing of their activities to allow it to act with independence and freedom," President Obiang said.
Equatorial Guinea is committed to the reform efforts discussed in President Obiang's speech and continues to make progress everyday. The 2010 Global Forum, hosted by CNN, TIME and FORTUNE, took place June 26 – 28 in Cape Town, South Africa.