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Equatorial Guinea Celebrates Independence Day in New York

"For African-Americans, Equatorial Guinea’s 44th Anniversary marks our return to the motherland", said Victor Mooney.

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea Permanent Mission to the United Nations will host a reception for the celebration of the 44th Anniversary of Accession of National Independence on Tuesday.

Equatorial Guinea has evolved into one of the most prominent meeting places for African and African Americans. In August, they hosted the Ninth Leon H. Sullivan Summit and recently the International Leadership Conference, which was co-sponsored by Equatorial Guinea, GB Energy and the World Mayors Conference in the capital city of Malabo.

At the conference with an emphasis specifically to the African Diaspora and the importance of uniting people on two continents, President Obiang, Head of State said, "Let's work together for a better future, to unite what others have separated." During his speech, President Obiang stressed the importance of this strategic meeting between Africans and African-Americans, recalling the commitment of Equatorial Guinea to "grant citizenship to African-Americans wishing to settle here, either to work or do business."

Local Queens resident and AIDS activist, Victor Mooney, has been invited to the reception. “President Obiang has turned on the light and I plan to carry it across the Atlantic Ocean in the 'Spirit of Malabo' – a five thousand mile transatlantic row from Las Palmas, Canary Islands to New York City later this year”, Mooney said.

This summer, Mr. Mooney, executive director of New York based South African Arts International presented Equatorial government officials a 2010 Official World Cup Match Ball for scoring a goal for an AIDS-free generation.

Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo confirmed his support for shared responsibility and global solidarity in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria at the session on Sustainable Solutions for the AIDS Response in Africa during the 67th United Nations General Assembly in New York. Equatorial Guinea is also funding national programs such as preventive education against AIDS, condom distribution, and financing of anti retrovirals for afflicted populations.

Equatorial Guinea has also hosted a number of UN programs in its territory, including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UNICEF, and the UN Development Programme, which has conducted a national census with funding from the government. Equatorial Guinea has also provided technical assistance to the local United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to improve the effectiveness of its assistance program and has implemented a host of health programs geared toward improving the health of Equatorial Guineans. Basic health indicators such as rates of infant and child mortality have been improving steadily in the country, and the government is widely recognized for its efforts to eradicate malaria.

For more information, visit www.goreechallenge.com. Additional reporting from Equatorial Guinea's Press and Information Office. Photo handout: President of Equatorial Guinea, H.E., President Obiang.

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Lisa Samuels is a public relations officer at the MWG, which is based in New York City.

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