December 3rd , 2015 → 9:14 am @

Posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com – December 3rd, 2015


Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Equatorial Guinea’s minister of mines, industry and energy

Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Equatorial Guinea’s minister of mines, industry and energy

Equatorial Guinea is one of the top crude exporters in Sub-Saharan Africa with daily production just below 300,000 barrels a day. At the just concluded 2015 West Africa Energy Assembly in Lagos, CNBC Africa’s Wole Famurewa caught up with Gabriel Obiang Lima, the country’s Mines Industry and Energy Minister and talk about how the country is reinventing itself in the current environment.

See video:



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Equatorial Guinea Expands Scope of Major Crude Oil and Petroleum Tank Farm Project

November 3rd , 2015 → 6:12 am @

Posted by equatorialguineaonline.com – November 3rd, 2015

Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy announces the signing of an MoU that significantly expands the scope of the planned Bioko Oil Terminal project

The Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy, representing the Government of Equatorial Guinea, announced today that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with three companies to build a crude oil and petroleum products storage tank farm on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea.

In an expansion of the previous project plan, the Bioko Oil Terminal will incorporate a significant amount of crude oil storage space, as well as storage for associated petroleum products. It will serve the Gulf of Guinea region and facilitate processing and export to consumers regionally and globally. The MoU establishes the terms of cooperation among the Ministry and the three companies.

The Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy of Equatorial Guinea, Taleveras Group, Gunvor Group and the Strategic Fuel Fund will jointly participate in the Bioko Oil Terminal development. The tank farm will be operated by the Strategic Fuel Fund, which operates Saldanha Bay in South Africa, one of the world’s largest petroleum storage facilities.

Upon announcing the new MoU, Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima stated: “The Bioko Oil Terminal will serve the enormous demand for storage in the currently underserved Gulf of Guinea region.This is a definitive step forward for our nation’s petroleum industry and economic diversification agenda. We are proud to announce that the national bank of Equatorial Guinea, BANGE, will be involved in the financing of the project.”

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Oil price plunge: Equatorial Guinea wants to diversify economy

November 2nd , 2015 → 6:31 am @

Posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com – November 2, 2015

Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Equatorial Guinea’s minister of mines, industry and energy

Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Equatorial Guinea’s minister of mines, industry and energy

Equatorial Guinea is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest oil producers. However, with the price of crude down roughly 50% over the past year, the country is looking to diversify its economy. How we made it in Africa spoke to Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima – minister of mines, industry and energy – on the sidelines of the Africa Oil Week conference in Cape Town. Below are edited excerpts.

How is the government of Equatorial Guinea responding to the low oil price?

We still produce the same volume of oil, but the problem is the price has gone down. We’ve had to reduce our government budget twice – we did it in January and then we have done it again in the summer – because the price of oil has kept going down.

The drop in the oil price is both a good and a bad thing. It is a bad thing because it means less revenue for the country. But it is a good thing because it is a wake-up call for countries like Equatorial Guinea to understand that we need to diversify our economy. We need to think of other resources that can allow us to move forward. We have invested heavily in infrastructure such as ports, electricity, water and housing. The country needs to focus on sectors such as hospitality, agriculture, services and telecoms.

We have built a new capital, it is called Djibloho, and the aim is to move both the politicians and the government there, and allow the other two main cities – Malabo and Bata – to grow as an economic hubs.

Where do you see the future of Equatorial Guinea in the energy space?

The example that I use all the time, and that I will keep using, is: like Singapore. We are in the middle of a neighbourhood that has big oil-producing countries with large populations. While oil and gas production brings in a lot of revenue, the future of Equatorial Guinea lies in services. We’ve built a new port and are planning an airport hub.

We are already servicing the oil industry from Luba, and are having discussions with our friends in Singapore, like Keppel Corporation, for the possibility in the future to have dry docks to repair FPSOs (floating production, storage and offloading vessels), especially because the water depth is very good. From here we can service the oil industries of NigeriaGabonAngola and others.

Equatorial Guinea has also introduced buses fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG). Tell us more about this initiative.

By using gas one can save a lot of money, as opposed to diesel and gasoline; it is also much more environmentally friendly. We are currently doing it as a pilot project, but if the pilot project is successful we need to roll it out across Equatorial Guinea. In addition to the buses, we can also consider using this technology for taxis, very similar to what India did. Equatorial Guinea could become a major producer of CNG for transportation and play an active role in introducing the technology in other African countries. Car manufacturers such as Tata and Ford are now all looking at CNG.

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Improving Skills in Equatorial Guinea to Meet Changing Labor Market Demands

January 9th , 2015 → 12:44 pm @

posted by: equatorialguineaonline.com January 9th, 2015
Equatorial Guinea has sought World Bank technical assistance through a Reimbursable Advisory Service (RAS) Agreement. The RAS, started December 2012 and finishing December 2014, supports efforts to upgrade the skills of government, private and autonomous enterprise officials and prepare a longer-term sustainable solution to ensure a flow of skilled personnel and to offer lifelong learning opportunities.

Equatorial Guinea faces twin challenges: to make growth more sustainable, by developing commercially viable new activities beyond hydrocarbons and public investment; and to make it more inclusive, by creating economic opportunities and enabling Equatoguineans to seize them. To address these challenges, the government is seeking to better integrate human capital development into a successful strategy for economic diversification.

Unlocking new sources of growth requires a process of removing binding constraints that currently prevent private sector investment. In Equatorial Guinea, a human capital deficit is clearly a binding constraint, and substantial institutional challenges remain. As a consequence, risks at both macro and micro levels create disincentives for investment.

Steps are being taken to address the immediate human resources development needs. In addition, in the short and medium terms, key actions also need to include:

  • Setting ambitious targets for human development, backed by sufficient resource allocation and a clear distribution of responsibilities among the agencies involved.
  • Focusing on quality and measuring results rigorously in order to detect and address weaknesses in the system that may not be apparent from measuring inputs such as spending or the number of schools or activities, like enrollment.
  • Ensuring that skills are relevant to the labor market for a country undergoing rapid transformation that is likely to result in substantial changes in labor demand over the coming years, by drawing on principles that can help to avoid skills mismatches, such as ensuring an active role of the private sector in defining priorities for the education system and putting in place an effective labor market information system.
  • Using new social protection tools, such as conditional cash transfers, to alleviate chronic poverty and catalyze human capital development.

As a first decisive action towards addressing the human development constraint, the Government of Equatorial Guinea sought World Bank technical assistance with the signing of a Reimbursable Advisory Services Agreement covering competencies and skills in education. The activities have been defined and are being jointly implemented by the authorities and a World Bank Group team. The approach is to provide short-term courses to upgrade the skills of government, private, and autonomous enterprise officials, and prepare a longer-term sustainable solution to ensure a flow of skilled personnel and to offer lifelong learning opportunities.

The World Bank has completed the first phase of the program with a team comprising education specialists from Central Africa and Latin and Central America, and from the Universidad Europea de Madrid in Spain. A counterpart team from Equatorial Guinea composed of representatives from the Ministry of Finance staff worked closely with the Bank team to increase the relevance of the work. The 2.5-month management course was prepared and delivered in Spanish on various topics relating to the management of public, private, and autonomous enterprises, and on public financial management.

In order to set up a sustainable skills development program in the country, the Bank is now embarking on the next phase of the services agreement to undertake knowledge exchange visits to countries that have embarked on economic diversification and human development. A team comprising World Bank staff, University of Equatorial Guinea faculty, staff from key ministries that would contribute to economic diversification, and Ministry of Public Services staff will offer recommendations following the country visits and prepare to create a Public Sector Institute for Capacity Development.

The Government of Equatorial Guinea welcomed the Bank’s technical assistance, and has requested more in-depth courses on various topics in public administration and private sector and autonomous enterprises management. The public financial management portion of the course was intended to provide Equatoguinean officials with the key elements for integrating the public finance management of the country with regional integration efforts within the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa. The authorities recognize the need to now move forward rapidly with the human development agenda, which is a key pillar in the government’s Economic Plan 2020, with education and training, health, and social protection now viewed as strategic priorities.

Open QuotesWe greatly valued the knowledge and examples on professional practices in relation to the reality of Equatorial Guinea. Furthermore, the examples have helped university professors to appreciate how the participants in the course have absorbed theoretical concepts, and their ability to apply them to real life business situations in the local environment. We recommend that future courses also provide practical examples. Close Quotes

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Del petróleo a la tierra: Agricultura y sectores en la Industria Productiva, como alternativa a los ingresos del petróleo en Guinea Ecuatorial.

January 9th , 2015 → 10:00 am @

Published by equatorialguineaonline.com – 09 de enero 2015



Las industrias productivas como la agricultura, la manufactura y otros negocios de pequeña y mediana creación tienen el potencial para generar ingresos significativos para Guinea Ecuatorial, ofreciendo un desarrollo más sostenible y equitativo de los que proporciona el  petróleo.

El problema al que se enfrentan actualmente muchos países exportadores de petróleo de África es la fuerte caída de los precios mundiales del petróleo. Esta caída amenaza con desestabilizar las delicadas economías de varios países africanos que son dependientes del petróleo para su continuo crecimiento.  Entre los países con mayor riesgo de ser debilitados por la caída de estos precios están Nigeria, Angola, Gabón, Sudán y Guinea Ecuatorial.

Guinea Ecuatorial, en particular, tiene visiones optimistas de cara al futuro.  Es un país que una y otra vez luchó con la pobreza, la escasez de alimentos y un débil sistema de salud y a su vez es un país que cuenta con recursos naturales, industrias en expansión y cada vez mayor infraestructura. Con el descubrimiento del petróleo en 1996, Guinea Ecuatorial utilizó la mayor parte de sus ingresos petroleros en la infraestructura de su país. Ahora, con la caída del precio del petróleo, el gasto público de estos menores ingresos necesita ser reevaluado. El gobierno tiene que tomar medidas para diversificar su economía e invertir dinero en sectores productivos como la agricultura y la producción de alimentos, la manufactura, la creación de pequeña y mediana empresa , la salud y la educación.


Mediante la diversificación de sus productos de exportación, los países africanos, especialmente los que por lo general dependen de los ingresos del petróleo, ya no tendrán que depender exclusivamente de éste y de la preocupación de si el precio del petróleo subirá o bajará. Al depender de una sóla fuente de ingresos, y utilizar estos ingresos de corto plazo para financiar proyectos a largo plazo, los gobiernos están jugando con la estabilidad, la sostenibilidad y el potencial de su economía. Junto con el apoyo a estos sectores productivos, los gobiernos de estos países exportadores de petróleo, a la larga, también deben utilizar la renta petrolera para apoyar al sector productivo,  para generar empleo y para crear reservas financieras para cuando los precios del petróleo sean altos.

La tierra en Guinea Equatorial  debería ser su siguiente “petróleo” en el ambiente ecónomico y financero global en constante cambio.

Casi el 90% de los alimentos en Guinea Ecuatorial es importado, y esto plantea problemas de sostenibilidad y seguridad alimentaria. Además, el crecimiento de la población urbana y la creciente clase media exigiendo alimentos más nutritivos, variados y procesados,  así como el creciente desequilibrio de los alimentos importados frente a los exportados en África,  crea oportunidades de generación de ingresos del sector agrícola. Podría hacerse hincapié en que si no se toman las medidas adecuadas, para el año 2020, el 70% de la población de Guinea Ecuatorial vivirá en las ciudades!

De cara al futuro, se estima que el valor de la agricultura y la agroindustria de África sea de un $ 1 billón en el año 2030.  Se estima que la inversión extranjera directa (IED) en la agricultura africana  crezca de menos de $ 10 mil millones en 2010 a más de $ 45 mil millones en 2020. Esto demuestra el potencial de la agricultura para generar ingresos significativos para Guinea Ecuatorial.

Además, se prevé que las reservas de petróleo y gas se agotarán en un futuro muy cercano, pero el suelo de Guinea Ecuatorial y sus ecosistemas, incluidos los ríos y bosques, permanecerán; por lo tanto, la agricultura ofrece una fuente sostenible de ingresos. Los ingresos del petróleo deben ser reinvertidos en la agricultura para garantizar la producción de alimentos, el consumo y la exportación y la creación de empleo en el futuro.

Hablando con un funcionario de alto rango de la Casa Blanca, dijo que el presidente Obama y su administración, durante la última Cumbre de líderes de África, recomendó al presidente de Guinea Ecuatorial que su país continuará invirtiendo en la producción de industrias como la agricultura, la manufactura y las pequeñas y medianas empresas. Esta recomendación se basaba en el compromiso de Estados Unidos para apoyar a Guinea Ecuatorial con sus planes de diversificación económica. El presidente Obama se ha comprometido a apoyar a las empresas de Estados Unidos que trabajan actualmente en Guinea Ecuatorial dentro de estos sectores económicos. “A medida que los precios del petróleo siguen cayendo, el momento de actuar es ahora. Haremos lo que sea necesario para acelerar este proceso”  declaró el presidente Obama.

El funcionario de la Casa Blanca agregó que como Estados Unidos es el líder mundial en la creación de pequeñas y medianas empresas, especialmente en el sector agrícola, apoyará, e insistirá a Guinea Ecuatorial,  en la asociación con empresas estadounidenses para llevar a cabo esta transformación .

De nuestro corresponsal en Houston


Category : 3. Read Recent News / Business

A Growing Partnership

January 6th , 2015 → 1:05 pm @

posted by: equatorialguineaonline.com January 6th, 2015 timthumb.php

Thanks to heightened interest of the private sector and strong diplomatic work done by EG, the ties between both countries have strengthened in the past 10 years.   That Equatorial Guinea is an oil-rich country with whom friendly relations are deemed highly convenient is no secret. That Equatorial Guinea is a country that has made gigantic steps forward in terms of socio-economic development is, perhaps, known to a much lesser extent. President Teodoro Obiang has been in power since the late 1970s, for many the head of state of this West African, Spanish-speaking nation represents continuity and stability. President Obiang is a leader with a pro-business attitude, and has opened the way for numerous profitable, win-win situations with foreign investors. And it is, to a good extent, these business relationships in combination with EG’s newfound petrodollars that are enabling and even expediting improvements in living conditions. The challenge that lies ahead is great. Nevertheless, progress is being made. Between 2000 and 2012, EG rose by 14.2 points in the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s Index of African Governance (IIAG) Human Development rating. Overall it ranks 27th out of 52 countries, yet the leap ahead makes it the seventh fastest developer, tying with Botswana. In the IIAG Sustainable Economic Opportunity index, EG rose by 10.8 points which put it at number 42 overall, but 10th most improved. Meanwhile, the IIAG Roads Indicator, which measures road network and quality of roads, found Equatorial Guinea to be one of the most improved countries in Africa since 2000. Speaking of EG’s recent infrastructure development, the President says: “We are building roads in the island of Annobon to allow movement of people. Annobon is practically a rock, and there we have invested heavily in building a deep-sea port. We have built an airport, part of which is virtually on the sea. We have also built an airport in the island of Corisco. I think Corisco is going to be a profitable zone because we are turning a little paradisiacal island into a tourist spot. Now we are getting ready to build hotels.” Tourism is one of the sectors on which the Obiang administration is pinning high hopes. The President says EG is preparing the infrastructure and hopes to link up with travel agencies who can bring groups. Paperwork will be simplified and tourists will be able to pick up their visas directly in the airport upon arrival. “Naturally, our country will give a warm welcome to those who come and visit,” says Mr. Obiang. Purificación Angue Ondo, former Equatoguinean  Ambassador to the U.S., adds that “tourism also would allow people to get to know and understand our country and our people and how we live.” The visa process is also simplified for investors. In fact, as the largest single foreign investor in EG, all United States passport holders may enter on short visits without a visa. Friendly ties with EG are certainly in America’s best interest, given the former’s vast oil and natural gas supplies (which were discovered in the 1990s thanks to a Texan oil captain’s persistence). Despite being one of the smallest countries in the world, Equatorial Guinea ranked 36th and 47th in crude oil and natural gas production, respectively, in 2012. The U.S. is one of the largest markets for Guinean oil; in 2012, it imported 41,000 barrels of crude per day from the West African country. The trade balance with the U.S. has been in EG’s favor since 2000, when it reversed the 1999 deficit of $177.7 million into a surplus of $59.1 million. Bilateral trade that year totaled a mere $250.3 million. In 2013, total trade hit $1.65 billion, with a surplus in EG’s favor of $142.3 million. This was nothing compared to the previous year’s bilateral trade of $1.93 billion, with the African country a massive $1.46 billion ahead. While oil consistently comprises the bulk of EG’s exports, the Obiang administration would like to see more diversification in its economic sectors and set forth the Horizon 2020 plan namely for that reason. Says Ms. Angue Ondo, “Through large oil companies, the U.S. has invested a lot of money in EG. But we are trying to make them see that there are other sectors we would like to boost interest in among American investors, such as fishing in Annobon and agriculture on Bioko, a volcanic island.” For the President, Horizon 2020 is a program that “will place Equatorial Guinea among the roster of emerging markets by the year 2020”, by raising self-sufficiency and encouraging new industries and enhancing existing ones

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Oil to Soil: Agriculture and Productive Industry sectors as an alternative to oil income in Equatorial Guinea

January 4th , 2015 → 8:18 am @

Published by equatorialguineaonline.com – January 4th, 2015

Oil to Soil:

Agriculture and Productive Industry sectors as an alternative to oil income in Equatorial Guinea

Productive industries such as Agriculture, Manufacturing and other Small to Mid-size Business creation has the potential to generate significant revenue for Equatorial Guinea, offering more sustainable and equitable development than oil provides.


The problem currently facing many oil exporting African countries is the sharp decline in world petroleum prices. The drop in prices is threatening to destabilize the delicate economies of several African countries that are reliant on oil for their continued growth. The countries most at risk to be debilitated by these falling prices include Nigeria, Angola, Gabon, Sudan and Equatorial Guinea.

Equatorial Guinea in particular has optimistic visions for the future. A country that recurrently struggled with poverty, food shortages and weak health care is also a country that is flush with natural resources, expanding industries and ever growing infrastructure. With the discovery of oil in 1996, Equatorial Guinea continued to use most of its oil revenue on the infrastructure of their country. With the fall in oil prices, however, government spending of this decreasing revenue needs to be reassessed. The government needs to take steps to diversify their economy and invest money into productive sectors such as agriculture and food production, manufacturing, small to mid-size business creation, health care and education.

By diversifying its export commodities, African countries, especially those that were typically dependent on oil revenue, will no longer need to rely on oil exclusively and worry whether the price of oil will rise or fall. By relying on only one source of revenue, and using short-term revenues to finance long-term projects, those governments are gambling with the stability, the sustainability and potential of their economy. Along with supporting these productive sectors, governments in these oil-exporting countries, in the long run, should also use the oil revenue to support the productive sector, the employment generation and build financial reserves when oil prices are high.

Equatorial Guinea’s soil should be its next “oil” in a changing world economic and financial environment. 

Almost 90% of Equatorial Guinea’s food is imported, and this poses sustainability and food security issues. In addition, with a growing urban population and the growing middle class demanding more nutritious, varied and processed food, as well as the growing imbalance of imported food versus exported in Africa in general, this creates opportunities for income generation from agriculture. It could be emphasized that if appropriate actions are not taken, by the year 2020, 70% of Equatorial Guinean population would be leaving in the cities!

Going forward, African agriculture and agribusiness is estimated to be worth $1 trillion by 2030. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in African agriculture is projected to grow from less than $10 billion in 2010 to more than $45 billion in 2020. This demonstrates the potential of agriculture to generate significant income for Equatorial Guinea.

In addition, it is projected that existing oil and gas reserves will run out in a very near future, but Equatorial Guinea’s soil and its ecosystems, including rivers and forests, will remain; therefore, agriculture offers a sustainable source of income. Oil revenue should be reinvested into agriculture to ensure food production, consumption and export, and employment creation well into the future.

 Speaking with a high ranking official from the White House, he stated that President Obama and his administration, during the recent Africa Leaders Summit, recommended to the President of Equatorial Guinea that his country continue to invest in producing industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, Small and Medium Size Industries, and Small to Medium Size Enterprises.  This recommendation was based on the United States commitment to support Equatorial Guinea with their economic diversification plans.  President Obama has pledged to support United States companies currently working in Equatorial Guinea within these economic sectors.  “As oil prices continue to fall, the time for action is now.  We will do whatever is necessary to expedite this process” President Obama stated.

The White House official added that since the United States is the world leader in small business creation, Small to Medium Size Industries and Enterprises, especially in the agriculture sector, it will support, and urge Equatorial Guinea, partnering with U.S. companies to accomplish this transformation.

From our Correspondent in Houston.


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Introducing the new Boeing of Ceiba Intercontinental

December 30th , 2014 → 11:12 am @

posted by: equatorialguineaonline.com  December 30th, 2014

H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo presided over the presentation of two new aircraft of the national airline, Ceiba Intercontinental, which took place on Monday, December 29, at the Bata International Airport.

The ceremony was attended by the First Vice President for Presidential Affairs, Ignacio Milam Tang, the Delegate Minister of the Civil Aviation, Fausto Abeso Fuma, the Ombudsman, Marcelino Nguema Onguene, and the Secretary General of the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE), Jeronimo Osa Osa Ecoro, among others.

The presentation of the new company planes of Equatorial Guinean took place on Monday, December 29, at the presidential terminal of the Bata International Airport, where many national authorities traveled and the opportunity to access the inside of these modern aircraft acquired by Ceiba Intercontinental.

The event also had the speech of the President of the Republic and the Delegate Minister of Civil Aviation, Fausto Abeso Fuma. At the end of the speeches, they proceeded to cut the inaugural ribbon, and then the authorities visited the aircraft: the Boeing 767-300, named Kie-Ntem, with capacity for 240 passengers and the Boeing 737-800, called Evinayong, with 146 seats.

These planes will supplement the fleet of the Equatorial Guinean company, which currently has nine planes.

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The foreign companies have transformed EG

December 30th , 2014 → 11:04 am @

posted by: equatorialguineaonline.com December 30th, 2014





A one-on-one interview with Teodoro Obiang offers insight on how relations between EG and the U.S. have helped transform the country.


What would you say are the determining factors behind the boom Africa is currently enjoying?

Historically, the African continent has been a tricky area in terms of economic growth, due in great part to the fact that most of the countries were colonized and therefore their economies were dependent. With time however, African leaders have come to understand what is necessary in order to improve living conditions. They’ve truly made an effort, collaborating with international organizations, for instance.

Nevertheless, many difficulties remain. For example, Africa is lacking still in human capital that can improve the economic and professional conditions in their countries. Equatorial Guinea, formerly the poorest country on the continent, has worked with both Guineans who’ve returned from the Diaspora and with foreigners, and little by little we’ve improved conditions, thanks also to the exploitation of natural resources like petroleum.

Here in EG, the country keeps 30% of the oil wealth, while the remaining 70% goes to the multinationals, most of which are American. That’s why we must try to put our 30% to the best use possible to instigate changes. What you see in the country are transformations that have been done through programs and planning.

Nevertheless, elsewhere in Africa there is still a strong neo-colonial influence and many other African nations are still under pressure from old colonial powers. I believe that the vision of Africa today is that we must transform it and put an end to its rating as the poorest continent in the world. Unfortunately, there are still countries that cannot evolve independently because they’re still suffering from neo-colonialism.

In what ways do you think EG has changed as a result of its three milestones: the 1968 independence, the 1979 Coup for Freedom, and the beginning of oil production in 1995?

We are working for our country and with support from the people. I’ve been president for a long time because it’s what the voters have wanted. But we’re updating the team. At the state level, we’re incorporating young people into government positions. For example in Parliament and Senate, the majority are university graduates. The majority of the administrative team are also young.

Can you believe that when I became president, there weren’t even five university graduates? Now, we have more than 1,000 professionals. That means we’ve been working hard and that’s why so many professionals and intellectuals are proud of how our country is turning out.

As you explained at February’s Emerging Equatorial Guinea Symposium, the aim of the second phase of the government’s Horizon 2020 is to develop the economy through private initiative and encourage national and foreign investors to invest in Guinea.

I can assure you that the transformation that our country is experiencing now is due to the foreign companies operating here. They take care of building roads, businesses and structures. In this sense, the objective of Horizon 2020 now is to enable us to become self-sufficient and live off our own production and thus avoid economic dependence. Because when a country imports, it runs the risk of not maintaining its capital, and this in turn, weakens the national currency.

And so, we need to develop our industries and see what raw materials we can transform to become more self-sufficient. Take cement, for example. It’s a product in high demand with all the construction taking place, but we can’t build the nation with imported cement. We should have as a base a cement production industry, and that way we could keep more of our capital at home. The same goes for other products that could contribute to our self-sufficiency.

What have you done to mitigate risk for those making large investments?

As for assuring our partners, we’ve established a fund so that when an investor brings his or her money, the government can also collaborate in the business. The reason for the fund is to assure investors that their money is safe, they won’t lose it. Because investors will always be wary, especially with such large sums. The government supports them and gives full guarantees that they will recover all capital invested.

How important is it to let the world know about your accomplishing of the Horizon 2020 targets? And how important is it that the international community recognizes Guinea’s development and progress?

There are, shall we say, “circles of pressure” who do not like EG’s politics and so they present a negative image of the country in the international press. There are many people who rely entirely on what the press says and they don’t have the time to come here and see what’s really happening. So they go on with a distorted image of the country and think it’s a dictatorship. They say there is corruption, human rights violations, no transparency. They call it many things that don’t truly represent the reality of EG today.

All of the changes you see – the new roads and buildings, the excellent hospitals, the universities – they are not the product of cooperation, but rather investments that the government has brought in. All the steps we’re taking and efforts we’re making really should make the world recognize this as a good government.

Considering Guinea is a former Spanish colony, you don’t have as many commercial ties with Spain as one might expect. How should the international community view the long-lasting and positive relations your government holds with some of the most important American companies on a worldwide level?

I’ll tell you one thing: for building better relations between countries, it is the relationship between private entities that really count. Even though the U.S. government wasn’t interested in EG, when we invited private enterprises, oil companies for example, to come, it was they who have strengthened the ties we have with America.

It is the private sector that pressures the government into improving state relations. And that’s why we have such excellent, privileged relations with the U.S. President Obama knows Equatorial Guinea, he knows the benefits of working with us, and that is thanks to the policies of private companies.

We’ve always naturally given Spain preferential treatment in many aspects, but this hasn’t always worked out. In the oil industry, for example, we originally awarded Spanish companies all the concessions, both onshore and offshore. After 10 years of studies and exploration, they announced we didn’t have any oil. I knew that was impossible. So, we mutually called off the agreements. Then an American came, just one man and his boss, Mr. Walter. Within six months they declared that we had petroleum. Although those 10 years with the Spanish were largely a waste of time, on the bright side, our oil was discovered right around the time the price of oil had shot up.

Being the sole Spanish-speaking country in Africa, what are your dealings like with Latin America in terms of economy, culture and diplomacy?

Firstly, many Latin American countries don’t even know we exist. They have no idea there’s a Spanish-speaking country in Africa. Spain’s policy was to neutralize and even hide this colony so nobody ever heard about us. Many find it hard to believe that what is today called Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI) was in fact our brainchild. We held the first meeting here in Bata around 1984. Spain offered to take over and hold the next conference, but that never materialized.

Then, when the OIE was established, Guinea was excluded, up until 2009. However, we did host the Africa-South America (ASA) forum last year. When the representatives from the South American nations came, everyone was surprised. They asked, “How is it possible that in Africa there’s a country where people speak perfect Spanish?” That’s our predicament, we’re orphans. Spain should be the one to introduce to us to the Spanish-speaking world as we share roots. But Spain hasn’t wanted to do so.

We must all open up and recognize each other’s existence and possibilities, and we’re going to do this without Spain’s help.

Now we’ve opened a second university called Universidad Afroamericana. We’re going to give Latin students scholarships to come and study here. A degree isn’t just about scholastic lessons; it’s also about culture. When you go to another country you learn about another culture. When the students from Latin America come, many will make friends with Guineans and that will help us form a close-knit family.

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Samsung HI, Excelerate Energy to build FLNG

December 16th , 2014 → 12:13 pm @

South Korean shipbuilder Samsung HI (SHI) has confirmed its involvement in a front-end engineering design (FEED) project. Photo: PA

EQUATORIAL GUINEA: South Korean shipbuilder Samsung HI (SHI) has confirmed its involvement in a front-end engineering design (FEED) project to construct a floating LNG (FLNG) vessel with US-based Excelerate Energy, an LNG production systems specialist, in Equatorial Guinea.

Through a Korea Exchange filing on 11 December, SHI said: “Regarding the project worth $2Bn to build FLNG in Equatorial Guinea, we will negotiate the scope of work and conditions of contract for basic design.”

Excelerate announced on 6 November that it has executed an agreement with the Government of Equatorial Guinea and UK-based Ophir Energy for the provision of a floating liquefaction storage and offloading (FLSO) vessel.

The project, named Fortuna FLNG, will be located at Block R, approximately 140km off the coast of Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea, which is owned 80% by Ophir and 20% by GEPetrol, Equatorial Guinea’s national oil company.

According to Excelerate Energy, first gas is expected in 2019 and the project is expected to produce up to 3M tonnes of LNG per annum for a period of 20 years.


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