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Equatorial Guinea[Country flag of Equatorial Guinea]
[Country map of Equatorial Guinea]

Introduction Equatorial Guinea
Background:
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 OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO has ruled the country for over two decades since seizing power from his uncle, then President MACIAS, in a 1979 coup. Although nominally a constitutional democracy since 1991, the 1996 and 2002 presidential elections - as well as the 1999 legislative elections - were widely seen as being flawed. The president controls most opposition parties through the judicious use of patronage. 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 country's living standards.
Geography Equatorial Guinea
Location:
Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Cameroon and Gabon
Geographic coordinates:
2 00 N, 10 00 E
Map references:
Africa
Area:
total: 28,051 sq km
land: 28,051 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:
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 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% (2001)
Irrigated land:
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
violent windstorms, flash floods
Environment - current issues:
tap water is not potable; deforestation
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
insular and continental regions rather widely separated
People Equatorial Guinea
Population:
535,881 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 41.7% (male 112,326/female 111,244)
15-64 years: 54.5% (male 140,568/female 151,500)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 8,900/female 11,343) (2005 est.)
Median age:
total: 18.83 years
male: 18.2 years
female: 19.46 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.42% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:
36.18 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:
12 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 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: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 85.13 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 91.28 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 78.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 49.7 years
male: 48.01 years
female: 51.44 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate:
4.62 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
3.4% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - 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 (2004)
Nationality:
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
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 85.7%
male: 93.3%
female: 78.4% (2003 est.)
Government Equatorial Guinea
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:
republic
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; amended 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 when he seized power in a military coup)
head of government: Prime Minister Miguel Abia BITEO BORICO (since 14 June 2004); First Deputy Prime Minister Mercelino Oyono NTUTUMU (since 15 June 2004); Deputy Prime Minister Ricardo Mangue Obama NFUBEA (since 15 June 2004)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; election last held 15 December 2002 (next to be held 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
Legislative branch:
unicameral House of People's Representatives or Camara de Representantes del Pueblo (80 seats; members directly elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 25 April 2004 (next to be held NA 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDGE 98, NA 2
note: Parliament has little power since the constitution vests all executive authority in the president
Judicial branch:
Supreme Tribunal
Political parties and leaders:
Convergence Party for Social Democracy or CPDS [Placido MIKO 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 [Miguel Esono EMAN]; Popular Union or UP [Andres Moises Bda ADA]; Progressive Democratic Alliance or ADP [Victorino Bolekia BONAY]; Union of Independent Democrats of UDI [Daniel OYONO]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA
International organization participation:
ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WToO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Teodoro Biyogo NSUE
chancery: 2020 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 518-5700
FAX: [1] (202) 518-5252
Diplomatic representation from the US:
the US does not have an embassy in Equatorial Guinea (embassy closed September 1995); the US ambassador to Cameroon is accredited to Equatorial Guinea; the US State Department is considering opening a Consulate Agency in Malabo
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)
Economy Equatorial Guinea
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 unsuccessfully 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 presumably remained strong in 2004, led by oil.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$1.27 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
20% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $2,700 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3%
industry: 95.7%
services: 1.3% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
NA
Unemployment rate:
30% (1998 est.)
Population below poverty line:
NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
8.5% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
50.8% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $813.2 million
expenditures: $375.3 million, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
coffee, cocoa, rice, yams, cassava (tapioca), bananas, palm oil nuts; livestock; timber
Industries:
petroleum, fishing, sawmilling, natural gas
Industrial production growth rate:
30% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
26.69 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 94.3%
hydro: 5.7%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
24.82 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2002)
Oil - production:
350,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:
2,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA
Oil - imports:
NA
Oil - proved reserves:
563.5 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
20 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
20 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
68.53 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
$-578.6 million (2004 est.)
Exports:
$2.771 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
petroleum, methanol, timber, cocoa
Exports - partners:
US 29.3%, China 22.8%, Spain 16%, Taiwan 14.9%, Canada 6.8% (2004)
Imports:
$1.167 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
petroleum sector equipment, other equipment
Imports - partners:
US 26.8%, Cote d'Ivoire 21.4%, Spain 13.6%, France 8.8%, UK 7.8%, Italy 4.4% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$235.2 million (2004 est.)
Debt - external:
$248 million (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$33.8 million (1995)
Currency (code):
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Currency code:
XAF
Exchange rates:
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003), 696.99 (2002), 733.04 (2001), 711.98 (2000)
Fiscal year:
1 January - 31 December
Communications Equatorial Guinea
Telephones - main lines in use:
9,600 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
41,500 (2003)
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)
Radios:
180,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (2002)
Televisions:
4,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
.gq
Internet hosts:
3 (2004)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2002)
Internet users:
1,800 (2002)
Transportation Equatorial Guinea
Highways:
total: 2,880 km (1999 est.)
Pipelines:
condensate 37 km; gas 39 km; liquid natural gas 4 km; oil 24 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:
Malabo
Merchant marine:
total: 1 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 6,556 GRT/9,704 DWT
by type: cargo 1 (2005)
Airports:
4 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
less than 914 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Military Equatorial Guinea
Military branches:
Army, Navy, Air Force (2005)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age (est.) (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 106,571 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 66,379 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$126.2 million (2004)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
2.5% (2004)
Transnational Issues Equatorial Guinea
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

This page was last updated on 1 November, 2005


 

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