National Jeronimo Osa: The UNESCO Prize represents President Obiang’s support of science The Secretary General of the PDGE takes stock of the success which led, in 2012, to the approval of this award by the UNESCO, after an insidious campaign by certain institutions to discredit the prize. "The decision to create this award is not inconsequential nor trivial. Since its inception, there have already been several projects, all very interesting and important, which were financed with the support of Equatorial Guinea," recalls the Secretary General.


The importance of the UNESCO Prize

By Jerónimo Osa Osa Ecoro

Secretary General of the PDGE

"On Monday, September 15, in Sipopo the delivery of the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea Prize will be held, an important ceremony during which Equatorial Guinean institutions will receive both distinguished scientists and winning researchers, as well as the heads of the UNESCO, and representatives of many other international institutions of science and culture.

The delivery, in our own home, of this award is very important for the People of Equatorial Guinea, a memorable event and a new historic milestone to add to the recent history of our country. Therefore, at this time we must not forget that the creation of this award was a new initiative by the Head of State and Founding President of the PDGE, H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. And we must not forget that the desire of the Head of State in promoting these awards was precisely to support, with the resources of Equatorial Guinea, the research of concrete and specific problems of countries in the developing world, which normally receive much less money, attention and concern in general.

It is important, in view of the ceremony we will hold on Monday, to also remember that the creation of these awards was badly used at the time to generate controversy and anger against Equatorial Guinea and its institutions.

Now that we are going to celebrate the delivery of the UNESCO prizes in our own home, we must not forget the tenacity of the Head of State, not only in creating but also defending this award against those who wanted to divert the good intentions and turn them into bad ones; to get publicity at the expense of this excellent purpose; to once again criticize our country, and our President, or to prevent developing countries from having more money for their own research.

This is also a good time to remember that, in 2012, and after years of controversy, the UNESCO's Executive Board approved the creation and implementation of the award, with the majority of the votes and the full support of the African block, which, aware of the importance of the issue, did not allow itself to be influenced by the campaign against it.

Those who at the time attempted to discredit these awards, in their futile struggle forgot that the Head of State of Equatorial Guinea, and Founding President of the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea, has always, from the beginning, shown his total and full support for knowledge, culture and science. For this reason, he has also supported many other projects of equal importance, such as the donation of a million and a half US dollars to the World Health Organization (WHO), on behalf of the Government and People of Equatorial Guinea, for research activities in favor of global health. Or the creation in our country of the headquarters of the African Observatory for Science, Technology and Innovation. The President of Equatorial Guinea, H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, in his continued defense of the Pan-Africanist values, ​​is fully committed to research and solution of problems of the developing world, with the resources of the developing world itself.

The decision to create this award was not inconsequential or trivial. Since its inception, there have already been several projects, all very interesting and important, that were funded with the support from Equatorial Guinea.

In 2012, the winning projects were those of the Egyptian Maged Al-Sherbiny, for his research in the search of treatment for hepatitis C; the Mexican Dr. Rossana Arroyo, renowned specialist in parasitic diseases, and Dr. Felix Dapare Dakora, of South Africa, awarded for his research in the field of sustainable agriculture.

That first award ceremony was held at the headquarters of the UNESCO in Paris. When the Egyptian scientist Al-Sherbiny collected his award, he also recalled the importance that this important financial support came from an African country. ‘We have to work together to improve the quality of life of those who share the African continent. I am convinced that these awards will contribute to further progress in Africa,’ he said.

In this new edition of 2014, there have also been three projects selected by the UNESCO, under the priority criteria that they all contribute to research and improving the quality of human life in developing countries: Professor Hossein Baharvand, of Iran, for his work in stem cells and developmental biology; Professor Andre Bationo, of Burkina Faso, for his research in fertility and productivity of land; and the Institute of Tropical Medicine von Humboldt (IMT), of the University Cayetano Heredia, of Peru, which works to promote education and research of tropical diseases, such as tuberculosis; malaria; leishmaniasis; leptospirosis; HIV/AIDS and others.

Therefore, when celebrating this important awards gala in Sipopo, and receiving the winning scientists and heads of the UNESCO, all Guineans should feel especially pleased and proud to contribute to this award for the development of science in our own world; and thus be able to build a much better world.

Jeronimo Osa Osa Ecoro

Secretary General of the PDGE”

Source: Press Office of the PDGE.
Equatorial Guinea’s Press and Information Office.

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