Africa :: 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, 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 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, improvements in the population's living standards have been slow to develop.

Geography ::Equatorial Guinea

People and Society ::Equatorial Guinea

Government ::Equatorial Guinea

    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
    name: Malabo
    geographic coordinates: 3 45 N, 8 47 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    7 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Annobon, Bioko Norte, Bioko Sur, Centro Sur, Kie-Ntem, Litoral, Wele-Nzas
    12 October 1968 (from Spain)
    Independence Day, 12 October (1968)
    approved by national referendum 17 November 1991; amended January 1995 and November 2011
    mixed system of civil and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age; universal
    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 Vicente Ehate TOMI (since 22 May 2012)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
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    elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (two term limits); election last held on 29 November 2009 (next to be held in 2015); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president; note - according to the constitutional referendum on November 2011, elections are to be held in 2015 and the presidency is limited to two terms
    election results: Teodoro OBIANG Nguema Mbasogo reelected president; percent of vote - Teodoro OBIANG Nguema Mbasogo 95.8%, Placido Mico ABOGO 3.6%, other 0.6%
    bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (70 seats; 55 seats directly elected and 15 appointed by the president) and the 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 on 26 May 2013 (next to be held in 2018)
    election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDGE 54, CPDS 1; House of People's Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDGE 99, CPDS 1
    note: note - Parliament has little power since the constitution vests all executive authority in the president; the constitutional referendum of 2011 established a bicameral legislature formed following the May 2013 elections; the newly formed Senate consists of elected and appointed (by the President) members
    highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice (consists of the chief justice and NA judges); Constitutional Court (consists of the court president and 4 members)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president for 5-year terms; Constitutional Court members appointed by the president
    subordinate courts: Court of Guarantees; military courts; Courts of Appeal; first instance tribunals; district and county tribunals
    Convergence Party for Social Democracy or CPDS [Placido MICO Abogo]
    Democratic Party for Equatorial Guinea or PDGE [Teodoro OBIANG Nguema Mbasogo] (ruling party)
    Electoral Coalition or EC
    Party for Progress of Equatorial Guinea or PPGE [Severo MOTO]
    Popular Action of Equatorial Guinea or APGE [Avelino MOCACHE]
    Popular Union or UP [Daniel MARTINEZ Ayecaba]
    ASODEGUE (Madrid-based pressure group for democratic reform)
    EG Justice (US-based anti-corruption group)
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Roman OBAMA Ekua
    chancery: 2020 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 518-5700
    FAX: [1] (202) 518-5252
    consul general(s): Houston
    chief of mission: Ambassador Mark L. ASQUINO
    embassy: K-3, Carretera de Aeropuerto, Al lado de Restaurante El Paraiso, Malabo
    mailing address: B.P. 817, Yaounde, Cameroon; US Embassy Yaounde, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2520
    telephone: [240] 333 09 88 95
    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); green symbolizes the jungle and natural resources, blue represents the sea that connects the mainland to the islands, white stands for peace, and red recalls the fight for independence
    silk cotton tree
    name: "Caminemos pisando la senda" (Let Us Tread the Path)
    lyrics/music: Atanasio Ndongo MIYONO/Atanasio Ndongo MIYONO or Ramiro Sanchez LOPEZ (disputed)
    note: adopted 1968

Economy ::Equatorial Guinea

    The discovery and exploitation of large oil and gas reserves have contributed to dramatic economic growth, but fluctuating oil prices have produced huge swings in GDP growth in recent years. The economy is still dominated by hydrocarbon production. The government has solicited foreign investment, particularly from the United States, to diversify the economy. Undeveloped natural resources include gold, zinc, diamonds, columbite-tantalite, and other base metals. Forestry and farming are also minor components of GDP. Subsistence farming is the dominant form of livelihood. 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. The government has been widely criticized for its lack of transparency and misuse of oil revenues. The government has made efforts to address this issue working towards compliance with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in 2010. The economy recovered from the global recession in 2011-12 stimulated by higher oil prices and large investments in public infrastructure and hotels.
    $19.6 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    $19.21 billion (2011 est.)
    $18.38 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $17.21 billion (2012 est.)
    2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    4.5% (2011 est.)
    -2.6% (2010 est.)
    $26,400 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    $26,600 (2011 est.)
    $26,100 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2010 US dollars; population figures are uncertain for Equatorial Guinea; these per capita income figures are based on a estimated population of less than 700,000; some estimates put the figure as high as 1.2 million people; if true, the per capita GDP figures would be significantly lower
    23% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    27% of GDP (2011 est.)
    35.4% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 36.7%
    government consumption: 3.2%
    investment in fixed capital: 32.4%
    investment in inventories: 0.6%
    exports of goods and services: 69.3%
    imports of goods and services: -42.1%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 3.1%
    industry: 89%
    services: 7.9% (2012 est.)
    coffee, cocoa, rice, yams, cassava (manioc), bananas, palm oil nuts; livestock; timber
    petroleum, natural gas, sawmilling
    4.1% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    195,200 (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    22.3% (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $6.429 billion
    expenditures: $6.585 billion (2012 est.)
    37.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    -0.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    7.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    7.5% of GDP (2011 est.)
    calendar year
    5.7% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    7% (2011 est.)
    8.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    4.25% (31 December 2009 est.)
    15% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    15% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $2.683 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    $1.936 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $3.115 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    $2.166 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $439.5 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    $570.8 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    $290.2 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    -$945 million (2011 est.)
    $14.73 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    $13.85 billion (2011 est.)
    petroleum products, timber
    Japan 18.8%, France 16.1%, China 11.7%, US 11.3%, Spain 7.1%, Netherlands 7.1%, Italy 5.1% (2012)
    $7.558 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    $6.55 billion (2011 est.)
    petroleum sector equipment, other equipment, construction materials, vehicles
    Spain 18%, China 17%, US 10.8%, France 7.9%, Cote dIvoire 6.7%, Italy 5.8%, Brazil 4.3% (2012)
    $4.035 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    $3.054 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $1.852 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    $1.49 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
    510.53 (2012 est.)
    471.87 (2011 est.)
    495.28 (2010 est.)
    472.19 (2009)
    447.81 (2008)

Energy ::Equatorial Guinea

Communications ::Equatorial Guinea

    13,500 (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    426,000 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    general assessment: digital fixed-line network in most major urban areas and good mobile coverage
    domestic: fixed-line density is about 2 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular subscribership has been increasing and in 2011 stood at about 60 percent of the population
    international: country code - 240; international communications from Bata and Malabo to African and European countries; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2011)
    state maintains control of broadcast media with domestic broadcast media limited to 1 state-owned TV station, 1 state-owned radio station, and 1 private radio station owned by the president's eldest son; satellite TV service is available; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are accessible (2007)
    7 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 227
    14,400 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 200

Transportation ::Equatorial Guinea

Military ::Equatorial Guinea

Transnational Issues ::Equatorial Guinea

    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 and imprecisely defined maritime coordinates in the ICJ decision delayed final delimitation; UN urged Equatorial Guinea and Gabon to resolve the sovereignty dispute over Gabon-occupied Mbane and lesser islands and to create a maritime boundary in the hydrocarbon-rich Corisco Bay
    current situation: Equatorial Guinea is a source and destination country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sexual exploitation; children have been trafficked from nearby countries for work as domestic servants, market laborers, ambulant vendors, and launderers; women may also be trafficked to Equatorial Guinea from Cameroon, Benin, other neighboring countries, and China for forced labor or prostitution; Equatorial Guinean girls may be encouraged by their parents to engage in the sex trade in urban centers to receive groceries, gifts, housing, and money
    tier rating: Tier 3 - Equatorial Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards on the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government has initiated no investigations or prosecutions of suspected trafficking offenses and demonstrated no efforts to identify victims or to provide them with necessary services, despite being required to do so under its 2004 anti-trafficking law; the government shows a slight increase in its efforts to prevent trafficking with the creation in 2012 of a working-level committee to combat human trafficking, but it has not launched any public anti-trafficking campaigns or implemented any programs to address forced child labor (2013)