Interview with Ismael Barila Sota

Ismael Barila Sota is a family man and a working man. He is fifty two years old and works in the public television in Guinea. With his help I have known more things about his country. Thanks so much for your time and attention.


Where were you born? Do you live in the same country you were born? Equatorial Guinea. Yes, I live in the same country.

What is your nationality? Have you more than one nationality? I just have one nationality, Equatorial Guinea.

Where do you live now? Why do you live in the country named in the last question?  Could you give any justification? I live in Equatorial Guinea. I live here because is the place where I work.

What did you study? Where did you study and why did you choose that country to study? I am an electronic engineer and I studied in Madrid, Spain. During my studying period I was living there.

If you have studied in a different country of the one you were born in, what encouraged you to do it? The reason was that my parents were living in Spain during those years.

Do you move to another country to study because in your own country there were no universities where it was taught your major? Yes. The universities in Spain only teach courses of electronics but not a full career.

 Nowadays, where is located your job? I work in the Equatorial Guinean Radio Television as an engineer.

What do you know about your country? I know almost everything about my country like history, relevant events, wars, conflicts… The most significant thing is that we never have been in a war, not like other African countries. We just only had an attempt of putsch in August 3rd of 1979.

According to the history Equatorial Guinea was a Spanish colony long time ago and due to this situation your country is one of the African countries where Spanish is the official language.  Which way do you think that the Spanish domain influenced culture? Actually, Equatorial Guinea is the only African country that speaks Spanish. This situation forces to Guinean people to speak other languages to communicate with its surrounding countries which basically speak French except Nigeria which speaks English.

Do you think that thanks to this event Spanish people have more facility to emigrate there? Yes, I think that they have the facility to do it but the truth is that Spanish people do not emigrate to Guinea. I don’t know the reason.

Do you think that Guinea is a country of opportunities to work and other countries should invest in it? Yes, I think that it could be a good investment for foreign companies. Nowadays, Guinea is the actual “El Dorado” since they found oil.

How can you visualize Guinea in 10 years in terms of development? The government is investing a lot of money to continue developing the country in all of its aspects. To make this, they are implementing a project to turn Guinea into a 1st world country until 2020.

In your opinion, what is the influence that Guinea has in the African continent? I think that Guinea doesn’t have any influence in the African continent.

According to the history, Guinea has always lived at the shadow of dictators. Now how can you conceive the human rights issue and the freedom of the press? Spain says that we are living in a dictatorship but every 7 years Guinea has general elections. In relation to the freedom of press I can say that it exists and I practice it every day in my work. I work for a national public television network. Nevertheless I can’t say the same thing about Spain because I worked for some Spanish networks and we couldn’t make public all the details of some news. About the private sector of press in Guinea, I can’t say anything because each company has its own internal policy.

Do you think the president is helping the media? Please, can you clarify in which aspects? Yes, the president is helping the public media by giving them the tools to work properly. If you are talking about the private media, I am sorry but I don’t know because I’ve never worked with them. Nevertheless, I think that they have some king of financial support.

Do you think that Guinea has been set apart of the international scene because of its political decisions? Absolutely not. Guinea is hosting a lot of international meetings like the one in May last year of the conference of African Union and the African Nations Cup this year. Also it hosted the conference of African Union this year and it will host the conference of “ASA” (Africa and Southamerica).

 For the bad political action the government did, do you think that it could be any possible solution? Or do you think that the government did very well?  I think that they did a great job and if the actual president wouldn’t did well, Guinean people, woudn’t reelected him.

 Do you consider that you have all the rights and freedoms given by the Declaration of Human rights or for the contrary, do you think you don’t have them because of the country you are living in? In Guinea we have all the rights and freedoms as in 1st world countries.

Thank you so much and have a great day!

I answered your questions with honesty and if you want to learn more about my country, you should visit it. Nevertheless, you can follow us on the international RTVGE network (

Patricia Ana Maria Vlaicu


Acerca de subsaharanafricam11
Students of Foreign Affairs doing a project on Africa's current news.

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