The plan is a ten-year program in which the country’s leadership commits to work cooperatively with the global community, the African Union, and NGOs. The President further committed himself and his government to a just and reliable, reformed legal system. Equatorial Guinea chose the Fortune/Time/CNN conference as the venue in which to announce this plan because the country’s leaders want to showcase Equatorial Guinea to global businesspeople as a new destination for investment.
President Obiang’s five point program includes:
1) Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative or (EITI) Reform – Continuing an effort to qualify for membership in the EITI and doing more than necessary to ensure transparency and accountability. The EITI is a coalition of governments, companies, civil society groups, investors and international organizations. It supports improved governance in resource-rich countries through the verification and full publication of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas and mining.
2) Social Development Fund – Expand the funding of the current Social Development Fund with revenues from the natural resources, including oil, industries. This investment is intended to be several hundred million US dollars. The fund will invest in the country’s people: education, health care, tourism, housing, potable water supply, roads, telecommunications, development of natural sciences, job creation and development of democratic institutions.
3) Legal Reform/Civil and Human Rights Protections –Invite a delegation from the African Union to review legal institutions, and adopt a new legal code that ensures judicial credibility. The government will take measures to support free press and allow the press to act with independence.
4) International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – Invite the ICRC to assist in reviewing all allegations of human rights abuses in the country, and ask for its help in monitoring the criminal justice system and prisons to ensure humane treatment for those accused of and convicted of crimes.
5) Preserve the Environment and Protect Endangered Species – Ask the African Union to monitor and intervene in the activities of NGOs interested in the environment to ensure it has a program for preservation.
President Obiang emphasized the desire to make his country a business-friendly destination for investment, tourism, and the development of health facilities and research projects.
The President said, “In addition to oil, we have other largely unexploited human and natural resources including a tropical climate, fertile soils, rich expanse of water, and deepwater ports. We hope to develop a variety of industries through these resources and we invite investors from across the globe to consider the exciting possibilities with us.”