- Equatorial Guinea
native_name = " República de Guinea Ecuatorial "spaces|2es icon "République de Guinée Équatoriale"spaces|2fr icon Republic of Equatorial Guinea
common_name = Equatorial Guinea
national_motto = Unidad, Paz, Justiciaspaces|2es icon Unité, Paix, Justicespaces|2fr icon Unity, Peace, Justice
Caminemos pisando la senda
official_languages = Spanish, French
regional_languages = Fang, Bube, Annobonese,
demonym = Equatorial Guinean, Equatoguinean
latd = 3 | latm = 45 | lats = 13.73 | latNS = N
longd = 8 | longm = 47 | longs = 5.13 | longEW = E
largest_city = capital
government_type = Presidential
leader_title1 = President
leader_title2 = Prime Minister
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
Ignacio Milam Tang
area_rank = 144th
area_magnitude = 1 E10
area_km2 = 28,051
area_sq_mi = 10,828
percent_water = negligible
population_estimate = 504,000dubious|Population dispute
population_estimate_rank = 166th
population_estimate_year = July 2005
population_density_km2 = 18
population_density_sq_mi = 47
population_density_rank = 187th
GDP_PPP_year = 2005
GDP_PPP = $23,796 million
GDP_PPP_rank = 112th
GDP_PPP_per_capita = $28,200cite web| url=https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ek.html| title=Equatorial Guinea - Economy| publisher=CIA World Factbook| accessdate=2008-09-04]
GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 32nd
established_event1 = from
October 12 1968
HDI = decrease 0.642
HDI_rank = 127th
HDI_year = 2007
HDI_category = medium
Central African CFA franc
currency_code = XAF
time_zone = WAT
utc_offset = +1
time_zone_DST = not observed
utc_offset_DST = +1
calling_code = 240The Republic of Equatorial Guinea ("República de Guinea Ecuatorial", IPA-es|re̞ˈpuβ̞lika ð̞e̞ ɣ̞iˈne̞a e̞kwato̞ˈɾjal) is a country in
Central Africa. It is one of the smallest countries in continental Africa, and comprises two regions: a Continental Region ( Río Muni); and an Insular Region containing Annobónisland, Biokoisland (formerly "Fernando Po") where the capital of Malabois situated, and several offshore islands like Corisco.
Annobón is the southernmost island of Equatorial Guinea and is situated just north of the
equator. Bioko island is the northernmost point of Equatorial Guinea. Between the two islands and to the east is the mainland region. Equatorial Guinea is bordered by Cameroonon the north, Gabonon the south and east, and the Gulf of Guineaon the west, where the island nation of São Tomé and Príncipeis located between Bioko and Annobón. Formerly the colonyof Spanish Guinea, its post-independence name is suggestive of its location near both the equator and the Gulf of Guinea. It is one of the few territories in mainland Africa where Spanish is an official language, besides the Spanish exclaves of Ceutaand Melilla.
Equatorial Guinea is the second smallest country in continental Africa in terms of population. (
Seychelles, The Gambia, Rwanda, and São Tomé and Príncipeare smaller in terms of area, and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republichas a smaller population but is disputed.) It is also the smallest United Nationsmember from continental Africa. The discovery of sizeable petroleumreserves in recent years is altering the economic and political status of the country.
Despite its name, no part of Equatorial Guinea's territory lies on the
The first inhabitants of the continental region that is now Equatorial Guinea are believed to have been
labelabes, of whom only isolated pockets remain in northern Río Muni. Bantu migrations between the 17th and 19th centuries brought the coastal tribes and later the Fang. Elements of the latter may have generated the Bubi, who emigrated to Biokofrom Cameroonand Rio Muni in several waves and succeeded former Neolithic populations. The Bubiwere the very first human inhabitants of BiokoIsland. The Annobonpopulation, native to Angola, was introduced by the Portuguese via São Tomé Island( São Tomé and Príncipe).
The Portuguese explorer
Fernão do Pó, seeking a path to India, is credited as being the first European to discover the island of Biokoin 1472. He called it "Formosa" ("Beautiful"), but it quickly took on the name of its European discoverer. The islands of Fernando Pó and Annobón were colonized by Portugalin 1474. In 1778, the island, adjacent islets, and commercial rights to the mainland between the Niger and Ogoue Rivers were ceded to Spain in exchange for territory in the American continent (Treaty of El Pardo, between Queen Maria I of Portugaland King Charles III of Spain). Between 1778 and 1810, the territory of Equatorial Guinea depended administratively on the viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata, with seat in Buenos Aires. From 1827 to 1843, the United Kingdomestablished a base on the island to combat the slave trade, [See Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911, "Fernando Po"] which was then moved to Sierra Leoneupon agreement with Spain in 1843. In 1844, on restoration of Spanish sovereignty, it became known as the "Territorios Españoles del Golfo de Guinea Ecuatorial". The mainland portion, Rio Muni, became a protectorate in 1885 and a colony in 1900. Conflicting claims to the mainland were settled by the Treaty of Paris (1900), and periodically, the mainland territories were united administratively under Spanish rule. Between 1926 and 1959 they were united as the colony of Spanish Guinea.
The current president of Equatorial Guinea is Retired Brig. Gen.
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. The 1982 constitution of Equatorial Guinea gives Obiang extensive powers, including naming and dismissing members of the cabinet, making laws by decree, dissolving the Chamber of Representatives, negotiating and ratifying treaties and calling legislative elections. Obiang retains his role as commander in chief of the armed forces and minister of defence, and he maintains close supervision of the military activity. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President and operates under powers designated by the President. The Prime Minister coordinates government activities in areas other than foreign affairs, national defense and security.
December 15, 2002, [cite news |url=http://allafrica.com/stories/200212160112.html |title=Equatorial Guinea: Obiang Sure to Win As Opposition Quits Poll |publisher=allAfrica |date= 2002-12-16] Equatorial Guinea's four main opposition parties withdrew from the country's presidential election. Obiang won an election widely considered fraudulent by members of the Western press.
Diplomats and even ministers have been caught smuggling drugs, sometimes using diplomatic bags and even the president's baggage on state trips. The incumbent president has never equalled the bloodthirsty reputation of former dictator
Francisco Macías Nguema, whom he overthrew. On Christmas of 1975, Macías had 150 alleged coup plotters executed to the sound of a band playing Mary Hopkin's tune "Those Were the Days" in a national stadium. [cite news |url=http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/35/238.html |title=Oil Gives African Nation a Chance for Change |publisher=The Washington Post |date= 2001-05-13]
A huge proportion of the £370 million revenue is confiscated by the president while most of the 500,000 subjects subsist on less than a dollar a day, sewage runs through the streets of the capital
Malabo, and there is no public transport and little drinking water or electricity. [cite news |url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-2340345,00.html |title=Playboy waits for his African throne |publisher=The Sunday Times |date= 2006-09-03]
According to a March 2004
BBCprofile, [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3516588.stm |title=Profile: Equatorial Guinea's great survivor |publisher=BBC News |date= 2004-03-17] politics within the country are currently dominated by tensions between Obiang's son, Teodorin, and other close relatives with powerful positions in the security forces. The tension may be rooted in power shift arising from the dramatic increase in oil production which has occurred since 1997.
A November 2004 report [cite news |url=http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/08/26/1093518010003.html |title=Thatcher faces 15 years in prison |publisher=The Sydney Morning Herald |date=
2004-08-27] named Mark Thatcheras a financial backer of a March 2004 attempt to topple Obiang, organized by Simon Mann. Various accounts also name the United Kingdom's MI6, the United States' CIA, and Spain as having been tacit supporters of the coup attempt. [cite news |url=http://www.sundayherald.com/print44412 |title=The US knew, Spain knew, Britain knew. Whose coup was it? |publisher=Sunday Herald |date= 2004-08-29] Nevertheless, the Amnesty Internationalreport released in June 2005 [cite web |url=http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAFR240052005?open&of=ENG-GNQ |title=Equatorial Guinea, A trial with too many flaws |publisher=Amnesty International |date= 2005-06-07] 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.
February 29, 2008, President Obiang dissolved parliament and announced that municipal and parliamentary elections would be held on May 4. His decree also called for a presidential election in 2010. [cite journal|title=EQUATORIAL GUINEA: Poll Timetable |journal=Africa Research Bulletin; Political, Social, and Cultural series| publisher=Blackwell |volume=45(3)|pages= 17458A]
Provinces and districts
Equatorial Guinea is divided into seven
provinces (capitals appear in parentheses):
Annobón Province( San Antonio de Palé)
Bioko Norte Province( Malabo)
Bioko Sur Province(Luba)
Centro Sur Province( Evinayong)
Kié-Ntem Province( Ebebiyín)
# Litoral Province (Bata)
Wele-Nzas Province( Mongomo)
The provinces are further divided into districts.
The Republic of Equatorial Guinea is located in west central Africa. Bioko Island lies about 40 kilometers (25 mi.) from Cameroon. Annobón Island lies about 595 kilometers (370 mi.) southwest of Bioko Island. The larger continental region of Rio Muni lies between Cameroon and Gabon on the mainland. Near to the continental region the are located the islands of Corisco, Elobey Grande, Elobey Chico, and adjacent islets.
Pre-independence Equatorial Guinea counted on
cocoaproduction for hard currency earnings. It had the highest per capita incomeof Africa in 1959.
The discovery of large
oil reservesin 1996 and its subsequent exploitation have contributed to a dramatic increase in government revenue. As of 2004, [cite news |url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A1101-2004Sep6.html |title=U.S. Oil Firms Entwined in Equatorial Guinea Deals |publisher=washingtonpost.com |author=Justin Blum |date= September 7, 2004|accessdate=2008-07-09] Equatorial Guinea is the third-largest oil producer in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its oil production has risen to 360,000 barrels/day, 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.
Despite a per capita GDP (PPP) of more than US$30,000 [ [http://imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2005/02/data/dbcoutm.cfm?SD=2004&ED=2004&R1=1&R2=1&CS=3&SS=2&OS=C&DD=0&OUT=1&C=512-941-914-446-612-666-614-672-311-946-213-137-911-962-193-674-122-676-912-548-313-556-419-678-513-181-316-682-913-684-124-273-339-921-638-948-514-686-218-688-963-518-616-728-223-558-516-138-918-353-748-196-618-278-522-692-622-694-156-142-624-449-626-564-628-283-228-853-924-288-233-293-632-566-636-964-634-182-238-453-662-968-960-922-423-714-935-862-128-716-611-456-321-722-243-965-248-718-469-724-253-576-642-936-643-961-939-813-644-199-819-184-172-524-132-361-646-362-648-364-915-732-134-366-652-734-174-144-328-146-258-463-656-528-654-923-336-738-263-578-268-537-532-742-944-866-176-369-534-744-536-186-429-925-178-746-436-926-136-466-343-112-158-111-439-298-916-927-664-846-826-299-542-582-443-474-917-754-544-698&S=PPPPC&CMP=0&x=18&y=9IMF World Economic Outlook IMF Database, September 2005] ] (CIA Factbook $12,900) [ [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ek.html CIA - The World Factbook - Equatorial Guinea ] ] which is as of 2008 the ninth highest in the world, Equatorial Guinea ranks 121st out of 177 countries on the
United Nations Human Development Index.
In July 2004, the
United States Senatepublished an investigation into Riggs Bank, a Washington-based bank into which most of Equatorial Guinea's oil revenues were paid until recently, and which also banked for Chile's Augusto Pinochet. The Senate report, as to Equatorial Guinea, showed that at least $35 million were siphoned off by Obiang, his family and senior officials of his regime. The president has denied any wrongdoing. While Riggs Bank in February 2005 paid $9 million as restitution for its banking for Chile's Augusto Pinochet, no restitution was made with regard to Equatorial Guinea, as reported in detail in an Anti-Money Laundering Report from Inner City Press. [ [http://www.innercitypress.org/finwatch.html Inner City Press / Finance Watch: "Follow the Money, Watchdog the Regulators" ] ]
August 9, 2006, " Harper's Magazine" published an article by Ken Silversteinhighlighting Obiang's recent connections with the US State Departmentand Independence Federal Savings Bank. [cite news |url=http://www.harpers.org/sb-obiangs-banking-again-1155053056.html |title=Obiang's Banking Again: State Department and Washington insiders help a dictator get what he wants |date= 2006-08-09|publisher=Harper's Magazine]
While Equatorial Guinea is currently one of the largest producers of oil in Africa, few improvements have been made to the living conditions of the people and most live in poverty.
The majority of the people of Equatorial Guinea are of Bantu origin. The largest tribe, the Fang, is indigenous to the mainland, but substantial migration to
Bioko Islandhas resulted in Fang dominance over the earlier Bantu inhabitants. The Fang constitute 80% of the population and comprise 67 clans. Those in the northern part of Rio Muni 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 Bulu Fang of Cameroon were traditional rivals of Fang in Rio Muni. (The Bubi, who constitute 15% of the population, are indigenous to Bioko Island. The traditional demarcation line between Fang and beach tribes was the village of Niefang (limit of the fang) inland from Bata.
In addition, there are coastal tribes, sometimes referred to as "Playeros" ("Beach People" in Spanish):
Ndowes, Bujebas, Balengues, Kombis, and Bengas on the mainland and small islands, and "Fernandinos", a Creole community, on Bioko. Together, these groups compose 5% of the population. Some Europeans (largely of Spanish or Portuguese descent) – among them mixed with African ethnicity – also live in the nation. Most Spaniards left after independence. There is a growing number of foreigners from neighboring Cameroon, Nigeria, and Gabon. Equatorial Guinea received Asiansand black Africans from other countries as workers on cocoaand coffeeplantations. Other black Africans came from Liberia, Angola, and Mozambique. Most of the Asian population is Chinese, with small numbers of Indians. Equatorial Guinea also allowed many fortune-seeking European settlers of other nationalities, including British, French and Germans. 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. Some of its communities also live in Latin America, the United States, Portugal, and France.
Oil extraction has contributed to a doubling of the population in Malabo.
The Constitutional Law which amends article 4 of the Fundamental Law of the State establishes that "the official languages of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea are Spanish and French. The aboriginal languages are recognized as integral parts of the national culture" (Constitutional Law No. 1/1998 of
21 January). The great majority of Equatorial Guineans speak Spanish, [http://actualidad.terra.es/internacional/articulo/obiang_comunidad_naciones_1710388.htm "Obiang convierte al portugués en tercer idioma oficial para entrar en la Comunidad lusófona de Naciones"] , "Terra". 13-07-2007 "( [http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A//actualidad.terra.es/internacional/articulo/obiang_comunidad_naciones_1710388.htm&hl=en&langpair=es|en&tbb=1&ie=windows-1252 translate] )"] especially those living in the capital, Malabo. Spanish has been an official language since 1844. In July 2007, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema announced his government's decision for Portuguese to become Equatorial Guinea's third official language, in order to meet the requirements to apply for full membership in the Community of Portuguese Language Countries(CPLP). This upgrading from its current Associate Observer condition would result in Equatorial Guinea being able to access several professional and academic exchange programs and the facilitation of cross-border circulation of citizens. Its application is currently being assessed by other CPLP members.
Education and culture
Several cultural dispersion and literacy organizations are located in the country, 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 Malaboand a Faculty of Medicine located in Bata on the mainland. The Bata Medical School is supported principally by the government of Cubaand staffed by Cuban medical educators and physicians.
The principal means of communication within the country are three state-operated
FM radiostations. There are also five shortwaveradio stations. There are also two newspapers and two magazines. Television Nacional, the television network, is state operated. [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/country_profiles/1023151.stm#media |title=Country Profile: Equatorial Guinea: Media |publisher=BBC News |date= 2008-01-26] cite web |url=https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ek.html#Comm |title=CIA World Factbook: Equatorial Guinea; Communications |publisher= Central Intelligence Agency|date= 2008-03-20]
Most of the media companies practice heavy
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 Teodorin Nguema Obiang, the president's son. Landline telephonepenetration is low, with only two lines available for every 100 persons. There is one GSMmobile telephone operator, with coverage of Malabo, Bata, and several mainland cities. [cite web |url=http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/cou_gq.shtml |title=GSMWorld Providers: Equatorial Guinea |publisher=GSM World |date=2008] [cite web |url=http://www.gsmworld.com/cgi-bin/ni_map.pl?cc=gq&net=ge |title=GSMWorld GETESA Coverage Map |publisher=GSM World |date=2008] As of 2005, approximately twenty percent of the population subscribed to mobile telephone services. The only telephone provider in Equatorial Guinea Is Orange.
Equatorial Guinea has been chosen to co-host the
2012 African Cup of Nationsin partnership with Gabon.
Equatorial Guinea national football team
Equatorial Guinea is also famous for the National Swimming Champion
Eric Moussambani, nicknamed "Eric the Eel".
Frederick Forsyth's 1974 novel "The Dogs of War" is set in the fictional platinum-rich 'Republic of Zangaro', which is based on Equatorial Guinea. There is also a 1981 film adaptation of the book, also called The Dogs of War.
Fernando Po (now Bioko) is featured prominently in the 1975
science fictionwork " The Illuminatus! Trilogy" by Robert Sheaand Robert Anton Wilson. The island (and, in turn, the country) experience a series of coups in the story which lead the world to the verge of nuclear war. The story also hypothesizes that Fernando Po is the last remaining piece of the sunken continent of Atlantis.
Most of the action in Robin Cook's book, "Chromosome 6", takes place at a
primateresearch facility based in Equatorial Guinea due to the country's permissive laws. The book also discusses some of the geography, history, and peoples of the country.
Bight of Bonnyalso known as the Bight of Biafra
Gulf of Guinea
Communications in Equatorial Guinea
Foreign relations of Equatorial Guinea
List of Equatorial Guinea-related topics
Military of Equatorial Guinea
Scouting in Equatorial Guinea
Transport in Equatorial Guinea
2004 Equatorial Guinea coup d'état attempt
Notes and references
Max Liniger-Goumaz, "Small is not Always Beautiful: The Story of Equatorial Guinea" (French 1986, translated 1989) ISBN 0-389-20861-2
Ibrahim K. Sundiata, "Equatorial Guinea: Colonialism, State Terror, and the Search for Stability" (1990, Boulder: Westview Press) ISBN 0-8133-0429-6
Robert Klitgaard. 1990. "Tropical Gangsters". New York: Basic Books. (World Bank economist tries to assist pre-oil Equatorial Guinea -clever book, factual account) ISBN 0465087604
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, "The Wonga Coup: Guns, Thugs and a Ruthless Determination to Create Mayhem in an Oil-Rich Corner of Africa" (2006, PublicAffairs) ISBN 1-58648-371-4
* [http://guinea-equatorial.com/ Official Government of Equatorial Guinea website] (Spanish, English)
* [http://www.guinea-ecuatorial.org/index.php Opposition Website] ("Government in Exile" - Evolved party from ruling government prior to the coup d'état that lead to the Independence of 1968) (Spanish)
* [http://www.ecaligiuri.com/index2.php Honorary Consulate of Equatorial Guinea in Romania] (Spanish) (Romanian) (English)
* [http://allafrica.com/equatorialguinea/ allAfrica - "Equatorial Guinea"] news headline links (English, French)
* [http://www.guinea-ecuatorial.net/ms/main.asp Guinea-Ecuatorial.net] (Spanish, some French)
* http://www.icex.es/staticFiles/GuineaEcuatorial_6814_.pdf (Spanish)
Overviews and directories
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/country_profiles/1023151.stm BBC News Country Profile - "Equatorial Guinea"]
* [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ek.html CIA World Factbook - "Equatorial Guinea"]
* [http://dmoz.org/Regional/Africa/Equatorial_Guinea/ Open Directory Project - "Equatorial Guinea"] directory category
* [http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/ssrg/africa/eqg.html Stanford University - Africa South of the Sahara: "Equatorial Guinea"] directory category
* [http://www.afrika.no/index/Countries/Equatorial_Guinea/ The Index on Africa - "Equatorial Guinea"]
* [http://www.sas.upenn.edu/African_Studies/Country_Specific/Eq_Guinea.html University of Pennsylvania - African Studies Center: "Equatorial Guinea"] directory category
* [http://dir.yahoo.com/Regional/Countries/Equatorial_Guinea/ Yahoo! - "Equatorial Guinea"] directory category
* http://www.iradier.org/colaboracion5.htm (Spanish)
* [http://www.freeworldmaps.net/africa/equatorial-guinea/map.html Map of Equatorial Guinea]
* [http://www.thebubis.com/ The Bubis of Fernando Po] The history of first inhabitants of Bioko Island, now an endangered people
* [http://www.culturabubi.org/ Cultura Bubi]
* [http://www.thebubis.com/ Cultures de Mon: Los Bubis]
* [http://www.pygmies.info/ African Pygmies] Culture and music of the first inhabitants of Equatorial Guinea, with photos and ethnographic notes
* [http://www.visitguineaecuatorial.com Useful information for travelling to Equatorial Guinea for independent travellers] (Spanish, English)
* [http://www.fairfinancewatch.org/africa.html#obiang Equatorial Guinea Banking Issues, from the Fair Finance Watch]
* [http://www.ecaligiuri.com/inversionenguinea.pdf# Equatorial Guinea Investment Opportunities] in Spanish
* [http://www.uvm.edu/~shali/OliveraAli.pdf Can Corporate Power Transform Equatorial Guinea and Angola?]
Spain and Africa
* [http://www.maec.es/es/Home/Paginas/planafrica.aspx Spanish Embassy's Plan for African 2006-2008]
title = Geographic locale
title = International membership
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