posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com – August 23rd, 2012
Titled “Demystifying Equatorial Guinea”, Agapito Mba Mokuy and Agustín Nze Nfumu have staged one of the exhibits of the Sullivan Foundation Summit taking place in Malabo. In it, both went over some of the unknown realities of Equatorial Guinea, and the distorted media image projected about the country.
The second day of the Sullivan Foundation Summit, currently being held in Malabo, began with a minute of silence for the death of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi and the speech by experts from various organizations specializing in economics and development in Africa. The importance of economic self-development on the continent, and the need for good governance in African countries and fight for the evolution and improvement of human rights, were some of the ideas that were most insisted upon by the morning speakers.
In the afternoon, in one of the auditoriums of the third floor of the conference, was held the presentation “Demystifying Equatorial Guinea”, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Agapito Mba Mokuy and the Minister of Information, Press and Radio, Agustin Nze Nfumu.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs began his speech by recalling how, as a student abroad, nobody knew anything of Equatorial Guinea, and how that has changed so much in recent years, thanks to the work of President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. “It is easy to criticize a country, a person, or even criticize a Head of State, but in regard to the Head of State of Equatorial Guinea, he is a President who has given much to his country. This President has suffered for his country. He has suffered to restore dignity to Equatorial Guinea. Recently, calling someone Equatorial Guinean was like an insult. Now, calling someone Equatorial Guinean commands respect, thanks to the President. It is easy to judge a country, but to do so, and to judge a man, one should see it in the historical context.”
Agapito Mba Mokuy also recalled that at the end of the colonial period in Equatorial Guinea, there were only three college graduates, and there was no expert in any subject, or universities, or schools. This way, he portrayed how life was during the colonial period and immediately thereafter, with no universities, professionals and people trained in studies. According to his analysis, this lack of preparation is, and has subsequently been, the great problem of Equatorial Guinea.
The Minister also said that our country is accused of lack of freedom, despite enjoying political freedom, with the presence of dozens of different political parties, and religious and economic freedom. Then he took stock of some of the data development in Equatorial Guinea, such as that of literacy provided by UNESCO, claiming that 93% of the country’s population is literate, which is the highest rate in the sub-Saharan Africa. Similarly, Mba Mokuy went over other development factors, based on statistics from international organizations, that most of the time, when speaking of Equatorial Guinea, are simply not taken into account.
For his part, the Minister of Information, Press and Radio, confessed that “the damage that some media do to our country hurts. It strikes me that it is done far away from our country, where people say that our President has been here for many years and should leave.”
-“In my last days as Ambassador, before returning to the Ministry of Information, I went to the celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of a person who is in power,”also said the minister, who declined to refer directly to anyone. “We need Africa to learn to understand that we create our destiny ourselves, because it has been shown that the international press or media are guided by some interest groups with their projects.”
Agustin Nze Nfumu also recalled some of the unequal colonial times and how the West abandoned Equatorial Guinea to its fate, in the worst of times. He also mentioned how President Obiang, after leading the popular revolt, the Freedom Coup, persevered year after year to lead his people out of poverty, and alluded to how oil revenues were used for the good of the people of Equatorial Guinea. “This is the problem that Obiang has in certain sectors of the international community: having shown that some of the country’s resources can serve the country.”
-“It is curious that when others speak of Equatorial Guinea, nobody asks Equatorial Guinea what it wants. We mean that we are adults and can decide, and we have many intellectuals in the country who know what they want. And I will say that if all the world’s dictators were like Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, everyone would support dictators, because he is precisely the opposite of what a dictatorship in his behavior.”
Later, a varied and broad discussion involving many of those present began, who were answered by the two Ministers