Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Equatorial Guinea Promotes Agricultural Sector

Agriculture Ministry Discusses Cooperation with China

As part of Equatorial Guinea’s (República de Guinea Ecuatorial) efforts to boost agricultural development and move the country toward an emergent economy, the government is seeking further cooperation with China. In a meeting between Gregorio Boho Camo, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea, and the manager of the Chinese Embassy in Malabo, the two discussed the possibility of creating a consortium for the agricultural sector.

During the meeting, Gregorio Boho Camo highlighted how the creation of the agriculture sector consortium with China will help Equatorial Guinea reach its Horizon 2020 objectives. The possibility of re-launching cacao cultivation with the help of Chinese companies will be another way of achieving these goals.

The Ministry of Agriculture, headed by Minister Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, disseminated information about the government’s agriculture sector objectives throughout the country. During the awareness tour for the agriculture sector, Sergio Osa Mongomo, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, talked about the activities of the MAECI program, a project focused on attaining food self-sufficiency in the country, with the purpose of achieving the goals set during the second National Economic Conference in 2007.

The tour previewed the activities Minister Nguema will carry out in the first quarter of 2011 and highlighted the importance of the agricultural associations and the promotion of coffee and cacao in the country. They also verified the state of the compliance with the repayment of loans, given by the state to various agricultural associations, as well as the distribution of seeds, fertilizers and plant health products.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Equatorial Guinea Seeks To Expand Social Development Programs And Cooperation with USAID

Prime Minister Meets with Regional USAID Representative to Discuss Progress and Expansion of Social Development Fund

As part of Equatorial Guinea’s (República de Guinea Ecuatorial) efforts to boost social development and move the country toward an emergent economy, the government is seeking further cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In a meeting between Ignacio Milam Tang, prime minister of Equatorial Guinea and Henderson Patrick, regional director for the West African mission of the USAID, the two discussed progress on projects started in 2005 and the continuity of technical assistance from the development agency.

Click here to see the latest videos of development projects across the country, including the new airport and port facilities on Annobón.

In 2005, the government of Equatorial Guinea established a fund for social development to support the government in the implementation of programs across various sectors, including Education, Fishing, Health, Social Affairs and the Promotion of Women, as well as Planning and Economic Development. The Prime Minister is the president of the Administrative Council of the Social Development Fund, while Mr. Patrick is in charge of supporting the execution of social development programs paid for by the fund. This fund is fully funded from the country’s oil revenues and is supported by technical expertise from USAID.

During the course of the meeting, Prime Minister Milam Tang discussed the present state of the social programs and the approval of other new investments during the next three years. The Administrative Council of the Social Development Fund recently decided that the government would free up funds to finance a total of 18 new projects, within the departments of Fishing and Environment, and Internal Affairs and Local Cooperation.

Earlier this year, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, during his address to the 2010 TIME/Fortune/CNN Global Forum in Cape Town, committed to investing in the country’s various social development programs and vowing to enhance the existing Social Development Fund that uses oil resources for the benefit of the people of Equatorial Guinea.

Through the fund, Equatorial Guinea is investing in schools, teachers, health care, tourism, housing, potable water supply, road infrastructure, telecommunications, development of natural sciences, job creation and development of democratic institutions.

The country has already made significant progress in various areas including education and health. A national university has been created, the first university with campuses in Malabo and Bata, with programs in arts and social science, medicine and the environment. In 2008, the Medical School graduated 110 new physicians in Bata. Scholarship programs have also been established with universities in the United States, Cuba, China, Morocco, Russia, Ukraine, Egypt and Senegal. In regard to health, President Obiang described two new modern hospitals with advanced technology in Malabo and Bata that opened to prevent the need to transfer patients to Europe and the renovation of old hospitals to protect the health of the population. In 2009, the government made expenditures in excess of 1 billion dollars to develop the social sector, including investments in health, education and housing.

The minister of internal affairs and local cooperation, Clemente Engonga Nguema Onguene, the minister of external affairs, international cooperation and francophonie, Pastor Micha Ondo Bilé, and the United States ambassador in Equatorial Guinea, Alberto Fernandez, were among the other guests present during the meeting.