EG Justice in 2011
EG Justice in 2011December 7, 2011
International Anti-Corruption Day (December 9) and International Human Rights Day (December 10) provide an opportunity to reflect on EG Justice’s accomplishments in 2011 and the work that remains. 2011 has been a noteworthy year in the global fight for human rights and democracy. The Arab Spring reminds us that reform is possible, even in the worst of situations, but it is never easy. Sadly, human rights continue to be violated in Equatorial Guinea, but we are cheered by the notable progress made over the past year in advocating for social, political, and economic reform in Equatorial Guinea.
Achievements in 2011
EG Justice faced significant challenges this year, including the strong-armed passage of undemocratic constitutional reforms and two efforts to revive the UNESCO-Obiang Prize. Thanks to our supporters, we met these challenges and achieved notable successes in 2011. Our work raised unprecedented awareness about the need for real reform in Equatorial Guinea, and we are committed to building on our successes in the coming year.
Our achievements in 2011 included:
- Successfully opposing efforts by President Obiang to reinstate the UNESCO-Obiang Prize in May and October by once again leading a global opposition campaign of civil society groups. EG Justice coordinated sign-on letters as well as a grass-roots letter-writing campaign, and recruited more than two dozen global luminaries to sign a letter of protest, including Desmond Tutu who, at EG Justice’s request, wrote an impact full op-ed opposing the prize.
- Significantly increasing our capacity to push for genuine reform inside the country by adding Joseph Kraus, an expert on Equatorial Guinea, to our staff. Our talented and resourceful interns Erica Laster, a law student at Syracuse University, and Meredith Varela, a graduate of the University of Virginia, made substantial contributions to our team as well.
- Launching the EG Justice Visiting Fellows Program and hosting the program’s first two Fellows, Recaredo Silebo Boturu, a playwright and director, and Desiderio Manresa Bodipo, a painter, both from Equatorial Guinea. In August and September, Recaredo and Desiderio traveled throughout the United States, exchanging ideas with fellow artists, social activists, academics, and global thinkers. Watch our interviews with Recaredo and Desiderio to learn more.
- Co-hosting a workshop in Madrid, Spain to empower 12 Equatoguinean civil society activists to promote human rights and government accountability in Equatorial Guinea.
- Publication of a 40-page research analysis entitled, “Disempowered Voices: The Status of Civil Society in Equatorial Guinea,” that identified obstacles that hinder civil society organizations.
- Hosting an EG Policy Roundtable that brought together the private sector, civil society groups, and academics to discuss the malaria control project being undertaken by Marathon Oil Corporation in partnership with the government of Equatorial Guinea. More than 120 people attended the event that took place in Washington D.C. in April. Watch this video of our fruitful discussion.
- Raising global awareness about President Obiang’s flawed referendum to approve undemocratic constitutional changes through direct advocacy and multiple press releases that received extensive global media coverage. EG Justice sent 44 advocacy letters to embassies and ministries in Africa, Latin America, and the U.S., urging foreign governments to pressure President Obiang to undertake true democratic reforms.
- Strategically leveraging President Obiang’s position as Chairman of the African Union and major events such as the African Union Summit in Sipopo to draw continued attention to the government’s poor record on human rights, democracy and revenue transparency, and place pressure on President Obiang for greater respect of political and civil liberties.
- Informing global audiences and policymakers about the need for social and political reform in Equatorial Guinea. EG Justice’s work was referenced by respected global media outlets, including the BBC, Associated Press, Reuters, Washington Post, All Africa, BusinessWeek, Al Jazeera, El País, the Guardian, Democracy Now, Voice of America, Fox News, and Le Express, raising awareness about corruption and human rights violations in Equatorial Guinea.
Goals for 2012
Numerous obstacles still need to be overcome to bring about a just Equatorial Guinea. With your continued support, we can build on our momentum for reform in Equatorial Guinea and achieve our goals for this coming year, which include:
- Launching the strongest campaign yet to abolish the UNESCO-Obiang Prize once-and-for-all at the March 2012 UNESCO Executive Board Meeting. Look for opportunities to participate in our campaign in the coming months!
- Hosting multiple workshops inside Equatorial Guinea to educate civil society groups on budget transparency and human rights.
- Supporting street theater performances by a local theater company in Equatorial Guinea under the direction of EG Justice Visiting Fellow Recaredo Silebo Botoru to promote human rights and government accountability.
- Researching and publishing a report that analyzes the status of social development in Equatorial Guinea.
- Hosting the next two EG Justice Visiting Fellows, building on the success of the program this year.
Your contribution today will give the people of Equatorial Guinea and their friends worldwide hope for a strong voice in the New Year! Donate now!