Representatives from Equatorial Guinea are to attend the 2014 World Travel Market, which will be held in London from 3rd – 6th November 2014. The World Travel Market brings together tourism and hospitality professionals from across the world to find out more about fast-growing holiday destinations such as Equatorial Guinea.
Equatorial Guinea is rapidly growing as a tourist destination, with its stunning natural landscapes attracting a wide range of international tourists. The country’s attractions vary from lush rainforests and huge national parks teeming with rare protected species to cosmopolitan cities and tropical island beach resorts that offer the very latest in luxury. Equatorial Guinea is unique in untouched beauty, having only recently been discovered by travel experts as the new tropical paradise of choice for tourists in the know. European and African airlines offer regular direct intercontinental flights, making Equatorial Guinea the perfect choice for travellers seeking something a little different.
Over 50,000 international travel professionals are expected to attend this year’s World Travel Market, with 5,000 international exhibitors already registered. The four-day event will also feature a Minister’s Summit, in which tourism ministers and travel experts will discuss the future of the tourism industry.
Those interested in attending the 2014 World Travel Market are advised to register their interest via the World Travel Market website at www.wtmlondon.com/register.
On 26 April, Queen Sophia of Spain officially opened the Kermes Diplomatic Solidarity Bazaar in Madrid, which brings together Ambassadors accredited in the country through the International Association of Diplomats in Spain.
As Queen Sophia toured the Bazaar, Her Excellency Purificacion Angue Ondo, Ambassador of Equatorial Guinea in Spain, received the Queen and presented her with traditional Equatorial Guinean cuisine, crafts and textiles.
A new, high-technology medical complex is to be built in Equatorial Guinea as part of a bilateral cooperation agreement with Egypt. Following his diplomatic visit to Equatorial Guinea last week, the Egyptian Health Minister Adel Awai confirmed that the complex will be funded and equipped by the government of Equatorial Guinea, with Egypt agreeing to send doctors and specialists to work and teach at the centre.
In return, medical students from Equatorial Guinea will be given the opportunity to train in Egypt, with a range of scholarships available for selected researchers. The plans are part of the government’s ongoing work in the country’s health sector, which also includes the formation of an expert committee on maternal and neonatal health.
The committee includes members of the national Directorate-General for Family Health, the United Nations Population Fund and the energy company Noble Energy. The committee began its tour of the district of Kie-Ntem this week, where experts will collate and update data on reproductive health.
On Tuesday 12 May, Her Excellency Mari-Cruz Evuna Andeme, Ambassador of Equatorial Guinea to the United Kingdom, spoke at the Conservative Foreign & Commonwealth Council. Her talk, held at the House of Lords, addressed Equatorial Guinea’s extraordinary economic and social progress in recent years, with Her Excellency discussing the government’s significant investment in the country’s infrastructure, tourism, financial services and health, amongst other sectors. “Equatorial Guinea”, she said, “is now well on its way to becoming one of Africa’s most successful emerging economies.”
The Ambassador told the Council of Equatorial Guinea’s huge strides in healthcare, with childhood malaria decreasing by 57% since 2007 due to government initiatives and close cooperation with international agencies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF. Her Excellency added that this improvement in health has been mirrored by success in education, with Equatorial Guinea boasting one of sub-Saharan Africa’s highest literacy rates at 94%. This success is set to continue, with the government planning to spend 13% of 2014 income on health, with a further £62 million to be invested in new education facilities.
Her speech was followed by a question and answer session, with Ambassador Evuna Andeme discussing Equatorial Guinea’s extensive economic and investment opportunities with members of the Council.
$1 million worth of medicines, supplies and equipment were distributed to public hospitals across Equatorial Guinea last month following donations from the US energy company, Marathon Oil, and NGO, Project Cure, as well as funding from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
The materials donated included surgical supplies, laboratory equipment and birthing beds for maternity wards. The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare oversaw the delivery of the supplies, which will strengthen health provision across the country and provide access to healthcare in communities in even the remotest areas.
Following the signing of a Presidential Decree on 21 March, new regulations have come into force for the taxi industry in Equatorial Guinea. Only registered companies or national associations may now operate taxi services, with no more than 5 people (including the driver) allowed in taxi vehicles at any time.
The new regulation has been introduced to improve safety and reliability in the country’s urban transport industry. Taxi drivers have 90 days to comply with the new rules.
A report published this week by the Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-Agency Group has shown that 11 countries – including Equatorial Guinea – have achieved a 75% reduction in maternal mortality since 1990. This means that Equatorial Guinea has reached the target set by the Millennium Development Goals in this area.
The report, entitled ‘Trends in maternal mortality: 1990 to 2013’, shows that maternal deaths have decreased by 45% in the last 24 years. The decrease has been attributed to improving health systems in countries such as Equatorial Guinea, Rwanda and Maldives. This has resulted in increased numbers of qualified health workers, technical equipment and medicines. The improvements have been vital in saving the lives of women and newborn babies, the report says.