Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sullivan Summit Stresses Role of African Diaspora on Third Day in Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea has hosted the third day of the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation Summit at the Sipopo conference Center in Malabo. The third day’s session focused on foreign investment, industrial development initiatives, human rights and the engagement of the African diaspora with modern Africa.

H.E. President Obiang during Sullivan Summit
During an open forum, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy, discussed foreign investment, economic growth and industrial development initiatives underway in Equatorial Guinea and outlined ways to form economic alliances that can continue to drive national development.

Equatorial Guinea development is based on the Horizon 2020 plan. The West African country is investing its oil resources to establish the physical, intellectual, and institutional infrastructure for a diverse economy and to prepare the country for the day when oil production declines.

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has also developed the “Education for All” initiative, which has placed a priority on increasing school enrollment, forming strong professions, and building and remodeling primary and secondary schools, and expanding the scope of university education. Ecuatorial Guinea currently has some 6,000 students enrolled in two national university campuses, and plans new campuses to serve more students and offer more disciplines.

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) named Equatorial Guinea leader in health care investment in Africa, with Botswana following close behind, at an annual health care spending of $612 per capita.

In May 2012, the
U.S. Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011 stated that, “There were no government restrictions on access to the Internet or credible reports that the government monitored e-mail or Internet chat rooms. Individuals and groups could engage in the expression of views via the Internet, including by e-mail. The report added that there are no political prisoners and that there are no credible reports of torture.”

The plenary session focused on the potential of the African diaspora to contribute to Africa’s growth through knowledge transfer, cultural exchanges and financial investments. The speakers stressed that it is important for the African diaspora to return to the continent and help African countries move forward. “The Sullivan Summit is a bridge for the African diaspora to come back to the continent, to see and help Africa,” said Hope Sullivan Masters, President and CEO of the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation.