OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Equatorial Guinea
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Unitary Multiparty Republic
AREA: 28,051 Sq Km (10,831 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION 442,300
LOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Equatorial Guinea is located on
the west coast of West Central Africa. It is bound by Cameroon
to the north, Gabon to the east and south, and the Atlantic
Ocean to the west. The territory consists of a mainland
area and the islands of Bioko, Fernando Po, Pigalu, Elobey
Grande, Elobey Chico and Corisco. Rio Muni or the mainland
is a jungle enclave that rises sharply from the narrow coastal
mangrove swamps towards the heavily forested African Plateau.
The interior plain gives way to several valleys which are
separated by low lying hills of the Crystal Mountains. The
land is deeply cut by a number of rivers including the Mbini,
Rio Campo and the Rio Muni. The islands are mainly of volcanic
origin, mountainous and have rugged coastlines. Major Cities
(pop. est.); Malabo 30,400, Bata 24,300, Ela-Nguema 6,200,
(1983). Land Use; forested 46%, pastures 4%, agricultural-cultivated
8%, other 42% (1993).
CLIMATE: Equatorial Guinea has an equatorial climate which is
hot and humid. On Rio Muni the wet and dry season alternate, with the wet
season from June to August and the dry season from December to February.
Tornadoes and violent wind storms are also frequent. Average annual precipitation
varies from 1,930 mm (76 inches) at Malabo to 10,900 mm (36 feet) at Ureka
on Bioko. Average temperature ranges in Malabo are from 21 degrees Celsius
(70 degrees Fahrenheit) to 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit) all
PEOPLE: The principal ethnic group are the Fang or Fon who are
divided into the Ntumu Fang north of the Nbini River and the Okak Fang
to the south. The Fang are of Bantu origin and constitute around 83% of
the Rio Muni or mainland population. Other ethnic minorities include the
Kombe, Balengue, Bujebas, Bengas, Bubi, Fernandinos, Hausa, Ibo, Ibibo
DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 13 persons per sq km (33
persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 37.0% urban, 63.0% rural (1991).
Sex Distribution; 48.5% male, 51.5% female (1991). Life Expectancy at Birth;
48.0 years male, 52.0 years female (1990). Age Breakdown; 43% under 15,
26% 15 to 29, 14% 30 to 44, 11% 45 to 59, 5% 60 to 74, 1% 75 and over (1990).
Birth Rate; 43.0 per 1,000 (1990). Death Rate; 16.0 per 1,000 (1990). Increase
Rate; 27.0 per 1,000 (1990). Infant Mortality Rate; 127.0 per 1,000 live
RELIGIONS: Mostly Christians with about 89% of the population
Roman Catholic while other minorities include Protestants and Muslims.
The remainder follow local native tribal beliefs.
LANGUAGES: The official language is Spanish, although it is only
spoken by 4 to 5% of the population. Fang is the native language with a
national status and Pidgin English, known as Pichinglis, is also spoken.
EDUCATION: Aged 15 or over and having attained: no formal schooling
35.4%, incomplete primary 46.6%, primary 13.0%, secondary 2.3%, higher
1.1%, unspecified 1.6% (1983). Literacy; literate population aged 15 or
over 62.2% (1983).
MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: In 1959 the two provinces of the
country were declared an integral part of Spain. In 1963 the provinces
were joined as Equatorial Guinea and given greater internal self government.
On Oct. 12, 1968 Equatorial Guinea gained its independence with Francisco
Macias Nguema as the country's first President. In Feb. 1970 Pres. Macias
banned all opposition parties and in July 1972 appointed himself as President
for life. During his dictatorship he ordered the assassination or imprisonment
of many people and forced thousands of others to leave the country. In
Aug. 1979 a group of army officers led by Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo,
Pres. Macias's nephew, ousted him and established a military government.
The new government then tried and executed Macias, and Teodoro Obiang Nguema
Mbasogo became President. In 1982 Pres. Obiang Nguema was reappointed for
a further seven years and a new constitution was adopted which provided
for the eventual return to a civil government. In Aug. 1987 Obiang Nguema
formed a governmental party and was re-elected President in Aug. 1989.
In April 1990 the government signed a joint venture with a US company to
develop the country's oil and gas reserves. In Dec. 1990 a few high ranking
pro-multiparty officials were arrested. Also in 1990 the government imposed
a "Peace Tax" as the "peace which has reigned, is to the
benefit of all the country's citizens". In Aug. 1991 the Congress
called on the government to legalize the formation of opposition parties
while a referendum in Nov. 1991 resulted in the approval of a new multiparty
constitution by nearly 99% of the voters. On Jan. 23, 1992 Pres. Nguema
ruling party, the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) appointed
a transitional government in preparation for multi-partyism. In Feb. 1992
a number of opposition party leaders were arrested, followed by further
opposition party members in July and August. In Aug. 1992 Thomas Metcheba
Fernandez, secretary-general of the Socialist Party of Equatorial Guinea
urged countries of a "long-standing democratic tradition" to
intervene against Pres. Nguema. On Mar. 30, 1993 following the UN Commission
for Human Rights condemnation of violations of human rights, a government
decree came into effect that freed all political prisoners. Also in Mar.
1993 a number of exiled opposition movements signed a merger agreement
while in Aug. 1993 a member of the Popular Union, Lieut. Pedro Motu Mamiaka
died in prison following his arrest. On July 16, 1993 legislative elections
were announced for Sept. 1993 and on Nov. 22, 1993 after being postponed
they were won by the PDGE.
CURRENCY: The official currency is the CFA Franc (Communaute
Finaciere Africaine-CFAF) divided into 100 Centimes.
ECONOMY: Gross Domestic Product; USD $142,500,000 (1994). Public
Debt; USD $218,700,000 (1993). Imports; CFAF 21,900,000,000 (1994). Exports;
CFAF 32,900,000,000 (1994). Tourism Receipts; N/A. Balance of Trade; CFAF
2,537,000,000 (1993). Economically Active Population; 148,000 or 41.0%
of total population (1991). Unemployed; 24.2% (1983).
MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are Spain, Germany,
Italy and the Netherlands.
MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Bananas, Cassava, Cocoa, Coconuts, Coffee,
Oil and Natural Gas, Sweet Potatoes, Timber.
MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Fishing, Food Processing, Forestry.
MAIN EXPORTS: Cocoa, Coffee, Timber.
TRANSPORT: Railroads; nil. Roads; length 2,682 km (1,667 mi)
(1989). Vehicles; cars 5,000 (1989), trucks and buses 3,300 (1989). Merchant
Marine; vessels 2 (1990), deadweight tonnage 6,699 (1990). Air Transport;
passenger-km 7,000,000 (4,350,000 passenger-mi) (1990), cargo ton-km 1,000,000
(685,000 short ton-mi) (1990).
COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 1 with a total circulation
of 1,000 (1992). Radio; receivers 128,000 (1994). Television; receivers
2,500 (1994). Telephones; units 1,300 (1993).
MILITARY: 1,320 (1995) total active duty personnel with 83.3%
army, 9.1% navy and 7.6% air force while military expenditure accounts
for 1.4% (1994) of the Gross National Product (GNP).
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