For the past eighteen months, Equatorial Guinea has been weathering a storm. With the onset of Coronavirus and subsequent drop in crude oil prices, sub-Saharan Africa’s small but mighty oil producer was hit with dual economic shocks that exacerbated existing negative growth. In August 2020, the government and prime minister of Equatorial Guinea tendered their resignations due to the inability to achieve economic stability in the wake of the pandemic, then were reappointed by H.E. President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo four days later. Then, as the pandemic began to turn a corner with the rollout of vaccines, a series of explosions occurred at a military barracks in Bata in March, injuring more than 700 people and causing extensive damage to residential areas.
Yet among the chaos, the Central African nation has emerged stronger, more resilient and more responsive to the needs of its people than before. As businesses faced closures and personnel layoffs, the government implemented a new decree amending tax regulations to support small- and medium-sized enterprises.
As the oil and gas industry halted capital expenditures, Equatorial Guinea moved forward with the construction of its flagship gas megaproject, in partnership with foreign operators. And as the world became increasingly divided amidst border closures and the discovery of new variants of COVID-19, government officials from Equatorial Guinea forged closer diplomatic relations with both African and non-African allies.
In seeking to sustain engagement with global investors, Energy Capital & Power (ECP) – the continent’s premier investment platform – has been outspoken about Equatorial Guinea’s ongoing opportunities for foreign investors, organizing a webinar last April to address the impact of COVID-19 and delineate mitigation measures. In April, ECP, in partnership with the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons, announced the launch of its Africa Energy Series (AES): Equatorial Guinea 2021 campaign – comprising a report and documentary – that will serve as a critical tool to navigate the energy investment landscape of one of Africa’s more mature petroleum-producing markets.
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