Equatorial Guinea Culture of Business

By | July 24, 2022

Requirements for promotion, marketing, advertising (use of HSP), important fairs and exhibitions in the territory

It goes without saying that the promotional materials will be of high quality and in Spanish (possibly in the first phase at least in French). Direct contacts with the management of state bodies and relevant ministries have the greatest effect when negotiating any larger project, or to the family of the president or the leadership of the ruling party.

For consumer goods, advertising in mass media, especially radio, has the greatest effect. In the field of offers and sales of common consumer and engineering commodities, the biggest burden of acquisition activity rests on the local representative. Personal contact with customers or institutions is the most important. It is very convenient to participate in local exhibitions (held in Malabo), which, however, are more like a fair (without significant specialization or commodity differentiation). However, their effect for the acquisition and promotion of goods is high.

  • Programingplease: Yearbook 2010 of nation Equatorial Guinea, including population, politics, and abbreviations.

Issues of intellectual property protection

Rights must be registered locally and enforced under local laws. Equatorial Guinea has joined the African Intellectual Property Office (OAPI, based in Yaoundé), which aims, among other things, to protect patents. As a member of OAPI, it has accepted a number of commitments arising from international treaties for the protection of patents, intellectual property, including the Paris and Berne Agreements and the Agreement Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It is a member country of the MIGA investment protection agreement. Despite existing treaties, rights in Equatorial Guinea are widely and often violated, judicial protection is slow and ineffective.

Public procurement market

The awarding of public contracts is not regulated by any law. Public contracts (so-called tenders) are published in the official gazette and are subject to competition (but there are a number of exceptions, e.g. for urgent contracts, technically demanding contracts, etc.). Orders for the oil industry are also governed by a special regime. If a foreign company wins the contract, 5-10% participation of another local entity is required.

Even in Equatorial Guinea, it is not possible to compete for larger tenders without preparation and survey of the terrain, knowledge of local competition and conditions (connections). Participation in contract tenders requires long-term monitoring of the situation with the necessary preliminary lobbying at the relevant central authorities and securing relevant information (and finances in the state budget) even before the official announcement of tender conditions. In fact, the order is decided by a narrow group of people around the head of state, with whom constant contact must be maintained. This is not possible without a constant presence on the local market.

Ways of resolving commercial disputes, risks of the local market and investing in the territory, usual payment terms, payment ethics

Equatorial Guinea is a member of MIGA (Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency). As a member of the OHADA agreement (Organisation pour l´Harmonisation des Droits des Affaires en Afrique), Equatorial Guinea has adopted a convention that harmonizes the legal norms of fifteen member countries with foreign countries in the area of ​​resolving trade and investment disputes. However, it is not a member of either the Washington Treaty (investment dispute resolution) or the New York Agreement (recognition of foreign arbitral awards).

Of fundamental importance in preventing and resolving business disputes is the wording of the business contract, which is always better to prepare with a local lawyer and where the dispute resolution method should be directly enshrined. There are high costs associated with resolving disputes in local courts, and enforcement of the law is difficult and time-consuming. Furthermore, full knowledge of Spanish law (local common law) and procedural customs is always required. In theory, it is possible to submit a dispute to a local court, but its decision usually depends on the position of the relevant minister or the president directly. An out-of-court settlement is always preferable. A foreigner will always be at a disadvantage against a local entity.

Local customs important for business contacts, official and spoken language(s), public holidays, working and sales hours

The best time for business meetings is in the morning from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Guineans are mostly punctual. The rate of lateness increases during the rainy season. The negotiations of Guinean traders are typical of lengthyness. The meeting style is influenced by Spanish and French culture with long lunches. Women are respected as businesswomen. In Equatorial Guinea, with the exception of the oil sector, there are not many people who speak English, Spanish or at least French is a basic condition for successful negotiations. A suit with a tie is required for meetings at central offices, a shirt with a tie is tolerated for business meetings. Visit Allunitconverters for more information about Equatorial Guinea culture and traditions.

Traffic is low even in the capital, Malabo is a quiet town. Outside of the capital Malabo and the mainland city of Bata, roads are still in poor condition and maintenance. To move outside the capital, you need permission from the authorities. It is fundamentally necessary to refrain from criticizing the political system or the functioning of the authorities. Photographing official buildings, infrastructure constructions, etc. is strictly prohibited, it is better to ask for prior permission to photograph people. It is not recommended to carry binoculars.

The official languages ​​are Spanish and, since 1998, French. However, Spanish clearly prevails. French is used mainly in the business and commercial spheres. President Obiang Nguema proposed in 2010 that Portuguese become the country’s third official language. The so-called “broken” English (pidgin English) is also used among the inhabitants, as well as the local languages ​​Fang, Bubi and Ibo.

Days off:

  • January 1 (New Year) • Easter Friday and Monday • May Day (Labor Day – May 1)
  • Africa Day (May 25)
  • President’s Birthday (June 5)
  • Army Day – Golpe de Libertad (August 3)
  • Constitution Day (August 15) • Independence Day (October 12)
  • Human Rights Day (December 10)
  • 1st Christmas holiday (December 25)
  • The Feast of Corpus Christi is also celebrated. • Days off: Sunday

Usual working hours:

  • state offices: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • services: 8.00-14.00 and 16.00-18.00 • banks: 8.00-14.00
  • shops: 9.00-13.00 and 16.00-19.00 hours

Visas, fees, specific conditions for traveling to the territory (areas with increased risk for foreigners)

A visa must be obtained before traveling to this country, it is no longer possible to obtain a visa at Malabo International Airport. In addition to a visa, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is also required when entering the country. Equatorial Guinea does not have a representative office in the Czech Republic. A visa can be obtained from the Embassy of Equatorial Guinea in Berlin:

Embassy of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea Rohlfstrasse 17-19, Berlin 14195, Federal Republic of Germany Tel.: +4930-88663877 Fax: +4930-88663879

From Europe, it is possible to travel to Equatorial Guinea by air with Lufthansa, Iberia and Air France. Ethiopian Airlines and Royal Air Maroc also fly to Malaba, as well as regional airlines from Nigeria, Cameroon and Gabon.

Equatorial Guinea is a tropical country with a number of dangerous tropical diseases (e.g. Chikungunya, Dengue). Before traveling to the sub-Saharan African countries of the region, every traveler should therefore visit a specialist doctor – a specialist in tropical diseases (in Prague, for example, the Clinic of Geographical Medicine of the Vinohrady Royal Hospital or the Center for Travel Medicine), where all mandatory and recommended vaccinations can be completed – against yellow fever ( mandatory, confirmation is required at the airport), jaundice type A and B, typhoid, meningitis, cholera and tetanus. It is recommended to have antibodies against TB and polio checked before the trip and, if necessary, supplement these vaccinations as well.

There is no vaccination against a very serious mosquito-borne tropical disease – malaria. For short-term stays, preliminary antimalarial prophylaxis (Malaron) is recommended, while resistance to individual derivatives develops over time in the territory. Therefore, the type of antimalarial used must be consulted with a specialist in tropical diseases before departure. When the slightest symptoms of any disease (flu, angina, headaches, feelings of fatigue) appear, it is necessary to visit the nearest laboratory or hospital and have a malaria test done. This is very simple (taking a blood sample from the pad of the finger on the hand) and fast – it takes about 15 minutes, including blood analysis. Medicines for already ongoing malaria are available over the counter and are effective – the disease subsides within two to three days. It is essential not to let the disease develop (the incubation period of malaria is about a week) – then it can have fatal consequences. It can also be recommended that the traveler buys one pack of local antimalarial drugs in the destination country and takes it back to the Czech Republic with him. Due to the incubation period, malaria can manifest itself only after returning to the homeland, and its occurrence and thus its treatment could cause problems in the Czech Republic.

Equatorial Guinea is a stable and relatively safe country thanks to the rigid presidential regime. Travel outside the Malabo and Bata area requires a permit and must be organized with a reliable local partner. However, general crime (theft, pickpocketing, assault) is on the rise. General safety rules must be observed, do not travel at night (police checks requiring “passage” are common), avoid public areas, mass gatherings, do not carry visibly valuable items, do not show money, lock the car even while driving. In the event of a check, in any case, it is necessary to stop, keep calm and prove yourself with legalized copies of documents.

Conditions for employment of citizens from the Czech Republic

Large mining and industrial companies routinely use foreign experts. In addition to significant investments, they usually bring their know-how to joint ventures in the country. A company that wants to employ a foreigner must notify the Ministry of Labour, if a native with the required qualifications is found for the position, it must not employ the foreigner. In the event that a foreigner is a member of management, it may be required that his representative be a local worker with the required qualifications.

An employee coming to the country for the first time for employment must present an employment contract and a work permit issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs when applying for a visa. If he stays in the country for more than 3 months, he must apply for a residence permit upon arrival. Nationals of CEMAC member countries must also have a residence permit in Equatorial Guinea. Companies may not employ more than 10% foreigners, in the case of oil companies this quota is increased to 30%. According to Government Decree No. 1/2008, all workers must register with the Social Insurance Office (INSESO) within three months. All foreigners staying in the country for more than three months of the year are considered residents, must register with the tax office and pay income taxes in Guinea. Resident card holders must also have a visa when traveling to Equatorial Guinea.

The basic law governing the labor market is the Labor Code (Ordenamiento general de trabajo) No. 2 of 1990. Government Regulation No. 1 of 2011 sets a minimum wage of 121,730 XAF (approx. 200 Euros) – but this minimum wage is multiplied by a certain coefficient for individual categories (e.g. highly qualified professions have a coefficient of 10, unskilled workers have a coefficient of 1). Guineans in senior positions in foreign companies must receive a salary corresponding to at least 75% of the salary of foreign employees in similar positions. Others are entitled to the same wages as foreign workers. Collective bargaining, union association, etc. are governed by Act No. 12 of 1992 on Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining – but its text is not available and is not actually followed.

Conditions for the use of local health care by Czech and EU citizens

Some private Spanish (La Paz) and French clinics are of a good standard (especially in the cities of Malabo and Bata). In the countryside, however, even an outpatient clinic for the provision of first aid is rarely available. Medical care must be paid in cash, quality travel insurance with the possibility of repatriation to Europe is recommended.

Equatorial Guinea Culture of Business