Equatorial Guinea [Country Flag of Equatorial Guinea]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Equatorial Guinea]

Equatorial Guinea


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

Geographic coordinates: 2 00 N, 10 00 E

Map references: Africa

total: 28,050 sq km
land: 28,050 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland

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

Coastline: 296 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; always hot, humid

Terrain: coastal plains rise to interior hills; islands are volcanic

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Malabo 3,008 m

Natural resources: timber, petroleum, small unexploited deposits of gold, manganese, uranium

Land use:
arable land: 5%
permanent crops: 4%
permanent pastures: 4%
forests and woodland: 46%
other: 41% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: violent windstorms

Environment—current issues: tap water is not potable; desertification

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography—note: insular and continental regions rather widely separated


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Population: 454,001 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 43% (male 97,993; female 97,470)
15-64 years: 53% (male 114,960; female 126,453)
65 years and over: 4% (male 7,597; female 9,528) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.56% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 38.9 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 13.32 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 93.45 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 53.93 years
male: 51.61 years
female: 56.31 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.06 children born/woman (1998 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

Religions: nominally Christian and predominantly Roman Catholic, pagan practices

Languages: Spanish (official), French (official), pidgin English, Fang, Bubi, Ibo

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 78.5%
male: 89.6%
female: 68.1% (1995 est.)


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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

Data code: EK

Government type: republic in transition to multiparty democracy

National capital: Malabo

Administrative divisions: 7 provinces (provincias, singular—provincia); Annobon, Bioko Norte, Bioko Sur, Centro Sur, Kie-Ntem, Litoral, Wele-Nzas

Independence: 12 October 1968 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Day, 12 October (1968)

Constitution: approved by national referendum 17 November 1991; emended January 1995

Legal system: partly based on Spanish civil law and tribal custom

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal adult

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO (since 3 August 1979)
head of government: Prime Minister Serafin Seriche DOUGAN (since April 1996); First Vice Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs Miguel OYONO (since January 1998); Second Vice Prime Minister for Internal Affairs Demetrio Elo NDONG NGEFUMU (since January 1998)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote to a seven-year term; election last held 25 February 1996 (next to be held NA February 2003)
election results: President OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO reelected without opposition; percent of popular vote—98%

Legislative branch: unicameral House of Peoples Representatives or Camara de Representantes del Pueblo (80 seats; members are directly elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 21 November 1993 (next to be held NA 1998)
election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—PDGE 68, CSDP 6, UDS 5, CLD 1

Judicial branch: Supreme Tribunal

Political parties and leaders:
ruling party: Democratic Party for Equatorial Guinea or PDGE [Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO]
opposition parties: Convergence Party for Social Democracy or CPDS [Santiago OBAMA, president; Placido Miko ABOGO, secretary-general]; Democratic Social Union or UDS [Camelo MODU, general secretary]; Liberal Democratic Convention or CLD [Alfonso Nsue MIFUMU, president]; Liberal Party or PL [Santos PASCUAL]; National Democratic Union or UDENA [Jose MECHEBA Ikaka, president]; National Movement of the Liberation of Equatorial Guinea or MONALIGE [Dr. Aldolfo Obrang BIKO, president]; Party of the Social Democratic Coalition or PCSD [Buenaventura Moswi M'Asumu, general coordinator]; Party of Progress or PP [Mocache MEINGA, interim chairman]; Popular Action of Equatorial Guinea or APGE [Casiano Masi Edu]; Popular Union or UP [Juan BITUI, president]; Party for Progress of Equatorial Guinea or PPGE [Basilio Ava Eworo and Domingo ABUY]; Progressive Democratic Alliance or ADP [Antonio-Ebang Mbele Abang, president]; Social Democratic and Popular Convergence or CSDP [Secundino Oyono Agueng Ada, general secretary]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Benjamin-Gabriel Balingha Balinga Alene, general secretary]; Socialist Party of Equatorial Guinea or PSGE [Tomas MICHEBE Fernandez, general secretary]

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, BDEAC, CEEAC, ECA, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAS (observer), OAU, UDEAC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WToO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Pastor Micha ONDO BILE
chancery: Suite 405, 1511 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 393-0525
FAX: [1] (202) 393-0348

Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Equatorial Guinea (embassy closed September 1995); US relations with Equatorial Guinea are handled through the US Embassy in Yaounde, Cameroon

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)


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Economy—overview: The discovery and exploitation of large oil reserves have contributed to dramatic economic growth in recent years. Farming, forestry, 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 deterioration of the rural economy under successive brutal regimes has diminished potential for agriculture-led growth. A number of aid programs sponsored by the World Bank and the IMF have been cut off since 1993 because of the government's gross corruption and mismanagement. 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. The country responded favorably to the devaluation of the CFA franc in January 1994.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$660 million (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: NA%

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$1,500 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 46%
industry: 33%
services: 21% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 6% (1996 est.)

Labor force: NA

Unemployment rate: NA%

revenues: $47 million
expenditures: $43 million, including capital expenditures of $7 million (1996 est.)

Industries: fishing, sawmilling

Industrial production growth rate: 7.4% (1994 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 5,000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 20 million kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 48 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: coffee, cocoa, rice, yams, cassava (tapioca), bananas, palm oil nuts, manioc; livestock; timber

total value: $197 million (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
commodities: petroleum, timber, cocoa
partners: US 34%, Japan 17%, Spain 13%, China 13%, Nigeria

total value: $248 million (c.i.f., 1996 est.)
commodities: petroleum, food, beverages, clothing, machinery
partners: Cameroon 40%, Spain 18%, France 14%, US 8%

Debt—external: $254 million (1996 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: CFA francs (CFAF) per US$1—608.36 (January 1998), 583.67 (1997), 511.55 (1996), 499.15 (1995), 555.20 (1994), 283.16 (1993)
note: beginning 12 January 1994, the CFA franc was devalued to CFAF 100 per French franc from CFAF 50 at which it had been fixed since 1948

Fiscal year: 1 April—31 March


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Telephones: 2,000 (1987 est.)

Telephone system: 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 2, FM 0, shortwave 0

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 1

Televisions: 4,000 (1992 est.)


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total: 0 km

total: 2,820 km
paved: 0 km
unpaved: 2,820 km (1995 est.)

Ports and harbors: Bata, Luba, Malabo

Merchant marine:
total: 19 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 66,766 GRT/84,780 DWT
ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 16, passenger 1, passenger-cargo 1 (1997 est.)

Airports: 3 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (1997 est.)


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Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Rapid Intervention Force, National Police

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 98,960 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 50,308 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $2.5 million (FY93/94)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: maritime boundary dispute with Gabon because of disputed sovereignty over islands in Corisco Bay; maritime boundary dispute with Nigeria because of disputed jurisdiction over oil-rich areas in the Gulf of Guinea