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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. President OBIANG NGUEM MBASOGO has ruled the tiny country, composed of a mainland portion plus five inhabited islands and one of the smallest countries on the African continent, since he seized power in a coup in 1979. Although nominally a constitutional democracy since 1991, the 1996 and 2002 presidential elections - as well as the 1999 legislative elections - were widely seen as being flawed.
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
water: 0 sq km
land: 28,051 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:
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 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:
oil, petroleum, timber, small unexploited deposits of gold, manganese, uranium, titanium, iron ore
Land use:
arable land: 4.63%
permanent crops: 3.57%
other: 91.8% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
NA sq km
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, Law of the Sea, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
insular and continental regions rather widely separated
People Equatorial Guinea
510,473 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 42.2% (male 108,179; female 107,164)
15-64 years: 54% (male 132,342; female 143,509)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 8,576; female 10,703) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 18.7 years
male: 18 years
female: 19.3 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
2.44% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
36.94 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
12.54 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 89.02 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 82.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 95.25 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 54.75 years
male: 52.63 years
female: 56.93 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
4.75 children born/woman (2003 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.)
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 short form: Guinea Ecuatorial
local long form: Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial
former: Spanish Guinea
Government type:
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)
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; election last held 15 December 2002 (next to be held NA 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
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
head of government: Prime Minister Candido Muatetema RIVAS (since 26 February 2001); First Deputy Prime Minister Miguel OYONO NDONG (since NA January 1998); Deputy Prime Minister Demetrio Elo NDONG NZE FUMU (since NA January 1998)
Legislative branch:
unicameral House of People's Representatives or Camara de Representantes del Pueblo (80 seats; members directly elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 7 March 1999 (next to be held NA March 2004)
election results: percent of vote by party - PDGE 80%, UP 6%, CPDS 5%; seats by party - PDGE 75, UP 4 and CPDS 1
note: opposition parties have refused to take up their seats in the House to protest widespread irregularities in the 1999 legislative elections
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 (ruling party) [Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO]; Party for Progress of Equatorial Guinea or PPGE [Severo MOTO]; Popular Action of Equatorial Guinea or APGE [Miguel Esono EMAN]; Popular Union or UP [Andres Moises Bda ADA]; Progressive Democratic Alliance or ADP [Victorino Bolekia BONAY]; Union of Independent Democrats of UDI [Daniel OYONO]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Teodoro Biyogo NSUE
chancery: 2020 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
FAX: [1] (202) 518-5252
telephone: [1] (202) 518-5700
Diplomatic representation from the US:
the US does not have an embassy in Equatorial Guinea (embassy closed September 1995); the US ambassador to Cameroon is accredited to Equatorial Guinea; the US State Department is considering opening a Consulate Agency in Malabo
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 unsuccessfully 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 will remain strong in 2003, led by oil.
purchasing power parity - $1.27 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
20% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $2,700 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 20%
industry: 60%
services: 20% (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
6% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
Unemployment rate:
30% (1998 est.)
revenues: $200 million
expenditures: $158 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
petroleum, fishing, sawmilling, natural gas
Industrial production growth rate:
30% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
23.56 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 94.3%
hydro: 5.7%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
21.91 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
181,400 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
2,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
563.5 million bbl (37257)
Natural gas - production:
20 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
20 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
68.53 billion cu m (37257)
Agriculture - products:
coffee, cocoa, rice, yams, cassava (tapioca), bananas, palm oil nuts; livestock; timber
$2.5 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
petroleum, methanol, timber, cocoa
Exports - partners:
US 28.3%, Spain 25.3%, China 17.4%, Canada 10.6%, France 4.9% (2002)
$562 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
petroleum sector equipment, other equipment
Imports - partners:
US 29.1%, Spain 15.9%, UK 14.8%, France 10.4%, Norway 7.2%, Netherlands 4.8%, Italy 4.7% (2002)
Debt - external:
$248 million (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$33.8 million (1995)
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 - 696.99 (2002), 733.04 (2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.7 (1999), 589.95 (1998)
Fiscal year:
1 January - 31 December
Communications Equatorial Guinea
Telephones - main lines in use:
6,000 (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
300 (1998)
Telephone system:
general assessment: poor system with adequate government services
domestic: NA
international: 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 Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2002)
Internet users:
900 (2002)
Transportation Equatorial Guinea
total: 0 km
total: 2,880 km (1999 est.)
condensate 37 km; gas 39 km; liquid natural gas 4 km; oil 24 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Bata, Luba, Malabo
Merchant marine:
total: 3 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 7,571 GRT/9,670 DWT
ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 1, passenger/cargo 1 (2002 est.)
3 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Military Equatorial Guinea
Military branches:
Army, Navy, Air Force, Rapid Intervention Force, National Police
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 116,496 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 59,110 (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$30 million (FY02)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
2.5% (FY02)
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 states have not yet agreed to abide by the decision; creation of a maritime boundary in hydrocarbon-rich Corisco Bay with Gabon is hampered by dispute over small islets on Mbane/Mbagne bank, administered and occupied by Gabon since the 1970s

This page was last updated on 18 December, 2003