(July 11, 2020) On Africa’s Anti-Corruption Day, the APROFORT Observatory on Human Rights and Good Governance presents its first good governance report on Equatorial Guinea.
The observatory has monitored the degree of compliance with the agreement between the International Monetary Fund and the Government of Equatorial Guinea. This first study concludes that only 22% of the measures committed have been met, or only 3 of the 14 measures required for this period.
From January to March 2020, the government agreed, among other measures, to publish an anti-corruption law. This key instrument in the anti-corruption plan appears to have reached parliament, but it has not been passed, despite the institution being active in the past few months.
While the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic could have shifted the governmen's priorities, it is also true that, in mid-March, when the pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization, many of the 14 measures planned for this period were not met yet.
In the next report, the Observatory will assess progress from April to June 2020 and review those that have been left outstanding in this first period.
The basic criterion of the methodology to assess implementation is the availability of information, i.e. the transparency of the parties to make the information available to citizens. A questionnaire is also sent to the parties (IMF and Ministry of Finance) to provide additional information or clarification, particularly where the monitored information cannot be made available to the public.
APROFORT is an EU-funded project implemented by TI-Portugal. Its goal is to provide support, protection and strengthening to civil society in Equatorial Guinea. In this context, this monitoring will be carried out quarterly from its Observatory on Human Rights and Good Governance in collaboration with EG Justice.
Brief governance profile of Equatorial Guinea
The International Monetary Fund signed an agreement in which the Government of Equatorial Guinea committed to implement 82 reforms in three years. The amount of the loan is $283 million of which 40.4 million has been disbursed already, the remainder will be disbursed according to the extent of compliance with the governance and anticorruption plan.
The Ibrahim Index of African Governance places Equatorial Guinea as one of the bottom 5 in Africa, showing an "increase in deterioration" over the past 5 years; the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International ranks the country among the 10 most corrupt countries in the world and with the lowest score among the countries of the Community of Portuguese-speaking countries (CPLP). This situation has a clear impact on basic rights and development: Freedom House classifies the country as "non-free" in its latest report; the latest Global Press Freedom Index form Reporters Without Borders puts the country 165/180; while the score of UNDP's Human Development Index for Equatorial Guinea has remained at the same levels as it was 10 years ago despite oil production.