H.E. Manuel Mbela Bama Ndong of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea shares his vision for the future of India-Equatorial Guinea ties and his rapidly developing country. He also gives a glimpse into what the country has to offer to the world.
- Excellency, you have been in India for the last 2 years. How has your stay in India been so far?
I am honored to represent the Republic of Equatorial Guinea as the 1st Ambassador to India with accreditation to Australia, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Burma, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Having served my country as a diplomat for the last 16 years I am glad to be here in India, the land of opportunities. I am even more happy to see a unique exchange of friendship and a forming brotherhood between both nations.
This year just within one month in March/April reciprocal presidential visit took place, which is unique in bilateral relations. It marked a new phase of friendship between countries, which relations date back to a pre-independence time in 1968. It is my responsibility to ensure that next years will be filled with even greater success since the foundation laid by the Mission will give provision to a higher bilateral trade and stronger relations.
- How can the Republic of Equatorial Guinea feature as one of India’s gateways to Africa?
Equatorial Guinea occupies an advantageous position on the African continent, which relations with Asian countries are increasing. This has helped Equatorial Guinea to position itself in the region as the gateway to Africa and as an important logistics hub, profiting foreign enterprises and the country.
Domestic robust infrastructure, its ports, and airports have placed Equatorial Guinea as a geo-economical gateway to the Central African Monetary and Economic Union (CEMAC) sub-region, which is home to over 140 million people.
The zone has a central bank and a common currency – the CFA franc. It enables the free movement of goods and services from Equatorial Guinea to other countries. The privileged geographical location of Equatorial Guinea also allows for a potential linkage to other major African markets. Well-developed deep-water port of Bata alone, one of 5 ports in the country, has the capacity for 6 million tons and over 250,000 containers per year and can also act as a hub for the transportation of goods to Europe, South America, USA, and Canada.
- What is your message for the readers of Diplomacy & Beyond Plus magazine?
I would like to thank valuable readers for showing interest in getting to know my country. Curiosity is what powers us to discover the world and further to succeed. Equatorial Guinea offers profitable business opportunities, logistic amenities and to hungry for new experiences travelers, 17 untapped tourism destinations, all just on a 28 000 km2!
It is an essential component of my work to promote investment in Equatorial Guinea and to help to facilitate trade and commerce. I and my colleagues at the Embassy will make every effort to provide support, guidance and bring closer Equatorial Guinea to India.