posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com – March 31st, 2012
Those who for years have delayed the launch of the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea Prize, promoted by President Obiang for the research of diseases affecting the African continent, forget one important fact: that the solidarity of our country has been proved in practice by the millions in donations for disasters and many other previous acts.
Immediately after the approval by the Executive Board of the UNESCO of the International UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea Award, promoted by President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the representatives of some of the so-called NGOs, who for years have sown discord and controversy regarding this award, were casting their particular judgment and condemning the free decision of the countries that took part in the final vote.
However, all the entities that have promoted for years this sterile controversy forget that Equatorial Guinea has already spent, on many other occasions, an important part of its funds on charitable purposes, and n mitigating adverse catastrophic situations in which solidarity is essential. The last of these cases occurred only a week ago, when it sent nearly four hundred tons of humanitarian aid to the neighboring Republic of Congo, to help those affected by the disaster caused by the explosion of an ammunition depot.
But of course, this is by no means the only occasion in which the people of Equatorial Guinea demonstrated their solidarity in charitable actions, most of the time driven by the President of the Republic. In March 2011, the Government approved the presidential suggestion to send solidarity assistance to Japan of $500,000, after the terrible earthquake suffered by the Japanese people. In 2009, after the appalling tragedy in Haiti, they sent a donation of two million dollars to the Haitian people.
The aid of Equatorial Guinea has also been sent to the United States, -one of the countries that, paradoxically, has shown their rejection of the UNESCO award- which was received in 2005, after the city of New Orleans was devastated by tropical cyclone Katrina. Equatorial Guinea also sent funds to China to alleviate the damage caused by the earthquake that shattered the country’s southeast area in 2008. The collaboration of Equatorial Guinea has also reached African countries such as Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali and Senegal in the floods that devastated entire villages in 2009, and in August 2011, it donated two million Euros to combat famine in the Horn of Africa.
The UNESCO is not the only institution with which Equatorial Guinea works selflessly. For example, a few months ago the President inaugurated the new and modern building of the headquarters of the UN system in Malabo, funded entirely by the Government of Equatorial Guinea.
With all these donations and events, the people and Government of Equatorial Guinea, with the urging of the Head of State -who is usually the first promoter of such initiatives- intended to share their wealth with those who suffer the tragedies more directly. That is the sole objective of the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea Prize, no matter how certain entities have sought to divert the intent to obscure interests.
The support for research on diseases that will be financed by the generous fund of the award also has many other attractions, such as the fact that these conditions -for example, malaria- continue to affect many of the inhabitants of our country. Since Equatorial Guinea currently does not have the means or the specialists that can address this research, working through an agency dedicated to science and culture, such as the UNESCO is, undoubtedly, the best way to do so. But also to contribute to the advancement of science is, for Equatorial Guinea and any African state, a great source of pride that increases our confidence in the country, our continent and the possibilities that we can all be the true protagonists of a future that can be entirely ours and better every day.