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Equatorial Guinea ( es, Guinea Ecuatorial; french: Guinée équatoriale; pt, Guiné Equatorial), officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea ( es, link=no, República de Guinea Ecuatorial, french: link=no, République de Guinée équatoriale, pt, link=no, República da Guiné Equatorial), *french: link=no, République de Guinée équatoriale * pt, link=no, República da Guiné Equatorial is a country on the west coast of
Central Africa Central Africa is a subregion of the Africa, African continent comprising various countries according to different definitions. Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic ...

Central Africa
, with an area of . Formerly the colony of
Spanish Guinea Spanish Guinea ( Spanish: ''Guinea Española'') was the name for a set of insular and Río Muni, continental territories controlled by Spain from 1844 to 1968 in the Gulf of Guinea and on the Bight of Bonny, in Central Africa. It gained indepe ...
, its post-independence name evokes its location near both the
Equator The Equator is a , about in circumference, that divides into the and hemispheres. It is an located at 0 degrees , halfway between the and poles. In , as applied in , the equator of a rotating (such as a ) is the parallel (circle of l ...

Equator
and the
Gulf of Guinea pt, Golfo da Guiné , native_name_lang= , image= Gulf of Guinea (English).jpg , caption = Gulf of Guinea map showing the chain of islands formed by the Cameroon line The Cameroon line (, ) is a chain of volcanoes. It includes islands in the G ...
. , the country had a population of 1,468,777. Equatorial Guinea consists of two parts, an insular and a mainland region. The insular region consists of the islands of
Bioko Bioko ( bvb, Ëtulá Ëria) is an island off the west coast of Africa and the northernmost part of Equatorial Guinea. Its population was 335,048 at the 2015 census and it covers an area of . The island is located off the Ambazonian segment of ...

Bioko
(formerly ''Fernando Pó'') in the Gulf of Guinea and
Annobón Annobón ( es, Provincia de Annobón; pt, Ano-Bom), and formerly as ''Anno Bom'' and ''Annabona'', is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' p ...
, a small volcanic island which is the only part of the country south of the
equator The Equator is a circle of latitude, about in circumference, that divides Earth into the Northern Hemisphere, Northern and Southern Hemisphere, Southern hemispheres. It is an imaginary line located at 0 degrees latitude, halfway between the N ...

equator
. Bioko Island is the northernmost part of Equatorial Guinea and is the site of the country's capital,
Malabo Malabo ( , ; formerly Santa Isabel) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscu ...
. The Portuguese-speaking island nation of
São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé and Príncipe (; ; English: Saint Thomas and Prince), officially the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe ( pt, República Democrática de São Tomé e Príncipe), is an island country An island country or an island n ...

São Tomé and Príncipe
is located between Bioko and Annobón. The mainland region,
Río Muni Río Muni (called ''Mbini'' in Fang The four canines, or fangs, of a domestic cat. (The largest two teeth of the top and bottom rows of teeth.) A fang is a long, pointed tooth A tooth (plural teeth) is a hard, calcified structure fou ...
, is bordered by
Cameroon Cameroon (, french: Cameroun), officially the Republic of Cameroon (french: République du Cameroun, links=no), is a country in west 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal direc ...

Cameroon
on the north and
Gabon Gabon (; ), officially the Gabonese Republic (french: République gabonaise), is a country on the west coast of Central Africa Central Africa is a subregion of the Africa, African continent comprising various countries according to dif ...

Gabon
on the south and east. It is the location of Bata, Equatorial Guinea's largest city, and
Ciudad de la Paz Ciudad de la Paz (french: Ville de Paix, pt, Cidade da Paz), formerly Oyala, is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ' ...
, the country's planned future capital. Rio Muni also includes several small offshore islands, such as
Corisco Corisco, or Mandj, is a small island of Equatorial Guinea, located southwest of the Río Muni estuary that defines the border with Gabon Gabon (; ), officially the Gabonese Republic (french: République gabonaise), is a country on the w ...
,
Elobey Grande Elobey Grande, or Great Elobey, is an island of Equatorial Guinea, lying at the mouth of the Mitémélé River. It is sparsely inhabited. Elobey Chico is a smaller island offshore, now uninhabited but once the Spanish Guinea, colonial capital of t ...
, and
Elobey Chico Elobey Chico, or Little Elobey, is a small island off the coast of Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea ( es, Guinea Ecuatorial; french: Guinée équatoriale; pt, Guiné Equatorial), officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea ( es, link=n ...
. The country is a member of the
African Union The African Union (AU) is a continental union A continental union is a regional organization which facilitates pan-continental integration. Continental unions vary from collaborative intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organiza ...

African Union
,
Francophonie The Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF; sometimes shortened to the Francophonie, french: La Francophonie , but also called International Organisation of La Francophonie in English-language context) is an international organiza ...
,
OPEC The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC, ) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or o ...

OPEC
and the
CPLP The Community of Portuguese Language Countries (Portuguese language, Portuguese: ''Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa''; abbreviated as the CPLP), also known as the Lusophone Commonwealth (''Comunidade Lusófona''), is an international o ...
. After becoming independent from Spain in 1968, Equatorial Guinea was ruled by President for life
Francisco Macías Nguema Francisco Macías Nguema (born Mez-m Ngueme; Africanisation, Africanised to Masie Nguema Biyogo Ñegue Ndong; 1 January 1924 – 29 September 1979) was the first President of Equatorial Guinea, from 1968 until his 1979 Equatorial Guinea coup d' ...

Francisco Macías Nguema
until he was overthrown in a coup in 1979 by his nephew
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (; born 5 June 1942) is an Equatoguinean politician who has been the 2nd president of Equatorial Guinea since August 1979. He ousted his uncle, Francisco Macías Nguema, in a military coup that took place in Augu ...
who has served as the country's president since. Both presidents have been widely characterized as dictators by foreign observers. Since the mid-1990s, Equatorial Guinea has become one of
sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa (commonly called Black Africa) is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all list of sovereign states and dependent territories i ...

sub-Saharan Africa
's largest oil producers. It has subsequently become the richest country per capita in Africa, and its
gross domestic product Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George III are contrasted with the beggar whose legs and arms were amputated, in the ...
(GDP) adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita ranks 43rd in the world; however, the wealth is distributed extremely unevenly, with few people benefiting from the oil riches. The country ranks 144th on the 2019
Human Development Index The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, its current age, and ot ...
, with less than half the population having access to clean drinking water and around 1 in 12 children dying before the age of five. Equatorial Guinea gained its independence from Spain on 12 October 1968, but maintains the
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
as its official language alongside
French
French
and recently (as of 2010)
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
, being currently the only African country where Spanish is an official language. It is also the most widely spoken language (considerably more than the other two official languages); according to the
Instituto Cervantes Instituto Cervantes (the Cervantes Institute) is a worldwide non-profit organization created by the Spanish government in 1991. It is named after Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616), the author of ''Don Quixote'' and perhaps the most important figure ...

Instituto Cervantes
, 87.7% of the population has a good command of Spanish. Equatorial Guinea's government is authoritarian and has one of the worst human rights records in the world, consistently ranking among the "worst of the worst" in
Freedom House Freedom House is a U.S.-based, U.S. government-funded non-profit non-governmental organization File:Europe in a suitcase - UK.jpg, upright=1.3, alt=A roomful of people, Europe-Georgia Institute head George Melashvili addresses the audience a ...
's
annual survey of political and civil rights
annual survey of political and civil rights
.
Reporters Without Borders Reporters Without Borders (french: Reporters sans frontières; RSF) is an international non-profit and non-governmental organization with the stated aim of safeguarding the right to freedom of information. It describes its advocacy as founded on ...

Reporters Without Borders
ranks President Obiang among its "predators" of press freedom.
Human trafficking Human trafficking is the trade Trade involves the transfer of goods from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elem ...
is a significant problem with the U.S. Trafficking in Persons Report identifying Equatorial Guinea as a source and destination country for
forced labour Forced labour, or unfree labour, is any work relation, especially in modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeolog ...
and sex trafficking. The report also noted that Equatorial Guinea "does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so."


History

Pygmies In anthropology Anthropology is the of ity, concerned with , , , and , in both the present and past, including . studies patterns of behaviour, while studies cultural meaning, including norms and values. studies how language influence ...
probably once lived in the continental region that is now Equatorial Guinea, but are today found only in isolated pockets in southern Río Muni.
Bantu Bantu may refer to: *Bantu languages, constitute the largest sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages *Bantu peoples, over 400 peoples of Africa speaking a Bantu language *Afro-textured hair#Styling, Bantu knots, a type of African hairstyle *Blac ...
migrations started probably around 2,000 BC from between south-east Nigeria and north-west Cameroon (the Grassfields). They must have settled continental Equatorial Guinea around 500 BC at the latest. The earliest settlements on Bioko Island are dated to AD 530. The
Annobón Annobón ( es, Provincia de Annobón; pt, Ano-Bom), and formerly as ''Anno Bom'' and ''Annabona'', is a provinces of Equatorial Guinea, province of Equatorial Guinea consisting of the list of islands of Africa, island of Annobón, formerly also ...
population, originally native to
Angola , national_anthem = "Angola Avante "Angola Avante" (, ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that officially symbolizes a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often r ...

Angola
, was introduced by the Portuguese via
São Tomé island São Tomé Island, at , is the largest island of São Tomé and Príncipe and is home in May 2018 to about 193,380 or 96% of the nation's population. The island is divided into six Districts of São Tomé and Príncipe, districts. It is located ...
.


First European contact and Portuguese rule (1472–1778)

The
Portuguese explorer Portuguese discoveries (Portuguese language, Portuguese: ''Descobrimentos portugueses'') are the numerous territories and maritime routes recorded by the Portugal, Portuguese as a result of their intensive maritime exploration during the 15th and ...
Fernando Pó, seeking a path to India, is credited as being the first European to see the island of Bioko, in 1472. He called it ''Formosa'' ("Beautiful"), but it quickly took on the name of its European discoverer. Fernando Pó and Annobón were colonized by Portugal in 1474. The first factories were established on the islands around 1500 as the Portuguese quickly recognized the positives of the islands including volcanic soil and disease-resistant highlands. Despite natural advantages, initial Portuguese efforts in 1507 to establish a sugarcane plantation and town near what is now Concepción on Fernando Pó failed due to Bubi hostility and fever. The main island's rainy climate, extreme humidity and temperature swings took a major toll on European settlers from the beginning, and it would be centuries before attempts restarted.


Early Spanish rule and lease to Britain (1778–1844)

In 1778, Queen
Maria I of Portugal Dom (title), Dona Maria I (17 December 1734 – 20 March 1816) was Queen of Portugal Queen may refer to: Monarchy * Queen regnant, a female monarch of a Kingdom ** List of queens regnant * Queen consort, the wife of a reigning king * Queen dow ...

Maria I of Portugal
and King
Charles III of Spain it, Carlo Sebastiano di Borbone e Farnese , house = BourbonBourbon may refer to: Food and drink * Bourbon whiskey, an American whiskey made using a corn-based mash * Bourbon barrel aged beer, a type of beer aged in bourbon barrels * ...

Charles III of Spain
signed the Treaty of El Pardo which ceded
Bioko Bioko ( bvb, Ëtulá Ëria) is an island off the west coast of Africa and the northernmost part of Equatorial Guinea. Its population was 335,048 at the 2015 census and it covers an area of . The island is located off the Ambazonian segment of ...

Bioko
, adjacent islets, and commercial rights to the
Bight of Biafra The Bight of Biafra (officially Bight of Bonny, in Nigeria) is a bight (geography), bight off the West African coast, in the easternmost part of the Gulf of Guinea. Geography The Bight of Biafra, or Mafra (named after the town Mafra, Portugal, Mafr ...
between the
Niger ) , official_languages = French , languages_type = National language A national language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed languag ...

Niger
and Ogoue rivers to
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
in exchange for large areas in South America that are now Western Brazil. Brigadier Felipe José, Count of Arjelejos sailed from
Uruguay Uruguay (; ; pt, Uruguai), officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay ( es, República Oriental del Uruguay), is a country in South America. It shares borders with Argentina to its west and southwest and Brazil to its north and northeast; whi ...

Uruguay
to formally take possession of Bioko from Portugal, landing on the island on 21 October 1778. After sailing for Annobón to take possession, the Count died of disease caught on Bioko and the fever-ridden crew mutinied. The crew landed on São Tomé instead where they were imprisoned by the Portuguese authorities after having lost over 80% of their men to sickness. As a result of this disaster, Spain was thereafter hesitant to invest heavily in its new possession. However, despite the setback Spaniards began to use the island as a base for slave trading on the nearby mainland. Between 1778 and 1810, the territory of what became Equatorial Guinea was administered by the
Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata The Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata ( es, Virreinato del Río de la Plata, meaning "River of the Silver", also called "Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, River Plate" in some scholarly writings) was the last to be organized and also the sh ...
, based in
Buenos Aires Buenos Aires ( or ; ), officially Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or cap ...

Buenos Aires
.Fegley, Randall (1989). ''Equatorial Guinea: An African Tragedy'', p. 6-7. Peter Lang, New York. Unwilling to invest heavily in the development of Fernando Pó, from 1827 to 1843, the Spanish leased a base at Malabo on
Bioko Bioko ( bvb, Ëtulá Ëria) is an island off the west coast of Africa and the northernmost part of Equatorial Guinea. Its population was 335,048 at the 2015 census and it covers an area of . The island is located off the Ambazonian segment of ...

Bioko
to the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
which the UK had sought as part of its efforts to suppress the
transatlantic slave trade The Atlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, or Euro-American slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of various enslaved African African(s) may refer to: * Anything from or pertaining to the continent of Africa: ** ...
. Without Spanish permission, the British moved the headquarters of the Mixed Commission for the Suppression of Slave Traffic to Fernando Pó in 1827, before moving it back to
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone (, also , ), officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, informally Salone, is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 co ...

Sierra Leone
under an agreement with Spain in 1843. Spain's decision to abolish slavery in 1817 at British insistence damaged the colony's perceived value to the authorities and so leasing naval bases was an effective revenue earner from an otherwise unprofitable possession. An agreement by Spain to sell its African colony to the British was cancelled in 1841 due to metropolitan public opinion and opposition by Spanish Congress.


Late 19th century (1844–1900)

In 1844, the British returned the island to Spanish control and the area became known as the "Territorios Españoles del Golfo de Guinea." Due to epidemics Spain did not invest much in the colony, and in 1862 an outbreak of yellow fever killed many of the whites that had settled on the island. Despite this, plantations continued to be established by private citizens through the second half of the 19th century.Fegley, Randall (1989). ''Equatorial Guinea: An African Tragedy'', p. 13. Peter Lang, New York. The
plantation A plantation is a large-scale estate, generally centered on a plantation house, meant for farming that specializes in cash crops. The crops that are grown include cotton, coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar cane, opium, sisal, oil seeds, oil pa ...

plantation
s of were mostly run by a black Creole elite, later known as Fernandinos. The British settled some 2,000 Sierra Leoneans and freed slaves there during their rule, and a trickle of immigration from West Africa and the West Indies continued after the British left. A number of freed Angolan slaves, Portuguese-African creoles and immigrants from Nigeria and Liberia also began to be settled in the colony where they quickly began to join the new group.Fegley, Randall (1989). ''Equatorial Guinea: An African Tragedy'', p. 9. Peter Lang, New York. To the local mix were added Cubans, Filipinos,Jews and Spaniards of various colours, many of whom had been deported to Africa for political or other crimes, as well as some settlers backed by the government. By 1870 the prognosis of whites that lived on the island was much improved after recommendations that they live in the highlands, and by 1884 much of the minimal administrative machinery and key plantations had moved to hundreds of meters above sea level.
Henry Morton Stanley Sir Henry Morton Stanley (born John Rowlands; 28 January 1841 – 10 May 1904) was a Welsh-American explorer, journalist, soldier, colonial administrator, author and politician who was famous for his exploration of Central Africa Cent ...

Henry Morton Stanley
had labeled Fernando Pó "a jewel which Spain did not polish" for refusing to enact such a policy. Despite the improved survival chances of Europeans living on the island,
Mary Kingsley Mary Henrietta Kingsley (13 October 1862 – 3 June 1900) was an English ethnography, ethnographer, scientific writer, and exploration, explorer whose travels throughout West Africa and resulting work helped shape European perceptions of Af ...
, who was staying on the island still described Fernando Pó as 'a more uncomfortable form of execution' for Spaniards appointed there. There was also a trickle of immigration from the neighboring Portuguese islands, escaped slaves, and prospective planters. Although a few of the Fernandinos were Catholic and Spanish-speaking, about nine-tenths of them were Protestant and English-speaking on the eve of the First World War, and
pidgin English Pidgin English is a non-specific name used to refer to any of the many pidgin languages derived from English language, English. Pidgins that are spoken as first languages become creole language, creoles. English-based pidgins that became stable c ...
was the ''
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language or dialect The term dialect (from , , from the word , 'disco ...
'' of the island. The Sierra Leoneans were particularly well placed as planters while labor recruitment on the
Windward coast Ivory Coast, also known as Côte d'Ivoire, officially the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, is a country located on the south coast of West Africa. Ivory Coast's political capital is Yamoussoukro in the centre of the country, while its economic c ...
continued, for they kept family and other connections there and could easily arrange a supply of labor. The Fernandinos proved to become effective traders and middlemen between the natives and Europeans. A freed slave from the West Indies by way of Sierra Leone named William Pratt established the cocoa crop on Fernando Pó, forever altering the destiny of the colony.


Early 20th century (1900–1945)

Spain had not occupied the large area in the
Bight of Biafra The Bight of Biafra (officially Bight of Bonny, in Nigeria) is a bight (geography), bight off the West African coast, in the easternmost part of the Gulf of Guinea. Geography The Bight of Biafra, or Mafra (named after the town Mafra, Portugal, Mafr ...
to which it had right by
treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relat ...

treaty
, and the French had busily expanded their occupation at the expense of the territory claimed by Spain. Madrid only partly backed the explorations of men like Manuel Iradier who had signed treaties in the interior as far as Gabon and Cameroon, leaving much of the land out of 'effective occupation' as demanded by the terms of the 1885
Berlin Conference The Berlin Conference of 1884–1885, also known as the Congo Conference (german: Kongokonferenz) or West Africa Conference (), regulated European colonization The historical phenomenon of colonization is one that stretches around the gl ...
. More important events such as the conflict in Cuba and the eventual
Spanish–American War The Spanish–American War (April 21 – August 13, 1898, es, Guerra hispano-estadounidense or ; fil, Digmaang Espanyol-Amerikano) was an armed conflict War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, S ...
kept Madrid busy at an inopportune moment. Minimal government backing for mainland annexation came as a result of public opinion and a need for labour on Fernando Pó. The eventual treaty of Paris in 1900 left Spain with the continental
enclave An enclave is a territory (or a part of one) that is entirely surrounded by the territory of one other state. Enclaves may also exist within territorial waters. ''Enclave'' is sometimes used improperly to denote a territory that is only partly ...
of Rio Muni, a mere 26,000 km out of the 300,000 stretching east to the
Ubangi river The Ubangi River (), also spelled Oubangui, is the largest right-bank tributary A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem (or parent) river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea ...
which the Spaniards had initially claimed.Clarence-Smith, William Gervase (1986
"Spanish Equatorial Guinea, 1898–1940"
in ''The Cambridge History of Africa: From 1905 to 1940'' Ed. J. D. Fage, A. D. Roberts, & Roland Anthony Oliver. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
The tiny enclave was far smaller than what the Spaniards had considered themselves rightfully entitled to under their claims and the Treaty of El Pardo. The humiliation of the Franco-Spanish negotiations, combined with the disaster in Cuba led to the head of the Spanish negotiating team, Pedro Gover y Tovar committing suicide on the voyage home on 21 October 1901.Fegley, Randall (1989). ''Equatorial Guinea: An African Tragedy'', p. 19. Peter Lang, New York. Iradier himself died in despair in 1911, and it would be decades before his achievements would be recognised by Spanish popular opinion when the port of
Cogo Cogo may refer to: *COGOCogo may refer to: *COGO CoGo Bike Share is a public bicycle sharing system serving Columbus, Ohio and its suburbs. The service is operated by the bikeshare company Motivate (company), Motivate (part of Lyft, Inc.) It was ...
was renamed Puerto Iradier in his honour. The opening years of the twentieth century saw a new generation of Spanish immigrants. Land regulations issued in 1904–1905 favoured Spaniards, and most of the later big planters arrived from Spain after that. An agreement made with Liberia in 1914 to import cheap labor greatly favoured wealthy men with ready access to the state, and the shift in labor supplies from Liberia to Río Muni increased this advantage. Due to malpractice however, the Liberian government eventually ended the treaty after embarrassing revelations about the state of Liberian workers on Fernando Pó in the Christy Report which brought down the country's president Charles D. B. King in 1930. In 1940, an estimated 20% of the colony's cocoa production came from African-owned land, nearly all of it was in the hands of Fernandinos. The greatest constraint to
economic development In the economic An economy (; ) is an area of the production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act o ...
was a chronic shortage of labour. Pushed into the interior of the island and decimated by alcohol addiction, venereal disease,
smallpox Smallpox was an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to the infectious ...

smallpox
, and sleeping sickness, the indigenous
Bubi "BuBi" (officially: MOL BuBi) is a bicycle sharing network in Budapest Budapest (, ) is the capital and the List of cities and towns of Hungary, most populous city of Hungary, and the Largest cities of the European Union by population within ...
population of
Bioko Bioko ( bvb, Ëtulá Ëria) is an island off the west coast of Africa and the northernmost part of Equatorial Guinea. Its population was 335,048 at the 2015 census and it covers an area of . The island is located off the Ambazonian segment of ...

Bioko
refused to work on
plantation A plantation is a large-scale estate, generally centered on a plantation house, meant for farming that specializes in cash crops. The crops that are grown include cotton, coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar cane, opium, sisal, oil seeds, oil pa ...

plantation
s. Working their own small
cocoa CoCoA (Computations in Commutative Algebra) is a free computer algebra system developed by the University of Genova, Italy, used to compute with numbers and polynomials. The CoCoA Library (CoCoALib) is available under GNU General Public License. ...
farms gave them a considerable degree of autonomy. By the late nineteenth century, the Bubi were protected from the demands of the planters by Spanish Claretian missionaries, who were very influential in the colony and eventually organised the Bubi into little mission theocracies reminiscent of the famous
Jesuit , image = Ihs-logo.svg , caption = Christogram A Christogram (Latin ') is a monogram or combination of letters that forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ, traditionally used as a Christian symbolism ...
reductions Reductions ( es, reducciones, also called ; , pl. ) were settlements created by Spanish rulers in Spanish America and the Spanish East Indies The Spanish East Indies ( es , Indias orientales españolas ; fil, Silangang Indiyas ng Espanya ...

reductions
in
Paraguay Paraguay (; ), officially the Republic of Paraguay ( es, República del Paraguay, links=no; gn, Tetã Paraguái, links=no), is a country in South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively sma ...

Paraguay
. Catholic penetration was furthered by two small insurrections in 1898 and 1910 protesting
conscription Conscription, sometimes called the draft in the United States, is the mandatory enlistment of people in a national service National service is a system of either compulsory or voluntary government service, usually military service Mili ...

conscription
of
forced labour Forced labour, or unfree labour, is any work relation, especially in modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeolog ...
for the plantations. The Bubi were disarmed in 1917, and left dependent on the missionaries. Serious labour shortages were temporarily solved by a massive influx of refugees from German
Kamerun Kamerun was an African colony In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule. Though dominated by the foreign colonizers, colonies remain separate from the administration of the original country of the colo ...

Kamerun
, along with thousands of white German soldiers who stayed on the island for several years. Between 1926 and 1959 Bioko and Rio Muni were united as the colony of
Spanish Guinea Spanish Guinea ( Spanish: ''Guinea Española'') was the name for a set of insular and Río Muni, continental territories controlled by Spain from 1844 to 1968 in the Gulf of Guinea and on the Bight of Bonny, in Central Africa. It gained indepe ...
. The economy was based on large cacao and
coffee Coffee is a drink prepared from roasted s, the seeds of from certain s in the ' genus. From the coffee fruit, the seeds are separated to produce a stable, raw product: unroasted ''green coffee''. The seeds are then , a process which transfo ...

coffee
plantations and
logging Logging is the process of cutting, processing, and moving trees to a location for transport. It may include skidder, skidding, on-site processing, and loading of trees or trunk (botany), logs onto logging truck, trucks or flatcar#Skeleton car, s ...

logging
concessions and the workforce was mostly immigrant contract labour from
Liberia Liberia (), officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country on the West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of Africa. The United Nations defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape ...

Liberia
,
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
, and
Cameroun French Cameroon or French Cameroons (french: Cameroun) was a League of Nations Mandate A League of Nations mandate was a legal status for certain territories transferred from the control of one country to another following World War I Wo ...

Cameroun
. Between 1914 and 1930, an estimated 10,000 Liberians went to Fernando Po under a labour treaty that was stopped altogether in 1930. With Liberian workers no longer available, planters of Fernando Po turned to Rio Muni. Campaigns were mounted to subdue the
Fang people __NOTOC__ The Fang people, also known as Fãn or Pahouin, are a Bantu ethnic group found in Equatorial Guinea, northern Gabon Gabon (; ), officially the Gabonese Republic (french: République gabonaise), is a country on the west coast of ...
in the 1920s, at the time that Liberia was beginning to cut back on recruitment. There were garrisons of the colonial guard throughout the enclave by 1926, and the whole colony was considered 'pacified' by 1929. The
Spanish Civil War The Spanish Civil War ( es, Guerra Civil Española)) or The Revolution ( es, La Revolución) among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War ( es, Cuarta Guerra Carlista) among Carlism, Carlists, and The Rebellion ( es, La Rebelión) or Uprising ( ...

Spanish Civil War
had a major impact on the colony. 150 Spanish whites, including the Governor-General and Vice-Governor-General of Río Muni created a socialist party called the Popular Front in the enclave which served to oppose the interests of the Fernando Pó plantation owners. When the War broke out
Francisco Franco Francisco Franco Bahamonde (; 4 December 1892 – 20 November 1975) was a Spanish general who led the Nationalist forces in overthrowing the Second Spanish Republic The Spanish Republic ( es, link=no, República Española), commonly ...

Francisco Franco
ordered Nationalist forces based in the Canaries to ensure control over Equatorial Guinea. In September 1936 Nationalist forces backed by Falangists from Fernando Pó, similarly to what happened in Spain proper took control of Río Muni, which under Governor-General Luiz Sanchez Guerra Saez and his deputy Porcel had backed the Republican government. By November the Popular Front and its supporters had been defeated and Equatorial Guinea secured for Franco. The commander in charge of the occupation, Juan Fontán Lobé was appointed Governor-General by Franco and began to exert more effective Spanish control over the enclave interior. Rio Muni had a small population, officially a little over 100,000 in the 1930s, and escape across the frontiers into
Cameroun French Cameroon or French Cameroons (french: Cameroun) was a League of Nations Mandate A League of Nations mandate was a legal status for certain territories transferred from the control of one country to another following World War I Wo ...

Cameroun
or
Gabon Gabon (; ), officially the Gabonese Republic (french: République gabonaise), is a country on the west coast of Central Africa Central Africa is a subregion of the Africa, African continent comprising various countries according to dif ...

Gabon
was very easy. Also, the
timber Lumber, also known as timber, is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, sup ...

timber
companies needed increasing numbers of workers, and the spread of
coffee Coffee is a drink prepared from roasted s, the seeds of from certain s in the ' genus. From the coffee fruit, the seeds are separated to produce a stable, raw product: unroasted ''green coffee''. The seeds are then , a process which transfo ...

coffee
cultivation offered an alternative means of paying taxes. Fernando Pó thus continued to suffer from labour shortages. The French only briefly permitted recruitment in Cameroun, and the main source of labour came to be
Igbo Igbo may refer to: * Igbo people, an ethnic group of Nigeria * Igbo language, their language * anything related to Igboland, a cultural region in Nigeria See also

* Ibo (disambiguation) * Igbo mythology * Igbo music * Igbo art * * Igbo-Ukwu, ...

Igbo
smuggled in canoes from
Calabar Calabar (also referred to as Callabar, Calabari, Calbari, Kalabari and Kalabar) is the capital of Cross River State ) , image_map = Nigeria - Cross River.svg , map_alt = , map_caption ...

Calabar
in
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
. This resolution to the worker shortage allowed Fernando Pó to become one of Africa's most productive agricultural areas after the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
.


Final years of Spanish rule (1945–1968)

Politically, post-war colonial history has three fairly distinct phases: up to 1959, when its status was raised from 'colonial' to 'provincial', following the approach of the
Portuguese Empire The Portuguese Empire ( pt, Império Português), also known as the Portuguese Overseas (''Ultramar Português'') or the Portuguese Colonial Empire (''Império Colonial Português''), was composed of the overseas colonies In political scie ...
; between 1960 and 1968, when Madrid attempted a partial
decolonisation Decolonization (American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States ( ...
aimed at keeping the territory as part of the Spanish system; and from 1968 on, after the territory became an independent
republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...

republic
. The first phase consisted of little more than a continuation of previous policies; these closely resembled the policies of Portugal and France, notably in dividing the population into a vast majority governed as 'natives' or non-citizens, and a very small minority (together with whites) admitted to civic status as '' emancipados'', assimilation to the metropolitan culture being the only permissible means of advancement. This 'provincial' phase saw the beginnings of
nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target ...
, but chiefly among small groups who had taken refuge from the ''
Caudillo A ''caudillo'' ( , ; osp, cabdillo, from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meani ...
''s paternal hand in Cameroun and Gabon. They formed two bodies: the Movimiento Nacional de Liberación de la Guinea (MONALIGE), and the Idea Popular de Guinea Ecuatorial (IPGE). The pressure they could bring to bear was weak, but the general trend in West Africa was not, and by the late 1960s much of the African continent had been granted independence. Aware of this trend, the Spanish began to increase efforts to prepare the country for independence and massively stepped up development. The Gross National Product per capita in 1965 was $466 which was the highest in black Africa, and the Spanish constructed an international airport at Santa Isabel, a television station and increased the literacy rate to a relatively high 89%. At the same time measures were taken to battle sleeping sickness and leprosy in the enclave, and by 1967 the number of hospital beds per capita in Equatorial Guinea was higher than Spain itself, with 1637 beds in 16 hospitals. All the same, measures to improve education floundered and like in the
Democratic Republic of Congo The Democratic Republic of the Congo ( french: République démocratique du Congo (RDC) ), also known as Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo, and formerly Zaire Zaire (, ), officially the Republic of Zaire (frenc ...

Democratic Republic of Congo
by the end of colonial rule the number of Africans in higher education was in only the double digits, and political education necessary to a functioning state was negligible. A decision of 9 August 1963, approved by a referendum of 15 December 1963, gave the territory a measure of autonomy and the administrative promotion of a 'moderate' group, the (MUNGE). This proved a feeble instrument, and, with growing pressure for change from the UN, Madrid was gradually forced to give way to the currents of nationalism. Two General Assembly resolutions were passed in 1965 ordering Spain to grant independence to the colony, and in 1966 a UN Commission toured the country before recommending the same thing. In response, the Spanish declared that they would hold a constitutional convention on 27 October 1967 to negotiate a new constitution for an independent Equatorial Guinea. The conference was attended by 41 local delegates and 25 Spaniards. The Africans were principally divided between Fernandinos and Bubi on one side, who feared a loss of privileges and 'swamping' by the Fang majority, and the Río Muni Fang nationalists on the other. At the conference the leading Fang figure, the later first president
Francisco Macías Nguema Francisco Macías Nguema (born Mez-m Ngueme; Africanisation, Africanised to Masie Nguema Biyogo Ñegue Ndong; 1 January 1924 – 29 September 1979) was the first President of Equatorial Guinea, from 1968 until his 1979 Equatorial Guinea coup d' ...

Francisco Macías Nguema
gave a controversial speech in which he claimed that
Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (; 20 April 188930 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician who was the dictator of Nazi Germany, Germany from 1933 to 1945. Adolf Hitler's rise to power, He rose to power as the leader of the Nazi Party, becoming Cha ...

Adolf Hitler
had 'saved Africa'. After nine sessions the conference was suspended due to deadlock between the 'unionists' and 'separatists' who wanted a separate Fernando Pó. Macías resolved to travel to the UN to bolster international awareness of the issue, and his firebrand speeches in New York contributed to Spain naming a date for both independence and general elections. In July 1968 virtually all Bubi leaders went to the UN in New York to try and raise awareness for their cause, but the world community was uninterested in quibbling over the specifics of colonial independence. The 1960s were a time of great optimism over the future of the former African colonies, and groups that had been close to European rulers, like the Bubi, were not viewed positively.


Independence under Macías (1968–1979)

Independence from Spain was gained on 12 October 1968, at noon in the capital, Malabo. The new country became the Republic of Equatorial Guinea (the date is celebrated as the country's
Independence Day An independence day is an annual event commemorating the anniversary An anniversary is the date on which an event took place or an institution was founded in a previous year, and may also refer to the commemoration or celebration of that ...
). Macías became president in the country's only free and fair election. The Spanish (ruled by
Franco Franco may refer to: Name * Franco (name), includes a list of people with the name * Francisco Franco (1892–1975), Spanish general and dictator of Spain from 1939 to 1975 * Franco Luambo (1938–1989), Congolese musician, the "Grand Maître" ...

Franco
) had backed Macías in the election due to his perceived loyalty, however while on the campaign trail he had proven to be far less easy to handle than they had expected. Much of his campaigning involved visiting rural areas of Río Muni and promising young Fang that they would have the houses and wives of the Spanish if they voted for him. In the towns he had instead presented himself as the urbane leader who had bested the Spanish at the UN, and he had won in the second round of voting; greatly helped by the vote-splitting of his rivals. The euphoria of independence became quickly overshadowed by problems emanating from the
Nigerian Civil War#REDIRECT Nigerian Civil War The Nigerian Civil War (also known as the Biafran War and the Nigerian-Biafran War) was a civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the sa ...
. Fernando Pó was inhabited by many Biafra-supporting Ibo migrant workers and many refugees from the breakaway state fled to the island, straining it to breaking point. The
International Committee of the Red Cross The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC; french: Comité international de la Croix-Rouge) is a humanitarian organization An aid agency, also known as development charity, is an organization dedicated to distributing aid In int ...
began running relief flights out of Equatorial Guinea, but Macías quickly became spooked and shut the flights down, refusing to allow them to fly diesel fuel for their trucks nor oxygen tanks for medical operations. Very quickly the Biafran separatists were starved into submission without international backing. After the Public Prosecutor complained about "excesses and maltreatment" by government officials, Macías had 150 alleged coup-plotters executed in a purge on Christmas Eve 1969, all of whom happened to be political opponents. Macias Nguema further consolidated his by outlawing opposition political parties in July 1970 and making himself president for life in 1972. He broke off ties with Spain and the West. In spite of his condemnation of
Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies soci ...
, which he deemed " neo-colonialist", Equatorial Guinea maintained very special relations with
communist state A communist state, also known as a Marxist–Leninist state, is a one-party state that is administered and governed by a communist party guided by Marxism–Leninism. Marxism–Leninism was the Ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Uni ...
s, notably China,
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud Isla de la Juventud (; en, Isle of Youth) is the second-largest Cuban islan ...

Cuba
, and the
USSR The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a socialist state that spanned Eurasia during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a Federation, federal union of multiple national Republics of ...

USSR
. Macias Nguema signed a preferential
trade agreement A trade agreement (also known as trade pact) is a wide-ranging taxes, tariff and trade treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public internatio ...
and a shipping treaty with the Soviet Union. The Soviets also made loans to Equatorial Guinea. The shipping agreement gave the Soviets permission for a pilot
fishery Fishery can mean either the enterprise of raising or harvesting fish Fish are , , -bearing animals that lack with . Included in this definition are the living , s, and and as well as various extinct related groups. Around 99% of living ...

fishery
development project and also a naval base at Luba. In return the USSR was to supply fish to Equatorial Guinea. China and Cuba also gave different forms of financial, military, and technical assistance to Equatorial Guinea, which got them a measure of influence there. For the USSR, there was an advantage to be gained in the War in Angola from access to Luba base and later on to
Malabo International Airport Malabo Airport or Saint Isabel Airport ( es, link=no, Aeropuerto de Malabo), is an airport located at ''Punta Europa'', Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea ( es, Guinea Ecuatorial; french: Guinée équatoriale; pt, Guiné Equa ...

Malabo International Airport
. In 1974 the
World Council of Churches The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a worldwide Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ...
affirmed that large numbers of people had been murdered since 1968 in an ongoing
reign of terror The Reign of Terror, commonly called The Terror (french: link=no, la Terreur), was a period of the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General of 1789 and ended in coup of 18 Br ...
. A quarter of the entire population had fled abroad, they said, while 'the prisons are overflowing and to all intents and purposes form one vast concentration camp'. Out of a population of 300,000, an estimated 80,000 were killed. Apart from allegedly committing
genocide Genocide is the attempted destruction of a people, usually defined as an ethnic An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish t ...
against the ethnic minority
Bubi people The Bubi people (also known as Bobe, Voove, Ewota and Bantu Bubi) are a Bantu Bantu may refer to: *Bantu languages, constitute the largest sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages *Bantu peoples, over 400 peoples of Africa speaking a Bantu la ...
, Macias Nguema ordered the deaths of thousands of suspected opponents, closed down churches and presided over the economy's collapse as skilled citizens and foreigners fled the country.


Obiang (1979–present)

The nephew of Macías Nguema, Teodoro Obiang deposed his uncle on 3 August 1979, in a bloody ''
coup d'état A coup d'état (; French for "blow of state"), often shortened to coup in English, (also known as an overthrow) is a seizure and removal of a government and its powers. Typically, it is an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a politic ...
''; over two weeks of civil war ensued until Macías Nguema was captured. He was tried and executed soon afterward, with Obiang succeeding him as a less bloody, but still authoritarian president. In 1995
Mobil Mobil Corporation, (originally Standard Oil Company of New York and then Socony-Vacuum Oil Company) was an American oil company that merged with Exxon Exxon is the brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature th ...

Mobil
, an American oil company, discovered oil in Equatorial Guinea. The country subsequently experienced rapid economic development, but earnings from the country's oil wealth have not reached the population and the country ranks low on the UN human development index. Around 1 in 12 children die before the age of 5 and more than 50% of the population lacks access to clean
drinking water Drinking water, also known as potable water, is water that is safe to drinking, drink or use for food preparation. The amount of drinking water required to maintain good health varies, and depends on physical activity level, age, health-related ...

drinking water
. President Teodoro Obiang is widely suspected of using the country's oil wealth to enrich himself and his associates. In 2006, Forbes estimated his personal wealth at $600 million. In 2011, the government announced it was planning a new capital for the country, named
Oyala Ciudad de la Paz (french: Ville de Paix, pt, Cidade da Paz), formerly Oyala, is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''Th ...
. The city was renamed
Ciudad de la Paz Ciudad de la Paz (french: Ville de Paix, pt, Cidade da Paz), formerly Oyala, is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ' ...
(''"City of Peace"'') in 2017. , Obiang is Africa's second-longest serving dictator after
Cameroon Cameroon (, french: Cameroun), officially the Republic of Cameroon (french: République du Cameroun, links=no), is a country in west 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal direc ...

Cameroon
's
Paul Biya Paul Biya (born Paul Barthélemy Biya'a bi Mvondo; 13 February 1933) is a Cameroon Cameroon (, french: Cameroun), officially the Republic of Cameroon (french: République du Cameroun, links=no), is a country in west 250px, A compass ...
. On 7 March 2021, there were munition explosions at a military base near the city of Bata causing 98 deaths and 600 people being injured and treated at the hospital.


Government and politics

The current president of Equatorial Guinea is Teodoro Obiang. The 1982 constitution of Equatorial Guinea gives him extensive powers, including naming and dismissing members of the cabinet, making laws by decree, dissolving the Chamber of Representatives, negotiating and ratifying treaties and serving as commander in chief of the armed forces. Prime Minister
Francisco Pascual Obama Asue Francisco Pascual Eyegue Obama Asue is an Equatoguinean politician who is Prime Minister of Equatorial Guinea since 23 June 2016. Prior to holding this position, he was the Equatoguinean Minister of Health and Social Welfare and also the Ministe ...
was appointed by Obiang and operates under powers delegated by the President. During the four decades of his rule, Obiang has shown little tolerance for opposition. While the country is nominally a multiparty democracy, its elections have generally been considered a sham. According to
Human Rights Watch Human Rights Watch (HRW) is an international non-governmental organization File:Europe in a suitcase - UK.jpg, upright=1.3, alt=A roomful of people, Europe-Georgia Institute head George Melashvili addresses the audience at the launch of the ...
, the dictatorship of President Obiang used an
oil boom An oil boom is a period of large inflow of income as a result of high global oil prices or large oil production The extraction of petroleum is the process by which usable petroleum Petroleum, also known as crude oil and oil, is a natura ...
to entrench and enrich itself further at the expense of the country's people.BBC News – Equatorial Guinea country profile – Overview
Bbc.co.uk (11 December 2012). Retrieved on 5 May 2013.
Since August 1979 some 12 real and perceived unsuccessful coup attempts have occurred. According to a March 2004 BBC profile, politics within the country were dominated by tensions between Obiang's son,
Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue (born 25 June 1968, nicknamed Teodorín) is the Vice President of Equatorial Guinea, in office since 2012. He is a son of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Teodoro Obiang, the President of Equatorial Guinea, by his first ...
, and other close relatives with powerful positions in the security forces. The tension may be rooted in a power shift arising from the dramatic increase in oil production which has occurred since 1997. In 2004 a plane load of suspected mercenaries was intercepted in
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe (), officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individ ...

Zimbabwe
while allegedly on the way to overthrow Obiang. A November 2004 report named
Mark Thatcher Sir Mark Thatcher, 2nd Baronet (born 15 August 1953) is a British businessman. He is the son of Margaret Thatcher Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, (; 13 October 19258 April 2013) was a British who served as Prime Mini ...
as a financial backer of the 2004 Equatorial Guinea coup d'état attempt organized by
Simon Mann Simon Francis Mann (born 26 June 1952) is a British mercenary A mercenary, sometimes known as a soldier of fortune, is a private individual, particularly a soldier, who takes part in military conflict War is an intense armed confl ...

Simon Mann
. Various accounts also named the United Kingdom's MI6, the United States'
CIA The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA; ), known informally as "The Agency" and "The Company", is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States The federal government of the United States (U.S. ...
, and Spain as tacit supporters of the coup attempt. Nevertheless, the
Amnesty International Amnesty International (also referred to as Amnesty or AI) is a non-governmental organization A non-governmental organization, or simply an NGO, is an organization An organization, or organisation (Commonwealth English The use ...

Amnesty International
report released in June 2005 on the ensuing trial of those allegedly involved highlighted the prosecution's failure to produce conclusive evidence that a coup attempt had actually taken place. Simon Mann was released from prison on 3 November 2009 for humanitarian reasons. Since 2005, Military Professional Resources Inc., a US-based international private military company, has worked in Equatorial Guinea to train police forces in appropriate human rights practices. In 2006,
US Secretary of State The United States secretary of state implements foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and international policy. It produces content dail ...
Condoleezza Rice Condoleezza "Condi" Rice ( ; born November 14, 1954) is an American diplomat, political scientist Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance Governance comprises all of ...

Condoleezza Rice
hailed Obiang as a "good friend" despite repeated criticism of his human rights and civil liberties record. The
US Agency for International Development The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent agency of the United States federal government that is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance. With a budget of ov ...
entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Obiang, in April 2006, to establish a social development Fund in the country, implementing projects in the areas of health, education, women's affairs and the environment. In 2006, Obiang signed an anti-torture decree banning all forms of abuse and improper treatment in Equatorial Guinea, and commissioned the renovation and modernization of Black Beach prison in 2007 to ensure the humane treatment of prisoners. However, human rights abuses have continued. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International among other non-governmental organizations have documented severe human rights abuses in prisons, including torture, beatings, unexplained deaths and illegal detention. In their most recently publishing findings (2020),
Transparency International Transparency International e.V. (TI) is a German registered voluntary association A voluntary group or union (also sometimes called a voluntary organization, common-interest association, association, or society) is a group of individuals who ente ...
awarded Equatorial Guinea a total score of 16 on their
Corruption Perceptions Index The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is an index published annually by Berlin-based Transparency International since 1995 which ranks countries "by their perceived levels of public sector The public sector (also called the state sector) i ...
(CPI). CPI ranks countries by their perceived level of public corruption where zero is very corrupt and 100 is extremely clean. Equatorial Guinea was the 174th lowest scoring nation out of a total of 180 countries. Freedom House, a pro-democracy and human rights NGO, described Obiang as one of the world's "most kleptocratic living autocrats," and complained about the US government welcoming his administration and buying oil from it. Obiang was re-elected to serve an additional term in 2009 in an election the
African Union The African Union (AU) is a continental union A continental union is a regional organization which facilitates pan-continental integration. Continental unions vary from collaborative intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organiza ...

African Union
deemed "in line with electoral law". Obiang re-appointed Prime Minister Ignacio Milam Tang in 2010. In November 2011, a new constitution was approved. The vote on the constitution was taken though neither the text or its content was revealed to the public before the vote. Under the new constitution the president was limited to a maximum of two seven-year terms and would be both the head of state and head of the government, therefore eliminating the prime minister. The new constitution also introduced the figure of a vice president and called for the creation of a 70-member senate with 55 senators elected by the people and the 15 remaining designated by the president. Surprisingly, in the following cabinet reshuffle it was announced that there would be two vice-presidents in clear violation of the constitution that was just taking effect. In October 2012, during an interview with
Christiane Amanpour Christiane Maria Heideh Amanpour (; fa, کریستین امان‌پور, Kristiane Amānpur; born 12 January 1958) is a British-Iranian journalist and television host. Amanpour is the Chief International Anchor for CNN and host of CNN Intern ...
on
CNN The Cable News Network (CNN) is a multinational news-based pay television Pay television also known as subscription television, premium television or, when referring to an individual service, a premium channel, refers to subscription-based t ...

CNN
, Obiang was asked whether he would step down at the end of the current term (2009–2016) since the new constitution limited the number of terms to two and he has been reelected at least 4 times. Obiang answered he refused to step aside because the new constitution was not retroactive and the two- term limit would only become applicable from 2016. The elections on 26 May 2013 combined the senate, lower house and mayoral contests all in a single package. Like all previous elections, this was denounced by the opposition and it too was won by Obiang's PDGE. During the electoral contest, the ruling party hosted internal elections which were later scrapped as none of the president's favorite candidates led the internal lists. Ultimately, the ruling party and the satellites of the ruling coalition decided to run not based on the candidates but based on the party. This created a situation where during the election the ruling party's coalition did not provide the names of their candidates so effectively individuals were not running for office, instead, the party was the one running for office. The May 2013 elections were marked by a series of events including the popular protest planned by a group of activists from the MPP (Movement of Popular Protest) which included several social and political groups. The MPP called for a peaceful protest at the Plaza de la Mujer square on 15 May. MPP coordinator Enrique Nsolo Nzo was arrested and official state media portrayed him as planning to destabilize the country and depose the president. However, despite speaking under duress and with clear signs of torture, Nsolo said that they had planned a peaceful protest and had indeed obtained all the legal authorizations required to carry out the peaceful protest. In addition to that, he firmly stated that he was not affiliated with any political party. The Plaza de la Mujer square in Malabo was occupied by the police from 13 May and it has been heavily guarded ever since. The government embarked on a
censorship Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information. This may be done on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or "inconvenient". Censorship can be conducted by governments ...

censorship
program that affected social sites including Facebook and other websites that were critical to the government of Equatorial Guinea. The censorship was implemented by redirecting online searches to the official government website. Shortly after the elections, opposition party CPDS announced that they were going to protest peacefully against the 26 May elections on 25 June. Interior minister Clemente Engonga refused to authorise the protest on the grounds that it could "destabilize" the country and CPDS decided to go forward, claiming constitutional right. On the night of 24 June, the CPDS headquarters in Malabo were surrounded by heavily armed police officers to keep those inside from leaving and thus effectively blocking the protest. Several leading members of CPDS were detained in Malabo and others in Bata were kept from boarding several local flights to Malabo. President Obiang's
Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea The Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea ( es, Partido Democrático de Guinea Ecuatorial, Abbreviation, abbreviated PDGE) is the ruling political party in Equatorial Guinea. It was established by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo as the c ...
holds 99 of the 100 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and all of those in the Senate. The opposition is almost non-existent in the country and is organized from Spain mainly within the social-democratic Convergence for Social Democracy. Most of the media are under state control; the private television channels, those of the Asonga group, belong to the president's family.


Armed forces

The Armed Forces of Equatorial Guinea consists of approximately 2,500 service members. The army has almost 1,400 soldiers, the police 400 paramilitary men, the navy 200 service members, and the air force about 120 members. There is also a
gendarmerie Wrong info! --> A vedette of the French ''Gendarmerie Maritime'' in La Rochelle harbour A gendarmerie () is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily ...

gendarmerie
, but the number of members is unknown. The Gendarmerie is a new branch of the service in which training and education is being supported by the French Military Cooperation in Equatorial Guinea.


Geography

Equatorial Guinea is on the west coast of
Central Africa Central Africa is a subregion of the Africa, African continent comprising various countries according to different definitions. Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic ...

Central Africa
. The country consists of a mainland territory,
Río Muni Río Muni (called ''Mbini'' in Fang The four canines, or fangs, of a domestic cat. (The largest two teeth of the top and bottom rows of teeth.) A fang is a long, pointed tooth A tooth (plural teeth) is a hard, calcified structure fou ...
, which is bordered by Cameroon to the north and Gabon to the east and south, and five small islands,
Bioko Bioko ( bvb, Ëtulá Ëria) is an island off the west coast of Africa and the northernmost part of Equatorial Guinea. Its population was 335,048 at the 2015 census and it covers an area of . The island is located off the Ambazonian segment of ...

Bioko
,
Corisco Corisco, or Mandj, is a small island of Equatorial Guinea, located southwest of the Río Muni estuary that defines the border with Gabon Gabon (; ), officially the Gabonese Republic (french: République gabonaise), is a country on the w ...
,
Annobón Annobón ( es, Provincia de Annobón; pt, Ano-Bom), and formerly as ''Anno Bom'' and ''Annabona'', is a provinces of Equatorial Guinea, province of Equatorial Guinea consisting of the list of islands of Africa, island of Annobón, formerly also ...

Annobón
,
Elobey Chico Elobey Chico, or Little Elobey, is a small island off the coast of Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea ( es, Guinea Ecuatorial; french: Guinée équatoriale; pt, Guiné Equatorial), officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea ( es, link=n ...
(Small Elobey), and
Elobey Grande Elobey Grande, or Great Elobey, is an island of Equatorial Guinea, lying at the mouth of the Mitémélé River. It is sparsely inhabited. Elobey Chico is a smaller island offshore, now uninhabited but once the Spanish Guinea, colonial capital of t ...
(Great Elobey). Bioko, the site of the capital,
Malabo Malabo ( , ; formerly Santa Isabel) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscu ...
, lies about off the coast of Cameroon. Annobón Island is about west-south-west of
Cape Lopez Cape Lopez () is a headland on the coast of Gabon, west central Africa. The westernmost point of Gabon, it separates the Gulf of Guinea from the South Atlantic Ocean. Cape Lopez is the northernmost point of a low, wooded island between two mouths ...
in Gabon. Corisco and the two Elobey islands are in Corisco Bay, on the border of Río Muni and Gabon. Equatorial Guinea lies between latitudes 4°N and 2°S, and longitudes and 12°E. Despite its name, no part of the country's territory lies on the equator—it is in the northern hemisphere, except for the insular Annobón Province, which is about south of the equator.


Climate

Equatorial Guinea has a tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. From June to August, Río Muni is dry and Bioko wet; from December to February, the reverse occurs. In between there is gradual transition. Rain or mist occurs daily on Annobón, where a cloudless day has never been registered. The temperature at Malabo, Bioko, ranges from to , though on the southern Moka Plateau normal high temperatures are only . In Río Muni, the average temperature is about . Annual
rainfall Rain is liquid water in the form of droplet Rain water flux from a canopy. Among the forces that govern drop formation: cohesion, Van der Waals force">Cohesion_(chemistry).html" ;"title="surface tension, Cohesion (chemistry)">cohesion, ...

rainfall
varies from at Malabo to at Ureka, Bioko, but Río Muni is somewhat drier.


Ecology

Equatorial Guinea spans several
ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an ecologically Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including h ...
s. Río Muni region lies within the
Atlantic Equatorial coastal forests The Atlantic Equatorial coastal forests, also known as the Congolian coastal forests, are a tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an ecology, ecologically and geographically ...
ecoregion except for patches of
Central African mangroves The Central African mangroves ecoregion consists of the largest area of mangrove swamp in Africa, located on the coasts of West Africa, mainly in Nigeria. Location and description These mangroves are found in fertile rivermouths and lagoons and c ...
on the coast, especially in the Muni River estuary. The Cross-Sanaga-Bioko coastal forests ecoregion covers most of Bioko and the adjacent portions of
Cameroon Cameroon (, french: Cameroun), officially the Republic of Cameroon (french: République du Cameroun, links=no), is a country in west 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal direc ...

Cameroon
and
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
on the African mainland, and the Mount Cameroon and Bioko montane forests ecoregion covers the highlands of Bioko and nearby
Mount Cameroon Mount Cameroon is an active volcano A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object A planet is an astronomical body orbit In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved trajectory of an physical body, obje ...

Mount Cameroon
. The São Tomé, Príncipe, and Annobón moist lowland forests ecoregion covers all of Annobón, as well as São Tomé and Príncipe. The country had a 2018
Forest Landscape Integrity Index The Forest Landscape Integrity Index (FLII) is an annual global index of forest A forest is an area of land dominated by trees. Hundreds of definitions of forest are used throughout the world, incorporating factors such as tree density, tree ...
mean score of 7.99/10, ranking it 30th globally out of 172 countries.


Wildlife

Equatorial Guinea is home to
gorilla Gorillas are herbivorous, predominantly ground-dwelling great apes that inhabit the tropical forests of equatorial Africa. The genus ''Gorilla'' is divided into two species: the eastern gorilla and the western gorilla, and either four or f ...

gorilla
s,
chimpanzee The chimpanzee (''Pan troglodytes''), also known simply as chimp, is a species of Hominidae, great ape native to the forest and savannah of tropical Africa. It has four confirmed subspecies and a fifth proposed subspecies. The chimpanzee and t ...

chimpanzee
s, various monkeys,
leopard The leopard (''Panthera pardus'') is one of the five extant in the ', a member of the cat , . It occurs in a wide range in , in some parts of and , , and on the to and . It is listed as on the because leopard populations are threatened ...

leopard
s, ,
antelope The term antelope is used to refer to many species of even-toed ruminant Ruminants (suborder In biological classification, the order ( la, wikt:ordo#Latin, ordo) is # a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms and recognized by ...

antelope
,
elephant Elephants are the largest existing land animals. Three living species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A specie ...

elephant
s,
hippopotamus The hippopotamus ( ; ''Hippopotamus amphibius''), also called the hippo, common hippopotamus or river hippopotamus, is a large, mostly herbivore, herbivorous, List of semiaquatic tetrapods, semiaquatic mammal and ungulate native to sub-Sahara ...

hippopotamus
es,
crocodile Crocodiles (family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-being of its members and of society. I ...

crocodile
s, and various
snake Snakes are elongated, limbless, carnivore, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes . Like all other Squamata, squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping Scale (zoology), scales. Many species of snakes ...

snake
s, including
pythons The Pythonidae, commonly known as pythons, are a Family (biology), family of Venomous snake, nonvenomous snakes found in Africa, Asia, and Australia. Among its members are some of the largest snakes in the world. Ten Genus, genera and 42 species ...
.


Administrative divisions

Equatorial Guinea is divided into eight
provinces A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...
. The newest province is
Djibloho Djibloho, officially the ''Administrative City of Djibloho'', (Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish ...

Djibloho
, created in 2017 with its headquarters at
Ciudad de la Paz Ciudad de la Paz (french: Ville de Paix, pt, Cidade da Paz), formerly Oyala, is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ' ...
, the country's future capital. The eight provinces are as follows (numbers correspond to those on the map; provincial capitals appear in parentheses): #
Annobón Annobón ( es, Provincia de Annobón; pt, Ano-Bom), and formerly as ''Anno Bom'' and ''Annabona'', is a provinces of Equatorial Guinea, province of Equatorial Guinea consisting of the list of islands of Africa, island of Annobón, formerly also ...

Annobón
(
San Antonio de Palé San Antonio de Palé, formerly known as St Antony, San Antonio de Praia and Palea, is the capital of Annobón (an island in Equatorial Guinea that was once part of the Spanish Empire in Africa). The town has 600 inhabitants, the majority of whom s ...
) #
Bioko Norte Bioko Norte (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguat ...
(
Malabo Malabo ( , ; formerly Santa Isabel) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscu ...
) #
Bioko Sur Bioko Sur ( Spanish language, Spanish for "South Bioko") is a Provinces of Equatorial Guinea, province of Equatorial Guinea. Its capital is Luba, Equatorial Guinea, Luba. It occupies the southern part of the island of Bioko, the remainder of whic ...
( Luba) #
Centro Sur Centro Sur ( Spanish for "South-center") is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrat ...

Centro Sur
(
Evinayong Evinayong is a town lying atop a small mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit area, and ...
) #
Djibloho Djibloho, officially the ''Administrative City of Djibloho'', (Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish ...

Djibloho
(
Ciudad de la Paz Ciudad de la Paz (french: Ville de Paix, pt, Cidade da Paz), formerly Oyala, is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ' ...
) # Kié-Ntem ( Ebebiyín) # Litoral ( Bata) # Wele-Nzas (
Mongomo Mongomo is a town in the province of Wele-Nzas on mainland Equatorial Guinea, on the eastern border, roughly 1 km (0.62 mi) west of Gabon's Woleu-Ntem Province. Religion Its cathedral basilica of the Immaculate Conception is the episco ...
) The provinces are further divided into 19 districts and 37
municipalities A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, ...

municipalities
.


Economy

Before independence Equatorial Guinea exported
cocoa CoCoA (Computations in Commutative Algebra) is a free computer algebra system developed by the University of Genova, Italy, used to compute with numbers and polynomials. The CoCoA Library (CoCoALib) is available under GNU General Public License. ...
, coffee and timber, mostly to its colonial ruler, Spain, but also to Germany and the UK. On 1 January 1985, the country became the first non-
Francophone This article details the geographical distribution of speakers of the French language French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from ...
African member of the
franc zone 450px, Usage of: West African CFA franc (XOF) Central African CFA franc (XAF) The CFA franc (french: franc CFA, , Franc of the Financial Community of Africa, originally Franc of the French Colonies in Africa, or colloquially ) is the name of two ...
, adopting the
CFA franc The CFA franc (french: franc CFA, , Franc of the Financial Community of Africa, originally Franc of the French Colonies in Africa, or colloquially ) is the name of two currencies A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, liter ...
as its currency. The national currency, the ekwele, had previously been linked to the
Spanish peseta The peseta (, ), * ca, pesseta, was the currency A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" in the most specific sense is money Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James ...
. The discovery of large
oil reserves Oil reserves denote the amount of crude oil Petroleum (), also known as crude oil and oil, is a naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. It is commonly refined into various ty ...

oil reserves
in 1996 and its subsequent exploitation contributed to a dramatic increase in government revenue. , Equatorial Guinea is the third-largest oil producer in
Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa (commonly called Black Africa) is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all list of sovereign states and dependent territories i ...

Sub-Saharan Africa
. Its oil production has risen to , up from 220,000 only two years earlier. Forestry, farming, and fishing are also major components of GDP. Subsistence farming predominates. The deterioration of the rural economy under successive brutal regimes has diminished any potential for agriculture-led growth. Agriculture is the country's main source of employment, providing income for 57% of rural households and employment for 52% of the workforce. In July 2004, the
United States Senate The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, politi ...
published an investigation into , a Washington-based bank into which most of Equatorial Guinea's oil revenues were paid until recently, and which also banked for
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively small portion in the . It can also be described as the southern ...

Chile
's
Augusto Pinochet Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte (, also , , ; 25 November 1915 – 10 December 2006) was a Chilean Army Captain general#Chile, General, politician and military dictatorship, military dictator who ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990, first as the ...

Augusto Pinochet
. The Senate report showed at least $35 million siphoned off by Obiang, his family and regime senior officials. The president has denied any wrongdoing. Riggs Bank in February 2005 paid $9 million in restitution for Pinochet's banking, no restitution was made with regard to Equatorial Guinea. From 2000 to 2010, Equatorial Guinea had the highest average annual increase in GDP (Gross Domestic Product), 17%. Equatorial Guinea is a member of the
Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in AfricaOHADA is a system of corporate law Corporate law (also known as business law or enterprise law or sometimes company law) is the body of law governing the rights, relations, and conduct of persons, companies, organizations and businesses. ...
( OHADA). Equatorial Guinea is also a member of the Central African Monetary and Economic Union (CEMAC), a subregion that comprises more than 50 million people. Equatorial Guinea tried to be validated as an
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources. It seeks to address the key governance issues in the extractive sectors. The EITI Standard requires informat ...
(EITI)–compliant country, working toward transparency in reporting of oil revenues and prudent use of natural resource wealth. The country obtained candidate status on 22 February 2008. It was then required to meet a number of obligations to do so, including committing to working with civil society and companies on EITI implementation, appointing a senior individual to lead on EITI implementation, and publishing a fully costed Work Plan with measurable targets, a timetable for implementation and an assessment of capacity constraints. However, when Equatorial Guinea applied to extend the deadline for completing EITI validation, the EITI Board did not agree to the extension. According to the
World Bank The World Bank is an international financial institution An international financial institution (IFI) is a financial institution that has been established (or chartered) by more than one country, and hence is subject to international law. Its o ...
, Equatorial Guinea has the highest GNI (Gross National Income) per capita of any African country, 83 times larger than the GNI per capita of
Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is ...

Burundi
, the poorest country. Yet despite its impressive GNI figure, Equatorial Guinea is plagued by extreme poverty brought about by
Wealth Inequality The distribution of wealth is a comparison of the wealth of various members or groups in a society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group shar ...
. Its
Gini coefficient In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption o ...

Gini coefficient
of 65.0 is the highest in the entire world. The economy of Equatorial Guinea is expected to grow about 2.6% in 2021, a projection based on the successful completion of a large gas project and the recovery of the world economy by the second half of the year. But the country is expected to return to recession in 2022, with a real GDP decline of about 4.4%. According to the 2016 United Nations Human Development Report, Equatorial Guinea had a gross domestic product per capita of $21,517, one of the highest levels of wealth in Africa. However, it is one of the most unequal countries in the world according to the
Gini index In economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those so ...
, with 70 percent of the population living on one dollar a day. The country ranks 145th out of 189 on the United Nations Human Development Index in 2019. Hydrocarbons account for 97% of the state's exports and it is a member of the African Petroleum Producers Organization. in 2020, it faces its eighth year of recession, due in part to endemic corruption.


Transportation

Due to the large oil industry in the country, internationally recognized carriers fly to
Malabo International Airport Malabo Airport or Saint Isabel Airport ( es, link=no, Aeropuerto de Malabo), is an airport located at ''Punta Europa'', Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea ( es, Guinea Ecuatorial; french: Guinée équatoriale; pt, Guiné Equa ...

Malabo International Airport
which, in May 2014, had several direct connections to Europe and
West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of Africa. The United Nations defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania ...

West Africa
. There are three airports in Equatorial Guinea —
Malabo International Airport Malabo Airport or Saint Isabel Airport ( es, link=no, Aeropuerto de Malabo), is an airport located at ''Punta Europa'', Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea ( es, Guinea Ecuatorial; french: Guinée équatoriale; pt, Guiné Equa ...

Malabo International Airport
,
Bata Airport Bata Airport is an airport serving Bata, Equatorial Guinea, Bata in Litoral (Equatorial Guinea), Litoral, Equatorial Guinea. It is the second largest airport in Equatorial Guinea after Malabo International Airport. Overview The airport is nort ...
and the new Annobón Airport on the island of
Annobón Annobón ( es, Provincia de Annobón; pt, Ano-Bom), and formerly as ''Anno Bom'' and ''Annabona'', is a provinces of Equatorial Guinea, province of Equatorial Guinea consisting of the list of islands of Africa, island of Annobón, formerly also ...

Annobón
.
Malabo International Airport Malabo Airport or Saint Isabel Airport ( es, link=no, Aeropuerto de Malabo), is an airport located at ''Punta Europa'', Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea ( es, Guinea Ecuatorial; french: Guinée équatoriale; pt, Guiné Equa ...

Malabo International Airport
is the only international airport. Every airline registered in Equatorial Guinea appears on the list of air carriers prohibited in the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
(EU) which means that they are banned from operating services of any kind within the EU. However, freight carriers provide service from European cities to the capital.


Demographics

The majority of the people of Equatorial Guinea are of
Bantu Bantu may refer to: *Bantu languages, constitute the largest sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages *Bantu peoples, over 400 peoples of Africa speaking a Bantu language *Afro-textured hair#Styling, Bantu knots, a type of African hairstyle *Blac ...
origin. The largest ethnic group, the
Fang The four canines, or fangs, of a domestic cat. (The largest two teeth of the top and bottom rows of teeth.) A fang is a long, pointed tooth A tooth (plural teeth) is a hard, calcified structure found in the jaws (or mouths) of many vert ...
, is indigenous to the mainland, but substantial migration to
Bioko Island Bioko ( bvb, Ëtulá Ëria) is an island off the west coast of Africa and the northernmost part of Equatorial Guinea. Its population was 335,048 at the 2015 census and it covers an area of . The island is located off the Ambazonian segment of ...
since the 20th century means the Fang population exceeds that of the earlier
Bubi "BuBi" (officially: MOL BuBi) is a bicycle sharing network in Budapest Budapest (, ) is the capital and the List of cities and towns of Hungary, most populous city of Hungary, and the Largest cities of the European Union by population within ...
inhabitants. The Fang constitute 80% of the population and comprise around 67 clans. Those in the northern part of
Río Muni Río Muni (called ''Mbini'' in Fang The four canines, or fangs, of a domestic cat. (The largest two teeth of the top and bottom rows of teeth.) A fang is a long, pointed tooth A tooth (plural teeth) is a hard, calcified structure fou ...
speak Fang-Ntumu, while those in the south speak Fang-Okah; the two dialects have differences but are mutually intelligible. Dialects of Fang are also spoken in parts of neighboring Cameroon (Bulu) and Gabon. These dialects, while still intelligible, are more distinct. The
Bubi "BuBi" (officially: MOL BuBi) is a bicycle sharing network in Budapest Budapest (, ) is the capital and the List of cities and towns of Hungary, most populous city of Hungary, and the Largest cities of the European Union by population within ...
, who constitute 15% of the population, are indigenous to Bioko Island. The traditional demarcation line between Fang and 'Beach' (inland) ethnic groups was the village of Niefang (limit of the Fang), east of Bata. Coastal ethnic groups, sometimes referred to as Ndowe or "Playeros" (''Beach People'' in Spanish): Combes, Bujebas, Balengues, and Benga people, Bengas on the mainland and small islands, and Fernandinos, a Sierra Leone Krio people, Krio community on Bioko Island together comprise 5% of the population. Europeans (largely of Spanish or Portuguese people, Portuguese descent, some with partial African ancestry) also live in the country, but most ethnic Spaniards left after independence. A growing number of foreigners from neighboring
Cameroon Cameroon (, french: Cameroun), officially the Republic of Cameroon (french: République du Cameroun, links=no), is a country in west 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal direc ...

Cameroon
, Nigeria, and
Gabon Gabon (; ), officially the Gabonese Republic (french: République gabonaise), is a country on the west coast of Central Africa Central Africa is a subregion of the Africa, African continent comprising various countries according to dif ...

Gabon
have immigrated to the country. According to the ''Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations'' (2002) 7% of Bioko islanders were
Igbo Igbo may refer to: * Igbo people, an ethnic group of Nigeria * Igbo language, their language * anything related to Igboland, a cultural region in Nigeria See also

* Ibo (disambiguation) * Igbo mythology * Igbo music * Igbo art * * Igbo-Ukwu, ...

Igbo
, an ethnic group from southeastern Nigeria. Equatorial Guinea received Asians and native Africans from other countries as workers on cocoa and coffee plantations. Other black Africans came from
Liberia Liberia (), officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country on the West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of Africa. The United Nations defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape ...

Liberia
, Angola, and Mozambique. Most of the Asian population is Overseas Chinese, Chinese, with small numbers of Non-resident Indian and person of Indian origin, Indians. Equatorial Guinea has also been a destination for fortune-seeking European immigrants from Britain, France and Germany. Israelis and Moroccan people, Moroccans also live and work here. Petroleum, Oil extraction since the 1990s has contributed to a doubling of the population in Malabo. After independence, thousands of Equatorial Guineans went to Spain. Another 100,000 Equatorial Guineans went to Cameroon, Gabon, and Nigeria because of the dictatorship of
Francisco Macías Nguema Francisco Macías Nguema (born Mez-m Ngueme; Africanisation, Africanised to Masie Nguema Biyogo Ñegue Ndong; 1 January 1924 – 29 September 1979) was the first President of Equatorial Guinea, from 1968 until his 1979 Equatorial Guinea coup d' ...

Francisco Macías Nguema
. Some Equatorial Guinean communities are also found in Latin America, the United States, Portugal, and France.


Languages

For years, the official languages were Spanish (the local variant is Equatoguinean Spanish) and . Portuguese was also adopted as an official language in 2010. Spanish has been an official language since 1844. It is still the language of education and administration. 67.6% of Equatorial Guineans can speak it, especially those living in the capital,
Malabo Malabo ( , ; formerly Santa Isabel) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscu ...
.Obiang convierte al portugués en tercer idioma oficial para entrar en la Comunidad lusófona de Naciones
''Terra''. 13 July 2007
French was only made official in order to join the
Francophonie The Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF; sometimes shortened to the Francophonie, french: La Francophonie , but also called International Organisation of La Francophonie in English-language context) is an international organiza ...
and it is not locally spoken, except in some border towns. Aboriginal languages are recognised as integral parts of the "national culture" (Constitutional Law No. 1/1998 21 January). Indigenous languages (some of them Creole language, creoles) include Fang language, Fang, Bube language, Bube, Benga language, Benga, Combe language, Ndowe, Balengue language, Balengue, Bujeba language, Bujeba, Bissio, Gumu, Igbo, Pichinglis, Annobonese language, Fa d'Ambô and the nearly extinct Baseke language, Baseke. Most African ethnic groups speak Bantu languages.Oficina de Información y Prensa de Guinea Ecuatorial, Ministerio de Información, Cultura y Turismo
Guineaecuatorialpress.com. Retrieved on 5 May 2013.
Annobonese language, Fa d'Ambô, a Portuguese creole, has vigorous use in Annobón Province, in Malabo (the capital), and among some speakers in Equatorial Guinea's mainland. Many residents of Bioko can also speak Spanish, particularly in the capital, and the local trade language Pichinglis, an English-based creole. Spanish is not spoken much in Annobón. In government and education Spanish is used. Noncreolized Portuguese is used as liturgical language by local Catholics. The Annobonese ethnic community tried to gain membership in the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP). The government financed an International Portuguese Language Institute, Instituto Internacional da Língua Portuguesa (IILP) sociolinguistic study in Annobón. It documented strong links with the Portuguese creole populations in São Tomé and Príncipe, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau. Due to historical and cultural ties, in 2010 the legislature amended article four of the Constitution of Equatorial Guinea, to establish Portuguese as an official language of the Republic. This was an effort by the government to improve its communications, trade, and bilateral relations with Portuguese-speaking countries. It also recognises long historical ties with Portugal, and with Portuguese-speaking peoples of Brazil, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Cape Verde. Some of the motivations for Equatorial Guinea's pursuit of membership in the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) included access to several professional and academic exchange programmes and facilitated cross-border circulation of citizens. The adoption of Portuguese as an official language was the primary requirement to apply for CPLP acceptance. In addition, the country was told it must adopt political reforms allowing effective democracy and respect for human rights. The national parliament discussed this law in October 2011. In February 2012, Equatorial Guinea's foreign minister signed an agreement with the IILP on the promotion of Portuguese in the country. This note contains a link to the text of the protocol in PDF format. In July 2012, the CPLP refused Equatorial Guinea full membership, primarily because of its continued serious violations of human rights. The government responded by legalising political parties, declaring a moratorium on the death penalty, and starting a dialog with all political factions. Additionally, the IILP secured land from the government for the construction of Portuguese language cultural centres in Bata and Malabo. At its 10th summit in Dili in July 2014, Equatorial Guinea was admitted as a CPLP member. Abolition of the death penalty and the promotion of Portuguese as an official language were preconditions of the approval.


Religion

The principal religion in Equatorial Guinea is Christianity, the faith of 93% of the population. Roman Catholicism in Equatorial Guinea, Roman Catholics make up the majority (88%), while a minority are Protestants (5%). 2% of the population follows Islam in Equatorial Guinea, Islam (mainly Sunni). The remaining 5% practise Animism, Baháʼí Faith in Equatorial Guinea, Baháʼí, and other beliefs.


Health

Equatorial Guinea's innovative malaria programs in the early 21st century achieved success in reducing malaria infection, disease, and mortality rate, mortality. Their program consists of twice-yearly indoor residual spraying (IRS), the introduction of artemisinin combination treatment (ACTs), the use of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnant women (IPTp), and the introduction of very high coverage with long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets (LLINs). Their efforts resulted in a reduction in all-cause under-five mortality from 152 to 55 deaths per 1,000 live births (down 64%), a sharp drop that coincided with the launch of the program. In June 2014 four cases of Poliomyelitis, polio were reported, the country's first outbreak of the disease.


Education

Under Francisco Macias, education was neglected, and few children received any type of education. Under President Obiang, the illiteracy rate dropped from 73% to 13%, and the number of primary school students rose from 65,000 in 1986 to more than 100,000 in 1994. Education is free and compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 14. The Equatorial Guinea government has partnered with Hess Corporation and The Academy for Educational Development (AED) to establish a $20 million education program for primary school teachers to teach modern child development techniques. There are now 51 model schools whose active pedagogy will be a national reform. In recent years, with change in the economic and political climate and government social agendas, several cultural dispersion and literacy organizations have been founded, chiefly with the financial support of the Spanish government. The country has one university, the Universidad Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial (UNGE), with a campus in Malabo and a Faculty of Medicine located in Bata on the mainland. In 2009 the university produced the first 110 national doctors. The Bata Medical School is supported principally by the government of Cuba and staffed by Cuban medical educators and physicians.


Culture

In June 1984, the First Hispanic-African Cultural Congress was convened to explore the cultural identity of Equatorial Guinea. The congress constituted the center of integration and the marriage of the Hispanic culture with African cultures.


Tourism

Equatorial Guinea currently has no UNESCO World Heritage Site or tentative sites for the World Heritage List. The country also has no documented heritage listed in the Memory of the World Programme of UNESCO nor any intangible cultural heritage listed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Tourist attractions are the colonial quarter in Malabo, the southern part of the island Bioko where you can hike to the Iladyi cascades and to remote beaches to watch nesting turtles, Bata with its shoreline Paseo Maritimo and the tower of liberty, Mongomo with its Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Mongomo, basilica (the second largest Catholic church in Africa) and the new planned and built capital
Ciudad de la Paz Ciudad de la Paz (french: Ville de Paix, pt, Cidade da Paz), formerly Oyala, is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ' ...
.


Media and communications

The principal means of communication within Equatorial Guinea are 3 state-operated FM radio stations. BBC World Service, Radio France Internationale and Gabon-based Africa No 1 broadcast on FM in Malabo. There is also an independent radio option called Radio Macuto, the voice of the voiceless. Radio Macuto is a web-based radio and news source known for publishing news that call out Obiang's regime and call for the mobilisation of the ecuatoguinean community to exercise freedom of speech and engage in politics. There are also five shortwave radio stations. Television Nacional, the television network, is state operated. The international TV programme RTVGE is available via satellites in Africa, Europa, and the Americas and worldwide via Internet. There are two newspapers and two magazines. Equatorial Guinea ranks at position 161 out of 179 countries in the 2012
Reporters Without Borders Reporters Without Borders (french: Reporters sans frontières; RSF) is an international non-profit and non-governmental organization with the stated aim of safeguarding the right to freedom of information. It describes its advocacy as founded on ...

Reporters Without Borders
press freedom index. The watchdog says the national broadcaster obeys the orders of the information ministry. Most of the media companies practice self-censorship, and are banned by law from criticising public figures. The state-owned media and the main private radio station are under the directorship of the president's son, Teodor Obiang. Landline telephone penetration is low, with only two lines available for every 100 persons. There is one GSM mobile telephone operator, with coverage of
Malabo Malabo ( , ; formerly Santa Isabel) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscu ...
, Bata, and several mainland cities. , approximately 40% of the population subscribed to mobile telephone services. The only telephone provider in Equatorial Guinea is Orange. There were more than 42,000 internet users by December 2011.


Music

There is little popular music coming out of Equatorial Guinea. Pan-African styles like soukous and makossa are popular, as are reggae and rock and roll. Acoustic guitar bands based on a Spanish model are the country's best-known indigenous popular tradition.


Cinema

In 2014 the South African-Dutch-Equatorial Guinean drama film ''Where the Road Runs Out'' was shot in the country. There is also the documentary ''The Writer From a Country Without Bookstores'', that has still to be internationally premiered. It focuses on one of Equatorial Guinea's most translated writers Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel. It is the first feature film openly critical of Obiang's regime.


Sports

Equatorial Guinea was chosen to co-host the 2012 African Cup of Nations in partnership with
Gabon Gabon (; ), officially the Gabonese Republic (french: République gabonaise), is a country on the west coast of Central Africa Central Africa is a subregion of the Africa, African continent comprising various countries according to dif ...

Gabon
, and hosted the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, 2015 edition. The country was also chosen to host the 2008 Women's African Football Championship, which they won. The Equatorial Guinea women's national football team, women's national team qualified for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, 2011 World Cup in Germany. In June 2016, Equatorial Guinea was chosen to host the 2019 African Games, 12th African Games in 2019. Equatorial Guinea is famous for the swimmers Eric Moussambani, nicknamed "Eric the Eel", and Paula Barila Bolopa, "Paula the Crawler", who attended the 2000 Summer Olympics. Basketball has been increasing in popularity.


See also

* Outline of Equatorial Guinea * Index of Equatorial Guinea–related articles


Notes


References


Sources

* * Max Liniger-Goumaz, ''Small Is Not Always Beautiful: The Story of Equatorial Guinea'' (French 1986, translated 1989) . * Ibrahim K. Sundiata, ''Equatorial Guinea: Colonialism, State Terror, and the Search for Stability'' (1990, Boulder: Westview Press) . * Robert Klitgaard. 1990. ''Tropical Gangsters''. New York: Basic Books. (World Bank economist tries to assist pre-oil Equatorial Guinea) . * D.L. Claret. ''Cien años de evangelización en Guinea Ecuatorial (1883–1983) / One Hundred Years of Evangelism in Equatorial Guinea'' (1983, Barcelona: Claretian Missionaries). * Adam Roberts (scholar), Adam Roberts, ''The Wonga Coup: Guns, Thugs and a Ruthless Determination to Create Mayhem in an Oil-Rich Corner of Africa'' (2006, PublicAffairs) .


External links


Web dossier Equatorial Guinea
from the Afrika-Studiecentrum Leiden Library. * *
Official Government of Equatorial Guinea website

Guinea in Figures – Official Web Page of the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea

Country Profile
from BBC News.
Equatorial Guinea
''The World Factbook''. Central Intelligence Agency.
Equatorial Guinea
from ''UCB Libraries GovPubs''.
Key Development Forecasts for Equatorial Guinea
from International Futures.
Equatorial Guinea news headline links
from AllAfrica.com.
History of Equatorial Guinea
PBS Wide Angle interactive timeline.
''Once Upon a Coup''
PBS Wide Angle documentary about the 2004 coup attempt. {{Authority control Equatorial Guinea, Central African countries Former Portuguese colonies Former Spanish colonies French-speaking countries and territories Member states of OPEC Member states of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie Member states of the African Union Member states of the United Nations Republics Spanish-speaking countries and territories States and territories established in 1968 Member states of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries 1968 establishments in Africa Portuguese-speaking countries and territories Countries in Africa Former least developed countries Totalitarian states