Thursday, September 29, 2011

Equatorial Guinean Native on National Education

Matinga Ragatz Meets with President Obama

Matinga Ragatz, a teacher with roots in Equatorial Guinea and the 2010-11 Michigan Teacher of the Year, is on a national education tour in the U.S. giving talks about the direction of education in the U.S. and school development in the 20th century.

Matinga Ragatz is a Social Studies and World Language teacher at Grand Ledge High School. She is the founder and Project Management Director of Interface Global Alliance, a non-profit organization that promotes economic development in underprivileged communities through project-based education. The proud Equatoguinean has been using a hybrid classroom platform to teach, and creating innovation in technology-assisted learning for over ten years. “My audience includes officials in the departments of education. The main focus of my educational models starts from the economic development through education,” said Ms. Ragatz in a recent interview with Guinea Ecuatorial Press.

During her national tour, she met with President Barack Obama where they talked about the coincidence of their international backgrounds and how they've developed very similar characteristics and philosophies about this.

This summer, Ms. Ragatz became a NASA Certified Educator. She has lectured at Princeton University in New Jersey and was recently in New York to participate in the documentary Why I Teach. Ms. Ragatz has also participated in Education Nation, a television program that will air soon on NBC.

“We are very proud of Ms. Ragatz, one of our own, for her achievements in the field of teaching and for earning this prestigious award in the United States,” said Minister of Education, Science, and Sports Filiberto Ntutumu Nguema. “Matinga is leading by example. Her innovative spirit and contributions, both to her students in the United States and in Equatorial Guinea, are to be commended and praised. She is making an impact in the lives of youth in both countries that shall pay great dividends as these students move toward advanced studies and eventually join the workforce.”

Ragatz travels frequently to Equatorial Guinea, where she is working on various education projects, particularly foreign-language education, and is working on a proposal to open a teaching center in the capital, Malabo, for students who want to learn English. She is also the daughter of author and university professor Morgades Trinidad, the first woman from Equatorial Guinea to earn a college degree. “Going back to Guinea is the dream of Guineans all over the world... The people, music, food, culture, the sea... all this is in your blood and you feel it even thousands of miles away. My family is in Equatorial Guinea and I hope to return to serve my country.”

The government of Equatorial Guinea has made education a top priority of the Horizon 2020 development plan, which was set in motion by President Obiang to move the country toward a sustainable and emergent economy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Equatorial Guinea Leading African Energy Production

In just ten years, Equatorial Guinea has become one of the major regional powers in hydrocarbon extraction and processing, leading to an unprecedented economic boom and transformation and a case study in the world, according to a recent report in the ICE Economic Bulletin. The development of the country’s energy sector plays a significant role in taking the country closer to become an emergent and sustainable economy by 2020.

ICE Economic Bulletin (InformaciĆ³n Comercial EspaƱola) is published by Spain’s Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism.

The country has a leading role in the African energy production environment. Two years ago, “Equatorial Guinea was the third largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, the second on the continent in gas liquefaction (and one of only three in the Atlantic basin, along with Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago) and is also a producer of liquefied petroleum gas and methanol,” said the report.

The ICE Bulletin describes several initiatives the government is taking in the petroleum sector that will pay dividends in the future. First, Equatorial Guinea’s decision to stop burning off natural gas at the well and build a natural gas pipeline and terminal facility on the island of Bioko will provide several options for use of the gas, including liquefaction and electricity generation. A second liquefied natural gas (LNG) train in Malabo would make the country a regional hub for the product.

Plans to build a new refinery on the continent in Mbini and a petrochemical plant on the island of Bioko will end the country’s complete dependence on imports for refined petroleum products.

Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has established the strengthening of the energy sector in Equatorial Guinea as a national priority. Last month, Equatorial Guinea partnered with Energy Allied International to develop the petrochemical sector in the country. Continuing the efforts surrounding energy improvement, President Obiang unveiled plans for nationwide electrification at a National Electrification conference. He predicted that with wise use of the country’s natural resources, Equatorial Guinea would enjoy full electrification and energy self-sufficiency.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

United Nations General Assembly Speech President Obiang

Mr. President,
Majesties,
Distinguished Heads of State and Government,
Distinguished Delegates,
Dear Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,


We participate in these discussions at the General Assembly of the United Nations in our dual capacity as rotating president of the African Union and at the same time President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, with the full conviction that with the years and the experience gained in this world organization in its 66 years of life, the International Community should feel morally invigorated, socially in solidarity and politically united by universal principles and criteria to deal with any contingency or threat that affects the planet.


On this conviction, I congratulate the wise choice as President of the sixty-sixth session of
General Assembly, His Excellency Nassir Abdulaziz NASSER, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, who represents an ancient culture that has contributed greatly to the development of mankind, as well as belonging to peaceful and supportive country that contributes to the maintenance of peace, stability and development in the world.

We trust that under his leadership, the United Nations will be able to solve the serious problems affecting our states.


We also want to congratulate the Secretary General of the United Nations, His Excellency Ban Ki Moon, for his re-election to continue to lead this World Organization, as an expression of appreciation for the work he has done over the last five years, despite the various crises of political, economic and social crises that our planet has known and currently knows.


Based on this conviction, the United Nations must remake itself today, in the face of the current trend to convert itself into a club of the powerful, in order to reestablish its character of more equitable and just representation in the world, in which those whose problems it tries to resolve have a voice and participate. In this way, the democratization of all Organs of this universal institution is imposed.


Majesties,
Excellencies,
Dear Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
,
On the subject of peace and security, Africa, which is the scene of various fratricidal conflicts, caused in most cases by internal factors and third party interests, has expressed itself strongly in favor of peaceful resolution of conflicts, wherever they are, through dialogue, mediation and negotiation.
,
Africa, a continent whose countries and peoples have been exploited for centuries by foreign powers, faces a new neocolonialist version of armed intervention for reasons and principles both humanitarian and of liberal democracy.

Likewise, Africa must make good use of its international political personality
so that the African Union is respected, laying aside the internal divisions caused by undeclared interests.


Armed intervention force, both internal and external, has never given a definitive solution to the conflicts since the creation of the United Nations, as seen from the different conflicts have occurred in the last 50 years.


Unfortunately, we observe that the United Nations are being used fraudulently, under the pretext of humanitarian interventions, when such interventions only served to further violate human rights of the affected peoples. The use of force in conflicts does not promote agglutination, but only division and destruction. The African Union recognizes the victory of the National Transition Council of Libya in its struggle against totalitarianism, and recommends that the government undertake a transition program to carry out free and transparent elections in which, for legitimacy, all groups that comprise the community of the Libyan people must participate. With regard to the situation in Tunisia and Egypt, we also urge their governments to adopt legal and administrative structures that guarantee democratic processes in state institutions.”

Moreover, the international community must act jointly to combat terrorism, piracy and mercenaries, which are contrary to the principles of freedom and human dignity and impede the exercise of democracy and the right of peoples to true development.

Majesties,
Excellencies,
Dear Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The world today is suffering a financial and economic crisis of unforeseeable consequences. This crisis is the result of the irrationality of the current political, economic and social order, which has strayed from the social and humanitarian principles of equality, justice and fairness.


On the political side, we cannot transplant the cultural values of a country or a group countries for those of another, just because of globalization and the politics of globalization. Rather, we must promote dialogue and the cohabitation of cultures and civilizations, because if we do not, the principle of free self-determination of peoples would be automatically suppressed.


“Democracy is noble, and it applies to any cultural value practiced and accepted by the people. Anything else would betray the spirit of democracy, which must evolve consistent with the cultures of the peoples concerned.

On the other hand, in economic matters, the social dimension of man must be evident in his productive activities for the benefit of mankind. Within this context there is no justification for the barriers, embargoes, and discrimination that are currently practiced in economic, technical and scientific exchanges among nations, to perpetuate the impoverishment of some and increase even more the enrichment of others.


Well, the African continent's share in the market is ridiculous, and does not exceed one percent, despite the economic and human potential of the continent that scholars describe as the future salvation of mankind. Africa calls for the solidarity of the developed countries to activate its economy, as part of this planet.

Africa does not request a handout. Africa needs economic and technological support capable of transforming its vast resources that contribute to economic stability. This requires profound changes in the philosophy of the system and a readjustment of current methods and procedures in international economic exchanges.

The social order is determined by the political order. But the political order can’t develop ell without the economic- development component.”

In this sense, Africa is making great efforts to develop national democracies, and many of its
States have conformed their made political, legal and basic administrative structures to the demands of democracy.


However, going from theory to practice requires some basic requirements that must meet man’s man's material needs. Hence the failure of many countries that, rather than obtaining positive results from their plans, find themselves stuck and involved in fratricidal conflicts because they could not satisfy those needs.

In addition to the economic crisis, the African continent is coping with the devastating effects of climate change, natural disasters, drought, famine and diseases that cause millions of victims.

For its part, the African Union recently organized a Donors Conference to support victims in the Horn of Africa, Somalia being one of the countries most affected.
The African Union has taken up its commitment to confront this emergency, but you need the friendly hand of the International Community is still needed.


We believe that the developing countries that are responsible for the warming of the atmosphere because of their industries must meet their Kyoto Protocol obligations and compensate developing countries for damages arising from the effects of global warming.

The most disadvantaged groups in this crisis are the Children, Women and Youth. But a younger generation without a physical, intellectual and moral development cannot guarantee a generational change that will ensure the future of Nations, and there lies the need to provide moral and material assistance necessary for youth to ensure the development of the continent in the future.


In this regard the summit of the African Union in Sipopo, Equatorial Guinea, adopted a program to promote employment of youth and women--combat their underemployment--and
professional and intellectual training, a program that needs support of the international community.


Majesties,
Excellencies,
Dear Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

In terms of my country, the Republic of Equatorial Guinea is committed to the Millennium Goals set at the year 2025. During the National Economic Conference organized in 2009 to plan the rational use of oil and other resources, the Government adopted the Economic Development Program Horizon 2020, with the goal of gaining emerging natin status for Equatorial Guinea by that time.


Parallel to this program, the Government is enacting political, legal and administrative reforms
to optimize the development of democracy, to ensure control, transparency, good economic and political governance, and ensure maximum respect for human rights.

The political environment in my country is optimal, for peace, stability and reconciliation of all the political forces of the nation, which work in harmony with a unity based on political consensus.


In short, Mr. President and Dear Heads of State, Equatorial Guinea participates with some optimism in these debates, because it believes that, as opposed to the egocentrism that prevents many states work together in synergy, to act against the adversities that affect our world, every day the international conscience and ethos grows so that the United Nations can be a real center of unity and cohesion of the international community.

Indeed, yesterday Africa was isolated, but today the associations of countries that trust in Africa and its States are multiplied, because of the contribution they make to world development.


We wish every success to the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly.

Thank you very much

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

OBIANG CALLS FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AS KEY TO DEMOCRACY IN AFRICA

AU President criticizes armed intervention, even for “noble” purposes, urges democracy in AU members Libya, Egypt, Tunisia


Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo called on the world to support Africa’s economic and technological development, which he described as an important underpinning for the development of democracy on the continent. President Obiang, who is also the rotating president of the African Union, addressed the General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly today in both capacities.

“The use of force [to resolve] conflicts is not a factor of agglutination but of division and destruction,” President Obiang said, adding that it often adds to the suffering of the people affected.

Turning to the situations in Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia, he said, “The African Union recognizes the victory of the National Transition Council of Libya in its struggle against totalitarianism, and recommends that the government undertake a transition program to carry out free and transparent elections in which, for legitimacy, all groups that comprise the community of the Libyan people must participate. With regard to the situation in Tunisia and Egypt, we also urge their governments to adopt legal and administrative structures that guarantee democratic processes in state institutions.”

President Obiang urged nations to respect local traditions as they promote the spread of democracy, arguing that for democracy to succeed it must respond to the wishes of local communities.

“On the political side,” he said, “we cannot transplant the cultural values of a country or a group of countries for those of another, just because of globalization and the politics of globalization. Rather, we must promote dialogue and the cohabitation of cultures and civilizations, because if we do not, the principle of free self-determination of peoples would be automatically suppressed.

“Democracy is noble,” President Obiang said, “and it applies to any cultural value practiced and accepted by the people. Anything else would betray the spirit of democracy, which must evolve consistent with the cultures of the peoples concerned.”

President Obiang argued that economic development and technological advancement will be critical to establishing stable democracies in Africa, which he said had been driven by “fratricidal conflicts.”

Calling Africa’s one-percent share of the world market “ridiculous, he noted “the economic and human potential of the continent that scholars describe as the future salvation of mankind.”

“Africa calls for the solidarity of the developed countries to activate its economy, as part of this planet,” President Obiang said. “Africa does not request a handout. Africa needs economic and technological support capable of transforming its vast resources that contribute to economic stability. This requires profound changes in the philosophy of the system and a readjustment of current methods and procedures in international economic exchanges. The social order is determined by the political order. But the political order can’t develop all without the economic- development component.”

He said that many countries had become enmeshed in fratricidal conflicts because their governments had failed to address themselves to fulfilling the basic needs of their citizens.

Turning to the situation in his own country, the Horizon 2020 Program, which has established concrete objectives infrastructure development, education, health, and sustainability by the year 2020. Equatorial Guinea hopes to attain the status of “emerging economy” by the year 2020. At the same time, Equatorial Guinea is pursuing legal and constitutional reforms that will guarantee more transparency, better public administration, and broader participation in the political system.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

PRESIDENT OBIANG CALLS FOR LONG-TERM COMMITMENT TO FIGHT MALARIA

Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo will address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 21, the opening day of the session. President Obiang, who is also the current president of the African Union, will participate in several other events in New York during the week September 19-23.

As Chairperson of the African Union, President Obiang will serve as a key note speaker at a high-level reception to celebrate the achievements of the UN decade to Roll Back Malaria. Equatorial Guinea has one of Africa’s most successful programs to fight the spread of malaria and has reduced the incidence of the disease by 57% in just four years. The anti-malaria project is currently focused on the island of Bioko, where more than half the population of Equatorial Guinea lives, and has been extended to 2013 to develop local capacity and enable the campaign to reach the mainland. The project has won numerous high-profile awards for social responsibility and good citizenship, according to a report by Roll Back Malaria. The program to control malaria is part of a broader effort by the government, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, to improve public health in the West African nation.

While in New York, President Obiang will also officially inaugurate the newly remodeled (and newly purchased) offices of the country’s Permanent Mission to the UN.

Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Victoriana Nchama Nsue Okono, held preparatory meetings in Equatorial Guinea with the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in the country, Leo Heileman. The government reviewed with UN representatives progress on the development goals set out in President Obiang’s Horizon 2020 Plan.

The Horizon 2020 development plan established sustainable development goals for Equatorial Guinea to be completed by the year by 2020 in the areas of that means potable water, education, health, food, security, communication, infrastructure, tourism development, and environment conservation.

The government has supported the UN and its efforts to help improve the country. Equatorial Guinea has provided technical assistance to the local United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to improve the effectiveness of its Assistance Program as well as the implementation of a host of health programs geared towards improving the health of Equatorial Guineans.

PRESIDENT OBIANG TO SPEAK ON FIRST DAY OF UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY

President Will Also Keynote Malaria Event

Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo will address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 21, the opening day of the session. President Obiang, who is also the current president of the African Union, will participate in several other events in New York during the week September 19-23.

As Chairperson of the African Union, President Obiang will serve as a key note speaker at a high-level reception to celebrate the achievements of the UN decade to Roll Back Malaria. Equatorial Guinea has one of Africa’s most successful programs to fight the spread of malaria and has reduced the incidence of the disease by 57% in just four years. The anti-malaria project is currently focused on the island of Bioko, where more than half the population of Equatorial Guinea lives, and has been extended to 2013 to develop local capacity and enable the campaign to reach the mainland. The project has won numerous high-profile awards for social responsibility and good citizenship, according to a report by Roll Back Malaria. The program to control malaria is part of a broader effort by the government, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, to improve public health in the West African nation.

While in New York, President Obiang will also officially inaugurate the newly remodeled (and newly purchased) offices of the country’s Permanent Mission to the UN.

Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Victoriana Nchama Nsue Okono, held preparatory meetings in Equatorial Guinea with the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in the country, Leo Heileman. The government reviewed with UN representatives progress on the development goals set out in President Obiang’s Horizon 2020 Plan.

The Horizon 2020 development plan established sustainable development goals for Equatorial Guinea to be completed by the year by 2020 in the areas of that means potable water, education, health, food, security, communication, infrastructure, tourism development, and environment conservation.

The government has supported the UN and its efforts to help improve the country. Equatorial Guinea has provided technical assistance to the local United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to improve the effectiveness of its Assistance Program as well as the implementation of a host of health programs geared towards improving the health of Equatorial Guineans.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Equatorial Guinea Reduces Maternal Mortality

Nation to Reach WHO Millennium Development Goals

Equatorial Guinea has significantly reduced maternal mortality across the country, according to a report by the Regional Bureau for Africa of the World Health Organization (WHO). President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has heavily invested in public health in Equatorial Guinea as part of the government-wide effort to meet the goals of the Horizon 2020 development program.

“Equatorial Guinea is among the seven countries that are on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce maternal mortality,” said Regional Director for Africa of the World Health Organization, Luis Sambo, in the 61st Session of Ministers of Health held in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast, on September 1.

Mr. Sambo expressed how 46 countries in the African continent still experience difficulties in meeting the Millennium Development Goals and stated that “Only seven of them are able to achieve these objectives with regard to child health.” He continued to say that Equatorial Guinea is one of the two countries on track to reach the Millennium Development Goals on maternal mortality.

Equatorial Guinea has also decreased the prevalence of the malaria parasite in children by 57% in just four years and has increased the number of children protected by bed nets or indoor spraying of insecticides. The government has donated $1.5 million and a headquarters facility to the World Health Organization (WHO) to support research for global health. It has also provided technical assistance to the local United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to improve the effectiveness of its Assistance Program as well as the implementation of a host of health programs geared towards improving the health of Equatorial Guineans.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

President Obiang Continues His Advocacy for Constitutional Reforms

Equatorial Guinea Invests Substantially in Infrastructure Projects

Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo concluded his national tour to win support for his proposed constitutional reforms on the island of Bioko, home to the nation’s capital.

In a speech delivered before a capacity crowd at the National Stadium, President Obiang characterized the reform proposals as an effort to systematically and progressively pursue greater democracy and pluralism as the nation develops.

“The reforms reinforce the current Constitution by creating a Senate and Economic Council, which will be responsible for overseeing the way resources are used; and also create the figure of the Ombudsman, who may supervise the performance of judges and members of government; and a National Court of Accounts,” said President Obiang.

He also reminded the crowd that the proposed reforms will limit the term of office for the President to two terms of a maximum of seven years. Currently, the president serves a seven-year term with no limit to the number of terms he can serve.

President Obiang compared the nation’s troubled past, which included slavery, colonization, and eleven years of crushing dictatorship in the period immediately following independence, with its prospects for the future, saying, “Sometimes people think that peace is the absence of war, when there is a lack of military confrontation, but there is another kind of peace that is more important, which is peace of social coexistence. When people do not get the freedom and rights they deserve, people do not live in peace, they live in a social war.”

He challenged each citizen to contribute “his grain of sand to the common good,” and warned that the country will not be able to continue to develop without an environment of social peace.

The president also dedicated several public works projects in the capital city and surrounding area, including potable-water facilities, construction and rehabilitation of the Lampert district, new asphalting of the streets of Malabo, and construction of a Blood Transfusion Center. The government of Equatorial Guinea has substantially invested on infrastructure projects this year.

The reforms were approved in July by the national parliament. Following the nation’s constitution, the reforms must now be approved in a national popular referendum, which is scheduled for the end of the year. The constitutional reforms are part of Equatorial Guinea’s efforts to drive the country to become an emergent and sustainable economy by 2020.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Equatorial Guinea Strengthens Bilateral Relations With Nigeria

As part of Equatorial Guinea’s efforts to strengthen ties with its West African neighbors , Equatorial Guinea hosted a delegation from Nigeria to discuss cooperation in a number of areas. The Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, Angel Mokara Moleila, headed the Equatoguinean delegation, and the Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs for Nigeria, Martin Omeoby Uhomoibhi, and his delegation discuss cooperation and progress in the country.

“This meeting reaffirms the political commitment of Equatorial Guinea president Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and Nigeria president Goodluck Jonathan and their mutual goal to achieve peace, security, international cooperation and sustainable development,” said Secretary Moleila.

He continued to highlight the progress the country has made since they met two years ago. Equatorial Guinea has invested substantially in infrastructure, education, energy, health and agriculture, and the progress is obvious to everyone who visits the West African nation.

Martin Omeoby expressed his country’s appreciation for putting together a successful African Union Summit early this summer. “We are geographical neighbors and we must be allies. There are many ways to build our relationships working in the interest of our two countries,” said Martin Omeoby.