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Equatorial Guinea


Introduction: 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, 2002, and 2009 presidential elections - as well as the 1999, 2004, and 2008 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...

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People: The majority of the Equatoguinean people are of Bantu origin. The largest tribe, the Fang, is indigenous to the mainland, but substantial migration to Bioko Island has resulted in Fang dominance over the earlier Bubi inhabitants. The Fang constitute 80% of the population and are themselves divided into 67 clans. Those in the northern part of Rio Muni speak Fang-Ntumu, while those in the south ...

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International Relations: Equatorial Guinea has relatively positive relations with its neighbours, despite occasional clashes over maritime boundaries with Cameroon, Gabon and Nigeria. Tensions with Gabon over their Maritime border have continued despite UN-mediated negotiations in 2004. Despite revived Spanish interest, Equatorial Guinea has gradually shifted towards its Francophone neighbours, and is a member of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). It joined the Franc Zone in 1985. The USA and China are major markets for its oil. China agreed a US$2bn credit line in late 2006 to help fund infrastructure projects. Nigeria signed an agreement ...

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