Coat of Arms
Brig. Gen. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
»Equatorial, Guinean, Equatoguinean
»Single-party semi-presidential republic
»28,050 km2 (144th)
» Per capita -$25,929
» Per capita -$20,581
»Central African CFA franc (XAF)
Equatorial Guinea 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 African state in which Spanish is an official language.
As of 2012, the country has a population of 1.6 million. Equatorial Guinea consists of two parts, an insular and a mainland region
. The insular region consists of the islands of Bioko (formerly Fernando Pó) in the Gulf of Guinea and Annobón, a small volcanic island south of the equator. Bioko Island is the northernmost part of Equatorial Guinea and is the site of the country’s capital, Malabo.
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.
Pre-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 as its currency.
The national currency, the ekwele, was previously linked to the Spanish peseta.
The discovery of large oil reserves in 1996 and its subsequent exploitation have contributed to a dramatic increase in government revenue. As of 2004, 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 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.
In July 2004, the 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, 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
Top 5 Products imported by Equatorial Guinea Refined
Iron Structures (3.1%),
Excavation Machinery (2.8%),
Insulated Wire (2.5%)
Top 5 Import origins of Equatorial Guinea
United States (6.6%),
Because Equatorial Guinea has undergone many years of international isolation, its tourism industry is very undeveloped, with limited hotel space available in Malabo and Bata.
Attractions include the Spanish colonial architecture of Malabo, the beaches, and the tropical rain forests. A certificate of vaccination against yellow fever is required. A valid passport is needed; there are no visa requirements.
There are lots of beaches so that would be a good thing to take in mind when considering sight-seeing. It would be advised to take precautions listed in the ‘Stay Safe’ category.