The U.S.-based Worldfolio recently published an interview with H.E. Mr. Celestino Bonifacio Bacale Obiang, Minister of Trade and Business Promotion wherein the Minister elaborates on the government’s plans to diversify the economy from oil and gas industries and enhance the business climate to make other sectors attractive to investment.
He says that Equatorial Guinea has been working hard to diversify its economy, training the country’s young people and supporting foreign investment. Through the country’s diversification initiatives, the Minister notes that the government is laying the groundwork for Equatorial Guinea to become the leading production platform in Africa.
Another important policy objective that he discusses is that the government is consistently working to improve the business climate in the country, reforming laws to make the relevant legislation more flexible. This will make it easier for both foreign and domestic investors to operate in Equatorial Guinea.
For the full interview, please visit this link: http://www.theworldfolio.com/interviews/ministry-of-trade-business-promotion-works-towards-improving-the-ease-of-doing-business-in-equatorial-guinea/3460/
On 7 March, the successful vaccination of the first three volunteers for the malaria vaccine took place in Equatorial Guinea. This vaccine, known as PfSPZ, has been under development for two years, led by the American biotechnology company Sanaria which specialises in malaria research. It is considered to be one of the most advanced prospects in the continuing efforts to end this disease. The team involved in the trial launch included staff from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania, the La Paz Medical Centre in Sipopo, and Sanaria.
The launch of these trials is of great historical and social significance given the complex and deadly nature of the malaria virus, and the wide geographical spread that the virus affects. Equatorial Guinea is launching this vaccine with support from the Government, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy. Also supporting the development and roll-out of the vaccine are the Program for Malaria NGO and private companies in Equatorial Guinea such as Marathon, Noble Energy, Atlantic Methanol and EG LNG.
This first trial will continue over the next year with additional injections for the volunteers, as well as further follow-up consultations.
Read more here: http://www.guineaecuatorialpress.com/noticia.php?id=6343
On 3 March, the High-Level Segment of the 28th Ordinary Session of the Human Rights Council opened in Geneva, Switzerland. A delegation from Equatorial Guinea was in attendance at this session, led by Alfonso Nsue Mokuy, Third Deputy Prime Minister of the Government for Human Rights. Attendees at this meeting discussed issues of international interest, such as the fight against terrorism, the realisation of the UN Millennium Development Goals, the protection of human rights and the right to development.
During his time in Geneva, the Third Deputy Prime Minister held bilateral meetings with Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Ri Su Yong, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Korea.
During his speech to the full Council, Mr Mokuy discussed some important achievements in Equatorial Guinea, including the reform of the Civil and Penal Code, the launch of the Children’s Parliament, and the continued strengthening of institutions. He further illustrated the humanitarian work frequently undertaken by the Government, touching on the creation of the UNESCO Equatorial Guinea fund, the country’s donation to the WHO Ebola fund, and the government’s contributions to natural disaster relief around the world.
Read more here: http://www.guineaecuatorialpress.com/noticia.php?id=6314
The Forest Conservation Project for the Congo Basin held its fourth meeting in Malabo from 24-26 February. This project is funded by the United Nations Environment Program and the Forest Commission of Central Africa, and is developed by the Global Environment Facility.
The project sees the joining together of regional organisations responsible for overseeing the conservation of forests in countries of the Congo Basin. Since its creation, the project established three pilot countries, Congo, Equatorial Guinea and the Central African Republic, with each of the regional committee meetings held in each of the pilot countries.
During the meeting held in Malabo, the committee reviewed the progress of the previous year’s in-country activities. In the case of Equatorial Guinea, this is led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry—under the organisation of ANDEGE, the largest conservation NGO in Equatorial Guinea—and conducted by members of civil society.
Gabriel Ngua Ayecaba, President of ANDEGE, said that among the events planned for the next period in Equatorial Guinea, one of the activities will be the organisation of “a training course on timber certification for export to meet European Union standards, which accept certified forests wood only”. A seminar targeting timber industry leaders “to foster a positive commitment to international market standards and the training of forest inspectors providing them with necessary reporting tools”, would also be developed the following year.
On 9 May, the 4th Annual Women4Africa Awards UK will be held in London. The ceremony seeks to honour women from across Africa who are making strides in their communities, acting as ‘agents of positive change’. Award categories include: Businesswoman of the Year, Young Achiever of the Year, Outstanding Mother of the Year, Author of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year, among many others. Equatoguinean Susana Edjang, a Yale World Fellow, is in the running for the Inspirational Woman of the Year award.
The event will be held at the Kensington Great Hall from 5-11pm on 9 May. To purchase tickets, or for more information, please visit the Women4Africa website at http://women4africa.com.
Image via women4africa.com
From 24-26 February, African energy ministers and law experts convened in Johannesburg, South Africa at the Africa Oil & Gas Legal Summit 2015 to tackle the latest legal issues in the oil and gas industry.
Attendees included the Minister of Energy & Petroleum of Ghana, Hon. Emmanuel Armah-Kafi Buah, the Minister of Petroleum & Energy of Chad, H.E. Djerassem Le Bemadjie, the Former Minister of Energy of Trinidad and Tobago, H.E. Eric Williams, and Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines, Industry & Energy, H. E. Gabriel Mbega Obiang Lima.
The Summit focused on the evaluation of the capacities of Africa’s oil and gas regimes in order to maximise exploration opportunities and mitigate investment risks. The participation of more than twenty speakers from the industry and the law sector discussed the future of the industry in the continent.
On 12 February, Ambassador of Equatorial Guinea to the European Union, Carmelo Nvono Nca, met with Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs for the European Commission.
This meeting was held in order to review the new role of the EU’s executive body, now led by Jean-Claude Juncker, with a special focus on the business sector. Mr Calleja said that the European Commission is committed to furthering its partnerships with countries that display significant potential, like Equatorial Guinea. He further noted that the country has a positive image amongst the EU institutions in Brussels.
Read more here: http://www.guineaecuatorialpress.com/noticia.php?id=6296
As part of the Horizon 2020 National Development Plan, a project to bring renewable energy to Annobon—the most remote island in Equatorial Guinea—has recently been finalised. The completion of this project will see the installation of 20,000 solar panels in four arrays which will supply electricity to the entire island.
“I’m building one of the world’s largest off-the-grid solar systems and bringing one of the world’s smallest inhabited islands into the 21st century,” said Bill Rawheiser, owner of Sun-in-One and Wise Power Systems, the American companies that manage and develop the project in Equatorial Guinea.
“Because the island is so remote, it costs quite a bit to get the refined diesel fuel there to run the generators,” Rawheiser said. “That’s why this project makes sense. Right now, it costs them 30 to 35 cents to produce a kilowatt-hour with diesel, but it’s only about 20 to 25 cents with solar and battery storage.”
The electricity produced by the solar panels will be stored in six-megawatt batteries, backed up by generators to respond to emergencies and peak loads.