Saturday, December 17, 2011

Equatorial Guinea: In Visit to Washington, President Obiang Promotes African Unity

SOURCE Republic of Equatorial Guinea

In a speech at the Sullivan Honors Awards, President Obiang discussed the promotion of African integration by leading Equatorial Guinea toward a better future by facing its challenges and achieving the country's desired self-improvement and progress. President Obiang has led the efforts of the African community while promoting the continent and carrying out the development of Equatorial Guinea.

"Equatorial Guinea, as a unified country, knows that in order to achieve self-improvement and progress, we have to face problems and challenges, with the support of friendly countries and the international community," said President Obiang.

President Obiang received the Beacon for Africa award at the 2011 Sullivan Honors event last night, in recognition of his leadership of the African Union and his exemplary contributions to improving the lives of Africa's most vulnerable citizens. The Sullivan Honors event is one of Washington's greatest cultural highlights of the year.

Hope Masters, president of the Administrative Council of the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation, praised President Obiang for his exemplary leadership and contributions to rebuilding Equatorial Guinea.

"This was a great opportunity to discuss continued development in the region and ways to collectively expand our role as part of the international community," said President Obiang. "I believe Africa has a positive future ahead of us as long as we continue to work together."

President Obiang joined leaders from around the world to honor African individuals who are leading and serving the international community. The honorees have selflessly dedicated themselves to humanitarian efforts on the African continent. Together they showed their appreciation for the honorees at the Leon H. Sullivan Honors event at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

"A commitment to ensuring that the dignity of the people they serve has been maintained is critical in determining who will be named a Sullivan Honoree. The ability to ignite that spark of hope, to provide to those less fortunate, while improving their quality of life, has been a common characteristic embodied by each of our honorees. I commend our past honorees and am confident that our new honorees will uphold their passion for championing Africans," said Ambassador Andrew Young, former US Ambassador to the United Nations.

The Sullivan Honors has been conferred upon individuals who have demonstrated unique leadership in enhancing the lives of the underprivileged, the vulnerable, and the destitute in Africa. Previous Sullivan Honorees include former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, General Colin Powell, current President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, current President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, current President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. A full list of previous Sullivan Honorees can be found on the Sullivan Foundation's website,

Equatorial Guinea's government has adopted special programs for the promotion and protection of human rights with the help of the International Red Cross, which has verified the performance of state institutions by selecting and implementing programs that improve the level of social indicators.

"The positive effects of these programs have resulted in an increased school ratio, life expectancy, malaria reductions, as well as the progressive increase of technical and professional staff," said President Obiang.

"Our country recently went through a constitutional change that strengthened the powers of the state institutions, promoted the alteration in power and regulated the strict separation of powers, as well as transparency and equity in public affairs." This reform was approved and voted by the majority of the population.

In addition to President Obiang, numerous heads of state from Africa attended this year's 2011 Sullivan Honors event, showing unity and cooperation among one another. They included President John A. Kufuor, former President of Ghana; President Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria; Prime Minister Guillaume Soro of Cote D'Ivoire; and President Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan.