Equatorial Guinea


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A virtual guide to Equatorial Guinea, a tropical country situated in central West Africa bordering the Bight of Biafra (Atlantic Ocean) between Cameroon and Gabon, and it shares maritime borders with Nigeria and São Tomé and Príncipe.

Equatorial Guinea is composed of five inhabited islands plus a portion on the African mainland, known as Río Muni. With an area of 28,000 km², the country is slightly smaller than Belgium or slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Maryland.

Equatorial Guinea has a population of about 1.2 million people (census 2015), the capital city is Malabo on Bioko Island, the largest city is Bata (pop. 250,000), a port city at the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the Litoral Province of Río Muni. Spoken languages are Spanish, (national), French, and Portuguese.

The country gained independence in 1968 after 190 years of Spanish rule. President OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO has ruled the country for over two decades since seizing power from his uncle, then-President MACIAS, in a 1979 coup. Although nominally a constitutional democracy since 1991, the 1996 and 2002 presidential elections - as well as the 1999 and 2004 legislative elections - were widely seen as flawed. The president exerts almost total control over the political system and has discouraged political opposition.
Equatorial Guinea has also experienced rapid economic growth due to the discovery of large offshore oil reserves, and in the last decade has become Sub-Saharan Africa's third-largest oil exporter.

Despite rapid growth in real GDP, there is strong evidence of government misappropriation of oil revenues, in particular, for lavish personal expenditures. Furthermore, the failure of the government to inject oil revenues into the country's economy, especially to fund much-needed improvements in the country's infrastructure, has meant little improvement in the economic and social welfare of most Equatoguineans.

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Official Name:
República de Guinea Ecuatorial
Short form: none

ISO Country Code: gq, gnq
Local Time = UTC +1h
Country Calling Code: +240

Capital City: Malabo (on the island Bioko)
Bata (the economícal capital)
Other Cities: Luba (also on Bioko) and Bata and Ebebiyín in Río Muni, the mainland.

Nominally multi-party Republic with strong domination by the executive branch.
Independence: 12 October 1968 (from Spain).

Location: West-central Africa bordering the Bight of Biafra.
Area: 28,000 km² (10,800 sq. miles)
Terrain: Varies. Annobón and Bioko Island are of volcanic origin, Río Muni the mainland stretches from the coastal plain to hilly.

Climate: Tropical; always hot and humid.