Equatorial Guinea 

Flag of Equatorial Guinea

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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 and 2002 presidential elections - as well as the 1999 and 2004 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, there have been few improvements in the population's living standards.


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

Geographic coordinates:

2 00 N, 10 00 E


total: 28,051 sq km
land: 28,051 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Land boundaries:

total: 539 km
border countries: Cameroon 189 km, Gabon 350 km


296 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 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:

petroleum, natural gas, timber, gold, bauxite, diamonds, tantalum, sand and gravel, clay

Land use:

arable land: 4.63%
permanent crops: 3.57%
other: 91.8% (2005)

Natural hazards:

violent windstorms, flash floods

Environment - current issues:

tap water is not potable; deforestation

Geography - note:

insular and continental regions widely separated


540,109 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 41.7% (male 113,083/female 111,989)
15-64 years: 54.5% (male 141,914/female 152,645)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 8,886/female 11,592) (2006 est.)

Median age:

total: 18.8 years
male: 18.2 years
female: 19.4 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.05% (2006 est.)

Birth rate:

35.59 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate:

15.06 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 89.21 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 95.22 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 83.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 49.54 years
male: 48 years
female: 51.13 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate:

4.55 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

3.4% (2001 est.)

people living with HIV/AIDS:

5,900 (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

370 (2001 est.)

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria (2005)


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.)

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Equatorial Guinea
conventional short form: Equatorial Guinea
local long form: Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial
local short form: 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

Legislative branch:

unicameral 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 25 April 2004 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDGE 98, CPDS 2
note: Parliament has little power since the constitution vests all executive authority in the president

Judicial branch:

Supreme Tribunal

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 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 remained strong in 2005, led by oil. Equatorial Guinea now has the second highest per capita income in the world, after Luxembourg.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$25.69 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

$7.644 billion (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

18.6% (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$50,200 (2005 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 2.4%
industry: 95.5%
services: 2.2% (2005 est.)

Unemployment rate:

30% (1998 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):

46.3% of GDP (2005 est.)


revenues: $1.973 billion
expenditures: $711.5 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)

Agriculture - products:

coffee, cocoa, rice, yams, cassava (tapioca), bananas, palm oil nuts; livestock; timber


petroleum, fishing, sawmilling, natural gas

Industrial production growth rate:

30% (2002 est.)

Electricity - production:

29.43 million kWh (2003)

Electricity - consumption:

27.37 million kWh (2003)

Oil - production:

420,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - consumption:

1,200 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:

563.5 million bbl (1 January 2002)

Natural gas - production:

1.27 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:

1.27 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:

36.81 billion cu m (1 January 2002)

Current account balance:

$1.364 billion (2005 est.)


$6.727 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports - commodities:

petroleum, methanol, timber, cocoa

Exports - partners:

US 29.1%, China 22.6%, Spain 15.9%, Taiwan 14.8%, Canada 6.8% (2004)


$1.864 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports - commodities:

petroleum sector equipment, other equipment

Imports - partners:

US 32.2%, Spain 16.5%, France 10.5%, UK 9.4%, Cote d'Ivoire 5.4%, Italy 5.2% (2004)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$1.078 billion (2005 est.)

Debt - external:

$248 million (2000 est.)

Currency (code):

Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Telephones - main lines in use:

9,600 (2003)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

55,500 (2004)

Telephone system:

general assessment: poor system with adequate government services
domestic: NA
international: country code - 240; 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)

Television broadcast stations:

1 (2002)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

18 (2005)

Internet users:

5,000 (2005)


4 (2005)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2005)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2005)


condensate 37 km; gas 39 km; liquid natural gas 4 km; oil 24 km (2004)


total: 2,880 km (1999)

Merchant marine:

total: 2 ships (1000 GRT or over) 3,409 GRT/5,000 DWT
by type: cargo 1, refrigerated cargo 1 (2005)

Ports and terminals:


Military branches:

Army, Navy, Air Force (2005)

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, imprecisely defined maritime coordinates in the ICJ decision, and the unresolved Bakasi allocation contribute to the delay in implementation; UN has been pressing Equatorial Guinea and Gabon to pledge to resolve the sovereignty dispute over Gabon-occupied Mbane Island and create a maritime boundary in the hydrocarbon-rich Corisco Bay