Large inflows of cash from oil have brought deep structural changes to Equatorial Guinea over the past twenty years, especially in construction and basic-infrastructure development. These cash inflows have fed the national public spending, valued at 4.066 trillion XAF (8.36 billion USD), to develop state of the art infrastructure, including the new city of Djibjoho (or Oyala) on the mainland, and support its longer-term goal of economic diversification.
In order to position itself as a regional centre for transportation and electricity supply, the country has significantly improved its port and airport facilities to become a hub for regional transport of goods and passengers. The port of Malabo was built to accommodate ships of 16 meters draft and a load capacity of 10,000 containers. It can serve as a stopover for ships from Asia and Europe to West and Central Africa. Such upgrades in infrastructure enable the country to take advantage of its favorable strategic location and access a 130 million people market.
In the energy sector, capacity was increased by 120 MW with the implementation of three additional turbines to central Punta Europa, on Bioko Island near Malabo, a step that made the island energy independent. Sendji, a hydroelectric power plant that will supply an extra 200 MW, is expected to be commissioned by 2015, generating a surplus to export to Cameroon and Gabon.
As part of the «Africa Coast to Europe» project, initiated by France Telecom-Orange, Equatorial Guinea has been recently connected to the fiber optic cable that runs along 17,000 km of African coastline, which will provide access to broadband internet connection to 23 nations.
The country is also improving its regulatory environment. It is in the process of establishing the National Council for Economic and Social Development and the Court of Auditors in order to ensure effective implementation of the Vision 2020 (National Plan for socio-economic development).
In recent years, Equatorial Guinea has made significant progress in strengthening regional integration. An active member of the ECCAS, it has promoted further development of trade links between member states, and has reformed its tax policy and customs system, reducing tariffs and lifting quantitative restrictions.
The country’s political stability makes investment and international development a safe and pragmatic option. Moreover, President Obiang is committed to strengthening the regional role of Equatorial Guinea and carrying out a proactive economic statecraft for an increasingly appealing small state.