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National News

11 December 2023

Lukashenko's visit to Equatorial Guinea over

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has completed his official visit to Equatorial Guinea, BelTA has learned.

The Belarusian head of state arrived in Equatorial Guinea on 9 December. Official talks with President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo took place in the capital city of Malabo, which is located on the island part of the country.

The presidents signed a roadmap for cooperation between the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

The roadmap was developed taking into account the needs of Equatorial Guinea and is comprehensive in nature. The document covers 15 key areas of interaction, including cooperation projects, supplies of Belarusian machinery and its maintenance, agriculture, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and sales of medical equipment, forestry. The roadmap is designed for implementation in 2024-2026.

A package of documents aimed at developing cooperation in various areas was also signed in the presence of the heads of state.

“As a result of the visit and negotiations without an exaggeration we started a new stage of Belarus-Equatorial Guinea relations. Within only a year we've done the work many countries take decades to accomplish. This fact very clearly indicates mutual interest and eagerness to advance the partnership to a brand new level,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stated.

The president stated that the documents the parties had signed were generic but 74 concrete projects had already been agreed in furtherance of these documents. “It is a feat accomplished by members of the governments of Equatorial Guinea and Belarus, by our specialists. The 74 concrete projects that we have to realize within the next 2-3 years. We will start digging the ground and tackling problems in Equatorial Guinea tomorrow,” the president concluded.

In his words, Belarus possesses the necessary technologies in various areas for Equatorial Guinea to use them and rise onto a higher level. “Certainly, we didn't come into your country to offer charity. We cannot do it and we do not have to do it. But we are not going to profiteer at the expense of your people, your country either. We are no colonizers. We are your friends. As we share technologies in many areas where you need them, we will train your people how to use these technologies,” the head of state said.

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo mentioned that the country, after having gained political independence, is fighting for economic independence today. The approach in the development of cooperation from Belarus compares favorably with the former colonizers in Africa. “There are countries that don't want Africa to develop. Countries that bring instability, that invent all kinds of changes in order to exploit our resources. But Africans are waking up. We already see that we have been deceived. We are disappointed. And where we had hope, we will be unable to get anything from our former colonizers,” the leader of Equatorial Guinea said.

The Equatorial Guinea president is convinced that this is why it is necessary to change spheres of interaction in this new process, including by seriously working with Belarus among other countries. “It is a disciplined nation. It is a nation that honors its promises,” he stressed.

He called upon his own country's nation to act in the same manner: “We have to fulfill what our country receives. Our mentality is part of the brake of our development. This is why I urge my compatriots to engage in this cooperation with great discipline. We have to understand and learn from our friendly country.”

On the second day of his official visit, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko travelled from the capital city of Malabo to the mainland of Equatorial Guinea.

The aircraft of the Belarusian head of state landed at the airport of Mengomeyen. Aleksandr Lukashenko was welcomed by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo at the airport. He invited the Belarusian leader to see the new capital of Equatorial Guinea, Ciudad de la Paz, which name is translated from Spanish as the City of Peace.

The presidents decided to travel around the future capital in one car. During the tour of the future capital, the president of Equatorial Guinea showed the Belarusian head of state the African-American University of Central Africa, La Paz Oyala Hospital, and the Government House.

The communication between the leaders of the countries continued over an informal lunch. Despite the lighter format, Aleksandr Lukashenko and Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo continued a serious conversation on the development of bilateral cooperation.

The Belarusian head of state also spoke with the First Lady of Equatorial Guinea Constancia Mangue de Obiang, who has already visited Belarus, and who oversees the medical sector in her country.

Equatorial Guinea is located in the central part of Africa, on the western coast of the continent. The country consists of the continental part and islands in the Gulf of Guinea (with the total area of about 28,000 square kilometers, including 26,000 square kilometers of the mainland). The largest island, Bioko, is home to the capital city of Malabo.

With the discovery of oil in the mid-1990s, Equatorial Guinea's economy underwent dramatic changes. Previously, it was of an agricultural, raw material, and plantation nature, and now more than 90% of state budget revenues come from the oil and gas sector.

A project is currently underway in Equatorial Guinea to build a new capital to replace Malabo. The city is located in the east of the continental part of the country and used to be called Ojala, but in 2020 it was renamed Ciudad de la Paz (City of Peace). The initiative to move the capital was put forward by the president of Equatorial Guinea. It is assumed that the new capital will combine new trends in architecture and traditional cultural elements, promoting the identity of the city. It is expected that renewable energy sources will play a large role in the urban economy.

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