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Flag of Equatorial Guinea
Map of Equatorial Guinea
Introduction Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea gained independence in 1968 after 190 years of Spanish rule. This tiny country, composed of a mainland portion plus five inhabited islands, is one of the smallest on the African continent. President Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO has ruled the country since 1979 when he seized power in a 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 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 the country's economic windfall from oil production resulting in a massive increase in government revenue in recent years, there have been few improvements in the population's living standards.
Geography Equatorial Guinea
Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Cameroon and Gabon
Geographic coordinates:
2 00 N, 10 00 E
Map references:
total: 28,051 sq km
land: 28,051 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundaries:
total: 539 km
border countries: Cameroon 189 km, Gabon 350 km
296 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
tropical; always hot, humid
coastal plains rise to interior hills; islands are volcanic
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pico Basile 3,008 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, natural gas, timber, gold, bauxite, diamonds, tantalum, sand and gravel, clay
Land use:
arable land: 4.63%
permanent crops: 3.57%
other: 91.8% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Natural hazards:
violent windstorms, flash floods
Environment - current issues:
tap water is not potable; deforestation
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
insular and continental regions widely separated
People Equatorial Guinea
540,109 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 41.7% (male 113,083/female 111,989)
15-64 years: 54.5% (male 141,914/female 152,645)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 8,886/female 11,592) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 18.8 years
male: 18.2 years
female: 19.4 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.05% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
35.59 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
15.06 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 89.21 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 95.22 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 83.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 49.54 years
male: 48 years
female: 51.13 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
4.55 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
3.4% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
5,900 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
370 (2001 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria (2005)
noun: Equatorial Guinean(s) or Equatoguinean(s)
adjective: Equatorial Guinean or Equatoguinean
Ethnic groups:
Bioko (primarily Bubi, some Fernandinos), Rio Muni (primarily Fang), Europeans less than 1,000, mostly Spanish
nominally Christian and predominantly Roman Catholic, pagan practices
Spanish (official), French (official), pidgin English, Fang, Bubi, Ibo
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 85.7%
male: 93.3%
female: 78.4% (2003 est.)
Government Equatorial Guinea
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Equatorial Guinea
conventional short form: Equatorial Guinea
local long form: Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial/Republique de Guinee equatoriale
local short form: Guinea Ecuatorial/Guinee equatoriale
former: Spanish Guinea
Government type:
name: Malabo
geographic coordinates: 3 45 N, 8 47 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
7 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Annobon, Bioko Norte, Bioko Sur, Centro Sur, Kie-Ntem, Litoral, Wele-Nzas
12 October 1968 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 12 October (1968)
approved by national referendum 17 November 1991; amended January 1995
Legal system:
partly based on Spanish civil law and tribal custom
18 years of age; universal adult
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO (since 3 August 1979 when he seized power in a military coup)
head of government: Prime Minister Ricardo Mangue Obama NFUBEA (since 14 August 2006); First Deputy Prime Minister Mercelino Oyono NTUTUMU (since 15 June 2004)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (no term limits); election last held 15 December 2002 (next to be held December 2009); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president
election results: Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO reelected president; percent of vote - Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO 97.1%, Celestino Bonifacio BACALE 2.2%; elections marred by widespread fraud
Legislative branch:
unicameral House of People's Representatives or Camara de Representantes del Pueblo (100 seats; members directly elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 25 April 2004 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDGE 98, CPDS 2
note: Parliament has little power since the constitution vests all executive authority in the president
Judicial branch:
Supreme Tribunal
Political parties and leaders:
Convergence Party for Social Democracy or CPDS [Placido MIKO Abogo]; Democratic Party for Equatorial Guinea or PDGE [Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO] (ruling party); Party for Progress of Equatorial Guinea or PPGE [Severo MOTO]; Popular Action of Equatorial Guinea or APGE [Miguel Esono EMAN]; Popular Union or UP
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Purificacion ANGUE ONDO
chancery: 2020 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 518-5700
FAX: [1] (202) 518-5252
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Donald C. JOHNSON
embassy: adjacent to the golf course at the base of Mont Febe; note - relocated embassy is opened for limited functions; inquiries should continue to be directed to the US Embassy in Yaounde, Cameroon
mailing address: B.P. 817, Yaounde, Cameroon; US Embassy Yaounde, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2520
telephone: [237] 220 15 00
FAX: [237] 220 16 20
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red with a blue isosceles triangle based on the hoist side and the coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms has six yellow six-pointed stars (representing the mainland and five offshore islands) above a gray shield bearing a silk-cotton tree and below which is a scroll with the motto UNIDAD, PAZ, JUSTICIA (Unity, Peace, Justice)
Economy Equatorial Guinea
Economy - overview:
The discovery and exploitation of large oil reserves have contributed to dramatic economic growth in recent years. Forestry, farming, and fishing are also major components of GDP. Subsistence farming predominates. Although pre-independence Equatorial Guinea counted on cocoa production for hard currency earnings, the neglect of the rural economy under successive regimes has diminished potential for agriculture-led growth (the government has stated its intention to reinvest some oil revenue into agriculture). A number of aid programs sponsored by the World Bank and the IMF have been cut off since 1993, because of corruption and mismanagement. No longer eligible for concessional financing because of large oil revenues, the government has been trying to agree on a "shadow" fiscal management program with the World Bank and IMF. Businesses, for the most part, are owned by government officials and their family members. Undeveloped natural resources include titanium, iron ore, manganese, uranium, and alluvial gold. Growth remained strong in 2006, led by oil. Equatorial Guinea now has the third highest per capita income in the world, after Luxembourg and Bermuda.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$25.69 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$7.644 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
18.6% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$50,200 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2.8%
industry: 92.6%
services: 4.5% (2006 est.)
Labor force:
Unemployment rate:
30% (1998 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
5.2% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
34.1% of GDP (2006 est.)
revenues: $2.752 billion
expenditures: $1.424 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Public debt:
4.7% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products:
coffee, cocoa, rice, yams, cassava (tapioca), bananas, palm oil nuts; livestock; timber
petroleum, fishing, sawmilling, natural gas
Industrial production growth rate:
30% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
26 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 94.3%
hydro: 5.7%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
24.18 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2004)
Oil - production:
420,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
1,220 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves:
563.5 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
100 million cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
100 million cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
36.81 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
Current account balance:
$175 million (2006 est.)
$8.961 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:
petroleum, methanol, timber, cocoa
Exports - partners:
US 24.6%, China 21.8%, Spain 10.9%, Canada 7.3%, Taiwan 7.2%, Portugal 5.5%, Netherlands 5.2%, Brazil 4.6%, France 4% (2005)
$2.543 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:
petroleum sector equipment, other equipment
Imports - partners:
US 24.5%, Italy 20.5%, France 12.1%, Spain 10.8%, Cote d'Ivoire 8.6%, UK 6.9% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$3.235 billion (2006 est.)
Debt - external:
$289 million (2006 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Currency (code):
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 522.594 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003), 696.99 (2002)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Equatorial Guinea
Telephones - main lines in use:
10,000 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
96,900 (2005)
Telephone system:
general assessment: poor system with adequate government services
domestic: NA
international: country code - 240; international communications from Bata and Malabo to African and European countries; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 0, FM 3, shortwave 5 (2002)
180,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (2002)
4,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
19 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2002)
Internet users:
5,000 (2005)
Transportation Equatorial Guinea
4 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2006)
condensate 46 km; condensate/gas 5 km; gas 47 km; oil 31 km (2006)
total: 2,880 km (1999)
Merchant marine:
total: 1 ship (1000 GRT or over) 1,745 GRT/3,434 DWT
by type: cargo 1 (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Military Equatorial Guinea
Military branches:
Army, Navy, Air Force (2005)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age (est.) (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 104,563
females age 18-49: 109,923 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 56,462
females age 18-49: 59,260 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$152.2 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
2.1% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Equatorial Guinea
Disputes - international:
in 2002, ICJ ruled on an equidistance settlement of Cameroon-Equatorial Guinea-Nigeria maritime boundary in the Gulf of Guinea, but a dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon over an island at the mouth of the Ntem River, imprecisely defined maritime coordinates in the ICJ decision, and the unresolved Bakasi allocation contribute to the delay in implementation; UN has been pressing Equatorial Guinea and Gabon to pledge to resolve the sovereignty dispute over Gabon-occupied Mbane Island and create a maritime boundary in the hydrocarbon-rich Corisco Bay
Trafficking in persons:
current situation: Equatorial Guinea is a transit and destination country for women and children trafficked for forced labor, involuntary domestic servitude, and commercial sexual exploitation from surrounding countries - primarily Benin, Nigeria, Mali, and Cameroon; victims work in the agricultural and commercial sectors of Malabo and Bata, where demand is high due to a booming oil sector; children work as farmhands, street vendors, or household servants; girls and women are also trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Equatorial Guinea is placed on the Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide adequate evidence of concrete measures to address trafficking over the past year

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007