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  Introduction Back To Top

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.

  Geography Back To Top

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.11 cu km/yr (83%/16%/1%)
per capita: 220 cu m/yr (2000)

Total renewable water resources:
26 cu km (2001)

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

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

tropical; always hot, humid

Map references:

Geographic coordinates:
2 00 N, 10 00 E

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

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pico Basile 3,008 m

coastal plains rise to interior hills; islands are volcanic

Geography - note:
insular and continental regions widely separated

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

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

296 km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Maryland

Irrigated land:

Environment - current issues:
tap water is not potable; deforestation

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

Natural hazards:
violent windstorms, flash floods

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

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
5.16 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
3.4% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
5,900 (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 61.23 years
male: 60.36 years
female: 62.13 years (2008 est.)

Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria (2008)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 87%
male: 93.4%
female: 80.5% (2000 est.)

Net migration rate:
NA (2008 est.)

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

Median age:
total: 18.9 years
male: 18.3 years
female: 19.5 years (2008 est.)

616,459 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
0.6% of GDP (2003)

Population growth rate:
2.732% (2008 est.)

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

Death rate:
9.72 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 83.75 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 84.85 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 82.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
370 (2001 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 10 years
male: 10 years
female: 9 years (2000)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 42% (male 131,696/female 127,253)
15-64 years: 53.8% (male 162,458/female 169,445)
65 years and over: 4.2% (male 11,394/female 14,213) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
37.04 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

nominally Christian and predominantly Roman Catholic, pagan practices

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

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)
embassy: K-3, Carreterade Aeropuerto, al lado de Restaurante El Paraiso, Malabo; note - relocated embassy is opened for limited functions; inquiries should continue to be directed to the US Embassy in Yaounde, Cameroon
mailing address: B.P. 817, Yaounde, Cameroon; US Embassy Yaounde, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2520
telephone: [237] 2220-1500
FAX: [237] 2220-1572

National holiday:
Independence Day, 12 October (1968)

18 years of age; universal

Government type:

Political pressure groups and leaders:
ASODEGUE (Madrid-based pressure group for democratic reform); Global Witness (anti-corruption)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Purificacion ANGUE ONDO
chancery: 2020 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 518-5700
FAX: [1] (202) 518-5252

International organization participation:

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 4 May 2008)
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

Legal system:
partly based on Spanish civil law and tribal custom; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

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)

12 October 1968 (from Spain)

Country name (Goverment):
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

Political parties and leaders:
Convergence Party for Social Democracy or CPDS [Placido MICO Abogo]; Democratic Party for Equatorial Guinea or PDGE (ruling party) [Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO]; Party for Progress of Equatorial Guinea or PPGE [Severo MOTO]; Popular Action of Equatorial Guinea or APGE [Avelino MOCACHE]; Popular Union or UP

name: Malabo
geographic coordinates: 3 45 N, 8 47 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

approved by national referendum 17 November 1991; amended January 1995

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)
head of government: Prime Minister Ignacio Milan TANG (since 8 July 2008);
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (no term limits); election last held 15 December 2002 (next to be held in December 2009); 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 97.1%, Celestino Bonifacio BACALE 2.2%; elections marred by widespread fraud

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

Judicial branch:
Supreme Tribunal

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
US 20.6%, China 18.8%, Spain 13.9%, Taiwan 13.4%, France 7.5%, Japan 6.5%, Portugal 6.4% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
25.11 million kWh (2006 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
5.25% (31 December 2007)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Current account balance:
$1.837 billion (2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$1.652 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Unemployment rate:
30% (1998 est.)

Oil - exports:
375,400 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$30,200 (2008 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
30% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$18.62 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$20.16 billion (2008 est.)

Exchange rates:
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar 441.72 (2008 est.), 481.83 (2007), 522.4 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004)

GDP - real growth rate:
11.5% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$835.2 million (31 December 2007)

Labor force:

Imports - partners:
US 19.6%, Spain 13.7%, Cote d'Ivoire 11.9%, France 9.6%, China 7.7%, Italy 6.6%, UK 6.4%, Netherlands 4.1% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
7.5% (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2.7%
industry: 92.6%
services: 4.6% (2008 est.)

Oil - imports:
1,070 bbl/day (2005)

$15.82 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
1.3 billion cu m (2006 est.)

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

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. Government officials and their family members own most businesses. Undeveloped natural resources include titanium, iron ore, manganese, uranium, and alluvial gold. Growth remained strong in 2008, led by oil.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
petroleum sector equipment, other equipment

petroleum, fishing, sawmilling, natural gas

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
15% (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$174.5 million (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
27 million kWh (2006 est.)

$3.211 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
1.1 billion bbl (1 January 2008 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
36.81 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$5.517 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Oil - consumption:
918.3 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Public debt:
9.3% of GDP (2008 est.)

Currency code:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Exports - commodities:
petroleum, methanol, timber, cocoa

Economic aid - recipient:
$39 million (2005)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 94.3%
hydro: 5.7%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
1.3 billion cu m (2006 est.)

revenues: $7.056 billion
expenditures: $3.779 billion (2008 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
368,500 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
8,000 (2006)

Telephones - main lines in use:
10,000 (2005)

4,000 (1997)

Internet country code:

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 0, FM 3, shortwave 5 (2001)

180,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
220,000 (2007)

Television broadcast stations:
1 (2001)

Telephone system:
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 2007 stood at about 40 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) (2007)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2002)

Internet hosts:
9 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

condensate 42 km; condensate/gas 5 km; gas 80 km; oil 54 km (2007)

Ports and terminals:
Bata, Malabo

Merchant marine:
total: 1
by type: cargo 1 (2008)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2007)

total: 2,880 km (2000)

5 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age (est.) for compulsory military service (2008)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 136,725
females age 16-49: 138,018 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 101,712
females age 16-49: 104,381 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
National Guard (Guardia Nacional (Army), with Coast Guard (Navy) and Air Wing) (2008)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 6,784
female: 6,543 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
0.1% of GDP (2006 est.)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

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 delay final delimitation; UN urges 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 primarily a destination country for children trafficked for the purpose of forced labor and possibly for the purpose of sexual exploitation; children have been trafficked from nearby countries for domestic servitude, market labor, ambulant vending, and possibly sexual exploitation; women may also be trafficked to Equatorial Guinea from Cameroon, Benin, other neighboring countries, and China for sexual exploitation
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Equatorial Guinea is on the Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to eliminate trafficking, particularly in the areas of prosecuting and convicting trafficking offenders and failing to formalize mechanisms to provide assistance to victims; although the government made some effort to enforce laws against child labor exploitation, it failed to report any trafficking prosecutions or convictions in 2007; the government continued to lack shelters or formal procedures for providing care to victims (2008)

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