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» 18.03.2011 - Africa defies AU chief's support for Ghaddafi
» 03.11.2009 - Equatorial Guinea pardons putschists
» 21.05.2009 - Spanish oil returns to Equatorial Guinea
» 19.09.2008 - UN appoints new Equatorial Guinea/Gabon conflict mediator
» 23.07.2008 - Gabon, Equatorial Guinea resolving border dispute
» 12.06.2008 - Gabonese-Equatoguinean border row mediated
» 05.03.2007 - Central African free trade en route
» 16.11.2006 - US strengthens grip on Guinea Gulf security

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Central Africa | Equatorial Guinea
Politics | Society

CEEAC parliament opened in Malabo

Gabonese President Ali Bongo greeted by Equatoguinean First Lady Constancia Mangue

© Gob. Guinea Ecuatorial/afrol News
afrol News, 16 April
- The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS, or CEEAC in its French acronym) celebrated the opening of its new regional parliament in Malabo, the Equatoguinean capital, with the presence of all presidents of the Central African region.

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of the host nation, Equatorial Guinea, received visiting state leaders and led the large inauguration festivities. "The integration of our countries should presume an African reneissance," President Obiang said in his inauguration speech yesterday.

The festivities in Malabo had already started on Wednesday with the arrival of most state leaders of the Central African region. President Obiang received Chad's President Idriss Déby, Gabon's President Ali Bongo, Congo Brazzaville President Denis Sassou Nguesso and Central African Republic President François Bozizé at the Malabo airport on Wednesday.

Cameroonian President Paul Biya and Săo Tomé and Príncipe's President Fradique de Menezes arrived yesterday, with the latter only present as observer to the CEEAC event.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila did not participate in the Malabo event, as the DRC is turning its focus away from the CEEAC and towards the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which also has a parliament in South Africa.

The formal inauguration of the CEEAC parliament was celebrated yesterday, with hundreds of official participants from member countries. The newly appointed parliamentarians were shown their new working place.

Pierre Ngolo, President of the new CEEAC parliament, held a keynote seech at the ceremony, the CEEAC parliamentarians that "it is you that will be the

President Teodoro Ngeuma Obiang delivering his inauguration speech in the CEEAC parliament in Malabo, flanked by Central African heads of state

© Gob. Guinea Ecuatorial/afrol News
actors charged with achieving the tru objectives of this institution, to help resolving the problems of the CEEAC zone in a peaceful manner."

Equatoguinean President Obiang welcomed the parliamentarians, describing the opening of the regional parliament as a "historic event". He also thanked his colleagues for granting Equatorial Guinea the opportunity to house this institution and to "take such an important responsibility."

"This is a very important occasion for my nation," said Mr Obiang. He promised to offer all possible assistance to CEEAC parliamentarians in their "work to consolidate democracy, dialogue and tolerance for the sake of our nations and to develop our activities in total transparency."

Congolese President Sassou Nguesso, the current leader of the rotating CEEAC presidency, in his speech said that "the opening of the common parliament is a result of our expressed joint willingness towards this institution." He declared that the goal of the CEEAC integration and cooperation was that all countries in the region should be "emerging economies by 2025."

With the opening of the CEEAC parliament, the Central African region takes one step closer to regional integration. CEEAC has however been considered a much looser cooperation area than the more established SADC, East Africa's EAC and West Africa's ECOWAS, with a greater emphasis on symbolic institutions and less emphasis on content or results.

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