Equatorial Guinea – Africa’s rich face?
Equatorial Guinea – since major oil reserves were discovered in the country in 1995, the country has the highest per capita income in all of Africa. Before the oil boom, hardly anyone knew this country, which was and is infested with malaria, and where the extremely poisonous green mamba lives. At best, the country attracted a lot of negative attention from the world public through the film “The Interpreter” with Nicole Kidman and the bestseller “The Dogs of War” by Frederick Forsyth. The average growth of the economy is now around 30%, an economic growth that is unparalleled anywhere in the world.
|Name of the country||Republic of Equatorial Guinea|
|Form of government||Presidential Republic|
|Geographical location||West Africa on the Atlantic coast|
|National anthem||“Caminemos Pisando la Senda…”|
|Population||1.3 million (Credit: Countryaah: Equatorial Guinea Population)|
|Ethnicities||approx. 80% Bantu (mainly Fang)approx. 10% Bubi|
|Religions||approx. 74% Catholicsapprox. 20% followers of traditional religions
approx. 5% Protestants
approx. 1% Muslims
|Languages||Spanish and French are official languages.|
|Highest mountain||Pico Basile with a height of 3,008 m|
|Largest lake||There are no larger lakes in Equatorial Guinea.|
|International license plate||GQ|
|National currency||CFA franc|
|Time difference to CET||CET applies.|
|International phone code||00240|
|Mains voltage, frequency||220/240 volts and 50 Hertz(An adapter is required.)|
|Internet TLD (Top Level Domain)||.gq|
about 74% Catholics, about 20% followers of traditional African religions, 5% Protestants and about 1% Muslims.
Equatorial Guinea: History
Until the 19th century
Around 1500 the Portuguese Fernando Poo discovered part of what is now Equatorial Guinea. Portugal took possession of the island of Bioko, which was named after its discoverer until 1979. In 1778 the island was ceded to Spain, which also took over the island of Pagalu and the mainland coast of today’s Equatorial Guinea.
In the 20th century
According to Abbreviationfinder website, in 1916, Spanish Guinea was used as a retreat for the German protection forces in Cameroon. After the end of World War I, Spain also colonized the hinterland of the Mbini and declared Spanish Guinea a Spanish province. Increasing strivings for independence of the population led to the country receiving full internal autonomy in 1963. The declaration of independence took place on October 12, 1968. The country’s first president was Macias Nguema Biyogo. With the help of the military, he established a dictatorial regime and in 1972 appointed himself president for life. The result was numerous human rights violations and a strong wave of emigration as well as the collapse of public structures and the country’s economic decline.
In 1979, under the leadership of his nephew T. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, a military coup took place that ended with the execution of the ousted president. After the establishment of a “Supreme Military Council”, Obiang Nguema took over the office of President. In 1982 the new constitution was adopted by referendum. In 1986 Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo founded the unity PDGE (Partido Démocratico de Guinea). In the presidential election of 1989 he was elected as the only candidate for president.
In 1991, large oil deposits were discovered off the coast of Biokos and off the mainland, the exploitation of which was taken over by international oil companies. The US is currently getting around 16 percent of its oil imports from West Africa, and this proportion is expected to rise to 25 percent by 2015. Probably the third largest oil reserves on the African continent are located on the territory of Guinea-Bissau. The country also has significant reserves of natural gas, as well as titanium, magnesium, uranium and gold.
Also in 1991, a new constitution was passed that guaranteed the president lifelong immunity. A multi-party system was introduced in 1992, but the opposition’s options for action remained severely limited. The parliamentary elections in 1999 and the local elections in 2000 were very unregulated and led to a victory for the PDGE.
In 2001, foreign companies began to exploit the country’s natural gas reserves. In 2002, President Teodora Obiang Nguema Mbasogo was re-elected for another seven years. In March 2004, a military coup organized from abroad failed. Some people were then executed and many others arrested, including several opposition politicians. Torture is routinely used in Equatorial Guinea, according to Amnesty International.