Head of State Corisco now has an international airport The traditional difficulty to reach the island of Corisco is now history. From now on, the island has a modern international airport that will serve to unite the local population with the rest of Equatorial Guinea. The presidential couple, accompanied by the Head of State of Gabon as guest of honor, inaugurated the new facilities. In the course of the ceremony, the President announced that the tourists that travel to Corisco can obtain their visa directly upon arriving at the island.
The Head of State, H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, accompanied by his wife, the First Lady, Constancia Mangue de Obiang and by his counterpart, the President of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba, went to Corisco to preside over a truly historic ceremony for the small island. And, as expected, the inhabitants of the population also seconded with their presence this unforgettable moment, which they celebrated with continuous traditional songs and dances.
The mayor of Corisco welcomed all those present and recalled that President Obiang was the first and only leader of the country that had come there, because none other, during the colonial period or during the subsequent period of dictatorship, had done so. The mayor underscored the gratitude of the population for the opening of the airport, but also mentioned the rest of the works that are being carried out on the island, such as the airport runway, the road that links different points of the island, the city council, the Government delegation, etc.
In turn, the manager of the company Somagec -in charge of the construction of the project- informed those present that its total cost, which included the runway, the passenger terminal, the control tower, the presidential pavilion, the parking lot and the technical facilities, exceeded the 130,000 million CFA francs (198,180,000 Euros/270,760,000 USA dollars), completely financed by the Government of Equatorial Guinea. He also spoke of the plans for the new port that will soon commence construction and that will serve to receive boats with merchandise and sports vessels. It will be a port whose design respects the environment and the peculiar configuration that characterizes the island, with its characteristic "wake" of sand. Therefore, this infrastructure will be constructed at 250 meters in the interior of the ocean and connected by a bridge on piles. The construction is assessed at more than 30,000 million CFA francs (45,734,705 Euros/63,087,304 USA dollars), which will also be totally financed by the Government of Equatorial Guinea.
The Second Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of Political Affairs and Democracy and Minister of Public Works and Infrastructures, Demetrio Elo Ndong Nsefumu, added information on the new infrastructures of Corisco and recalled that all would be undertaken by the Government in order to drive the island towards a prosperous economic future by means of tourism; for this reason, he also mentioned that, along with the airport and the port, a attractive tourist complex will be built with luxury bungalows. Furthermore, Demetrio Elo Ndong Nsefumu indicated that this is a good time for the initiatives and for private investors to present projects of this type.
Before the President spoke, the elders of the island took their turn, who recalled how, years ago, they hunted and fished on the land on which the airport is built, and how they expected that again these lands would bring food to their people, but now by means of a modern lifestyle. The elders also showed their gratitude for the arrival of all these innovative works to Corisco.
"We feel like sons of Corisco"
"For some years now, some tourists have come to Corisco, risking their lives in canoes, which showed that it is a place for tourism," said the President, at the start of his speech before the population of Corsico, to whom he expressed his gratitude for the massive presence. Also from the beginning, the Head of State recalled Felipe Hinestrosa Ikaka, a native of Corisco, of which he said that he had been "a famous son of this island who fought for us in the commission of the constitutional reform, who won the Carta de Akonibe (Fundamental Law), and who worked hard to find the guides that today the people of Equatorial Guinea enjoy." In fact, the President indicated his desire for the new airport of Corisco to be called Felipe Hinestrosa Ikaka.
"The investment that the Government is undertaking in this island is enormous, but it is not a lost investment, but rather one that will generate profits for us, because it will create a tourism industry with these works, and with the hotel that is also going to be built here. From this time, we want to declare the island of Corisco open in order to receive all the tourists that want to come here; although the island still lacks lodging, we believe that it is a profitable investment," said the President, who gave more details on the tourism plans of the Government: "This inauguration is the commencement of all the activities that we are going to carry out to transform the island. The passengers will come in airplane, but also by boat," informed the President in reference to the new port. In addition, the President announced that Corisco would be declared a free port: "The tourist that comes will not have to obtain his visa in the embassies. He can get it directly upon arriving here. For this reason there will be charter flights that come from Europe and from other countries, and that come directly to the airport, where they will receive the visas."
Speaking to the people of Corisco, the President invited them to make the opportune mental change to receive all the visitors that will arrive on the island. "We are doing this because we consider ourselves sons of Corisco. We are sons of Corisco. If yesterday Corisco was a forgotten place, from now on it will be a place where all the fellow countrymen of Equatorial Guinea will frequent."
Equatorial Guinea's Press and Information Office.