The presentation on the strategic vision of the Horizonte 2020 programme, faced with the new economic situation, was given by Vicente Ehate Tomi, Vice-President of the Council of the Republic, with the Minister for the Economy, Planning and Public Investment, Eucario Bakale Angue and the Secretary of State, Charged with the Equatorial Guinea Horizonte 2020 Programme, Cesar Augusto Mba Abogo as co-speakers.
Vicente Ehate Tomi began his speech by referring to the current situation experienced by our economy, a consequence of the fall in the price of hydrocarbons and the considerable reduction in Government income, which is placing at risk the financial capacity to continue executing this ambitious development plan.
To reflect on the prospects for the development plan is to reflect on the one of the essential ingredients for preserving our democratic system and defending our climate of peace and well-being”, stated Ehate Tomi, who went on to give a presentation on the path taken under the Horizonte 2020 Agenda.
In relation to the social transformation of the country, the rate of schooling has increased in general, and in particular for girls; the rate of infant mortality has been reduced; access to huge improvements in access to drinking water and sanitation has been increased; the country has increased access to new technologies, etc.
Regarding the infrastructural transformation of the country, there has been spectacular growth which can be seen in roads, bridges, ports, airports, housing, public buildings, electrification projects, drinking water and sanitation, telecommunications, etc.
He also referred to the transformation of governance in Equatorial Guinea, where more spaces have been opened for the exercising and defence of freedoms, with bodies such as the Court of Audit, the Ombudsman, the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies, the Council of the Republic, and initiatives such as the limitation on presidential mandates, etc.
In the transformation of the economic structure, the Horizonte 2020 Programme seeks to reduce the dependence on oil income, although the country’s economy has not undergone a radical transformation, and continues to depend on the petroleum sector.
Taking into account the development of the economic situation, the initial outline of the Horizonte 2020 Programme has been harmed. The reality is that we now have fewer resources than we expected, in order to carry out the final stage of our ambitious development plan”, stated the Vice-President of the Council of the Republic.
Faced with this situation, the speaker assured that “we must not abandon the Horizonte 2020 Programme and its noble ambitions; what we have to do is adjust the programme. The Development Programme must continue to be, in essence, the same, but we must adjust the time framework and expectations”.
The proposals presented to Congress were the following:
1.- Reprogramming of the Horizonte 2020 Plan, which has to be based on an Economic Agenda. If the 2007 Agenda was an Agenda for the Diversification of sources of economic growth, the agenda for its reprogramming must be an agenda for economic recovery.
2.- The drawing up of the Agenda for Economic Recovery, which must include strong measures to improve the business climate, improve economic competitiveness, adjust laws that govern the economic sphere…
3. – Set up a Technical Commission or National Panel of Experts to draw up the basic document for the Agenda for Economic Recovery.
4.- The Reprogramming of the Horizonte 2020 Plan proposed is an adjustment to the strategic vision, and not a change to the strategic vision.
In conclusion, Ehate Tomi assured congress that all that was necessary was a serious route map and firm political will, so that the route map is respected, as the country has the right tools to carry it out.
Source: Official Web Page of the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea