OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Equatorial Guinea
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Unitary Multiparty Republic
AREA: 28,051 Sq Km (10,831 Sq Mi)

Direct Link to Political MapDirect Link to Physical MapLOCATION & 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 year.

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 and Efik.

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 births (1990).

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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