Equatorial Guinea’s Council of Ministers has agreed to support China’s fight against the coronavirus with a $2 million solidarity contribution this week.
Meanwhile 60 percent of people in Equatorial Guinea live in poverty, just five minutes’ drive away from the presidential palace there is ample evidence that the country’s vast oil riches are not trickling down to most of the people.
Freedom House, a US-based think-tank, described Equatorial Guinea as an “oil kleptocracy”.
Chaired by H.E. President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the Council of Ministers expressed its deepest support and solidarity to the Chinese Government in their fight against the global outbreak.
According to the latest updates, the coronavirus has killed almost 500 people worldwide, mostly Chinese citizens and infected over 24,000 people. The decision of Equatorial Guinea’s Council of Minister to financially support China’s fight against the virus reflects the deep and long-standing relationship between both countries, whose cooperation has only grown stronger in recent years.
“China has always been a very strong and loyal supporter of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and this contribution is a demonstration that Equatorial Guinea stands in solidarity with China and its people as it fights a global outbreak that has already cost too many lives,” declared H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons.
“Our ongoing Year of Investment Initiative will be a testimony to the depth of our cooperation and relationship with China. It is a pleasure for Equatorial Guinea to support its partner in times of need.”
China and Equatorial Guinea have been enjoying successful economic and technical cooperation for decades.
China has supported the development of Equatorial Guinea through the construction of critical telecommunications and road infrastructure, along with supporting social infrastructure in the country
About Equatorial Guinea
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Gross domestic product per capita in the country of 1m people is now among the highest in Africa — higher than that of Brazil and China — but very little has trickled down to the population.
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema seized power 40 years ago, ousting his uncle in a bloody coup in 1979. Since then his family has ruled with absolute power over one of Africa’s richest countries.
“We have many, many hotels. But no schools. No good hospitals. No water, nothing,” said Andres Esono Ondo, secretary-general of Convergence for Social Democracy, one of only two genuine opposition parties.
A surreal stretch of private beaches and luxury hotels that looks like it was airdropped from another continent, Sipopo includes 52 identical presidential villas built for a week-long African Union summit in 2011.
It is one of many impractical government infrastructure projects, including international airports on sparsely populated islands and a city in the middle of the rainforest with a new university and no students.
Mr Obiang has spent very little on education — 2.3 per cent of GDP in 2015, according to the World Bank — or healthcare.