MALABO, Equatorial Guinea – President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, opened the 5th Conference of the Presidents of Assemblies and Sections of the African Region of the Francophonie Parliamentary Assembly (APF) with a call for stronger cooperation aimed at promoting peace as development and stability problems threaten states.
During his welcoming remarks, President Obiang recognized and appreciated the important role of the Parliament of the Francophonie. “We share the same French language, and we welcome your commitment to promote the values and ideas of peace, democracy, stability, and political, economic, social and cultural development with the people of Africa and the world. We are fully convinced that an international association of parliamentarians elected by their own people can discover and become an essential tool in the service of peace and development of nations, and we believe that this association has a great capacity to ensure exchanges and meet the aspirations of their people.”
Equatorial Guinea is the only Spanish-speaking country in Africa, but it has adopted French as an official language. It is surrounded by French-speaking countries and plays an important role in regional organizations—such as the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa—that conduct business in French.
In his address to the conference, the President of the House of Representatives of Equatorial Guinea, Angel Seriche Dougan, said that the conference offered an opportunity to discuss African issues that affect the people and their development, the preservation of peace, and social stability. He said the conference’s agenda would allow the participating nations to “seek multilateral cooperation measures to promote the development of our resources.”
He also recalled the reform of the Basic Law adopted by the people of Equatorial Guinea, “which introduced new institutions that will allow greater participation in public affairs, and the limitation of the presidential term, which will result in the consolidation of democracy for future generations.”
Rock Marc Christian Kabore, President of the African Regional section of the APF, presented President Obiang with the Grand Cross of the People, the Order of Francophonie and Dialogue of Cultures award for his numerous achievements in the development of Equatorial Guinea and his work in pursuit of the Francophonie.
“The Francophone parliamentary community in general, and the African region in particular, wish to take this opportunity to honor a son of Africa, President and Head of State, with the highest award of the Grand Cross of the People, Order of Francophonie and of Dialogue of Cultures. The Order of the Francophonie has an international vocation intended to recognize the merits of the personalities that are distinguished by their support for the ideals of the Francophonie,” said Kabore.
Referring to the host nation, Kabore said, “Our region has wanted to testify to its solidarity with the people of Equatorial Guinea for their perseverance in the reconstruction and modernization of the country, under the auspices of its democratic institutions.”
In his closing remarks, President Obiang highlighted the reform program undertaken in Equatorial Guinea, through the creation of new institutions and social programs. “As part of these reforms, we are committed to ensure a large participation of our citizens in the management of State affairs, as well as favoring the social integration of women and youth, along with a major boost in education, health and other social sectors.”