Equatorial Guinea's Secretary Of State Cesar Mbah Abogo On The Country's 'Horizon 2020' Initiative
It's been argued that Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad's challenge to the people of his country in 1991, to work together to further industrialize and self-sustain the nation by seeking improvements in all aspects of citizenry life, such as economic prosperity, social well-being, achieving a high scholastic level and enhancing political stability, a plan he called 'Wawasan 2020' or 'Vision 2020', inspired leaders from several places around the world to place a similar impetus upon themselves and their nations. The Republic of Equatorial Guinea is no different, however, the only Spanish speaking population on the African continent serves as one unique example of a nation that is sticking to its Agenda; a nation that has effectively managed to both adhere to and continue to accomplish its long term National Plan for Social and Economic Development, aptly named 'Horizonte 2020' or 'Horizon 2020'.
This plan comes to a head at the Economic and Trade Investment Summit of 2019 (ETIS 2019) to take place in the nation's capital of Malabo, where each initiative designed to accelerate the development of the country in to a new era of prosperity will be reflected upon and debated, with the application, of course, to emanate an Equatorial Guinea rife with opportunity.
From wisely investing oil and gas earnings in to state-of-the-art infrastructures, including ports, airports, hospitals, universities and a solid road network interconnecting cities, towns and States such as between Cameroon and Gabon, to diversifying the economy in to sectors such as agribusiness and travel and tourism, both the government and the multinational community have worked together to ween the west Central African nation off hydrocarbon dependency and concurrently, substantially diversify and enhance Equatorial Guinea's economy.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Secretary of State of Equatorial Guinea's National Development Plan 'Horizon 2020', the Honorable Cesar Mbah Abogo on the milestone of 'ETIS 2019' and how his nation will continue to partner with the public and private sectors alike globally to meet the ambitious 'Horizon' challenge laid before the nation.
What are some of the longstanding challenges hindering the modern opportunities rife within Equatorial Guinea?
The average rate of economic growth of Equatorial Guinea during the first decade of the 21st century was barely in the two-digit increment. From 2008 to 2013, coinciding with the implementation of the first phase of our current development strategy, the ‘Equatorial Guinea (EG) Horizon 2020 Plan’, global organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), gave credit and certified the fact that Equatorial Guinea is the country that has allocated the most of its resources proportionally to capital expenditures within the General State Budget.
This accelerated economic growth at the beginning of the 21st century, along with the public investment policies that have endowed Equatorial Guinea with remarkable infrastructure in the regional context (including steady electricity, water and sanitation improvements, roads, fiber-optics, ports, airports, social housing and more) are explained by and proof positive of the shrewd development of the oil sector and its application. The oil sector has truly been the lever of transformation within Equatorial Guinea, which has gone from being one of the poorest economies in Africa to hosting one of the highest per capita incomes across the continent.
Our 'Horizon 2020' Plan, a development strategy to promote social welfare and lasting prosperity, is the compass that the Government of Equatorial Guinea has been guided by during the past 10 years. In Equatorial Guinea today, thanks to the bedrock foundation that the Horizon 2020 Plan has created, there is potential to consolidate social equity and promote lasting prosperity through indeed the diversification of our sources of economic growth and our greater integration in to the global and continental value chains.
As your readers can imagine and as has happened throughout history all over the world, the process of transformation that Equatorial Guinea has undertaken brings with it what I refer to as "lights and shadows". After the collapse of oil prices at the end of 2014, which eventually had a very negative impact on our economy, we saw an opportunity. We endeavored to accelerate the development and strengthening of our production capacities along with the accountable publication of our statistics systems; to align expenditure policies with our continued development strategy.
I'm pleased to report that we have accelerated the development of 'e-Government', we are adopting radical measures to reform public finances and the business climate in the country and we are addressing issues relating to youth and gender which remain among the top of priorities within our national political debate.
We are also tackling with the utmost diligence the longstanding challenges that we believe hinder us from achieving inclusive and sustainable development, and we are doing so along with important partners such as the World Bank, UNDP, UNFPA, the International Monetary Fund, the African Development Bank and partnering countries which have so too affirmed their commitment to knowledge-transfer and capacity building.
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Source :// Forbes