Photos of Equatorial Guinea

Introduction

Background

Equatorial Guinea gained independence in 1968 after 190 years of Spanish rule; it is one of the smallest countries in Africa consisting of a mainland territory and five inhabited islands. The capital of Malabo is located on the island of Bioko, approximately 25 km from the Cameroonian coastline in the Gulf of Guinea. Between 1968 and 1979, autocratic President Francisco MACIAS NGUEMA virtually destroyed all of the country's political, economic, and social institutions before being deposed by his nephew Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO in a coup. President OBIANG has ruled since October 1979. He has been elected several times since 1996, and was most recently reelected in 2016. Although nominally a constitutional democracy since 1991, presidential and legislative elections since 1996 have generally been labeled as flawed. The president exerts almost total control over the political system and has placed legal and bureaucratic barriers that hinder political opposition. Equatorial Guinea experienced rapid economic growth in the early years of the 21st century due to the discovery of large offshore oil reserves in 1996. Production peaked in late 2004 and has slowly declined since, although aggressive searches for new oil fields continue. Despite the country's economic windfall from oil production, resulting in massive increases in government revenue in past years, the drop in global oil prices as of 2014 has placed significant strain on the state budget and pushed the country into recession. Oil revenues have mainly been used for the development of infrastructure and there have been limited improvements in the population's living standards. Equatorial Guinea continues to seek to diversify its economy and to increase foreign investment. The country hosts major regional and international conferences and continues to seek a greater role in international affairs, and leadership in the sub-region.

 

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Geography

Location

Central Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Cameroon and Gabon

Geographic coordinates

2 00 N, 10 00 E

Area

total: 28,051 sq km

land: 28,051 sq km

water: 0 sq km

country comparison to the world: 145

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries

total: 528 km

border countries (2): Cameroon 183 km, Gabon 345 km

Coastline

296 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate

tropical; always hot, humid

Terrain

coastal plains rise to interior hills; islands are volcanic

Elevation

mean elevation: 577 m

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

agricultural land: 10.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 4.3% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 2.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 3.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 57.5% (2018 est.)

other: 32.4% (2018 est.)

Population distribution

only two large cities over 30,000 people (Bata on the mainland, and the capital Malabo on the island of Bioko); small communities are scattered throughout the mainland and the five inhabited islands as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

violent windstorms; flash floods

volcanism: Santa Isabel (3,007 m), which last erupted in 1923, is the country's only historically active volcano; Santa Isabel, along with two dormant volcanoes, form Bioko Island in the Gulf of Guinea

Geography - note

insular and continental regions widely separated; despite its name, no part of the Equator passes through Equatorial Guinea; the mainland part of the country is located just north of the Equator

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Equatorial Guinean(s) or Equatoguinean(s)

adjective: Equatorial Guinean or Equatoguinean

Ethnic groups

Fang 85.7%, Bubi 6.5%, Mdowe 3.6%, Annobon 1.6%, Bujeba 1.1%, other 1.4% (1994 census)

Languages

Spanish (official) 67.6%, other (includes Fang, Bubi, Portuguese (official), French (official)) 32.4% (1994 census)

Religions

nominally Christian and predominantly Roman Catholic, Muslim, Baha'i, animist, indigenous

Demographic profile

Equatorial Guinea is one of the smallest and least populated countries in continental Africa and is the only independent African country where Spanish is an official language. Despite a boom in oil production in the 1990s, authoritarianism, corruption, and resource mismanagement have concentrated the benefits among a small elite. These practices have perpetuated income inequality and unbalanced development, such as low public spending on education and health care. Unemployment remains problematic because the oil-dominated economy employs a small labor force dependent on skilled foreign workers. The agricultural sector, Equatorial Guinea’s main employer, continues to deteriorate because of a lack of investment and the migration of rural workers to urban areas. About three-quarters of the population lives below the poverty line.

Equatorial Guinea’s large and growing youth population – about 60% are under the age of 25 – is particularly affected because job creation in the non-oil sectors is limited, and young people often do not have the skills needed in the labor market. Equatorial Guinean children frequently enter school late, have poor attendance, and have high dropout rates. Thousands of Equatorial Guineans fled across the border to Gabon in the 1970s to escape the dictatorship of MACIAS NGUEMA; smaller numbers have followed in the decades since. Continued inequitable economic growth and high youth unemployment increases the likelihood of ethnic and regional violence.

Age structure

0-14 years: 38.73% (male 164,417/female 159,400)

15-24 years: 19.94% (male 84,820/female 81,880)

25-54 years: 32.72% (male 137,632/female 135,973)

55-64 years: 4.69% (male 17,252/female 22,006)

65 years and over: 3.92% (male 13,464/female 19,334) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 64.4

youth dependency ratio: 60.5

elderly dependency ratio: 3.9

potential support ratio: 25.5 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 20.3 years

male: 19.9 years

female: 20.7 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 191

Birth rate

30.09 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 30

Death rate

7.16 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 111

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 83

Population distribution

only two large cities over 30,000 people (Bata on the mainland, and the capital Malabo on the island of Bioko); small communities are scattered throughout the mainland and the five inhabited islands as shown in this population distribution map

Urbanization

urban population: 73.1% of total population (2020)

rate of urbanization: 4.28% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population

297,000 MALABO (capital) (2018)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.78 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

301 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 37

Infant mortality rate

total: 63.25 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 66.12 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 60.29 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 9

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 66.35 years

male: 64.96 years

female: 67.78 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 192

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 81.7% of population

rural: 32.1% of population

total: 67.6% of population

unimproved: urban: 18.3% of population

rural: 67.9% of population

total: 32.4% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

0.4 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density

2.1 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 81.2% of population

rural: 63.4% of population

total: 76.2% of population

unimproved: urban: 18.8% of population

rural: 36.6% of population

total: 23.8% of population (2017 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever

animal contact diseases: rabies

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 95.3%

male: 97.4%

female: 93% (2015)

Government

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

etymology: the country is named for the Guinea region of West Africa that lies along the Gulf of Guinea and stretches north to the Sahel; the "equatorial" refers to the fact that the country lies just north of the Equator

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Malabo; note - a new capital of Cuidad de la Paz (formerly referred to as Oyala) is being built on the mainland near Djibloho; Malabo is on the island of Bioko

geographic coordinates: 3 45 N, 8 47 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: named after Malabo Lopelo Melaka (1837–1937), the last king of the Bubi, the ethnic group indigenous to the island of Bioko; the name of the new capital, Cuidad de la Paz, translates to "City of Peace" in Spanish

Administrative divisions

8 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Annobon, Bioko Norte, Bioko Sur, Centro Sur, Djibloho, Kie-Ntem, Litoral, Wele-Nzas

Independence

12 October 1968 (from Spain)

National holiday

Independence Day, 12 October (1968)

Constitution

history: previous 1968, 1973, 1982; approved by referendum 17 November 1991

amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or supported by three fourths of the membership in either house of the National Assembly; passage requires three-fourths majority vote by both houses of the Assembly and approval in a referendum if requested by the president; amended several times, last in 2012

Legal system

mixed system of civil and customary law

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Equatorial Guinea

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

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); Vice President Teodoro Nguema OBIANG Mangue(since 2012)

head of government: Prime Minister Francisco Pascual Eyegue OBAMA Asue (since 23 June 2016); First Deputy Prime Minister Clemente Engonga NGUEMA Onguene (since 23 June 2016); Second Deputy Prime Minister Angel MESIE Mibuy (since 5 February 2018); Third Deputy Prime Minister Alfonso Nsue MOKUY (since 23 June 2016) 

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president and overseen by the prime minister 

elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 7-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 24 April 2016 (next to be held in 2023); 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 (PDGE) 93.5%, other 6.5%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral National Assembly or Asemblea Nacional consists of:
Senate or Senado (70 seats; 55 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by closed party-list proportional representation vote and 15 appointed by the president)
Chamber of Deputies or Camara de los Diputados (100 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by closed paryt-list proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held on 12 November 2017 (next to be held in 2022/2023)
Chamber of Deputies - last held on 12 November 2017 (next to be held in 2022/2023)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDGE and aligned coalition 70; composition - men 60, women 10, percent of women 14.3%

Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDGE 99, CI 1; composition - men 78, women 22, percent of women 22%; note - total National Assembly percent of women 18.8%

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court of Justice (consists of the chief justice - who is also chief of state - and 9 judges  organized into civil, criminal, commercial, labor, administrative, and customary sections); 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, 2 of whom are nominated by the Chamber of Deputies; note - judges subject to dismissal by the president at any time

subordinate courts: Court of Guarantees; military courts; Courts of Appeal; first instance tribunals; district and county tribunals

Political parties and leaders

Citizens for Innovation or CI [Gabriel Nse Obiang OBONO]
Convergence Party for Social Democracy or CPDS [Andres ESONO ONDO]
Democratic Party for Equatorial Guinea or PDGE [Teodoro Obiang NGUEMA MBASOGO]
Electoral Coalition or EC
Juntos Podemos (coalition includes CPDS, FDR, UDC)
National Congress of Equatorial Guinea [Agustin MASOKO ABEGUE]
National Democratic Party [Benedicto OBIANG MANGUE]
National Union for Democracy [Thomas MBA MONABANG]
Popular Action of Equatorial Guinea or APGE [Carmelo MBA BACALE]
Popular Union or UP [Daniel MARTINEZ AYECABA]
Union for the Center right or UDC [Avelino MOCACHE MEHENGA]
not officially registered parties:
Democratic Republican Force or FDR [Guillermo NGUEMA ELA]
Party for Progress of Equatorial Guinea or PPGE [Severo MOTO]

International organization participation

ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, CPLP (associate), FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UN Security Council (temporary), UNWTO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Miguel Ntutumu EVUNA ANDEME (since 23 February 2015)

chancery: 2020 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

telephone: [1] (202) 518-5700

FAX: [1] (202) 518-5252

consulate(s) general: Houston

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Susan N. STEVENSON (since 7 May 2019)

telephone: [240] 333 09 57 41 or 1-301-985-8750

embassy: Malabo II Highway (between the Headquarters of Sonagas and the offices of the United Nations), Malabo

mailing address: US Embassy Malabo, 2320 Malabo Place, Washington, DC 20521-2520

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); 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

National symbol(s)

silk cotton tree; national colors: green, white, red, blue

National anthem

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

Economic overview

Exploitation of oil and gas deposits, beginning in the 1990s, has driven economic growth in Equatorial Guinea; a recent rebasing of GDP resulted in an upward revision of the size of the economy by approximately 30%. Forestry and farming are minor components of GDP. Although preindependence Equatorial Guinea counted on cocoa production for hard currency earnings, the neglect of the rural economy since independence has diminished the potential for agriculture-led growth. Subsistence farming is the dominant form of livelihood. Declining revenue from hydrocarbon production, high levels of infrastructure expenditures, lack of economic diversification, and corruption have pushed the economy into decline in recent years and limited improvements in the general population’s living conditions. Equatorial Guinea’s real GDP growth has been weak in recent years, averaging -0.5% per year from 2010 to 2014, because of a declining hydrocarbon sector. Inflation remained very low in 2016, down from an average of 4% in 2014.

As a middle income country, Equatorial Guinea is now ineligible for most low-income World Bank and the IMF funding. The government has been widely criticized for its lack of transparency and misuse of oil revenues and has attempted to address this issue by working toward compliance with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. US foreign assistance to Equatorial Guinea is limited in part because of US restrictions pursuant to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

Equatorial Guinea hosted two economic diversification symposia in 2014 that focused on attracting investment in five sectors: agriculture and animal ranching, fishing, mining and petrochemicals, tourism, and financial services. Undeveloped mineral resources include gold, zinc, diamonds, columbite-tantalite, and other base metals. In 2017 Equatorial Guinea signed a preliminary agreement with Ghana to sell liquefied natural gas (LNG); as oil production wanes, the government believes LNG could provide a boost to revenues, but it will require large investments and long lead times to develop.

Real GDP growth rate

-3.2% (2017 est.)

-8.6% (2016 est.)

-9.1% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 213

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

1.2% (2019 est.)

1.3% (2018 est.)

0.7% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 75

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$25.164 billion (2019 est.)

$26.65 billion (2018 est.)

$28.459 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 145

GDP (official exchange rate)

$10.634 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$18,558 (2019 est.)

$20,360 (2018 est.)

$22,551 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 95

Gross national saving

6.1% of GDP (2017 est.)

3.6% of GDP (2016 est.)

8.5% of GDP (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 180

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 2.5% (2017 est.)

industry: 54.6% (2017 est.)

services: 42.9% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 50% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 21.8% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 10.2% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.1% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 56.9% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -39% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 41.1 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 61 (2020)

Trading score: 32 (2020)

Enforcement score: 56.2 (2020)

Agricultural products

sweet potatoes, cassava, roots/tubers nes, plantains, oil palm fruit, bananas, coconuts, coffee, cocoa, eggs

Industries

petroleum, natural gas, sawmilling

Budget

revenues: 2.114 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 2.523 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

37.4% of GDP (2017 est.)

43.3% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 139

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$738 million (2017 est.)

-$1.457 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 136

Exports

$8.776 billion (2019 est.)

$8.914 billion (2018 est.)

$9.94 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 103

Exports - partners

China 34%, India 19%, Spain 11%, United States 7% (2019)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, natural gas, industrial alcohols, lumber, veneer sheeting (2019)

Imports

$6.245 billion (2019 est.)

$6.129 billion (2018 est.)

$5.708 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 129

Imports - partners

United States 22%, Spain 19%, China 12%, United Kingdom 6%, United Arab Emirates 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

gas turbines, beer, ships, industrial machinery, excavation machinery (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$45.5 million (31 December 2017 est.)

$62.31 million (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 188

Debt - external

$1.211 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$1.074 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 163

Exchange rates

Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -

605.3 (2017 est.)

593.01 (2016 est.)

593.01 (2015 est.)

591.45 (2014 est.)

494.42 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 67% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 75% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 45% (2019)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 6,779

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 199

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 368,920

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 45.17 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 176

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: digital fixed-line network in most major urban areas and decent mobile cellular coverage; 3G technology has allowed for estimated 9.5% of growth during 2016 -2021; mobile data will be the fastest-growing segment 2016-2021 (2018)

domestic: fixed-line density is about 1 per 100 persons and mobile-cellular subscribership is 45 per 100 (2019)

international: country code - 240; landing points for the ACE, Ceiba-1, and Ceiba-2 submarine cables providing communication from Bata and Malabo, Equatorial Guinea to numerous Western African and European countries; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2019)

note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

Broadcast media

the state maintains control of broadcast media with domestic broadcast media limited to 1 state-owned TV station, 1 private TV station owned by the president's eldest son (who is the Vice President), 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 generally accessible (2019)

Internet users

total: 209,253

percent of population: 26.24% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 175

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 1,620

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 188

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 6 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 15

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 466,435 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 350,000 mt-km (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 6 (2019)

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

under 914 m: 2

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 1 (2013)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)

Pipelines

42 km condensate, 5 km condensate/gas, 79 km gas, 71 km oil (2013)

Merchant marine

total: 40

by type: bulk carrier 1, general cargo 8, oil tanker 6, other 25 (2020)

country comparison to the world: 124

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Bata, Luba, Malabo

LNG terminal(s) (export): Bioko Island

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Equatorial Guinea Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas de Guinea Ecuatorial, FAGE): Equatorial Guinea National Guard (Guardia Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial, GNGE (Army), Navy, Air Force; Guardia Civil (paramilitary force for internal security) (2021)

Military expenditures

1.1% of GDP (2018)

1.1% of GDP (2017)

1.2% of GDP (2016)

1% of GDP (2015)

country comparison to the world: 121

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Equatorial Guinea Armed Forces (FAGE) have approximately 1,400 active duty troops (1,100 Army; 200 Navy; 100 Air Force); approximately 400 Guardia Civil (2021)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the FAGE is armed with mostly older (typically Soviet-era) and second-hand weapons systems; in recent years,it has sought to modernize its naval inventory; Ukraine is the leading provider of equipment since 2010, followed by Israel (2020)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for selective compulsory military service, although conscription is rare in practice; 2-year service obligation; women hold only administrative positions in the Navy (2019)

Maritime threats

the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial and offshore waters in the Niger Delta and Gulf of Guinea remain a very high risk for piracy and armed robbery of ships; in 2020, there were 98 reported incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea region; although a 24% decrease from the total number of incidents in 2019, it included all three hijackings and 9 of 11 ships fired upon worldwide; while boarding and attempted boarding to steal valuables from ships and crews are the most common types of incidents, almost a third of all incidents involve a hijacking and/or kidnapping; in 2020, a record 130 crew members were kidnapped in 22 separate incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, representing 95% of kidnappings worldwide; approximately 51% of all incidents of piracy and armed robbery are taking place off Nigeria, which is a decrease from the 71% in 2019 and an indication pirates are traveling further to target vessels; Nigerian pirates are well armed and very aggressive, operating as far as 200 nm offshore; the Maritime Administration of the US Department of Transportation has issued a Maritime Advisory (2021-002 - Gulf of Guinea-Piracy/Armed Robbery/Kidnapping for Ransom) effective 9 January 2021, which states in part, "Piracy, armed robbery, and kidnapping for ransom continue to serve as significant threats to US-flagged vessels transiting or operating in the Gulf of Guinea.”

Transnational Issues

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 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

Trafficking in persons

current situation: Equatorial Guinea is a source country for children subjected to sex trafficking and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor; 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; children are also trafficked from nearby countries for work as domestic servants, market laborers, ambulant vendors, and launderers; women are trafficked to Equatorial Guinea from Cameroon, Benin, other neighboring countries, and China for forced labor or prostitution

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; in 2014, the government made no efforts to investigate or prosecute any suspected trafficking offenders or to identify or protect victims, despite its 2004 law prohibiting all forms of trafficking and mandating the provision of services to victims; undocumented migrants continued to be deported without being screened to assess whether any were trafficking victims; authorities did not undertake any trafficking awareness campaigns, implement any programs to address forced child labor, or make any other efforts to prevent trafficking (2015)