Equatorial Guinea Minister of Economy, Commerce and Business Promotion lead a delegation from Equatorial Guinea to the pan African AgriBusiness Forum 2011
which was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 16th to 19th
October. The Agribusiness Forum 2011, co-organized
by the UNDP and EMRC focused on developing Africa’s agricultural sector while
fostering a greater role for the private sector.
the last few years, the country has made a decisive effort to put agriculture
at the forefront of the country’s effort to diversify its economy and meet the
goals of the government’s Horizon 2020
development plan. Please explain.
H.E. Francisca Tatchoup Belope
of Equatorial Guinea is redoubling efforts to put agriculture at the forefront
in the framework of "Horizon 2020”. These efforts consist in developing the training
of human resources in the agricultural and livestock sector, providing farms
with machinery and equipment: e.g., the acquisition of thirty eight (38)
tractors, with their respective implements, and fifty eight (58) power
cultivators with the objective of introducing a mechanized agriculture and
boost productive practices. Today these tractors are already operating in
different pilot farms distributed in different provinces of the country, with
the assistance of the company MAECI.
With this initiative,
together with the Detailed Program of Development in Africa (PDDAA, in Spanish)
and the Food Security National Program (PNSA), as well as two capacity building
schools managed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry –which trains agriculture
and livestock technicians, including engineers and agricultural mechanization
engineers from the National University (UNGE)- we can ensure to obtain fairly
good results in meeting the food and nutritional needs of the population, thus
implementing the slogan "food for everybody” with the perspective of 2020.
important is Foreign Direct Investment and other forms of outside investment
for the country’s vision to achieve sustainable development. How is the country
planning to attract investors?
In the last
decades Equatorial Guinea has received more than US$ 10.000 million of Foreign
Direct Investment (FDI). This FDI has been channeled mainly to the sector of
extractive industries, thanks to the discovery of great deposits of crude oil
and gas, which made Equatorial Guinea the fastest-growing country in Africa. Therefore
we cannot ignore that thanks to this investment, Equatorial Guinea can be proud
of becoming a developing country.
Of course not
everything has been achieved. Moreover, we want to make Equatorial Guinea an
emerging country in the "Horizon 2020”, thanks to the masterly vision of H.E.
the President of the Republic, who skillfully monitors the evolution of our
nation, fostering the successive National Economic Conferences, particularly
the II National Economic Conference, where the Development Plan was approved.
order to materialize our vast Plan, the Government is taking very seriously the
role and the need of FDI, and we are determined to attract foreign private
investment so they can represent, along with the private national initiatives,
the motor boosting the Economic Emergency.
In this regard, the Government, with the support of
its partners in development, is undertaking structural reforms necessary to
keep improving the "business climate” in our country, with regards both to the
legal framework and to other administrative aspects with an impact in the
business climate, the main factor to attract FDI.
delegation from Equatorial Guinea will be present at the Forum. What is the
main objective of the delegation’s presence?
As its name, AgriBusiness,
indicates, the presence of the Equatoguinean Delegation is of vital importance,
because the national development of the agriculture sector is one of the
"Diversification Pillars” considered under the National Development Plan
"Horizon 2020”. The strategic objective is to promote a modern agriculture that
guarantees the food security and encourages the development of a new framework
of rural life, intensifying, diversifying and ascribing value to agricultural
productions. That is why we want to take
this opportunity to showcase our Plan, as well as the potentialities that exist
in this sector and in Equatorial Guinea; we hope to find experienced investors
that could guide us to help achieving the objectives that we set.
: What agricultural products does
Equatorial Guinea aim to develop in the near future?
According to the policies, strategies and measures
outlined in the Economic Strategy adopted at the First National Conference
(NEC), the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea aims at developing
in the medium term the agricultural production in the country.
Through the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, we expect
to develop the agricultural products that are listed below:
- Fruits: bananas, bananas, oranges,
tangerines, mangoes, avocados, atanga, cassava, and others.
- Tubers: cassava, taro, sweet potatoes,
yams, potatoes, and others.
- Vegetables: tomatoes, carrots, onions,
watermelons, beans, eggplant, pepper, chili and other vegetables.
- Sheep: breeding and meat production
- Goats: reproduction and meat production
- Pigs: meat production and reproduction
- Chickens: Production of eggs and meat
- Offspring of ducks: meat production
- Fish farming: increasing the number of
Equatorial Guinea is a member of the
Central African Economic and Monetary Union (CEMAC), and of the larger Economic
Community of Central African States (ECCAS). Can you explain about your
approach to regional integration?
Guinea is member of CEMAC/ECCAS, where the integration of the agriculture and
livestock sector is qualified as eminent. The Government’s vision is not
reduced to the internal level of the country, but aspires to extend it to other
spheres in the sub-region. During the eighties, around 1989, our country
exported on a large scale income crops (coffee, cocoa, palm oil, etc.) to
Cameroon and Gabon; this means that despite their respective agricultural
potentialities and the strong competition in the markets of the sub-region, our
income crops can, thanks to a mechanized agriculture, to better integrate in