AfDB to contribute to capacity building in Equatorial Guinea
At the invitation of the President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, African Development Bank Group (AfDB) President Donald Kaberuka made an official visit to Bata and Malabo from July 30 to August 1, 2014.
During an audience granted to him, Kaberuka congratulated the Equatorial Guinea Head of State on his keen vision with regard to his country's development, a country that is emerging to be among the richest in Africa, with excellent infrastructure and great potential for growth. Moreover, its transport network and access to electricity facilitate the development of the private sector.
The importance of opening the country up internationally and improving the business climate was suggested by Kaberuka, who also indicated the need for strengthening regional integration. This is an important source of growth for the country, particularly through expanding the size of the market. Equatorial Guinea has a potential leadership role on account of the progress it has made to its infrastructure and to its geographical location. With this in mind the removal of obstacles to the movement of persons is a milestone in the integration of Central Africa, which remains the least integrated region of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Kaberuka shared the analysis of national authorities on the importance of stimulating job-creating economic sectors, in addition to the oil sector, which is not very distributive and which only employs 4% of the population. The economic integration of the 60% of the population under the age of 25 will guarantee growth and social peace. He also emphasised the importance of accelerating reforms to governance, while recognising efforts made to modernise the administration and make it a key tool for the country's development.
The AfDB has, by mutual agreement with the Equatorial Guinean authorities, decided to give a new impetus to cooperation between the two parties. This being so, it has confirmed its commitment to supporting Phase 2 of the Equatorial Guinea National Economic and Social Development Plan. This phase focuses on emergence via economic diversification and social policy. Phase 1 had been essentially devoted to large-scale infrastructure projects.
"Infrastructure development should be phased over time for it to be financially sustainable," said Kaberuka. He declared the availability of the AfDB to provide its support for capacity-building, including by strengthening planning tools to effectively manage major development projects.
An important multi-sectoral mission to Malabo is slated for the end of August 2014 to identify operations enabling support for achieving the goals of the Phase 2 of the country's economic and social development programme.