The African Petroleum Producers Association (APPA) has held meetings in Malabo this week, focusing on regional integration, sustainability and information-sharing. The APPA – of which Equatorial Guinea is a member – has been holding several committee conferences at the Hotel Sofitel Sipopo Malabo Le Golf since Monday.
Equatorial Guinea is Chair State of the APPA for 2013/4 and is being represented by Gabriel Mbega Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy. Minister Mbega Obiang has been reporting on the progress of the petroleum industry in Equatorial Guinea, including the implementation of the annual budget, next year’s proposed budget, the report of the Secretariat’s Audit Committee and the managerial training conference.
The Eighth Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the APPA will be held at the Sipopo Conference Centre on 31 March, bringing together energy ministers from member states to discuss the petroleum industry in Africa.
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Lucas Nguema Esono Mbang, Second Deputy Prime Minister for Social Affairs and Minister for Education, has officially opened the new school campus in the town of Kogo. The new campus has capacity for over 980 students at both primary and secondary level. Fully funded by the government of Equatorial Guinea, the education complex includes state-of-the-art meeting rooms, libraries and laboratories.
District Inspector of Education Felipe Mateo Ndong Edong Eyang and Deputy Mayor Salvador Nchuchuma Nchuchuma welcomed Minister Mbang to the opening reception on 3 March. After the cutting of the ribbon and a tour of the campus, the ceremony was concluded by Vice Minister of Trade and Business Development Jose Jaime Ondo Ndong.
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Equatorial Guinea and Angola have been named as the largest contributors to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Food Aid Fund, which has raised $40 million to support food security projects in the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mali and Niger.
The announcement was made during the FAO Regional Conference for Africa, currently taking place in Tunis, Tunisia. The Food Aid Fund was established as a joint project with the African Union (AU) in July 2013, during which African heads of state vowed to end hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition across the continent by 2025.
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On Friday, 21 March, President Obiang chaired the Council of Ministers in Bata, attended by senior officials and heads of government departments. During the Council, the President approved the UN Convention on Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protcol of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, both of with were put forward for approval by Third Deputy Prime Minister for Human Rights, Alfonso Nsue Mokuy. The decrees will ensure the protection of legal and civil rights for children and disabled people.
Additionally, on Thursday 20 March, Evangelina Filomena Oyo Ebule, Minister for Justice, Religious Affairs and Penitentiary Institutions and President of the Inter-Institutional Committee on Human Trafficking, met with Brandao Co, UNICEF representative. Topics included issues of common interest between the Equatorial Guinean government and UNICEF, particularly around the legal protection of children.
Representative Co has proposed a package of cross-sector projects to improve relations between UNICEF and Equatorial Guinea, focusing on child protection, youth offender management and civil registration. The proposed projects with be carried out by UNICEF programme specialist Alejandro Escalona. During the meeting, Minister Oyo Ebule committed to studying the proposal closely with a view to signing an agreement if approved by the government.
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President of the Senate Teresa Efua Asangono represented Equatorial Guinea at the 130th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), held in Geneva from 16 – 20 March. Addressing the opening session of the Assembly, President Asangono noted that since 11 November 2011, Equatorial Guinea has benefited from a representative, fully-functional Parliament, with both a Chamber of Deputies and Senate.
During her speech, the President of the Senate emphasised Equatorial Guinea’s commitment to the freedom of its people, the maintenance of peace in the country and the continued democratic process within government. She added that the country will continue to work closely with the IPU in advancing democracy, freedom, dignity, peace, unity and social justice in Equatorial Guinea, in line with the Horizon 2020 development programme.
President Asangono also used the Assembly as an opportunity to hold several bilateral meetings with other representatives of the African group of the IPU, who are together supporting the nomination of Martin Chungong of Cameroon to the post of General-Secretary of the IPU.
Topics discussed during this month’s Assembly included nuclear disarmament, human rights, conflict around the world, and the consolidation of democracy across Africa, particularly in light of recent conflict in the Central African Republic.
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President Obiang will visit Brussels to attend the fourth EU-Africa summit which will take place in this city during the first week of April. During his stay in Brussels the President of Equatorial Guinea will also attend two conferences organised by the Instituto Cervantes and the Spanish UNED Univerisity at which he will give talk about the importance of the Spanish language in Equatorial Guinea. A large group of Spanish representatives to the EU, including the Spanish ambassadors based in Brussels, as well as members of the diplomatic corps of various countries have been invited to both conferences. The purpose of these events is to strengthen ties between the Government of Equatorial Guinea and both the Spanish Government and diplomatic representatives of other States’ members.
Equatorial Guinea’s Parliament has approved a new protocol for the settling of disputes. The Optional Procotol on the Compulsory Jurisdiction for the Settlement of Disputes of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations was presented to Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on 5 March by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Agapito Mba Mokuy.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Policy will now work towards the full implementation of the Optional Protocol across the country. Addressing the Committee, Minister Mokuy explained that the Protocol is “a legal instrument that allows States to seek arbitration of the International Court of Justice, in finding solutions to disputes, controversies or differences which may arise in their diplomatic relations.”
“This protocol is open to all signatory States of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, for which reason Equatorial Guinea, as part of this Convention and as a country who wishes to keep friendly and cooperation relations with all countries of the world, should not remain on the sidelines”, the Minister added.
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The National Committee for the Organisation and Management of Conferences has begun preparatory meetings ahead of the African Union Summit, which will be held in Malabo in June.
Pedro Ela Nguema Buna, Coordinating President of the National Committee, chaired the first meeting with Committee coordinators on Wednesday, 12 March. Experts in security, transportation, culture, health, technology and hospitality have been appointed as coordinators for the Summit and will be responsible for the smooth running of the event.
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The Department of Health and Social Welfare has launched the National Strategy for PHC (Primary Health Care) to end the predominance of the hospital system and improve care in jurisdictions and neighbourhoods through the district centres. On Tuesday, March 11, the Minister of Health presented the seminar for professionals who will assist these teams from the districts. The Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Diosdado Vicente Nsue Milang, inaugurated this Seminar Training of District Health Teams, in a ceremony held at the School of Medicine of Bata. It was also attended by Secretary of State for Hospital Assistance, Maria del Carmen Andeme Ela, and the representative of the World Health Organization, George Becquer. Nsue Milang said that the Government had spent in the past decades numerous resources in the sector, but that, however, the indicators of its progress remained low. Therefore, he added, the department has implemented this strategy to make healthcare reach all parts of the country: “We decided that primary care is the best strategy to improve health, and enhance these health indicators.”
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The news of Asonga TV can now be watched from anywhere: the channel has just released www.asongatv.com, its special page of News à La Carte, which allows one to watch the news with videos organized by date. For several weeks, the new Asonga TV has been offering the viewers of Equatorial Guinea a new television offer, with its own programming and current and dynamic news produced completely by Equatorial Guinea. Now, the channel expands its offer with a web page especially created to bring their news anywhere in the world.
It is the www.asongatv.com -News à La Carte-, a page with exclusive content: the selection of the daily news broadcast on the news channel, as well as interesting stories that have begun to be broadcast nationwide, so that anyone -especially the Equatorial Guinean public- is able to watch them from anywhere in the world.The team consists of a group of young journalists, technicians and editors of the channel in a pioneering project, News on line, is, as they say, a commitment to the modernization and development of this country.
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