President Obiang Formally Opens 9th Leon H. Sullivan Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

Aug 20, 2012, 17:23 ET from Leon H. Sullivan Foundation

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, Aug. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The President of Equatorial Guinea, H.E. Obiang Nguema officially opened the 9th Leon H. Sullivan Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. With more than 1000 delegates from across the globe, the Summit, chaired by H.E. John Kufuor, former President of Ghana, drew more than 20 delegations and Heads of State from across Africa. Special guests included H.E. Boni Yayi, the President of the Republic of Benin and Chairman of the African Union, H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma, the President of Sierra Leone, including H.E. Dr. Elhaj Adem Yousif, the Vice President of Sudan and H.E. Olusegan Obasanjo, the former President of Nigeria.

The event stood as a testimony of African Unity as President Obiang's keynote speech addressed specifically Africa's struggle for freedom, its independence and ability to address its own development concerns.

"The ideals of the Sullivan Foundation to empower Africa must be attractive to all post-colonial states. Unfortunately, we now face new-colonialism; where some nations continue to practice that they are above others. Today, theories show that life proceeded from Africa. Slavery was an invasion of African culture and destruction of our values. The AU shows that Africa can unite and contribute to the global stage as a nation," said President Obiang.

The opening ceremonies saw numerous dignitaries speak on the role of African solidarity against critics who make unwarranted claims based on self-motivated interests.

President Obiang's clearly stated in his speech that "critics are free to criticize as per their freedom of expression. However there are some who wish to undermine the sovereignty of nations and the equality for its people. This [the Summit] is a golden opportunity to come to know our country, which is small but rich in opportunity and culture."

The Summit, which acts as the bridge between Africa and the African Diaspora stands to demonstrate the free-flow of socio-cultural and economic relations that are built on humanity.

"Open societies are built on a spirit of broad based cooperation. This is currently misunderstood by the international community, especially the international press when referring to Equatorial Guinea," said Mrs. Hope Sullivan Masters, President and CEO of the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation.

With a focus on Africa Rising, the Summit seeks to address matters that pertain to Africa's position as a global player. This includes areas such as health, gender, food security and human security.

In light of this, H.E. Boni Yayi, President of Benin and Chairman of the African Union spoke on the importance of Africa to stand united to fight against terrorism and to address it as a concern not for individual countries, but for the entire continent.

"Africa rise in global relations has enabled the continent to determine its own solutions without depending on the impositions of the West," stated Mrs. Hope Sullivan Masters, President of the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation.

President Obiang's speech ended in a standing ovation in which he clearly addressed the issue of humanity as a major component of the Summit.

We are human and are connected on that basis. While there are problems there is development. Humanity must move forward, we must join hands together.  Equatorial Guinea officially welcomes the Leon H. Sullivan Summit and wishes the best of the Summit to the entire world.

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SOURCE Leon H. Sullivan Foundation