The EITI seminar organised by the EITI GE National Commission for the Local Authorities in the Province of Centro Sur has begun.

At 10.40 the ceremony began with words from the President of the Commission, Gabriel Mbega Obiang Lima, who stated, As you well know, the local Governments are and have always been huge players in the history of countries. They know their jurisdictional territory, and they know and understand first hand the needs and characteristics of the population, and are a never ending source of solutions to the problems they face”.

At another point in his speech, the President said that “Among the challenges in our country today is the provision of a favourable climate for the investment of foreign capital; in order to make our country, the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, a safe, trusted and economically prosperous country”.

Mbega Obiang Lima was accompanied by the Vice President, Priscila Obono Ateba, the Secretary of State, Charged with International Financial Institutions and Representative from the Ministry for Finance, the Economy and Planning, member of the National Commission, Maria del Mar Bonkanka Tabares; the Governor of the Province of Centro Sur, Jaime Mandongo Mandongo, the Mayor of the Villa of Evinayong, Epifanio Esono Ondo, and the National Secretary of EITI SAPound o Tome, a country which implemented the initiative over ten years ago, Jose Cardoso.

Following on, in order to begin the presentations, The Permanent national Secretary of the Commission, Jacinto Nguema Owono, assumed the role of table moderator.

The first to speak was Francisca Tatchouop Belope, in her capacity as first coordinator of EITI GE, a position she occupied during the first phase of the body in the 2004 2011 period. Tatchoup spoke about the origins of the EITI GE, attributed to the President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, H. E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, when he decided to use oil resources for the integrated development of our nation.

Monica Mangue Nso, the National Permanent Secretary, was the second presenter to speak, and she spoke about the principles of the EITI.

Estela Ndong Moro, also a component of the National Permanent Secretary’s office, spoke about knowledge of the requirements demanded by the EITI International Council. She dealt with each of the requirements demanded by the EITI International Council in order to achieve full membership.

Jose Antonio Ndong Esono was responsible for speaking about the role of extractive industries (GEPETROL and SONAGAS), which are the national companies responsible for the management of the commercialisation of oil and gas from the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

The role of the Government is another of the topics to be covered in the seminar programme, and this was presented by Elias Mbana Makina, as Director General for Civil Society and member of the EITI GE National Commission. Mbana demonstrated the importance given by the Government to aspects such as transparency, through the publication of figures from the extractive industries sector, and gave the example of some of the work carried out by the Government, such as social housing, modern motorways, and the National Park in Malabo.

Marcial Abaga Barril, in his speech, spoke about the role of civil society in the EITI, a key element for the credibility of the EITI. Civil society must participate freely and the Government must provide all the information.

The representative of the Catholic Church, member of the EITI National Commission, Carlos Nguema Mansogo, focussed his speech on the benefits for civil society of the EITI Standard, due to its leading role in the Multi participant Group.

The seminar, very active with respect to the participation of those present, was attended by over one hundred participants, including civil and military authorities, and a large contingent from the general public who did not want to miss the event.

In his closing words, the President said that, “The events held by EITI GE in all corners of the national territory have a double aim: on the one hand to carry a message from the Head of State on what is done with the money from extractive industries, and on the other hand, to boost internal tourism, as by organising events throughout the country we are in some way showing off our country, and thus promoting tourism”.

The event concluded with a group photograph.

Source: Equatorial Guinea Press and Information Office

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