On the evening of 26 May 2015, the celebration of Africa Day was held at the Langham Hotel in London, organised by the Group of African Union Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to the United Kingdom. The event was honoured by the presence of the Head of State of the Republic of Botswana, H.E. Mr. Ian Khama, several members of the House of Lords, the Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps, representatives of the British Government, and representatives of companies such as Shell, British Gas, IOD, BBC, KPMG and the British Council, among others.
The world acclaimed BBC anchor, Ms. Zainab Badawi, gave the key note address after which President Khama of Botswana was introduced, who spoke on the various challenges faced by Africa and other current affairs, from the immigration of young Africans towards Europe, poverty, conflicts, terrorism and endemic diseases, to the recent elections in Britain, the referendum proposed by the British Government, conflicts in Europe and the need for united and consolidated blocs to ensure the future of young generations, which in a nutshell are our yesterday, our today and our tomorrow.
The Ambassador of Equatorial Guinea in London took part in the celebration accompanied by the entirety of her staff. In the run-up to the event, Equatorial Guinea provided an important financial contribution, topped by the performance of national music group (Maica and Ivan Site) for the entertainment of guests.
The theme of the African Union in 2015 is the empowerment of women and development towards the Agenda 2063. Against this backdrop, the Embassy of Equatorial Guinea has proposed several meetings with local institutions and African embassies, to agree on the ways in which African women and girls can be reinforced in their professions and receive further recognition and support from the international community.
On May 22, 2015, the Ambassador of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea in London, attended a working lunch that gathers all Ambassadors of Latin America accredited to Great Britain on a monthly basis. During this lunch, Ambassador Mari-Cruz Evuna Andeme was welcomed and accepted as an Honorary Member of the GRULA (Grupo de Latin America).
The title of Honorary Member, given to Ambassador Evuna Andeme, was a clear expression from the Latin American Group of Ambassadors of the importance they attach to the functions of Mrs. Evuna Andeme in the London diplomatic scene which are essential to the interests of the GRULA and Hispanic Heritage.
The participation of Ambassador Evuna Andeme to this working lunch coincided with the introduction of two diplomatic personalities in London: namely, the Executive Director of the International Sugar Organization, José Orive Vides and the Director of the London Academy of Diplomacy, Professor Joseph Mifsud. Both invitees and Ambassador Evuna made brief statements on the nature of their business, their visions for the future and the opportunities available in their institutions for the benefit of GRULA members.
For Ambassador Evuna Andeme, these types of gatherings are a pure reflection of the policies of the Government of Equatorial Guinea, which advocates a true rapprochement with the countries of Latin America, moving away from geopolitical considerations, the obstacles resulting from these, and standing strong in its genuine aspiration to achieve the noble objectives of exchange and friendship.
Both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate gave their approval to the draft laws arisen in the 5th National Dialogue, which was held was November 2014.
After their approval by the Government and the Chamber of Deputies, it was finally the Senate that also gave its blessing to the draft laws on political parties in Equatorial Guinea, arising from the meeting that the groups and activists held at the 5th National Dialogue, carried out in November 2014 in Malabo.
The First Deputy Prime Minister for Political Affairs and Minister of Internal Affairs and Local Corporations, Clemente Engonga Nguema Onguenepresented the projects on Wednesday, May 20, before the plenary session of the commission chaired by Teresa Efua Asangono. He explained meticulously, clearly and concisely the content of the agreements.
In his brief speech, Engonga Nguema stated that the 5th National Dialogue offered a historical opportunity, among the political actors of Equatorial Guinea, for the consolidation of the democratic process, the national unity and cohesion and the solidarity among all Equatoguineans.
After the presentation, the parliamentary groups of the PDGE and of the Coalition proposed going directly to the vote for the approval of the documents, since in their judgment and in the opinion of the Mixed Group, the explanation of Clemente Engonga included in a clear, extensive and precise manner all the aspects of the agreements reached by the Government and the political parties, and responded to the possible questions and doubts that might have arisen during the reading of the draft laws. Therefore, according to the parties that have requested the vote, there was nothing more to debate on them, as is the usual practice in the midst of the senatorial commissions.
In the Senate, among a total of 54 votes issued during the voting process, only two against it were recorded, coming from the Mixed Group and from the senator Buenaventura Moswi M’Asumu, of the Baboro Party, who voted against what was expressed by the spokesman of his own parliamentary group. The result also included one abstention and 51 votes in favor.
In this way, the approval was certified by the Permanent Commission of Constitution and Regime of the State Institutions, of this package of laws that include the Law of the Political Parties; Law on Meeting and Demonstration; Regulatory Law on Elections of the Chamber of Deputies, Senate, Municipalities and Referendum; Regulatory Law on Presidential Elections and the Law on Financing of Political Parties.
With the conformity of the Senate and the prior approval in the Chamber of People’s Representatives, the package of laws was approved in the Parliament of Equatorial Guinea.
The Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea announced an agreement with its oil sector partners, Marathon Oil, Noble Energy Inc. and AMPCO, to promote a series of clinical trials from 2015 until 2018 for the development of the Sanaria® PfSPZ Vaccine against malaria.
Malaria remains one of the leading causes of infant and childhood mortality in the world and a scourge of Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that in 2013 there were 198 million clinical cases of and 584,000 deaths caused by malaria, primarily by Plasmodium falciparum malaria. It is also estimated that malaria directly reduces the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of African countries by at least 1% annually. The economic impact is estimated based on lives lost, healthcare costs, reduced learning capabilities by students, loss of worker productivity, and multiple other economic impacts.
With this agreement, the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, and its partners in the oil sector, will invest US $48,000,000 to support Sanaria Inc., a US biotechnology firm, in its very promising efforts to develop a vaccine protective against malaria. The Government of Equatorial Guinea is the major contributor in this initiative, with a commitment of US $36,700,000.
Initial clinical vaccine trials have already commenced in Equatorial Guinea and further trials will follow including one comprising 450 subjects in 2016 and another with 3,000 subjects in 2017-2018. The objectives of these two trials are to show safety, protection and operational efficiency in support of licensure and leading to a mass vaccination campaign that could result in the elimination of malaria in Equatorial Guinea by the early 2020s.
The Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea also announced a separate agreement with Sanaria regarding the future supply of vaccine should the clinical trials be successful and studies to determine the feasibility of developing an advanced clinical laboratory together with manufacturing and distribution centers in Equatorial Guinea.
The Government of Equatorial Guinea called upon the international community to join forces in order to eliminate this disease that has a great impact on the growth of developing countries in general and Africa in particular.
On 14 May, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, alongside various NGOs, began the first phase of Equatorial Guinea’s nationwide polio vaccination campaign. Health professionals and campaign teams set out to begin vaccinating, and seek to reach all children from 0 to 5 years old in the country.
This campaign was developed in response to five confirmed cases of the virus last year. On the initiative of Prime Minister Vicente Ehate Tomi, a crisis committee was created to quell the outbreak and ensure that it did not spread further in the country. There have been no confirmed cases of polio since mid-2014.
On 11 May, Exxon Mobil held a ceremony at the Sipopo Conference Centre in Malabo to celebrate the production of one billion barrels in Equatorial Guinea since it began operating in the country in the 1990s. This event was attended by national and international authorities as well as Exxon employees.
The regional vice president of Exxon Mobil and the president of the company in Equatorial Guinea, Randy Broiles and David Findley, highlighted the work that Exxon has done since it began production in the country. They touched upon the company’s many achievements and the great amount of social work that Exxon has participated in to further Equatorial Guinea’s ongoing development.
In his speech, Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy, Gabriel Mbega Obiang Lima, stated: “Exxon Mobil is already part of our lives and our history, contributing to our development, relying on the success and the achievement of a better Guinea.” Speeches were followed by an awards ceremony for Exxon employees and other pioneers in Equatorial Guinea’s oil industry.
The city of Libreville, capital of the Republic of Gabon, hosted on Wednesday, May 6, the 12th Summit of the Head of State of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), in which H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo was chosen President-in-Office of the community.
The subjects of the 12th Ordinary Session of the Summit of Heads of State, held in the presidential Palace of the Renovation of Libreville, focused on security; the common commercial policy; the economic crisis after the drop in oil prices; solidarity among the countries of the subregion, in particular, and in general in the entire African continent; the reform of the institution; the fight against terrorism; the eradication of the Islamist group Boko Haram; the free circulation of persons and their goods; the adoption of more mechanisms to promote employment; the reinforcing of the educative and health systems and the return of the CEMAC headquarters to the Central African Republic, which provisionally had been installed in the Gabonese capital, due to the instability that took place in the city of Bangui.
The Presidents of the subregion also held a closed-door meeting to debate aspects that affect their States, and to choose the country that will host the presidency of the CEMAC during the 2015-2016 period. In alphabetical order, this responsibility has fallen on the Republic of Guinea Equatorial, for which reason, at the end of the work, H.E. Ali Bongo Ondimba transferred the powers to his counterpart, H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
The Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), which groups together the Economic Monetary Union of Central Africa (UMAC) and the Economic Union of Central Africa (UEAC), created on March 16, 1994, has the mission of establishing an increasingly strong union among the populations of the Member States in order to reaffirm their geographic and humanitarian solidarity, promote the national initiatives to eliminate the obstacles to intracommunity trade, the coordination of the development programs, the harmonization of industrial projects, the development of solidarity of the member countries to favor the poorest countries and regions, and the creation of an authentic African cooperation.
In the last hour of Wednesday, the Head of State and of Government and current President-in-Office of the CEMAC, H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, returned to Malabo, the capital of the nation.
In the presidential pavilion of the International Airport Leon Mba of Libreville, the delegation of Equatorial Guinea was seen off by members of the Government of the friend and brother country, led by the Prime Minister, Ona Ondo Daniel and the personnel of the diplomatic headquarters of Equatorial Guinea in Gabon, led by the Ambassador, Marcos Ndong Edu.
The 12th Ordinary Session of the Summit of Heads of State of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), held on May 6 in Libreville (Gabon), has undertaken, among others, the agreements to permit the immediate free circulation of persons within the community territory, and to abandon the creation of an airline. From this date, the Head of State and Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, becomes its President, substituting H.E. Ali Bongo Ondimba, the President of Gabon.
The 12th Ordinary Session of the Summit of the Heads of State of the CEMAC has had the presence, in addition to H.E. Ali Bongo Ondimba, host of the conference, with H.E. Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of the Republic of the Congo; H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea; H.E. Idriss Deby Itno, President of the Republic of Chad; H.E. Mahamat Kamoun, Prime Minister, Representative of H.E. Catherine Samba-Panza, Transitional President of the Central African Republic, and H.E. Luc Ayang, President of the Economic and Social Council, Representative of H.E. Paul Biya, President of the Republic of Cameroon.
The official ceremony was marked by the speech of the President of the Commission, Pierre Moussa, who presented the regional context in which this conference is held, characterized by the political and security crisis of the Central African Republic; the terrorist threat of the Boko Haram sect and the drop in the price of the barrel of oil, the principal source of income of nearly all the countries of the CEMAC.
In his intervention, Moussa praised the strength of the integration and listed the achievements reached throughout the process of construction of an integrated space. From this perspective, the results of the reforms in the issue of monetary and economic integration, the common sectoral policies, the Regional Economic Program (PER), the financial mechanism of the community and the tax on community integration (TCI) were highlighted.
The summit began its examination of the subjects with the issues related to peace and safety. In this context, the Heads of State and of Government expressed their thanks for the efforts of the countries of the international community and the people of the Central African Republic for the restoration of peace and safety in this country. They also expressed their deep concern for the attacks of Boko Haram, and decided to support its border countries, Cameroon and Chad.
With respect to the analysis of the subject of the free circulation of persons, the conference decided to apply immediately the Additional Law to it in the territory of the CEMAC. For such purpose, the nationals of community countries will be permitted to travel without visas within the area, but with the identity biometrics card or passport.
In its traditional communication to the Heads of States, after a brief general vision of the economic development of the CEMAC in 2014 and the forecasts for 2015, Lucas Abaga Nchama, Governor of the Bank of the Central African States (BEAC), urged accelerating the economic diversification already started, improving the business environment for putting into practice the PER, and promoting subregional integration.
As for the epidemic of the Ebola virus, the Heads of State and of Government were informed of the community measures adopted to fight it.
In relation to air transportation, taking into account the difficulties in putting into motion a community airline, the leaders decided to abandon the project.
Finally, the Heads of State and of Government unanimously supported the candidature of Kordjé Bedoumra, current Minister of Finances and Budgets of the Republic of Chad, as President of the African Development Bank (AfDB). Furthermore they agreed to take all the measures necessary to resume the regular summits, according to the provisions in effect in the community.
Lastly, the Head of State and Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, substituted his Gabonese counterpart, H.E. Ali Bongo Ondimba, as President of the CEMAC.
The Government of Equatorial Guinea has signed a joint venture agreement with Gridline subsidiary GridlineXstreme (GXI) to implement a high-speed broadband network in the country. After many years of studying the country’s needs, the two parties have finalised a programme which will significantly improve Equatorial Guinea’s telecommunications infrastructure, moving development forward within the framework of the Horizon 2020 Development Plan.
The joint venture, Gridline Africa, will be equally owned by both parties. Through this initiative, Gridline and the Government will help to better connect all Equatoguineans, thus driving further economic growth and diversification.
Last week, President Obiang and a delegation from Equatorial Guinea visited China to further mutual trade and investment relations during the first Equatorial Guinea-Asia Economic Forum.
Early in the week, President Obiang met with his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, to discuss bilateral relations. The two discussed the evolution of their countries’ historic ties, and declared their determination to continue reinforcing them.
During the Economic Forum, the delegation, represented by the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy, signed a number of memoranda of understanding (MOU) with Chinese companies from various sectors. These MOU include the following:
MoU with CDIG for the execution of a study for development of the Industrial City of Mbini. CDIG will undertake preliminary technical studies and explore key areas to promote the industrial city to international investors.
MoU with China State Construction Engineering Corporation for planning and development of the Petroleum Industrial City of Luba.
MoU with Sinohydro Corporation for a feasibility study to develop a hydroelectric plant on the Wele River in Equatorial Guinea. Sinohydro also built the Djibloho 120-MW hydro facility.
MoU with China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) for a technical and financial viability study to build a combined cycle 100-MW power plant in the city of Kogo.
MoU with CMEC for a technical and financial viability study to establish an interconnected power grid in the CEMAC region.
MoU with CMEC for a technical and financial viability study to build street lamps and related public lighting infrastructure in the Industrial City of Mbini.
On the success of the Summit, President Obiang stated: “We are aware that maximum security is needed to ensure investment. In this regard, we can confirm 45 years of experience in the cooperation between China and Equatorial Guinea; cooperation which in many ways has been possible thanks to the peace and stability that prevails in the country.”