Equatorial Guinea Overview
|Rep®≤blica de Guinea
|Form of government
||CFA Franc BEAC
||CET (UTC +1)
|Telephone area code
With an area of 28.051 km², the Republic of
Equatorial Guinea is one of the smallest countries on
the African continent . The country consists of a
mainland part on the west coast, the two volcanic
islands Bioko and Pagalu and several smaller islands.
The mainland Mbini represents 93% of the total area
of the country. It borders Cameroon in the north,
Gabon in the east and south and the Atlantic Ocean in
the west . From the approximately 150 km long and 15-25
km wide coastal plain, the country rises to a height of
approx. 1,200 m. The volcanic islands of Bioko (2.017
km²) and Pagalu (17 km²) belong to the volcanic chain of
the Guinea archipelago. Bioko lies off the coast of
Cameroon, Pagalu about 400 km off the Gabon coast. The
landscape of the two islands is dominated by steep
mountains. The capital of Equatorial Guinea, Malabo, is
located on Bioko. On this island is also the highest
peak in the country, the Pico de Santa Isabel (also:
Basile) with 3 008 m. The Mbini (also: R®™o Benito),
which originates in Gabon, flows through the country for
a length of approx. 190 km.
Due to the equatorial location of the country there
is a tropical, humid climate with high temperatures all
year round and lots of rainfall. The average temperature
is around 25 °„ C all year round. On the mainland, a
large part of the precipitation (up to 4,000 mm in
total) falls in the months of February to June and from
September to December. The air humidity is very high all
Flora and fauna
Equatorial Guinea has extensive areas of tropical
rainforest. Along the coast are mangrove swamps,
cultivated land further inland. On the island of Bioko,
a large part of the rainforest has been replaced by
plantations, remaining areas can be found at higher
altitudes, there is also a savannah. On Pagalu there are
mainly coconut and oil palms.
The extensive forest areas offer an ideal habitat for
many animal species. Various monkeys (chimpanzees,
gorillas, mandrills) and semi-monkeys (makis), leopards,
forest elephants and forest buffalo live here. Even the
rare okapis, cirrus antelopes and bongos are common
According to COUNTRYAAH,
about 500,000 to 600,000 people live in Equatorial
Guinea, more than 40% of them in cities. The largest
city is the capital Malabo on Bioko with around 60 100
residents, followed by Bata on the Atlantic coast (50
000 residents). Members of the Bantu peoples make up
about 80% of the population; the largest group by far
are the Fang, further the Benga and Bujeba. On the
island of Bioko, the Bubi, who are also among the Bantu
peoples, make up the majority of the population, while
they only make up around 10% of the total population.
The majority of the population is Catholic, although
many also practice natural religions parallel to the
Christian faith. Protestants are only a religious
The standard of living of the population is very low,
Equatorial Guinea is one of the poorest countries in
Africa. There is no functioning health system, and there
is an inadequate supply of food. Infant mortality is
high, life expectancy is low, but has increased
significantly in recent years (women 62, men 60 years).
Due to compulsory schooling for children aged six to 14,
the literacy level is now 87%.
The official language in Equatorial Guinea is
Spanish, with the different Bantus languages being
used in everyday life. English is predominantly spoken
on Pagalu, and there is also Portuguese Creole.
Equatorial Guinea is a presidential republic and has
been independent since 1968 (previously a Spanish
colony). The basis is the 1991 constitution, which was
amended in 1995. The head of state with far-reaching
powers is the president (Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo,
PDGE since August 1979), who is directly elected by the
people for a term of seven years. The president is also
the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The
government is led by the Prime Minister (Vicente Ehate
Tomi since 1012), as are the cabinet members, and the
head of government is appointed by the President.
The legislature lies with the Parliament (Camara de
Representantes del Pueblo), which consists of one
chamber. The 100 members are elected by the people for
The country is divided into seven provinces
At the turn of the millennium, Equatorial Guinea was
one of the poorest countries on the African continent.
The country's economic development came to a standstill
as a result of the dictatorship in the 1970s. In 1993,
international aid programs from the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund were canceled due to
continued mismanagement and corruption in the country.
The oil discoveries at the end of the 1990s, however,
led to astonishing economic growth, with the concessions
for the extraction being largely in the hands of foreign
companies. The country is now the third largest African
oil producer south of the Sahara, but the local
population still hardly benefits from it.
Due to the high income from oil production, the
agricultural sector now only generates 3% of the gross
domestic product. With the exception of the cultivation
of the export goods cocoa and coffee, agriculture is
geared towards covering the population's own needs. 80%
of the mainland is covered with dense, tropical
rainforest, so that only about 8% of the total land area
can be used for agriculture. In addition to cocoa
(especially organic) and coffee, rice, manioc, jams and
bananas are also grown. Fishing is important for the
self-sufficiency of the population. Wood is one of the
country's export goods.
The only moderately developed industry is geared
towards processing wood and fishery products. The
structure of small businesses was largely destroyed
during the dictatorship. In this sector, the oil
discoveries are again responsible for an industrial
production increase of 30%. Other mineral resources are
manganese, gold and uranium, which have not yet been
The country's main trading partners are the USA for
exports, followed by China, and the USA for imports,
followed by Italy and France.
The country's infrastructure is poorly developed.
There is no railway and only about 1000 km of paved
roads. The country's main ports are in the capital
Malabo on the island of Bioko and in Bata on the
mainland. Malabo Airport is the largest in the country.
Equatorial Guinea's currency is the "Communaute
Financiere Africaine Franc" (African Franc).