Equitorial Guinea

Figure 1.--Here we see Equitorial Guinean children playing in a fishing village near Bata about 2010.

Equatorial Guinea is a small, oil-rich, country on the western coast of central Africa at the apex of the Gulf of Guinea. The mainland known as Rio Muni is located south of Cameroon where the African coast turns south. The box shaped country is also bordered by Gabon in the east and south. Unlike many African countries, rivers play no part in the borders. The capital and main port, Malabo, is located at some dustance from the mainland on Bioko (formerly Fernando Po) island which is off the coast of Cameroon. A secondary port, Luba, is also on Bioko. The principal city on the mainland is Bata. The official languages are Spanish (which is widely spoken) and French (which is not widely understood, but sometimes used in business dealings). Native languages are not the official language because there are so many of them. The country was a former Spanish colony known as Spanish Guinea. Dernando Po was initially a Portuguese possession ceded to Spain (1778). The mainland boundaries were established by the Treaty of Berlin (1885). Spain granted internal self-government (1964) and full indeopendence (1968). Francisco Macias Nguema at independence launched a reign of terror. A third of the population flee. Macias Nguema initiated a genocide against the Bubi ethnic minority. He also ordered the death of thousands of suspected opponents, closed down churches, and presided over the an economic collapse. He was overthrow after a decade of bloody rule and economic failure (1979). Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo seized power in a coup. He has not roven as murderous, but has shown little tolerance for criticism and opposition. And thanks to oil discoveries, he but not the people has become very rich. The country is theoretically a multi-party constitutional republic. All branches of government are, however, controlled by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who seized power (1979). He was declared the winner of the latest presidential election with over 95 percent of the vote (November 2009). More details are available in our history page. The repressive national government has attempted to prevent photography. Exports besides oil include cocoa, timber, coffe, and fruit.


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Created: 1:55 AM 11/13/2012
Last updated: 1:55 AM 11/13/2012