Solar electrification project of Annobon Island in Equatorial Guinea underway

October 21st , 2013 → 4:44 am @

Published by www.equatorialguineaonline.com – October 21st, 2013

annobon clearing 2

In September the government of Equatorial Guinea approved a 5 megawatt solar project submitted by MAECI Solar, a division of Management and Economic Consulting, Inc. (MAECI) of the United States.  The project was developed in collaboration with Wise Power Systems International, located in Wilmington, Delaware.

The Annobon Island solar project is historic in that it will be the largest self -sufficient solar project on the continent of Africa, and one of the largest in the world to date.  The solar installation will supply enough electricity to handle 100% of the current demand, and enough capacity for future expansion.

Clearing of land near the Hotel Annobon

 

MAECI Solar has begun the excavation process on the island.  Excavation will take place in three strategic locations on the island, the airport, Hotel Annobon and the top of Quioveo Mountain.

Once the excavation process is complete, the installation of the solar units will begin.  MAECI Solar will employ several residents of Annobon Island.  These employees will assist with various parts of the project, including transportation and assembly.  MAECI Solar will train 10 or more residents of the island on the solar technology being installed, so that they can maintain the installation in the future.

As stated in our past articles, this project supports President Obiang’s “National Economic Development Plan” adopted in November 2007 at the Second National Economic “Horizon 2020” Conference.  The key strategies and reforms necessary for Equatorial Guinea to take advantage of its unique opportunity is to use its nonrenewable oil wealth to foster the wellbeing of its population and future generations.

 

Notice: Reproduction of all or part of this article or the images contained in it must always be done mentioning its source (Equatorialguineaonline.com).

 

Category : 2. See Country Projects / 3. Read Recent News / News

Zinc Tour Reaches Annobon Island of Equatorial Guinea

December 22nd , 2012 → 3:30 pm @

posted 12/22/12

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, Second Vice President of Equatorial Guinea, Head of Defense and State Security, has expanded the national zinc sheet distribution to the island of Annobon.

This government-led initiative aims to improve living conditions for impoverished families throughout the nation by donating zinc sheets to replace the nipa roofs on rural houses.

“The zinc roof campaign is part of the government’s efforts to improve the living conditions of our country,” said Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue. “We will continue to work on other social projects such as building schools in these rural areas and providing access to drinking water installations.”

The zinc roof campaign has broadly covered the continental areas of the country and the island of Bioko, and is now in its third phase with the expansion into the remote island of Annobon. Thousands of zinc sheets have been donated and other services provided to improve health, education and sanitation.

The Second Vice President has spearheaded the campaign and the implementation of the various social projects that have accompanied it. The public-private initiative is carried out with support from international oil companies and is part of the government’s efforts to improve living conditionsand generally raise the standard of living, especially in rural areas.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/20/5068142/zinc-tour-reaches-annobon-island.html#storylink=cpy

 

Category : 3. Read Recent News / News / Sheet Metal Roofing Plant

The Vice Minister of Agriculture and Forestry on a tour of inspection of farms

February 9th , 2012 → 10:52 am @

posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com – February 9th, 2012


The cultivation of fruits and vegetables
is part of the MAECI to curb
importation.
 

The tour, conducted in the districts and municipalities of Cogo and Ebebiyin, among others, was due to the interest in knowing the development of the activities carried out by the experts of project MAECI and the Equatorial Guinean farmers, and receive firsthand information about the needs that they may have regarding labor, work force and care of the farm to prevent people outside the project from entering in it.

Upon inspection, the Vice Minister of Agriculture and Forestry expressed excitement about the good results of this project, and extended the invitation to the Equatorial Guinean technicians to work and harness the expertise possessed by expatriate experts, so they can continue this work to the benefit of the nation.

The Department of Agriculture and Forestry has drawn up a plan to create modern farms in the country with the cultivation of all kinds of vegetables, herbaceous plants, tubers, plantains, and other products to be supplied in different markets across the country to curb importation.

This action by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is included in the program to eradicate poverty and hunger, conceived by the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

Category : 2. See Country Projects / 3. Read Recent News / Agriculture Farming / News

INPAGE promotes a stock of high quality cocoa in Malabo

February 9th , 2012 → 10:48 am @

posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com – February 9th, 2012

The National Institute of Agricultural Promotion of Equatorial Guinea offers over 300 tons of high quality cocoa for domestic and international buyers. This product is in storage at the institute in Malabo.

 

04/02/2012

The National Institute of Agricultural Promotion of Equatorial Guinea (INPAGE), an entity supervised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, made available to any national or international buyer a lot on sale for 330 tons of high quality cocoa.

This is one of the many initiatives undertaken by the Minister of State in Charge of Agriculture and Forestry, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, with the constant objective of offering support to farmers throughout the country.

The promotion of this first-class stock is a priority of the Ministry so that farmers of the raw material of chocolate may be exclusively dedicated to its production.

In order to take advantage of the situation of soaring food prices now experienced in the international market, the Ministry, at the request of its Minister, has lowered the cost of cocoa so that buyers can obtain a product with excellent price and quality.

Several members of INPAGE and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry have met to jointly address, develop and provide seed prices as follows:

– Dry cocoa grade 1, at 1,010 CFA francs/kg. Grade 2, at 900 CFA francs/kg.

– Off-standard dry cocoa, at 450 CFA francs/kg.

– Sun-dried cocoa, at 600 CFA francs/kg. Semi-dry, at 500 CFA francs/kg.

– Cocoa extracts in standard box (length 48.5 cm, width 25 cm and height 35 cm) at 8,500 CFA francs.

– Cocoa pod at 25 CFA francs.

According to the State Minister, Nguema Obiang Mangue, “this offer is a first step towards the agricultural revolution that is expected in Equatorial Guinea in the near future. As you know, we have implemented several projects, among them the MAECI, whose objective is for the Government to produce a wide variety of agricultural products to supply domestic and international markets, and stop importing them to the country.”

-“With this new development we want to offer buyers a good, quality  product at a price they can afford, as well as have the farmers enjoy good economic benefits so that they increasingly prefer the productivity of cocoa,” he added.

Category : 3. Read Recent News / Agriculture Farming / News

Equatorial Guinea Ministry of Agriculture Promotes Cocoa Sale in Support of Local Farmers

February 9th , 2012 → 10:38 am @

posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com on February 9th, 2012

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, Feb. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — As part of Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry efforts to support local farmers and increase national production, Minister Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue has launched a cocoa sale in support of farmers throughout the country.

The National Institute of Agricultural Promotion of Equatorial Guinea (INPAGE), under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, has made available 330 tons of cocoa at a discounted price, as an effort to encourage local farmers to increase the cocoa production.

“The cocoa subsidy is an effort to encourage cocoa buyers around the world to purchase Equatorial Guinea cocoa,” said Minister Nguema. “The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has already implemented several projects, among them the MAECI, whose objective is for the government to produce a wide variety of agricultural products to supply domestic and international markets, and rely more on national products.”

Minister Nguema wants to offer buyers a good quality product at a price they can afford, as well as provide farmers economic benefits in an effort to encourage farmers to increase the productivity of cocoa.

About Equatorial Guinea

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea (La Republica de Guinea Equatorial) is the only Spanish-speaking country in Africa, and one of the smallest nations on the continent. In the late 1990s, American companies helped discover the country’s oil and natural gas resources, which only within the last five years began contributing to the global energy supply. Equatorial Guinea is now working to serve as a pillar of stability and security in its region of West Central Africa. The country hosted the 2011 Summit of the African Union

Category : 2. See Country Projects / 3. Read Recent News / Agriculture Farming / Business / News

Video showing MAECI’s Agriculture projects in Equatorial Guinea – posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com

January 14th , 2012 → 1:29 pm @

 

posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com

January 14th, 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8ZW7I5lKv4

The following video shows the progress that MAECI – Management and Economic Consulting, Inc. has made in the agriculture sector of Equatorial Guinea.  MAECI is a company based in the United States with contracts within Equatorial Guinea. MAECI was tasked with developing faming operations within 9 provinces around the country.  MAECI has successfully executed on these projects, and additionally started projects within livestock.

MAECI – www.maeci.org

Category : 2. See Country Projects / 3. Read Recent News / Agriculture Farming / News / Videos

Equatorial Guinea Welcomes Foreign Investment In Agricultural Sector – posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com

August 30th , 2011 → 4:28 pm @

posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, Aug. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —  Equatorial Guinea‘s Vice Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Sergio Osa Mongomo, recently met with economic consultant of Triarius Foundation, G. J. Wales, to discuss cooperation with the agricultural sector in the country.  In addition, Management and Economics Consulting, Inc. (MAECI) has implemented several farm projects within Equatorial Guinea.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, led by Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, has been working with the private sector to establish cooperatives to help farmers develop agriculture by providing technical assistance from the government and other countries. Triarious Foundation, located in Malta, aims to increase awareness of societal, cultural and political norms and practices in the West of African and Islamic States. The Foundation is interested in investing in the agriculture sector in Equatorial Guinea because of the country’s tropical climate and fertile soil, which can support high-yield agriculture. The country produces a diversity of crops today, including coffee and cacao and other products such as lumber and coconut oil. The country also has extensive coastal fisheries and untapped mineral resources.

Equatorial Guinea has been investing substantially in agriculture projects, including production and preservation of domestic products, throughout the country.

“The production, preservation and processing of domestic products in the country is one of the government’s priorities, not only to supply the markets, but also to enhance the rural labor force and establish rural trade,” said Vice Minister Osa Mongomo. He continued, “The government is implementing numerous projects such as building roads, providing drinking water and electricity to the population.”

The Ministry has also launched a project to replace traditional housing by installing zinc roofs on more than 30,000 houses, in order to upgrade homes in rural areas throughout the national territory.

The new infrastructure projects are part of Equatorial Guinea’s multiyear program to enhance the infrastructure of the country. The government’s Horizon 2020 development plan, put in motion by President Obeying, has made agriculture a central goal, which will drive the country to become an emergent and sustainable economy by 2020.

Category : 3. Read Recent News / Agriculture Farming / News

Group from The Lauder Institute at The University of Pennsylvania set to visit MAECI projects in Equatorial Guinea

June 9th , 2011 → 4:01 pm @

 

Published by www.equatorialguineaonline.com

June 9th, 2011

Group from The Lauder Institute at The University of Pennsylvania set to visit MAECI projects in Equatorial Guinea.  The group is  currently undertaking a research project in Equatorial Guinea in the context of an educational program at the Lauder Institute and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

A team of four graduate students will travel to Equatorial Guinea in August to study the impact of foreign investment in the energy sector. The project aims to study the diverse ways in which natural resources can drive economic and social development both directly and indirectly, with an emphasis on job creation and efforts to diversify the economic base. More specifically, the project looks at how the recent upsurge in multinational presence and government initiative and cooperation has benefited the country’s development through corporate social responsibility, various social programs, infrastructure construction, healthcare, education, tourism, agricultural development and industry diversification. 

During the team’s stay in Equatorial Guinea, they hope to visit with and interview ministers, policymakers and educators to understand some of the strategies Equatorial Guinea is employing to attract foreign direct investment and how they are partnering with multinationals already operating in the country. They also plan to meet with the multinationals and NGOs to get insight into how they are working to benefit the country’s development.

The group also has specific interest in the impact that Management and Economic Consulting, Inc. (MAECI) agriculture and food projects are having on the country. MAECI’s grass roots agricultural sustainability projects are just the kind of leaps forward that the group would like to investigate and document. These projects in conjunction with the Equatoguinean government’s commitment to support such progressive projects, as illustrated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests ‘Green Revolution’, represent a bright future for the nation.  www.maeci.org

About The Lauder Institute at The University of Pennsylvania:

The University of Pennsylvania’s Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies,founded in 1983, combines the world-renowned Wharton MBA or Penn Law JD with a Master’s degree in International Studies. In-depth language and culture training, a two-month, in-country immersion, and course work from the School of Arts and Sciences prepares leaders for the ever-evolving global economy.  Graduates join the diverse, supportive and committed worldwide Lauder community-continuing a 25-year  tradition of international business leadership.

Category : 2. See Country Projects / 3. Read Recent News / Agriculture Farming / News

The Green Revolution – Feeding the people of Equatorial Guinea, the Main Pillar of genuine Democracy, Peace, Stability, Security and lasting Economic and Social Development of Equatorial Guinea.

May 25th , 2011 → 6:14 pm @

Posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com

May 21, 2011

Submitted by our correspondent in Houston, TX, USA

Every day we’re hearing about projects getting underway in developing countries and how Africa in particular is the new great land of opportunity.  At the same time, in a 24/7 news cycle, we’re getting bombarded with negative stories within Africa and the Middle East.  As they say, negative news sells.   In many developing countries the best intentions are quickly squashed by frustration, pessimism or flat out corruption.  So many times we read articles boasting about programs and projects getting started, without hearing about whether they were a success or failure.  This is a follow up to an article that we wrote in November of 2010, and is a success story, and perhaps a blue print of how projects should be developed in these emerging markets.

In November we wrote about a program put into place called The Green Revolution – Equatorial Guinea.  The purpose of the project initiated and promoted by the Minister of State in charge of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest of the Government of Equatorial Guinea was and still is intended to bring the country to an unprecedented level of self-sufficiency in food production, reducing the stagnant 85% import of food consumed in the country, improving the level conditions of the population at large, stabilizing the population in the rural areas and reducing the rural exodus, providing stable and sustainable jobs, and making the agriculture the back bone of the country’s economic and social development in the long run, using revenue from its oil sector. This was indeed a daunting goal.

To start something successful, you must have a big idea.  The Green Revolution started because of a bold approach to revamp the agriculture sector, driven by Minister of State, Minister of Agriculture and Forests: H.E. Teodoro NGUEMA OBIANG MANGUE

The initiative was developed and was named The Green Revolution, and was created out of a three-step assessment of the E.G. Food, Agriculture and Economic challenges and opportunities. President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, outlines the vision in a statement delivered in 2007, establishing that by 2020 the nation would be:

“If not a full-fledged developed country, at least an emerging country. This is our dream, and I assume it to also be that of all our compatriots, as it is in the benefit of the whole population.” The President further elaborated as follows: “Today, November 14, 2007, in adopting this Development Program, Equatorial Guinea, intend to accelerate with great speed, the trend of its development, with seriousness and necessary master ship, in order to achieve its final goal in 2020; if not completely as a Developed Country, but, at least, as an Emerging Country. This is our Dream, and I assume it to also be that of all our compatriots, as it is in the benefit of the whole population…. In fact, the Development Plan underlines clearly the main importance of agriculture, livestock and fishery products, in addressing the diversification of the economic productivity and achieving food self sufficiency. The massive increase in a diversified agricultural, livestock, and fishery production could lead us immediately to industrialization and better conservation of those products; hence eliminating our excessive dependence on food imports. Honestly, we believe that, the solution cannot be improvised. It is time we invest part of our oil revenue in the development of other productive sectors, with higher return, to avoid the danger of post oil era”. The President added that: “Within this framework, considering the potential of the resources of these three sub-sectors, I urge the Government to take the necessary measures and launch a comprehensive diversification program of agriculture, livestock, fishery and other sea productions”.

As stated at the beginning of this article, we hear large statements such as this on a daily basis.  What we don’t hear is whether these big dreams are reached, and if so, what made it successful.  In backing this daunting project, the Ministry of agriculture stated in its analysis as follows:

It is known that food and agricultural policies (both internal and international) constitute the second major determinant of the long-term outlook for world food supplies. A policy environment that distorts prices and other incentives for producers and consumers away from the true social values of natural resources (including the environment) and other inputs leads to inefficient production (use of resources) and raises further concern about the long-term future of the global food supply.  Food and agricultural policies, including trade policies, are almost universally adopted for good and noble reasons. However, governments often fail to understand that policies have multiple effects which are often inconsistent with, and sometimes contrary to, the original policy objective. This has led to a global policy environment which is badly distorted, and has contributed to a global agriculture that was once referred to by Professor D. Gale Johnson as being “in disarray”.

The tendency to, sometimes, emphasize misguided agricultural policies should not be taken to imply that all government intervention is bad, and that “just leaving it to the market” would lead to a sustainable solution to the long-term food supply- demand problem, especially in developing countries. There are three supply problems that are not handled satisfactorily by markets:

Private costs and returns as captured in market prices are not always consistent with social costs and returns, leading to socially inefficient use of resources and the environment. (Taxes and subsidies or regulations are necessary to correct for this).

Markets do not always adequately value the long-term consequences of resource use and misuse, and thus may not lead to substitution away from scarce resources before irreparable harm has been done. (Here, also taxes and subsidies or regulations may be needed). It is especially in this latter case that there is some reason for caution in asserting that technology and the market (with limited help from policy-markers) can take care of long-term growth in the global demand for food and fiber. We don’t really know the degree to which knowledge based inputs (technology) can be substituted for natural resources and environmental quality.

The resources affected by developed countries to subsidize their agriculture has distorted the agricultural market and rendered developing countries production not competitive at world market level despite the Uruguay Round of the GATT negotiations, particularly on agriculture, tropical products, and intellectual property, which have never been implemented efficiently to reduce distortions and resource inefficiency in the market place.

Whatever optimism one can derive from the above brief analysis cannot be considered to be automatic, and countries must not become complacent. Growth in demand as a consequence of population needs and income growth will place increasing pressure on the global natural resource base and the environment. Low incomes for large numbers of people will continue to leave an important gap between the “need” for food and “effective demand” for food. In order to meet the challenge of providing greater global food security over the next two or three decades, without detracting from the capacity to meet the same challenge in the even more distant future, we must:

Increase investment in agricultural sector and research, especially in less industrialized and developing countries, to ensure a continuing stream of new and appropriate technology; Adopt policy frameworks that are conducive to production and consumption decisions that make efficient use of resources and the environment, and provide incentives for future investment especially in the agricultural sector.

Continue to remove barriers to trade in food and agricultural commodities, inputs and technology between countries, so as to achieve maximum efficiency in use of global productive capacity, and maximum flexibility to adjust to shocks in supply and demand occurring in individual countries; and stimulate more rapid economic development in poor countries, so as to eliminate the root cause of food insecurity, namely, poverty.

Equatorial Guinea policies can be summarized as follows:

Guided by the National Development Plan 2020, policies aim to build up basic infrastructure in support of improved social welfare and greater diversification.  There is increasing recognition of the need to increase government savings over the medium term, but spending commitments reduce the scope for near-term adjustment.  Efforts to strengthen public financial management are being stepped up, through collaboration with the international community.  Collaboration with banks on financing modalities for SMEs is high in the agenda; while support for financial sector development at the regional level continues.  The role of government in economic diversification is that of facilitator. However, in the medium term, it appears necessary to fill the gaps left by infant private sector.”

It is often stated that the productive sector should be the responsibility of the private sector. Within the present world economic conjecture, and more specifically in the agriculture, this statement should be qualified.  It is with this consideration in mind that, in one of his speeches in 2009, the Minister of State, Minister of Agriculture and Forest, talking about his country’s economic diversification program, emphasized that: “The need for economic diversification is driven by a need to reduce the high dependency of the country on the income from a single commodities such as fossil fuels. This dependency exacerbates the vulnerability of Equatorial Guinea to the adverse effects of policies and measures taken at the international level to respond to climate change. Sustainable development, he stated, is not a one-size-fits-all concept and needs to be defined in the context of each national economy and according to particular circumstances and priorities. As such, the pursuit of economic diversification in any country needs to be carried out according to a country’s driven agenda”.

Although there is no common approach to economic diversification, the Minister of State emphasized that; “Basic measures to foster a favorable investment climate are helpful, including efficient administration, the rule of law, a stable macroeconomic environment, efficient and effective infrastructure and manageable political risks. Other prerequisites for economic diversification, he continued, are sustained efforts to improve the educational infrastructure, involvement of the private sector, and the need for governments to provide incentives and form partnerships at national and sectoral levels to bring together different types of expertise”.  The Minister of State further added that: “Economic diversification involves both local and global aspects: local in that it should be tailored to local circumstances, but global when national economies are highly affected by high fluctuations in volatile international markets, for which countries have to find ways to be resilient. At this time, we are aware, the Minister of State underlined, that the economic options available are often limited to tourism, agriculture and fisheries, all of which are vulnerable to climate change. In such cases, economic diversification and sustainable development will involve trade-offs based on comparative advantages. These considerations have dictated the general framework within which the Government of Equatorial Guinea has elaborated its Economic Diversification Program, he stated”.

He noted that “sustainable development strengthens adaptive capacity and safeguards the long-term prospects of vulnerable economies such as that of Equatorial Guinea, in the face of depleting natural resources. He pursued further that, economic diversification is only one aspect of sustainable development which enables the consideration of broader issues such as reducing poverty, improving technologies, increasing employment and ensuring the provision of ecosystem services within the framework of a well-conceived eco-tourism program”.

His Green Revolution Project, he further stated, “is in support of the new “National Economic Development Plan” which was adopted in November 2007 at the Second National Economic “Horizon 2020” Conference. This visionary National Economic Development Plan by H.E. the President (whose passion has always been and remain the well being of his population), outlines the strategies and reforms necessary for Equatorial Guinea to take advantage of its unique opportunity to use its non-renewable oil wealth to, foster the well being of its population and future generations through the following summarized main goals:

reduce poverty through improved health, education and skills development; foster environmentally friendly economic diversification including tourism, and sustained broad-based growth; develop agriculture, fishery and livestock, as the cornerstones of this diversification and lasting economic development; build supporting infrastructure including information and communication technologies as well as the availability of potable water.

The agriculture sector’s development has taken a new dimension and is considered as one of the main pillars for a more stable and sustainable economic and social development of the country.  It is clear that agricultural production will not be profitable on the basis of the production alone and must be complemented by the derivative “small and medium term enterprises” and “small and medium term industries”.  The program will, first of all, benefit the national economy:

-Reduction of the imports of food and food derivatives; saving in foreign reserves, (estimated at 100-150 millions Euros/year);

-Availability and increase in consumption of healthy food and food derivatives;

-Creation of substitute to traditional food products;

-Contribution to the reduction of inflation; stabilization of the rural population especially the youth, via the reduction of rural exodus;

-Creation of jobs; an increase in the incomes of the rural population through vulgarization;

– From the inception of the project, qualified equato-guineans coming from the National agriculture school would be used extensively and others sent abroad for training to take over from foreign experts/managers in the very short term.

-Improvement of the living conditions of the Equatorial Guinean population at large; and last but not least, the reduction in the level of poverty.

-The Program will also offer new economic opportunities to the rural population, especially women, thus, contributing to their stabilization, to peace and to prosperity.

– It would contribute to the improvement of the Balance of Payments, via the increase in exports; the reduction of imports of food and food derivatives, the increase and savings in foreign monetary reserves.

More importantly, it would significantly contribute to the National Economic Diversification Policy, one of the main pillars of the wise and comprehensive National Economic Development Policy, set up by H. E. the President of the Republic, as framed in the Conclusions of the Second National Economic Conference of November 2007. The basic goal is to create independence; however the first step in that process is feeding the people, creating jobs, reducing and eliminating rural exodus, improving the leaving conditions of equato-guineans people.  If a country can’t feed its own people, it can never be a completely independent country.

After The Green Revolution was established, the government of Equatorial Guinea signed an Agriculture Project contract with a US company named Management and Economic Consulting, Inc. (MAECI).  When we hear of such deals, we assume these are fat government contracts, with a lot of people getting rich, and the promised outcomes are never reached.  People also assume that these types of contracts are fully funded by the government, and appear to be risk free to the contractors.  This couldn’t be further from the truth in the case of MAECI.

There is good reason for people to be skeptical of new found wealth within emerging countries such as Equatorial Guinea, and use of the sovereign funds created from their oil and gas production.  However, there are many stories that aren’t told of companies and contractors that show up in places like Equatorial Guinea, sign contracts, get government funds upfront, and leave the country without providing the services that they’ve been commissioned to provide.  This type of history within countries such as Equatorial Guinea, have impeded progress and inherent risk from all sides.

However, MAECI has taken a different approach.  An approach that many would say is crazy, however, as it turns out may be the template for future success in emerging markets.  During an interview with Chris Massaro, Vice President of MAECI, Mr. Massaro stated that MAECI began the first agriculture project in Equatorial Guinea, in the small rural town of Mongomo.  MAECI was given a location to start a farm project.  This location was a dense forest, and one of the most undesirable locations a company could have for the first step of such a large and daunting approach such as The Green Revolution.  Anticipating that there would be many delays with funding a project such as this, due to agriculture having been abandoned for many years, lack of interest from any banks that would loan money for this type of project, especially in the agriculture sector ( it should be noted that nowhere in the world, developed, emerging and/or developing countries, are commercial Banks ready to fund projects in the agriculture, as they consider such activities to be too risky for any commercial Bank lending), and other projects having failed, MAECI didn’t wait to get started. 

Mongomo Farm location managed by MAECI

 

Mr. Massaro went on to explain that MAECI started with an analysis of the country’s supply of food products.  The results of MAECI’s analysis of the origin and consumption of food products within Equatorial Guinea were pretty shocking.  It was determined that 80-90% of all food consumed in the country was being imported from Europe, USA. , Latin America, or from countries such as Cameroon.  Not only is this not sustainable socially and politically, but the cost of food was extremely high and the quality was poor.  This could also be a security concern for the country as well.

MAECI Vice President Chris Massaro with Mongomo Farm workers

MAECI is importing farming equipment, and striking a balance between manual labor and technology

 

MAECI began a special but extremely expensive ecologically sound and unique deforestation process, using its own resources, without one penny from the government of Equatorial Guinea.  In addition, MAECI continued the project for many months before receiving any of the agreed to starting funds within their contract.  MAECI prefunded this project because they had the conviction that such undertaking would be successful and have a unique and lasting beneficial impact for the country and its population, and wanted to show that it could be done, and felt that this approach would end the corruption that exists in these types of projects.  In addition, when MAECI takes such a huge risk, the government understands their commitment level.  This approach also sets precedence for governments such as Equatorial Guinea, to protect themselves from outside companies acting as predators.

So, at the end of the day how has this approach worked out?  Chris Massaro reported that today, the Mongomo farm has over 400 hectares producing mainly corn and soybean, with an estimated 1000 tons of corn and soybean to go into the processing plants (Corn Flower, cooking corn Oil, and Animal Feeds Plants) that MAECI has built. 

At the end of the next planting cycle MAECI should reach their goal of 750 hectares planted and producing. The animal Feeds Plant is already operational and poultry projects have started in different places in the country, reducing imports of eggs and chicken, adding to manpower increase and income diversification opportunities. 

MAECI has been successful in growing a variety of fruits and vegetables as test crops, and the government has awarded MAECI with contracts for smaller farm locations in all different provinces of the country: Kogo, Mbehote, Micomeseng, Anizok, Tegete, Oveng, Mongom, Pico de Basile and Riaba (see map). MAECI has followed the same funding principle in the implementation of this project and presently, an average of six  tons of produce (tomatoes, green bean, green pepper, eggplant, beans, sweet potatoes, yam, cassava, cabbage, carrots, leaks, sweet corn, …etc.) are being provided to the market every week. The quantity is expected to reach 20/25 tons per week by the end of June 2011. The impacts of these projects are tremendous. The price of a kg of tomatoes for example, has fallen by some 60% and the supply should cover the national consumption needs by the year end when the total production will be more than 50 tons/week.

According to Mr. Massaro, MAECI has also initiated separate poultry, pig and honey projects that they prefunded as well, and now producing, with more than 80 pigs and 30 new born piglets (the pigs farming started with 20 subjects 8 months ago; in addition, some 15 subjects weighting 120/160 Kg have already be sent to the market for consumption); some 700 eggs/day, and 1600 fryers on the market every 45 days. Other newly established poultry farms are adding to these statistics and with the continuation of this trend, the country would be self-sufficient in chicken products by June 2012.  These projects haven’t been funded by the government of Equatorial Guinea to date, but have produced significant amounts of chickens, eggs, pork and honey. These products are being delivered into the local markets, reducing the imports, and lowering the local prices allowing population to have access to those products which yesterday were bought only by the wealthy.

In addition to the obvious benefits of reducing costly imports of food (and in the medium term eliminating those imports), feeding the people of Equatorial Guinea, these projects are employing hundreds of villagers and creating an economy that didn’t exist, in addition to stabilizing the population in the rural areas.

Judging by the results achieved so far, the Green Revolution is a “Success Story” and MAECI is overwhelmed by private citizens demand to technically assist them in creating their private agricultural project. Under the specific instruction from the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister H.E. Ignacio Milan Tang is working out the process of transferring these 9 farm model agriculture projects to private owners. This success is adding to the incredible economic development that Equatorial Guinea is experiencing”, as stated by Mr. Jeremio Osa Osa Ecoro, Minister of Information, Culture, Tourism, & Government Spokesman. The Minister put it as follows: “Equatorial Guinea…has gone from being one of the world’s poorest countries to one of the states with the greatest progress in economic and social development on the planet thanks to President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo leadership.” He added, “The same has occurred in the area of human rights, where the enormous steps the country has taken have never been recognized, including the democratization that was the President’s own initiative.  

Equatorial Guinea is currently a country that lives in an environment of stability and peace, with many fewer problems of war, strikes, and delinquency that one can find in many countries especially in western countries”.  To further strengthen this solid foundation for Democracy, Peace, Stability, Economic and Social development, the President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has recently, signed a decree creating a committee to recommend changes in the constitution.  The National Committee for the Reform of the Fundamental Law of Equatorial Guinea, composed of members of congress and legally constituted political parties, is charged with leading effort to reform the fundamental law of Equatorial Guinea.

This is an effort by the government to systematically and progressively pursue greater democracy and pluralism as the nation develops.  Already in March 2011, President Obiang recommended the creation of a Senate, which would convert the nation’s Parliament from a unicameral to a bicameral legislature, and proposed limiting the president to two four-year terms of office.  He opened this year’s Parliamentary session with a call for fundamental reform of the legal system. 

According to the President’s decree, the main purpose of the National Committee is to create broader opportunities for citizens to participate in the management of the country.  The decree cited “the political maturity acquired since the political reform of 1991 by the People of Equatorial Guinea, the political movements of the nation, and the political and administrative institutions established according to popular will” as one of the reasons reform was needed. One other reason, according to a high ranking country politician, is the unprecedented economic and social development achievement by President Obiang’s economic strategy which is now culminating with the sound and sustainable development program of the agro-rural sector as the main pillar of the national economic and social development strategy.

According to a western diplomat in Malabo, this bold political step taken by President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is unique in the continent and should serve as example to many African countries struggling to create meaningful basis for genuine Democracy, Peace, Stability, Security and lasting Economic and Social Development for the wellbeing of their people, and come at a special moment when the Country will host the 2011 Summit of the African Union in June 2011.

It’s apparent that MAECI made the determination that they were willing and committed to helping Equatorial Guinea, and from what they’ve invested and have been able to produce so far, are building something that is lasting. MAECI should rightfully feel proud to be so concretely contributing to such process through the implementation of the Green Revolution Program in Equatorial Guinea.

Category : 2. See Country Projects / 3. Read Recent News / Agriculture Farming / News

Equatorial Guinea Launches Rural Roofing Program – compliments MAECI Roofing Project

May 21st , 2011 → 5:58 pm @

Posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, May 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The government of Equatorial Guinea has launched a project to replace improve traditional housing by installing zinc roofs on more than 30,000 houses.  Roughly 100,000 Equatorial Guineans will benefit from zinc roofs, which will replace traditional roofs made of the fronds of the nipa palm.

This project for Equatorial Guinea compliments MAECI Roofing Project that was launched in 2010.  MAECI constructed a sheet metal roofing facility in the city of Bata.  This plant is an additional source of roofing materials for the country.

The project, which arose as a result of a survey carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, under Minister Teodoro Nguema Obiang, is aimed at upgrading homes in rural areas and will be carried out throughout the national territory.

Zinc roofs last longer than nipa roofs and allow better protection from the elements.  Nipa roofs also can harbor rats, insects, and other vermin and can pose a health hazard to residents, particularly children.  

“This is an important project that will quickly improve the standard of living in rural areas,” said Minister Nguema. “Through efforts like these, Equatorial Guinea is rapidly developing its infrastructure.  Improving health and opportunity in rural areas is a top priority for the Ministry of Agriculture. We hope this will serve as an example for other countries to follow.

Category : 2. See Country Projects / 3. Read Recent News / News / Sheet Metal Roofing Plant