A New Arab-Africa Alliance Emerges
Saudi Arabia and Equatorial Guinea’s interests are aligning following a series of high-level meetings, including the 4th Africa-Arab World Summit held in Malabo in 2016 and Equatorial Guinea’s bid to join OPEC earlier this year. An economic forum in Jeddah on May 10, 2017 will examine new areas of cooperation and investment.
The President of Equatorial Guinea H.E. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo will lead a delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Holding GE 2020 and the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons to Jeddah on May 10 to discuss economic opportunities between Saudi Arabia and Equatorial Guinea, especially in agriculture, fisheries and oil and gas.
The economic forum comes shortly after the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang met with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) officials to make an application for Equatorial Guinea to join the group. Equatorial Guinea, the third largest oil and gas producer in Sub-Saharan Africa, is already working with OPEC members, announcing in December 2016 it was joining ten other non-OPEC countries to reduce oil production by a total of 558,000 barrels per day in 2017. Equatorial Guinea’s share of the cut is 12,000 bpd. Saudi Arabia, a founding member of OPEC, has long been seen as one of the bloc’s most active leaders.
The Equatorial Guinea-Saudi Arabia Economic Forum in Jeddah will be yet another step in growing the bilateral relationship between the two countries, following two high level meetings at the end of 2016. The King of Saudi Arabia H.E. Salman bin Abdulaziz and H.E. President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo met in October 2016, in Riyadh, and that meeting concluded with an agreement to advance ties in business and politics.
In November 2016, the President of Equatorial Guinea also received the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea Adnan Abdurahman Al Mandeel while he was attending the 4th Africa-Arab World Summit in Malabo. The summit was key to addressing issues of economic development for both regions, with leaders adopting the Malabo Declaration and the Africa-Arab Cooperation Action Plan 2017-2021. The next Africa-Arab Summit will be held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2019.