UNDP Administrator Helen Clark to visit Equatorial Guinea

Oct 31, 2016

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. Photo: UNDP

Malabo, 31 October 2016 — Helen Clark, the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Chair of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG), will   travel Equatorial Guinea from 1 to 4 November 2016. During her three-day visit, Helen Clark will meet the country’s most senior officials, including His Excellency President of the Republic of  Equatorial Guinea Obiang Nguema Mbasogo; His Excellency Prime Minister in charge of Administrative Coordination Francisco Pascual Obama Asue; His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Agapito Mba Mokuy.

UNDP Administrator will have the opportunity to appreciate the country’s economic and social development, and its sustainable development challenges, thanks to UNDP projects and programmes. Ms. Clark will visit two flagship projects resulting from a partnership between the Government, UNDP and the Global Environment Facility in order to assess the country’s economic and social development, and sustainable development challenges, and meet the beneficiaries and various stakeholders. The projects are the Gran Caldera de Luba Scientific Reserve, a biodiversity protection project on the island of Bioko, and an information and communications technology training programme in Bata, the country’s second largest city, on the mainland.

While in Bata, the UNDP Chief will meet with Her Excellency Teresa Efua Asangono, the President of the Senate, women parliamentarians as well as female leaders.  This initial visit to Equatorial Guinea will allow Helen Clark’s first to meet the United Nations country team, technical and financial partners and the media.

Helen Clark will also chair the opening ceremony of UNDP Africa’s Annual Meeting alongside H.E. President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. During this major annual gathering UNDP senior management and economists will assess strategies to help countries in the implementation of the SDGs.

H.E. President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and UNDP Africa Regional Director Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, will launch UNDP’s recently published 2016 Africa Human Development Report (AfHDR) 2016 - Accelerating Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in Africa - in the presence of group of economists meeting in Malabo.

The report reveals that gender inequality costs sub-Saharan Africa on average about US$ 95 billion annually, peaking at US$ 105 billion in 2014 (6 percent of regional GDP), which hinders the continent’s efforts towards inclusive human development and economic growth.

Ms Clark’s visit takes place against the backdrop of a general economic slowdown following a drop in oil prices. The discovery of oil in Equatorial Guinea in the 1990s ushered in a tremendous economic boom, fuelling massive investments in the country’s socio-economic infrastructure.

However, like many oil-producing countries in the region, Equatorial Guinea is undergoing a slowdown in its economic growth rate, owing to falling oil prices combined with reductions in oil output, a highly dominant factor in the economy. Aware of the need to make growth more inclusive and to broaden its bases, the authorities have developed a comprehensive national economic and social development plan, aimed at diversifying the economy.

About Helen Clark Originally from New Zealand, Helen Clark became the Administrator of UNDP on 20 April 2009. She is the first woman to lead the organization. Helen Clark also chairs the UNDG, a committee consisting of the heads of all United Nations funds, programmes and departments working specifically on development issues.

Prior to her appointment with UNDP, Helen Clark served three successive terms as Prime Minister of New Zealand, from 1999 to 2008, while simultaneously serving as Director of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service and as Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.

Between 1987 and 1990, she held a number of ministerial portfolios, and served as Deputy Prime Minister from August 1989 to November 1990, following which she became the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, before assuming the party’s leadership in December 1993 and subsequently becoming Prime Minister.

Elected as a Member of Parliament for the first time in 1981, Helen Clark enjoyed a long parliamentary career, during which she chaired the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs. She also taught in the Political Studies Department of the University of Auckland.

For further information, please contact:

 

In Malabo

Domingos Mazivila Economic Advisor: domingos.mazivila@undp.org, +240-222-125-771
Lamine Bal, Communications Specialist: lamine.bal@undp.org, +1-646-242-3253
Ngone Sow, Communications Specialist: ngone.sow@undp.org, +221-77-104-5328

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