EQUATORIAL GUINEA

Date of establishment: October 12, 1968

Brief history:

  • Pre-colonial period: Before the arrival of European colonizers, the territory of present-day Equatorial Guinea was inhabited by various Bantu and Pygmy ethnic groups.
  • Spanish Colony: In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Spanish began to establish colonies there. In 1844, the islands of Bioko and Annobón were declared the Spanish colony of Equatorial Guinea.
  • Partition: After the Berlin Powers Conference in 1884, Equatorial Guinea was divided between Spain and France. Spain retained parts of the mainland and the island of Bioko, while France gained control of what is now Cameroon.
  • Independence: It gained independence from Spain on October 12, 1968, when it became the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. Its first president was Francisco Macías Nguema.
  • President Macías Nguema: President Macías Nguema established a brutal dictatorship and enforced repression and a policy of terror. His rule was characterized by human rights abuses and economic decline.
  • The post-Macías Nguema era: In 1979, President Macías Nguema was overthrown by a military coup and replaced by Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who continues to lead the country today.

 

International abbreviation: GQ

 

Currency: Central African CFA franc, XAF

The Central African Franc, abbreviated XAF, is common to several states in Africa that are part of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa.

 

Internet domain: .gq

 

Dialing code: +240

 

Time zone: +1 GMT

 

Geography:

Equatorial Guinea is located on the west coast of Africa and shares borders with Cameroon to the north and Gabon to the south and east. To the southeast it has a coast on the Gulf of Guinea.

The country also includes the island of Bioko, located in the Gulf of Guinea. On this island lies the capital city of Malabo.

Another smaller island that belongs to Equatorial Guinea is Annobón. It has several rivers, the most important of which is the Mbini. Its valley is one of the main agricultural regions. The country is also home to several lakes, including Lake Afi, which is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Africa.

 

Highest peak: Pico Basilé 3 008 m (9 869 feet) above sea level.

This mountain is located in the central part of the island of Bioko and offers impressive views of the surrounding countryside and the coast of the Gulf of Guinea.

 

Climate:

Equatorial Guinea has a tropical climate with minimal seasonal temperature changes. Average temperatures range between 24°C (75°F) and 33°C (91°F) throughout the year.

Humidity is high throughout the year, especially due to the proximity to the equator and the ocean. Thanks to this high humidity, the rainforests on the mainland of the country are rich in flora and fauna. There are two main rainy seasons in the country. The first lasts from May to July and the second from September to November. A significant amount of precipitation can fall during these periods.

Dry periods come between rainy seasons, but even in these periods the humidity does not drop too far. The dry seasons are usually from December to February and from August to September.

Due to its location on the Gulf of Guinea, Equatorial Guinea can sometimes be affected by tropical storms and hurricanes, especially during the rainy season.

 

Fauna and flora:

Equatorial Guinea is home to several primate species, including gorillas, bonobos, and mangabeys. Populations of forest elephants can be found in some areas of the country, especially in the Monte Alén National Park.

It is home to several species of leopard, including the spotted leopard. It is a paradise for bird watchers with a rich population of parrots, eagles, herons, and other species.

Various types of fish can be found in the sea around the coast. The predominant type of vegetation in the country is rainforest, which is home to epiphytes and vines. Among the flowers that grow there are orchids, hibiscus, and many other species. Palm trees are common, providing fruit, oils, and other products.

 

Agriculture:

The main crops grown include cocoa, oilseeds (mainly oil palm), cassava, maize, sweet potatoes, bananas, and coffee. Tropical crops such as cocoa and coffee are important export products. Most farmers practice subsistence farming, which means they grow crops mainly for their own consumption and the local market.

The country is one of the producers of cocoa, which is a key export product. Cocoa is grown on the mainland of the country as well as on the island of Bioko. The oil palm is another important product, and its oil is an important source of food and also an export product.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

Equatorial Guinea is a major oil producer in the region. Oil production is concentrated in the mainland area of the country, especially Río Muni. This oil wealth has been an important factor in the country’s economic growth. In addition to oil, the country also has significant reserves of natural gas. Natural gas extraction is carried out on the mainland and the raw material is an important element of the energy sector.

 

Industry:

The oil industry is the dominant industry in the country. Equatorial Guinea produces oil on the mainland as well as on the island of Bioko. The oil is then processed in refineries and terminals and exported to international markets. The country has several refineries where oil is processed and petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel, and kerosene are produced.

Wood is an important product of the forestry industry, used both locally and internationally. The construction industry is developing, especially in connection with the development of infrastructure.

 

Services and other areas of the economy:

 

Natural and historical attractions: Monté Alén National Park, the towns of Malabo, Bata, and Moka, and Pico Basilé mountain

Equatorial Guinea offers natural beauties that can attract tourists. These include rainforests, beautiful beaches, the islands of Bioko and Annobón, mountains, and rich fauna and flora.

The beaches of Bioko Island and the coast of Río Muni are places for recreation and water sports. Tourists can discover local culture and traditions through visiting traditional villages, festival,s and cultural events. Historical monuments and museums provide an insight into the country’s history, including the colonial era and rich cultural heritage.

 

Waterparks in Equatorial Guinea:

 

Form of government: presidential republic

Power in the country is concentrated in the presidency. The president is the head of state and government and has broad powers including executive, legislative and military.

Equatorial Guinea has a formal one-party system, with the ruling Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) in a dominant position. This means that the political opposition has a limited presence in parliament. The legislative body is the National Assembly, which has two chambers: the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The Chamber of Deputies has more powers and influence on the creation of laws.

An independent judicial system is tasked with ensuring justice and compliance with the law. The president appoints judges and has influence over the judiciary.

Equatorial Guinea has been criticized for its lack of democracy, human rights abuses, and corruption. International organizations are thus monitoring the situation in the field of human rights.

 

Capital city: Malabo

Malabo is located on the island of Bioko. Bioko Island is one of the two main territorial units of Equatorial Guinea, the other being the mainland area of Río Muni.

The city was founded by the Spanish in 1827 as Port Clarence. It was later renamed Santa Isabel. After independence in 1968, it was renamed Malabo.

 

Area: 28 050 km2 (10 830 square miles)

 

Population: 1 680 000 (2022)

Equatorial Guinea is home to diverse ethnic groups, with the largest being the Fang, Bubi, Ndowe, and Bujebi. Christianity and traditional African religions are the most widespread in the country. Christians thus form the majority of the population.

Spanish and French are the official languages. Health care in the country is limited. Equatorial Guinea faces health challenges such as infectious diseases and a shortage of medical personnel.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

 

National parks: 4

 

  1. Pico Basilé National Park
  2. Monte Alén National Park
  3. Altos de Nsork National Park
  4. Malabo National Park