Luc MICHEL for EODE Think Tank /
With Cameroon Voice – Le Messager (Cameroun) / 2013 05 29 /
« We regret the death of Colonel Muammar Qathafi. Take over his pan-African struggle is difficult»
- Teodoro Obiang Nguema, President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.
Prior to the general election – Senate, legislative and municipal – of May 26, 2013, the head of State of the Equatorial Guinea has given a pan-African press conference this Tuesday, May 14, 2013 in Malabo before journalists from Africa (Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Comoros, Benin, DRC, Congo-Brazzaville, Chad, etc.). He exposed a renewed pan-African thinking, which, two years after the collapse of the Libyan Jamahiriya, where Muammar Gaddafi exercised a moral and political leadership of the African Union – and which the Guinean President honoured him – offers an alternative to a pan-African process which seemed being broken.
Quite unknown, Equatorial Guinea (1) is an important country in the West Africa, "new oil Eldorado" which means “embody today a new development model for Africa" (2). In an Africa where things are not moving well, with western interventions and manipulations, destabilize the continent – Libya, Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, Central African Republic, without forgetting to mention the "laboratory" of Somalia – Equatorial Guinea is an example of stability. Since 2011, a process of state reconstruction and the development of democratic life of the Republic is in move (3).
EODE AND OUR THESES ON AFRICA
The positions of the Head of State of Equatorial Guinea join our concerns.
EODE sees the unification of Europe and Africa as two tramways that must be done in a harmony process. This means no Western intervention in Africa and true respect for African states. This also means that the Mediterranean has to become a bridge between the two continents and not a border, as envisioned by the EU and NATO.
This vision of the Mediterranean as a bridge, that we were the first to develop in the early 90s, was precisely that of the Libyan Jamahiriya. In the years 2000-2010, this vision was also widely accepted and shared by all the major actors in the European and African unions (4). And was a point of annoyance to American diplomacy. But the war in Libya brought a great change: Destruction of the Jamahiriya, return to aggressions and to Western military interventions in Africa, suffocation of pan-African ideas.
All this goes against our vision of a multipolar world. The central role played by the dialogue of cultures is put aside and we are witnessing the return in the Mediterranean and Africa of “bellogenes” thesis of the "clash of civilizations." The return of the Pan-African theses in Malabo is a positive sign for us going in the other way.
WHAT DOES PRESIDENT TEODORO OBIANG NGUEMA SAY ABOUT AFRICA?
Here is the synthesis of the concerns raised by the Head of State of Equatorial Guinea (from the summary of Frederic BOUNGOU and Alain NJIPOU for Radio Cameroon):
* He denounces the return to neo-colonialism:
"…search for solutions to the problems that undermine Africa. I was in favor of this dialogue because the continent is despised internationally. Africa has suffered from the ravages of the history. First, the slavery that crowned the violation of human rights. We cannot, in our view, turn humans into slaves.
Then, colonization… A period during which Africa has been robbed, besides Human exploitation, looting of our wealths. Those who yesterday were the foundation of this exploitation are also at the basis of various crises in the world. I will mention the crisis of neo-colonialism, of looting our resources … The concern of certain powers is to see how they can have access to our wealth. This is what happened in Libya, where the country has been destabilized in order to control raw materials.
The African press has to do its job by informing Africans not to trust people who want to exploit or destroy Africa. It is for this reason that we continue to seek compensation for the damages of Africa, victim of slavery and colonialism and now neo-colonialism. Africa is a continent stated poor. If we are poor, it is because of the looting of our resources. Those who do not like Africa use meaningless phrases like "ill-gotten gains" while they have properties in Africa."
* He develops a pan-African vision after the death of Qathafi:
The highlight of the president's speech, it is a tribute paid to the Pan-African vision of Muammar Qathafi. A brave speech at the opposite and the other side of the Western propaganda.
"We regret the death of Colonel Muammar Qathafi. Take over his pan-African struggle is difficult. This especially as each country has its policy and that some differences remain. Globally, many African Heads of State agreed with the ideas of Qathafi and have also supported them. I cannot take over him. Instead, I invite other heads of state of the Black continent to be united. Some heads of state are guided by the Western powers, they must avoid falling into the trap of exogenous manipulations to Africa, because these powers do not want Africa to go forward. "
THE REFUSAL OF WESTERN DIKTATS
In this anti-colonialist perspective, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema denies Western diktats:
"I accept no lesson of governance from people who did not hesitate to systematically loot and continue to loot Africa. I have no complex vis-à-vis Western leaders. "
"We give priority to South-South cooperation, to inter-African cooperation. Because we must first strengthen our ties. Remember that this is only fifty years since we got rid of the colonial yoke. It takes time to build the foundation for development. But we are optimistic and our desire is that Africa grows. "
"We expect nothing from the Western media, to act in the direction of building Africa (…) The Western press gives a negative image of Africa.”
On last December 31, in his "Message to the nation," he denounced the imperialist powers and the disinformation campaign that Equatorial Guinea is a victim, "do not be surprised because Equatorial Guinea is among the selected countries by powers in economic crisis to be destabilized. People enjoy the great political, economic, social and cultural freedoms; there is a gradual development of democracy (…) with the development of economic and social infrastructure that encourages us to continue working towards the emergence of Equatorial Guinea ".
TEODORO OBIANG NGUEMA HAS ALSO A REGIONAL VISION WITH THE « CEMAC »
The Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa or CEMAC is an international organization with several countries in central Africa, created to take over from the Customs and Economic Union of Central Africa (UDEAC). The CEMAC Treaty was signed on 16 March 1994 in N’djamena (Chad) and entered into force in June 1999. Its headquarters are in Bangui (Central African Republic). CEMAC comprises Monetary Union of Central Africa (UMAC) and the Economic Union of Central Africa (CAEU). CEMAC is composed of six member states: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Chad.
Equatorial Guinea's president also has a vision for the CEMAC region:
"The policy of integration in the area of Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa promotes the free movement of its people and goods. It must be wary of falling into the trap of misinterpretation of this policy. Because we need to control terrorism, drug and weapons trafficking, organized crime… all detrimental things to a community that aspires to development. However, we encourage the free movement of businessmen, students, scientists, managers in the public and others. Regarding the involvement of CEMAC in the resolution of the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the solution is, in our opinion, the political mediation. Congolese themselves must resolve their problems. What we want is that the Congolese lives in peace. This is a great country. But conflicts hinder development efforts. May be it will need a national conference for the stability of the country …”
A NEW SPEECH IN AFRICA
The African press is not wrong. This is a new speech in Africa. Look at the analysis of Frédéric BOUNGOU (Cameroon Voice): "For him, it is very simple: to develop herself, Africa must get rid of the neo-colonial domination, African leaders must stop being puppets in the service of West, and think first and foremost the welfare of their citizens.”
“I have no complex vis-à-vis European leaders," he argues, for example. Africa, he said, has enormous potential: its natural resources. Therefore it only needs the will of its leaders to make her taken off economically. Below is the epitome of this press conference. A profession of faith? Particularly a real lesson to his African presidents… "
TOWARDS EQUATORIAL MODEL.
We emphasize that Equatorial Guinea was a state in reconstruction, where an elaborated process of development of democratic life of the Republic is in progress. In a very hard book for the country already in 2009, Samuel Denantes Teulade (5) was inducing about Malabo the possibility of "a new development model for Africa."
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who defines his country as "a social State and a State of law" (December 2012), develops today an unquestionably vision for his country. Let’s return to his press conference this May 14, 2013.
* He insists on rebuilding state institutions:
"The advent of the Senate is part of an overall vision. We are working to reform our rules and laws for Equatorial Guineans to effectively participate in the management of public affairs, in the political life. It is in this context in a methodical way, that we want to create a house of representatives, set up the Economic and Social Council, the Court of Auditors…
We are in a democratic process that embraces the realities of our culture, our traditions, our mentalities… In a credible electoral process, two fundamental aspects are important to complete the electoral process. First, the inscription on the lists, the identification of the voters who were well conducted to the point where a document of satisfaction was signed between the political parties of the opposition and the government. Then, the question of election materials, including financial resources. As such, the government has given adequate financial resources to political parties. All these aspects are addressed; now expected, the participation of the population to the aforesaid vote. "
* It aims to "the emergence of Equatorial Guinea", according to the words of Cameroon Voice:
"The Government of the Republic is working for the welfare of the son and daughters of this country. As a proof of this the construction of social housing, roads, the creation of a national university, the creation of centres and other educational structures… In this dynamic, priority is given to local labor forces. Certainly we are not going to do with those who do not want to work, but I can assure you that in Guinea, there is no problem of employment. We did introduce a law that companies operating in our country spend 75% of staff recruited to the national workforce. In addition, these companies must have their headquarters built on our soil because when these companies go from Equatorial Guinea, the buildings will remain in favor of Equatorial Guineans. An economic program for 2020 aims to make Equatorial Guinea a self-sufficient emerging country. We do not want to rely on economic dependency. "
* He focuses on education, training of national elites:
"To achieve this milestone, it requires training. By 2020, we want our youth to be academics. We want to leave a prosperous nation to posterity with dynamic young people, well trained. It should be noted that Equatorial Guinea is still an emerging country. But we aspire to emerge that will not come easily or if we cross our arms. We have to work. It is in this context that we are working to develop all sectors of activities, from agriculture to education through basic infrastructure and communication. "
* Finally, he intends to manage the natural resources and the post-oil:
"The economic program which aims to make Equatorial Guinea an emerging country in 2020 takes into account the need to seek other alternatives. That is why we put a special emphasis on youth training; human resources because it is better to have an educated people, well trained than a nation endowed with natural resources. Progress depends on national competences. All development plans are the result of the vision of the people of Equatorial Guinea. In 2020, we no longer look at oil, but at a developed country. "
Time has come with this ambitious vision, and the means that possesses the country, "new oil El Dorado", of a model of Equatorial Guinean…
Version française :
Notes and references :
(1) Cfr. THE ATLAS OF AFRICA, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, Ed. Jeune Afrique (Paris) ;
Jean-Claude Klotchkoff , THE EQUATORIAL GUINEA TODAY, Les Editions du Jaguar (Paris) ;
& EQUATORIAL GUINEA, , Les Editions du Jaguar (Paris).
(2) Samuel Denantes Teulade, MALABO, EQUATORIAL GUINEA: THE NEW OIL ELDORADO OF AFRICA, L’Harmattan, Paris, 2009.
(3) Cfr. Luc MICHEL, EQUATORIAL GUINEA: SENATE, LEGISLATIVE AND MUNICIPAL ELECTION MAY 26, 2013,
(4) Cfr. Luc MICHEL, « VISIONARY AFRICA » : DIALOGUE OF CULTURES AND COOPERATION BETWEEN EUROPEAN AND AFRICAN UNIONS !, « Culture at the heart of the Africa-Europe dialogue! », in LIBYA NEWS & FACTS, CEREDD NEWSLETTER (Brussels and Paris) # 2.150, 25 October 2010.