Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Equatorial Guinea Dedicates Public Works to Host Visitors, Provide Drinking Water, Fight Corruption

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea dedicated 11 new facilities on the island of Bioko on Saturday. The public works projects were designed to improve infrastructure, help combat corruption, and bring potable water to communities. Some of the projects expanded the city’s ability to host visitors and major international events, and were completed in time for the African Union Summit and related meetings, which will take place in Malabo June 26-July 1. President Obiang is the current rotational chairman of the AU.

The new infrastructure projects include a passenger terminal expansion at Malabo International Airport, which was completed in a record time of six months. The airport is now fully equipped to receive flights from all over the world.

“With these changes the Malabo airport is sufficiently outfitted to accommodate guests who arrive in the country for the African Union Summit,” said the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Demetrio Eló Ndong Nsefumu.

Other facilities were dedicated in Malabo II, a newly developed area of the capital, where President Obiang opened the Hotel Iris and two new government facilities, the new Documentation Center and the Palace of Conferences. President Obiang declared that the Documentation Center will help his government combat the falsification of official documents and reduce corruption, “which has caused us many problems internationally.”

Toward the end of a busy day, the President dedicated new potable water systems for the district of Baney and the city of Riaba, a new police camp in Baney, and a new road connecting the cities of Riaba and Moca. The cost of all projects in Baney and Riaba, including the Palace of Conferences, exceeded $44 million (U.S).

Infrastructure development has been one of the major focuses of the government of Equatorial Guinea. President Obiang has launched an ambitious program called Horizon 2020, which is aimed at using the nation’s revenues to improve health, education, and the economy in the country.

The administration has made rapid progress in improving and expanding Equatorial Guinea’s island and mainland infrastructure. The Annobón airport and trade port, opened last October, are two massive, state-of-the-art infrastructure projects that brought an end to the isolation that used to characterize the island province. The government has also opened two modern hospitals, one in the capital, Malabo, which is located on Bioko Island, and one in the mainland city of Bata. The Israeli-operated hospitals provide modern medical care and serve as teaching and training centers for Equatorial Guinea’s medical professionals and technicians.