Canada established diplomatic relations with Equatorial Guinea in 1968, when the country achieved independence. Canada is represented in Equatorial Guinea by the Canadian High Commission in Abuja, Nigeria, and by an Honorary Consulate in Bata, Equatorial Guinea. The Permanent Mission of Equatorial Guinea to the United Nations in New York represents the country in Canada.
Bilateral relations between the two countries are modest. Since Equatorial Guinea adopted French as a second national language in 1989, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie has become the main forum for cooperation between the two countries.
Canada has noted recent efforts by Equatorial Guinea to promote economic development with social objectives, particularly in the education and basic infrastructure sectors. However, respect for human rights in the country remains a concern for Canada. Canada continues to encourage Equatorial Guinea to establish the rule of law and uphold due process, democratic principles, freedom of expression and protection of human rights defenders. Canada encourages Equatorial Guinea to allow the return of political exiles.
Canada also encourages Equatorial Guinea to cooperation with international financial institutions so that economic benefits from petroleum development are used to diversify the economy of the country and reduce poverty. In 2013, bilateral trade between Canada and Equatorial Guinea was valued at close to $5.4 million.
In 2013, Canada contributed $20 million to the Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF), which is managed by the African Development Bank and helps local communities in forest areas find sustainable livelihoods and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This would reduce poverty while maximizing carbon storage. The CBFF funds projects in Equatorial Guinea and in nine other Central African countries.
Canada contributes indirectly to developmental results in Equatorial Guinea through its longstanding institutional support for multilateral and international organizations.
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