Ethnic groups (1994)
1.1% Bujeba (Kwasio)
5.4% Igbo and othersa
Unitary dominant-party presidential republic (de jure)
Unitary one-party state under totalitarian dictatorship (de facto)
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
• Prime Minister
Francisco Pascual Obama Asue
• First Vice President
Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue
• Upper house
• Lower house
Chamber of Deputies
• from Spain
12 October 1968
28,050 km2 (10,830 sq mi) (141st)
• Water (%)
• 2016 estimate
• 2015 census
• Per capita
• Per capita
medium · 135th
Central African CFA franc
Central African CFA franc (XAF)
Drives on the
ISO 3166 code
Equatoguinean Spanish (Español ecuatoguineano).
Guinea Ecuatorial,[a] French: Guinée
équatoriale, Portuguese: Guiné Equatorial), officially the Republic
Guinea (Spanish: República de
French: République de Guinée équatoriale, Portuguese: República da
Guiné Equatorial),[b] is a country located in Central Africa, with an
area of 28,000 square kilometres (11,000 sq mi). Formerly
the colony of Spanish Guinea, its post-independence name evokes its
location near both the
Equator and the Gulf of Guinea. Equatorial
Guinea is the only sovereign African state in which Spanish is an
official language. As of 2015[update], the country had an estimated
population of 1,222,245.
Guinea consists of two parts, an insular and a mainland
region. The insular region consists of the islands of
Fernando Pó) in the Gulf of
Guinea and Annobón, a small volcanic
island which is the only part of the country south of the equator.
Bioko Island is the northernmost part of Equatorial
Guinea and is the
site of the country's capital, Malabo. The island nation of São Tomé
and Príncipe is located between
Bioko and Annobón. The mainland
region, Río Muni, is bordered by
Cameroon on the north and
the south and east. It is the location of Bata, Equatorial Guinea's
largest city, and Oyala, the country's planned future capital. Rio
Muni also includes several small offshore islands, such as Corisco,
Elobey Grande, and Elobey Chico. The country is a member of the
African Union, Francophonie,
OPEC and the CPLP.
Since the mid-1990s, Equatorial
Guinea has become one of sub-Saharan
Africa's largest oil producers. It is the richest country per capita
in Africa, and its gross domestic product (GDP) adjusted for
purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita ranks 43rd in the world;
however, the wealth is distributed extremely unevenly, and few people
have benefited from the oil riches. The country ranks 135th on the
UN's 2016 Human Development Index. The UN says that less than half of
the population has access to clean drinking water and that 20% of
children die before reaching the age of five.
The country's authoritarian government has one of the worst human
rights records in the world, consistently ranking among the "worst of
the worst" in Freedom House's annual survey of political and civil
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders ranks President Teodoro Obiang
Nguema Mbasogo among its "predators" of press freedom. Human
trafficking is a significant problem; the 2012 U.S.Trafficking in
Persons Report stated that Equatorial
Guinea "is a source and
destination for women and children subjected to forced labor and FC
sex trafficking." The report rates Equatorial
Guinea as a government
that does not fully comply with minimum standards and is not making
significant efforts to do so."
1.1 First European contact (1472)
1.2 Independence (1968)
3.3 Administrative divisions
6.2 Media and communications
7 See also
11 External links
Main article: History of Equatorial Guinea
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Pygmies 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 migrations between the 18th and 19th
centuries brought coastal ethno-linguistic groups as well as the Fang
people. Elements of the latter may have generated the Bubi, who
Río Muni and
Bioko in several waves and
Neolithic populations. The
originally native to Angola, was introduced by the Portuguese via São
First European contact (1472)
The Portuguese explorer Fernando Pó, seeking a path to India, is
credited as being the first European to discover 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
Portugal in 1474.
In 1778, Queen Maria I of
Portugal and King Charles III of Spain
Treaty of El Pardo which ceded Bioko, adjacent islets, and
commercial rights to the
Bight of Biafra
Bight of Biafra between the
Niger and Ogoue
rivers to Spain.
Spain thereby tried to gain access to a source of
slaves controlled by British merchants. Between 1778 and 1810, the
territory of Equatorial
Guinea was administered by the Viceroyalty of
the Río de la Plata, based in Buenos Aires.
From 1827 to 1843, the United Kingdom had a base on
Bioko to control
the slave trade, which was moved to
Sierra Leone under an
Spain in 1843. In 1844, on restoration of Spanish
sovereignty, the area became known as the "Territorios Españoles del
Golfo de Guinea."
Spain had neglected to occupy the large area in the
Bight of Biafra
Bight of Biafra to which it had right by treaty, and the French had
busily expanded their occupation at the expense of the area claimed by
Spain. The treaty of Paris in 1900 left
Spain with the continental
enclave of Rio Muni, a mere 26,000 km2 out of the 300,000
stretching east to the Ubangi river which the Spaniards had initially
The plantations of Fernando Pó were mostly run by a black Creole
elite, later known as Fernandinos. The British occupied the island
briefly in the early 19th century, settling some 2,000 Sierra Leoneans
and freed slaves there. Limited immigration from West
Africa and the
West Indies continued after the British left. To this were added
Cubans, Filipinos and Spaniards of various colours deported for
political or other crimes, as well as some assisted settlers.
There was also a trickle of immigration from the neighbouring
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 was the lingua franca of the
island. The Sierra Leoneans were particularly well placed as planters
while labor recruitment on the Windward coast continued, for they kept
family and other connections there and could easily arrange a supply
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
that. The Liberian labor agreement of 1914[clarification needed]
favoured wealthy men with ready access to the state, and the shift in
labor supplies from
Liberia to Rio Muni increased this advantage. 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 was a chronic shortage
of labour. Pushed into the interior of the island and decimated by
alcohol addiction, venereal disease, smallpox, and sleeping sickness,
the indigenous Bubi population of
Bioko refused to work on
plantations. Working their own small cocoa 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
in Paraguay. Catholic penetration was furthered by two small
insurrections in 1898 and 1910 protesting conscription of forced
labour for the plantations. The Bubi were disarmed in 1917, and left
dependent on the missionaries.
Between 1926 and 1959
Bioko and Rio Muni were united as the colony of
Spanish Guinea. The economy was based on large cacao and coffee
plantations and logging concessions and the workforce was mostly
immigrant contract labour from Liberia, Nigeria, and 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 were no longer available, planters of Fernando
Po turned to Rio Muni. Campaigns were mounted to subdue the Fang
people 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.
Rio Muni had a small population, officially a little over 100,000 in
the 1930s, and escape across the frontiers into
very easy. Also, the timber companies needed increasing numbers of
workers, and the spread of coffee cultivation offered an alternative
means of paying taxes[clarification needed]. 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 smuggled in canoes from
Calabar in 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. I
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; between
1960 and 1968, when Madrid attempted a partial decolonisation aimed at
keeping the territory as part of the Spanish system; and from 1968 on,
after the territory became an independent 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
This 'provincial' phase saw the beginnings of nationalism, but chiefly
among small groups who had taken refuge from the Caudillo's paternal
Cameroun and Gabon. They formed two bodies: the Movimiento
Nacional de Liberación de la
Guinea (MONALIGE), and the Idea Popular
Guinea Ecuatorial (es) (IPGE). The pressure they could
bring to bear was weak, but the general trend in West
Africa was not.
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 Movimiento de Unión Nacional de
Guinea Ecuatorial (es) (MUNGE). This proved a feeble
instrument, and, with growing pressure for change from the UN, Madrid
gave way to the currents of nationalism.
Independence was conceded on 12 October 1968 and the region became the
Republic of Equatorial Guinea.
Francisco Macías Nguema was elected
In July 1970,
Macias Nguema created a single-party state and made
himself president for life in 1972. He broke off ties with
the West. In spite of his condemnation of Marxism, which he deemed
Guinea maintained very special relations
with socialist countries, notably China, Cuba, and the USSR. He signed
a preferential trade agreement 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
development project and also a naval base at Luba. In return the USSR
was to supply fish to Equatorial Guinea.
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
In 1974 the
World Council of Churches
World Council of Churches affirmed that large numbers of
people had been murdered since 1968 in an ongoing reign of terror. 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
against the ethnic minority Bubi people, he ordered the deaths of
thousands of suspected opponents, closed down churches and presided
over the economy's collapse as skilled citizens and foreigners fled
On Christmas 1975, Macías Nguema had 150 alleged coup plotters
The nephew of Macías Nguema, Teodoro Obiang deposed Macías Nguema on
3 August 1979, in a bloody coup d'état.
Macias Nguema was tried and
executed soon afterward.
In 1995 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. Some 20% of children die before age 5 and more than
50% of the population lacks access to clean 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.
As of February 2016, Obiang is Africa's longest serving dictator.
Main article: Politics of Equatorial Guinea
Obiang and U.S. President Obama with their wives in 2014
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
Vicente Ehate Tomi was appointed by Obiang and
operates under powers delegated by the President.
During the three 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, the dictatorship of President Obiang
used an oil boom to entrench and enrich itself further at the expense
of the country's people. Since August 1979 some 12 real and
perceived unsuccessful coup attempts have occurred.
According to a March 2004 BBC profile, politics within the country
are currently dominated by tensions between Obiang's son, Teodoro
Nguema Obiang Mangue, 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 while allegedly on the way to overthrow Obiang. A November
2004 report named
Mark Thatcher as a financial backer of the 2004
Guinea coup d'état attempt organized by Simon Mann.
Various accounts also named the United Kingdom's MI6, the United
States' CIA, and
Spain as tacit supporters of the coup attempt.
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.
A 2004 US Senate investigation into the Washington-based Riggs Bank
found that President Obiang's family had received huge payments from
US oil companies such as Exxon
Mobil and Amerada Hess.
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
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
US Agency for International Development 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
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
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.
The anti-corruption lobby
Transparency International put Equatorial
Guinea in the top 12 of its list of most corrupt states. 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. Dismissing international voices that call for
more transparency, Obiang has long held that oil revenues are a state
secret. In 2008 the country became a candidate of the Extractive
Industries Transparency Initiative – an international project meant
to promote openness about government oil revenues – but failed to
qualify before an April 2010 deadline. The advocacy group Global
Witness has lobbying the United States to act against Obiang's son,
Teodorin, vice-president and a government minister. It says there is
credible evidence that he spent millions buying a Malibu, California
mansion and private jet using corruptly acquired funds – grounds for
denying him a visa.
In February 2010, Equatorial
Guinea signed a contract with the MPRI
subsidiary of the US defense corporation
L3 Communications for coastal
surveillance and maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.
Obiang was re-elected to serve an additional term in 2009 in an
African Union deemed "in line with electoral law".
Obiang re-appointed Prime Minister Ignacio Milam Tang in 2010.
Under Obiang, the basic infrastructure of Equatorial
Asphalt now covers more than 80% of the national roads and
ports and airports are being built by Chinese, Moroccan and French
contractors across much of the country. However, when a British
parliamentary and press entourage toured the country as guests of the
president in 2011,
The Guardian newspaper reported that very few of
Equatorial Guinea's citizens seem to benefit from improvements, with
reports of empty three-lane highways and many empty buildings.
The Obiang regime is an ally of the USA. During a meeting on the
sidelines of the recent United Nations General Assembly, Obiang urged
the US to strengthen cooperation between the United States and
Barack Obama posed for an official photograph
with President Obiang at a New York reception.
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
In October 2012, during an interview with
Christiane Amanpour on 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
26 May 2013 elections 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
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, and 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 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 authorize 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.
Main article: Geography of Equatorial Guinea
Guinea is in west central Africa. The country consists of a
mainland territory, Río Muni, which is bordered by
Cameroon to the
Gabon to the east and south, and five small islands, Bioko,
Elobey Chico (Small Elobey), and Elobey Grande
(Great Elobey). Bioko, the site of the capital, Malabo, lies about 40
kilometers (25 mi) off the coast of Cameroon.
Annobón Island is
about 350 kilometers (220 mi) west-south-west of
Cape Lopez in
Corisco and the two Elobey islands are in
Corisco Bay, on the
Río Muni and Gabon.
Guinea lies between latitudes 4°N and 2°S, and longitudes
5° 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
Annobón Province, which is about 155 km (96 mi)
south of the equator.
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 16 °C (61 °F) to 33 °C (91 °F),
though on the southern Moka Plateau normal high temperatures are only
21 °C (70 °F). In Río Muni, the average temperature is
about 27 °C (81 °F). Annual rainfall varied from
1,930 mm (76 in) at
Malabo to 10,920 mm (430 in)
at Ureka, Bioko, but
Río Muni is somewhat drier.
Guinea spans several ecoregions.
Río Muni region lies
Atlantic Equatorial coastal forests
Atlantic Equatorial coastal forests ecoregion except for
Central African mangroves 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 and Nigeria
on the African mainland, and the Mount
forests ecoregion covers the highlands of
Bioko and nearby Mount
The São Tomé, Príncipe, and
Annobón moist lowland forests
ecoregion covers all of Annobón, as well as São Tomé and Príncipe.
Main article: Provinces of Equatorial Guinea
Guinea is divided into eight provinces. The newest
province is Djibloho, created in 2017 with its headquarters at Oyala,
the country's future capital. The other seven provinces are as
follows (capitals appear in parentheses):
Annobón (San Antonio de Palé)
Bioko Norte (Malabo)
Bioko Sur (Luba)
Centro Sur (Evinayong)
The provinces are further divided into districts.
Main article: Economy of Equatorial Guinea
A proportional representation of Equatorial Guinea's exports.
Before independence Equatorial
Guinea exported cocoa, 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 African member of the franc zone, adopting the CFA
franc as its currency. The national currency, the ekwele, has
previously been linked to the Spanish peseta.
The discovery of large oil reserves in 1996 and its subsequent
exploitation contributed to a dramatic increase in government revenue.
As of 2004[update], Equatorial
Guinea is the third-largest oil
producer in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its oil production has risen to
360,000 barrels per day (57,000 m3/d), up from 220,000 only two
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.
In July 2004, the
United States Senate
United States Senate published 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 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%.
Guinea is a member of the Organization for the
Harmonization of Business Law in
Africa (OHADA). Equatorial Guinea
tried to be validated as an Extractive Industries Transparency
Initiative (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, Equatorial
Guinea has the highest GNI
(Gross National Income) per capita of any sub-Saharan country, 83
times larger than the GNI per capita of Burundi, the poorest
Main article: Transport in Equatorial Guinea
Due to the large oil industry in the country, internationally
recognized carriers fly to
Malabo International Airport which, in May
2014, had several direct connections to
Europe and West Africa. There
are three airports in Equatorial
Bata Airport and the new
Annobon Airport on the island of
Malabo International Airport is the only international
Every airline registered in Equatorial
Guinea appears on the list of
air carriers prohibited in the
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
Main article: Demographics of Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinean children of Bubi descent.
The majority of the people of Equatorial
Guinea are of Bantu
origin. The largest ethnic group, the Fang, is indigenous to the
mainland, but substantial migration to
Bioko Island since the 20th
century means the Fang population exceeds that of the earlier Bubi
inhabitants. The Fang constitute 80% of the population and
comprise around 67 clans. Those in the northern part of Río 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 Bubi, 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 Bengas on
the mainland and small islands, and Fernandinos, a Krio community on
Bioko Island. together comprise 5% of the population. Europeans
(largely of Spanish or Portuguese descent, some with partial African
ancestry) also live in the country, but most ethnic Spaniards left
A growing number of foreigners from neighboring Cameroon, Nigeria, and
Gabon have immigrated to the country. According to the Encyclopedia of
the Stateless Nations (2002) 7% of
Bioko islanders were Igbo, an
ethnic group from southeastern Nigeria. Equatorial
Asians and native Africans from other countries as workers on cocoa
and coffee plantations. Other black Africans came from Liberia,
Angola, and Mozambique. Most of the Asian population is Chinese, with
small numbers of Indians.
Guinea has also been a destination for fortune-seeking
European settlers from Britain,
France and Germany. Israelis and
Moroccans also live and work here. 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. Some
Equatorial Guinean communities are also found in Latin America, the
United States, Portugal, and France.
For years, the official languages were Spanish (the local variant is
Equatoguinean Spanish) and French. Portuguese was also adopted as
an official language later 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. French was only
made official in order to join the Francophonie and it is not locally
spoken, except in some border towns.
Aboriginal languages are recognized as integral parts of the "national
culture" (Constitutional Law No. 1/1998 January 21). Indigenous
languages include Fang, Bube, Benga, Ndowe, Balengue, Bujeba, Bissio,
Gumu, Igbo, Pichinglis, Fa d’Ambô and the nearly extinct Baseke.
Most African ethnic groups speak Bantu languages.
Fa d’Ambô, a Portuguese creole, has vigorous use in Annobón
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
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
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
recognizes long historical ties with Portugal, and with
Portuguese-speaking peoples of Brazil, São Tomé and Principe, and
Some of the motivations for Equatorial Guinea's membership pursuit
Community of Portuguese Language Countries
Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) included
access to several professional and academic exchange programs 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
In February 2012, Equatorial Guinea's foreign minister signed an
agreement with the IILP on the promotion of Portuguese in the
In July 2012, the CPLP refused Equatorial
Guinea full membership,
primarily because of its continued serious violations of human rights.
The government responded by legalizing 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
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 in Equatorial Guinea
Other (indigenous beliefs / Baha'i)
The principal religion in Equatorial
Guinea is Christianity, the faith
of 93% of the population. Roman Catholics make up the majority (87%),
while a minority are Protestants (5%). 2% of the population follows
Islam (mainly Sunni). The remaining 5% practise Animism, Bahá'í
Faith, and other beliefs.
Main article: Health in Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea’s innovative malaria programs in the early 21st
century achieved success in reducing malaria infection, disease, and
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 polio were reported, the country's first
outbreak of the disease.
Further information: Education in Equatorial Guinea
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
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 economic/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. Equatorial
Guinea predicts that it will have enough national doctors in the
country to be self-sufficient within the next five years.
Main article: Culture of Equatorial Guinea
The port of Malabo.
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.
Guinea currently has no
UNESCO World Heritage Site
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
Memory of the World Programme of
UNESCO nor any intangible cultural heritage listed in the UNESCO
Intangible Cultural Heritage
Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
Media and communications
Main articles: Media in Equatorial
Guinea and Telecommunications in
The principal means of communication within Equatorial
FM radio stations. BBC World Service, Radio
France Internationale and Gabon-based
Africa No 1 broadcast on FM in
Malabo. 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.
Guinea ranks at position 161 out of 179 countries in the
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. The watchdog says
the national broadcaster obeys the orders of the information ministry.
A "news blackout" was imposed on reporting of uprisings in Arab states
Africa in 2011, according to the Committee to Protect
Journalists. 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 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, Bata, and several mainland cities.
As of 2009[update], approximately 40% of the population subscribed to
mobile telephone services. The only telephone provider in
Guinea is Orange.
There were more than 42,000 internet users by December 2011.
Further information: Music of Equatorial Guinea
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.
Further information: Equatorial
Guinea at the Olympics, Equatorial
Guinea national football team, Equatorial
Guinea women's national
football team, and Equatorial
Guinea national basketball team
Guinea was chosen to co-host the 2012 African Cup of
Nations in partnership with Gabon, and hosted the 2015 edition. The
country was also chosen to host the 2008 Women's African Football
Championship, which they won. The women's national team qualified for
the 2011 World Cup in Germany.
In June 2016, Equatorial
Guinea was chosen to host the 12th African
Games in 2019.
Guinea is famous for the swimmers Eric Moussambani,
nicknamed "Eric the Eel", and Paula Barila Bolopa, "Paula the
Crawler", who had astoundingly slow times at the 2000 Summer
Outline of Equatorial Guinea
Index of Equatorial Guinea-related articles
Bight of Bonny
Bight of Bonny also known as the Bight of Biafra
Gulf of Guinea
Foreign relations of Equatorial Guinea
Military of Equatorial Guinea
Guinea coup d'état attempt
Equatoguinean literature in Spanish
List of cities in Equatorial Guinea
Fiction set in Equatorial Guinea
Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Dillingen
^ Spanish pronunciation: [giˈnea
ekwatoˈɾjal] ( listen)
^ Local pronunciation:
Spanish: República de
Guinea Ecuatorial Spanish
pronunciation: [reˈpuβlika ðe ɣiˈnea
ekwatoˈɾjal] ( listen)
French: République de Guinée équatoriale [ʁepyblik d(ə) ɡine
Portuguese: República da Guiné Equatorial Portuguese
pronunciation: [ʁɛˈpublikɐ dɐ giˈnɛ ˌekwɐtuɾiˈaɫ]
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This article incorporates public domain material from the
CIA World Factbook website
Max Liniger-Goumaz, Small Is Not Always Beautiful: The Story of
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
(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)
Find more aboutEquatorial Guineaat's sister projects
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Official Government of Equatorial
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Guinea in Figures – Official Web Page of the Government of the
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Country Profile from BBC News.
"Equatorial Guinea". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence
Guinea from UCB Libraries GovPubs.
Key Development Forecasts for Equatorial
Guinea from International
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
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Coordinates: 1°30′N 10°00′E / 1.500°N 10.000°E /
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