Thursday, December 8, 2022
Equatorial Guinea Travel Guide - Travel S Helper

Equatorial Guinea

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Equatorial Guinea, formally the Republic of Equatorial Guinea is a republic in Central Africa with a land area of 28,000 square kilometers (11,000 sq mi). Formerly the colony of Spanish Guinea, its post-independence name alludes to its proximity to both the Equator and the Gulf of Guinea. Equatorial Guinea is the only sovereign African country where Spanish is an official language. As of 2015, the country’s population was projected to be more than 1.2 million people.

Equatorial Guinea is divided into two parts: an island area and a mainland region. The islands of Bioko (previously Fernando Pó) in the Gulf of Guinea and Annobón, a tiny volcanic island south of the equator, make up the insular area. Bioko Island is located in northern Equatorial Guinea and is home to the country’s capital, Malabo. So Tomé and Prncipe is an island country located between Bioko and Annobón. The mainland region, Ro Muni, is bounded on the north by Cameroon and on the south and east by Gabon. It is home to Bata, Equatorial Guinea’s largest city, as well as Oyala, the country’s projected future capital. Rio Muni also has a number of tiny offshore islands, including Corisco, Elobey Grande, and Elobey Chico. The country is a member of the African Union, the Francophonie, and the CPLP.

Equatorial Guinea has been one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest oil producers since the mid-1990s. It is the richest country in Africa in terms of GDP per capita, and its GDP per capita ranks 69th in the world; nevertheless, the money is unevenly distributed, and few people have benefitted from the oil wealth. According to the United Nations’ 2014 Human Development Index, the nation is ranked 144th. According to the UN, fewer than half of the world’s population has access to safe drinking water, and 20% of children die before the age of five.

The autocratic government of the nation has one of the world’s poorest human rights records, routinely placing among the “worst of the worst” in Freedom House’s annual study of political and civil rights. According to Reporters Without Borders, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is a “predator” of journalistic freedom. Human trafficking is a major issue, according to the 2012 US Trafficking in Persons Report, which states that “Equatorial Guinea is a source and destination for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking.” According to the study, Equatorial Guinea is a “Tier 3” nation, which means “those whose governments do not completely comply with the basic requirements and are not making substantial attempts to do so.”

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Equatorial Guinea - Info Card

Population

1,468,777

Currency

Central African CFA franc (XAF)

Time zone

UTC+1 (WAT)

Area

28,050 km2 (10,830 sq mi)

Calling code

+240

Official language

Spanish - French - Portuguese

Equatorial Guinea - Introduction

Demographics

The Bantu people make up the bulk of Equatorial Guinea’s population. The Fang, the biggest ethnic group, are native to the mainland, but significant migration to Bioko Island during the twentieth century has resulted in the Fang population surpassing that of the previous Bubi people. The Fang make about 80% of the population and are divided into 67 clans. Fang-Ntumu is spoken in the north of Ro Muni, whereas Fang-Okah is spoken in the south; the two dialects vary but are mutually intelligible. Fang dialects may also be found in adjacent Cameroon (Bulu) and Gabon. While still understandable, these dialects are more different. The Bubi, who make up 15% of the population, are Bioko Island’s indigenous people. The hamlet of Niefang (the Fang’s boundary), east of Bata, served as a traditional dividing line between the Fang and the ‘Beach’ (inland) ethnic groups.

There are other coastal ethnic groups known as Ndowe or “Playeros” (Spanish for “Beach People”), including Combes, Bujebas, Balengues, and Bengas on the mainland and small islands, as well as Fernandinos, a Krio village on Bioko Island. These groups together account for 5% of the population. In addition, some Europeans (mostly of Spanish or Portuguese origin, with others with partial African ancestry) reside in the country. After independence, the majority of ethnic Spaniards fled.

Foreigners from neighboring Cameroon, Nigeria, and Gabon are increasingly flocking to the country. According to the Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations (2002), Igbo, a southeastern Nigerian ethnic group, made about 7% of Bioko islanders. As laborers on cocoa and coffee plantations, Equatorial Guinea welcomed Asians and black Africans from other nations. Liberians, Angolans, and Mozambicans were among the black Africans who arrived. The majority of Asians are Chinese, with a minor number of Indians.

Equatorial Guinea has also been a popular destination for fortune-seekers from the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. There are also Israelis and Moroccans who live and work in the area. Since the 1990s, oil production has resulted in a population tripling in Malabo. Thousands of Equatorial Guineans fled to Spain after the country’s independence. Because to Francisco Macas Nguema’s tyranny, another 100,000 Equatorial Guineans fled to Cameroon, Gabon, and Nigeria. Latin America, the United States, Portugal, and France all have Equatorial Guinean populations.

Equatorial Guinea belongs to the Organization for the Harmonization of African Business Law (OHADA). Equatorial Guinea attempted to be recognized as an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)–compliant nation, focusing on oil income transparency and wise use of natural resource riches. The nation was one of thirty that applied for candidate status, which it received on February 22, 2008. It was then required to fulfill a number of requirements, including committing to work with civil society and businesses on EITI implementation, appointing a senior individual to lead EITI implementation, and publishing a fully costed Work Plan with measurable targets, a timeline for implementation, and an assessment of capacity constraints. The EITI Board, however, refused to grant Equatorial Guinea’s request to extend the deadline for completing EITI certification.

Equatorial Guinea has the greatest GNI (Gross National Income) per capita of any Sub-Saharan nation, according to the World Bank. It is 83 times more than Burundi’s GNI per capita, which is the world’s poorest nation.

Religion

Equatorial Guinea’s main religion is Christianity, which is practiced by 93 percent of the population. The bulk of people are Roman Catholics (87%) with a small percentage of Protestants (5 percent ). Islam is practiced by 2% of the population (mainly Sunni). The remaining 5% follow Animism, the Bahá’ Faith, and other faiths.

Geography

Equatorial Guinea is a country in western Africa. The nation is made up of five tiny islands: Bioko, Corisco, Annobón, Elobey Chico (Small Elobey), and Elobey Grande, which are all surrounded by Cameroon to the north and Gabon to the east and south (Great Elobey). Malabo, Cameroon’s capital, is approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) off the coast of Bioko. Annobón Island is located approximately 350 kilometers (220 miles) west-southwest of Gabon’s Cape Lopez. In Corisco Bay, on the boundary between Ro Muni and Gabon, are Corisco and the two Elobey islands.

Equatorial Guinea is located between 4°N and 2°S latitudes and 5° and 12°E longitudes. Except for the insular Annobón Province, which is approximately 155 km (96 mi) south of the equator, no portion of the country’s territory is on the equator—it is in the northern hemisphere.

Climate

The climate of Equatorial Guinea is tropical, with distinct wet and dry seasons. Ro Muni is dry and Bioko is wet from June to August, and vice versa from December to February. There is a gradual shift in between. On Annobón, rain or mist falls every day, and there has never been a clear day. The temperature in Malabo, Bioko, varies from 16 °C (61 °F) to 33 °C (91 °F), but typical high temperatures in the southern Moka Plateau are around 21 °C (70 °F). The average temperature at Ro Muni is about 27 °C (81 °F). The annual rainfall ranges from 1,930 mm (76 in) in Malabo to 10,920 mm (430 in) in Ureka, Bioko, with Ro Muni being somewhat drier.

Language

Spanish (including its native variation, Equatoguinean Spanish) and French are the official languages. In 2010, Portuguese was considered for adoption as an official language, although it was not completely recognized at the time. Since 1844, Spanish has been the official language of the country, and it is used in education and government. It is spoken by 67.6% of Equatorial Guineans, particularly those in Malabo, the capital. (Constitutional Law No. 1/1998 January 21) recognizes Aboriginal languages as essential elements of “national culture.” Fang, Bube, Benga, Ndowe, Balengue, Bujeba, Bissio, Gumu, Pichinglis, Fa d’Ambô, and the almost extinct Baseke are among the indigenous languages. Bantu languages are spoken by the majority of African ethnic groupings.”

In Annobón Province, Malabo (the capital), and among certain speakers on Equatorial Guinea’s mainland, the Portuguese creole Fa d’Ambô is widely spoken. Many Bioko inhabitants can also communicate in Spanish, especially in the capital, as well as Pichinglis, an English-based creole. In Annobón, Spanish is not widely spoken. Spanish is utilized in administration and education. Local Catholics utilize noncreolized Portuguese as their liturgical language. The ethnic group of Annobonese attempted to join the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP). In Annobón, the government funded a sociolinguistic research by the Instituto Internacional da Lngua Portuguesa (IILP). It found significant ties between the Portuguese creole communities of So Tomé and Prncipe, Cape Verde, and Guinea-Bissau.

Because of historical and cultural connections, the legislature of Equatorial Guinea modified Article 4 of the Constitution in 2010 to make Portuguese the official language of the Republic. The government attempted to enhance communications, commerce, and bilateral ties with Portuguese-speaking nations via this initiative. Despite this, the government has failed to approve Portuguese’s formal status as an official language.

The administration suggested adopting Portuguese in order to join the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), which would allow the nation to obtain greater access to numerous professional and academic exchange programs as well as ease citizen cross-border movement. Furthermore, the country has been warned that it must implement political changes that would allow for effective democracy and the protection of human rights. This legislation was debated in the national parliament in October 2011.

Equatorial Guinea’s foreign minister struck a deal with the IILP in February 2012 to promote Portuguese in the nation.

However, in July 2012, the CPLP denied Equatorial Guinea full membership for the second time, mainly due to the country’s continuing severe breaches of human rights. The government retaliated by recognizing political parties, announcing a moratorium on the death sentence, and launching a dialogue with all political groups. The IILP obtained government property in Bata and Malabo for the building of Portuguese language cultural institutions. Equatorial Guinea was accepted to the CPLP during its 10th summit in Dili in July 2014. The death penalty should be abolished, and Portuguese should be promoted as an official language, according to the approval.

Ecology

Equatorial Guinea is divided into several ecoregions. Except for pockets of Central African mangroves on the shore, particularly in the Muni River estuary, the Ro Muni region is part of the Atlantic Equatorial coastal forests ecoregion. On the African continent, the Cross-Sanaga-Bioko coastal forests ecoregion encompasses most of Bioko and neighboring parts of Cameroon and Nigeria, while the Mount Cameroon and Bioko montane forests ecoregion include Bioko’s highlands and nearby Mount Cameroon.

The wet lowland forests ecoregion of So Tomé, Prncipe, and Annobón include all of Annobón, as well as So Tomé and Prncipe.

Economy

Pre-independence Equatorial Guinea sold cocoa, coffee, and wood to Spain, its colonial master, as well as Germany and the United Kingdom. The nation became the first non-Francophone African member of the franc zone on January 1, 1985, when it adopted the CFA franc as its currency. The ekwele, the national currency, was formerly tied to the Spanish peseta.

The discovery and subsequent exploitation of substantial oil reserves in 1996 resulted in a significant boost in government income. Equatorial Guinea is Sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest oil production as of 2004. It now produces 360,000 barrels per day (57,000 m3/d) of oil, up from 220,000 only two years ago.

Forestry, farming, and fishing are all significant contributors to GDP. Subsistence farming is the norm. The rural economy has deteriorated under successive harsh regimes, reducing any possibility for agriculture-led development.

Riggs Bank, a Washington-based bank into which most of Equatorial Guinea’s oil earnings were sent until recently, and which previously banked for Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, was the subject of a Senate inquiry in July 2004. In the case of Equatorial Guinea, the Senate investigation revealed that Obiang, his family, and top regime officials stole at least $35 million. The president has vehemently rejected any misconduct on his part. While Riggs Bank paid $9 million in compensation to Chile’s Augusto Pinochet in February 2005, no restitution was paid to Equatorial Guinea, as detailed in an Anti-Money Laundering Report published by Inner City Press.

Entry Requirements For Equatorial Guinea

This is one of the most difficult nations in the world to get a visa unless you are an American citizen. Citizens of the United States do not need a visa, however they must bring the following items with them while entering: two visa applications, two passport photographs, a bank statement indicating a minimum balance of USD2,000 in your account, and evidence of yellow fever and cholera vaccines are all required. The visa cost in Washington, DC, is USD100.

Citizens of other countries must submit all of the following, as well as their passport and letter of invitation, to an Equatorial Guinean embassy. If the stars align just so, you may be able to get a visa.

How To Travel To Equatorial Guinea

Get in - By plane

There are two paved airports, one near Malabo (SSG) and the other in Bata (BAT) (BSG). Ecuato Guineana de Aviación, the country’s primary airline, conducts domestic and international flights from Malabo International Airport. Other airlines that operate to Malabo airport include Iberia (from Madrid), JetAir (from London Gatwick), Air France (from Paris), Swiss (from Zurich), and Lufthansa (from Frankfurt) starting April 1st. Delta Air Lines had intended to commence service to Malabo from Atlanta in June 2009, however owing to the financial crisis, the route was postponed.

Get in - By car

The capital is located on a small island. The mainland, however, may be reached by paved (tarmac) roads from Gabon and muddy trails from Cameroon (inaccessible in rainy season). Many roads in EG, however, are in a bad condition (especially for West Africa), and 4×4 is required for many months of the year; some, on the other hand, are brand new.

It’s worth noting that the Campo entrance is often closed. Additionally, visa-free Americans may be denied entrance from Kye-Ossi and Ebebiyin if adequate reasons for entry are not provided or if they are not racially Caucasian.

Extortion by security personnel is widespread in Equatorial Guinea, with local police demanding payments for fabricated traffic infractions.

Destinations in Equatorial Guinea

Cities in Equatorial Guinea

  • Malabo – the capital, on Bioko
  • Acalayong
  • Bata – the major city on the mainland
  • Ebebiyin – In the extreme northeast corner, Ebebiyin is a significant entry point.
  • Evinayong
  • Luba – another town on Bioko
  • Mbini
  • Mongomo

Regions in Equatorial Guinea

  • Río Muni (Bata) – all of the mainland
  • Bioko (Malabo) – island in the Gulf of Guinea, includes the capital city
  • Annobon – In the Atlantic, between Sao Tome and Principe Islands lies a tiny island.

Food & Drinks in Equatorial Guinea

Particularly in Malabo, there are many excellent places to dine. French food is available in the Hotel Sofitel’s coffee shop (placed immediately over the Cathedral on the north shore). The main restaurant of the Hotel Bahia is a popular hangout for both locals and foreigners.

The Pizza Restaurant is the finest place in town for pizza and pasta.

Restaurante Bantu serves genuine Chinese food for Asian cuisine. La Luna serves Moroccan and other European cuisine. Try a dish like smoked beef with black pepper from Equatorial Guinea. A roast duck with cheese and onion leaves is also available.

Ebebiyin is well-known for its many bars. They consume copious amounts of wine. Guineana, a locally made beer, is excellent.

Money & Shopping in Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea uses the Central African CFA franc (XAF). Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Republic of Congo, and Gabon all use it. While the CFA franc (XAF) and the Western African CFA franc (XOF) are technically distinct currencies, they are used interchangeably in all CFA franc (XAF & XOF)-using nations.

The French Treasury backs both CFA francs, which are linked to the euro at €1 = XAF655.957.

Prices in Equatorial Guinea

In Equatorial Guinea, everything is very costly. A good room with extremely minimal facilities will cost between €100 and €400 (bring all essential items like towel, soap, shampoo, etc. since the hotel may not have any). In a nice and air-conditioned restaurant, a basic lunch will cost at least €30 (without beverages such as wine, beer, or soft drinks).

Culture Of Equatorial Guineal

The First Hispanic-African Cultural Congress was held in June 1984 to examine Equatorial Guinea’s cultural identity. The congress served as a focal point for integration and the blending of Hispanic and African cultures.

Tourism in Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea presently has no UNESCO World Heritage Sites or World Heritage List candidates. UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme lists no recorded legacy in the nation, while the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Assets List has no intangible cultural heritage.

Media and communications

Three state-run FM radio stations serve as Equatorial Guinea’s primary source of communication. In Malabo, the BBC World Service, Radio France Internationale, and Gabon’s Africa No 1 all transmit on FM. In addition, there are five shortwave radio stations. The television network, Television Nacional, is run by the government. RTVGE, an international television show, is broadcast through satellite across Africa, Europe, and the Americas, as well as on the Internet globally. Two newspapers and two periodicals are available.

In the 2012 Reporters Without Borders press freedom ranking, Equatorial Guinea is ranked 161st out of 179 countries. According to the watchdog, the national broadcaster follows the information ministry’s instructions. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, in 2011, a “news blackout” was enforced on reportage of protests in Arab nations in North Africa. The majority of media outlets engage in extensive self-censorship and are prohibited by law from criticizing prominent people. Teodor Obiang, the president’s son, is in charge of the state-owned media and the major commercial radio station.

Only two lines are accessible for every 100 people, indicating that landline telephone penetration is minimal. Malabo, Bata, and many mainland cities are covered by a single GSM mobile phone provider. Approximately 40% of the population has enrolled to mobile phone services as of 2009. Orange is Equatorial Guinea’s sole phone service provider.

Sports

Equatorial Guinea in the Olympics, Equatorial Guinea’s national football team, Equatorial Guinea’s women’s national football team, and Equatorial Guinea’s national under-16 basketball team are all available for more information.
Equatorial Guinea partnered with Gabon to co-host the 2012 African Cup of Nations, and it also hosted the 2015 edition. In addition, the nation was selected to host the 2008 African Women’s Football Championship, which they won. The women’s national team qualified for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will be held in Germany.

Swimmers Eric Moussambani, dubbed “Eric the Eel,” and Paula Barila Bolopa, dubbed “Paula the Crawler,” from Equatorial Guinea are renowned for their very slow times in the 2000 Summer Olympics.

History of Equatorial Guinea

Pygmies most likely formerly inhabited throughout the continental area that is now Equatorial Guinea, but they currently only exist in small enclaves in southern Ro Muni. Between the 18th and 19th centuries, Bantu migrations introduced the coastal ethno-linguistic groups, as well as the Fang. The Bubi, who moved from Cameroon to Ro Muni and Bioko in numerous waves and replaced previous Neolithic people, may have been influenced by elements of the latter. The Portuguese brought the Annobón people, which is native to Angola, through the island of So Tomé.

First European contact (1472)

In 1472, the Portuguese navigator Fernando Pó is credited with being the first European to find the island of Bioko while searching for a route to India. It was given the name Formosa (“Beautiful”) by him, but it was soon given the name of its European discoverer. In 1474, Portugal conquered the islands of Fernando Pó and Annobón.

The Treaty of El Pardo, signed in 1778 by Queen Maria I of Portugal and King Charles III of Spain, gave Spain Bioko, surrounding islands, and trade rights in the Bight of Biafra between the Niger and Ogoue rivers. As a result, Spain attempted to acquire access to a slave supply owned by British merchants. Between 1778 to 1810, the Viceroyalty of the Ro de la Plata, headquartered in Buenos Aires, was in charge of Equatorial Guinea.

The United Kingdom maintained a base on Bioko from 1827 to 1843 to fight the slave trade, which was relocated to Sierra Leone after an agreement with Spain in 1843. Following the restoration of Spanish authority in 1844, the region was dubbed “Territorios Espaoles del Golfo de Guinea.” Spain had failed to occupy the vast territory in the Bight of Biafra to which it had Treaty rights, while the French had been busy extending their occupancy at the cost of Spain’s claim. After the Treaty of Paris in 1900, Spain was left with the continental enclave of Rio Muni, a paltry 26,000 km2 out of the 300,000 km2 extending east to the Ubangi river that the Spaniards had originally claimed. The plantations of Fernando Po were mainly in the hands of a black Creole aristocracy, subsequently known as Fernandinos, around the turn of the century. During the British control of the island in the early nineteenth century, they settled 2,000 Sierra Leoneans and freed slaves, and a minor stream of immigration from West Africa and the West Indies persisted after the British left. Cubans, Filipinos, and Spaniards of different colors deported for political or other offenses, as well as some aided settlers, were added to this core of settlers.

In the form of fugitive slaves and potential planters, there was also a trickle of immigration from the neighboring Portuguese islands. Although a few Fernandinos were Catholic and spoke Spanish, on the eve of the First World War, approximately nine-tenths of the population was Protestant and spoke English, and pidgin English was the island’s lingua franca. While labor recruiting on the Windward shore continued, Sierra Leoneans were especially well positioned as planters since they had family and other ties there and could readily organize labor supply.

A new generation of Spanish immigrants began to put the Fernandinos on the defensive in the early twentieth century. In 1904-1905, new land laws favored Spaniards, and most of the larger planters subsequently came in the islands as a result of these changes. The Liberian labor agreement of 1914 favored rich individuals with easy access to the government, and the transfer in labor supply from Liberia to Rio Muni exacerbated this advantage. In 1940, it was believed that just 20% of the colony’s cocoa output came from African land, with Fernandinos controlling almost all of it.

The biggest impediment to economic growth was a persistent labor shortage. The indigenous Bubi people of Bioko, pushed into the interior of the island and devastated by alcoholism, venereal disease, smallpox, and sleeping sickness, refused to labor on plantations. Working on their own little cocoa plantations offered them a great deal of independence. Furthermore, starting in the late 1800s, the Bubi were shielded from planter demands by the Spanish Claretian missionaries, who were powerful in the colony and ultimately organized the Bubi into mini-mission theocracies like to the famous Paraguayan Jesuit Reductions. Two minor insurgencies in 1898 and 1910, both opposing the conscription of forced labor for the plantations, resulted in the Bubi being disarmed in 1917 and left completely reliant on the missionaries.

Between 1926 to 1959, Bioko and Rio Muni were included into the Spanish Guinea colony. The workforce was mainly immigrant contract labor from Liberia, Nigeria, and Cameroun, and the economy was centered on huge cocoa and coffee plantations and timber concessions. Between 1914 and 1930, an estimated 10,000 Liberians were sent to Fernando Po as part of a Labour Treaty that ended in 1930. Following the cessation of Liberian imports, Fernando Po’s cocoa farmers moved to Rio Muni. It was no accident that efforts to subjugate the Fang people were launched in the 1920s, just as Liberia was starting to reduce its recruiting. By 1926, the colonial guard had established garrisons across the enclave, and the colony had been declared ‘pacified’ by 1929.

Rio Muni had a tiny population, estimated to be about 100,000 in the 1930s, and crossing the border into Cameroun or Gabon was simple. Furthermore, the forestry businesses required an increasing quantity of labor, and the expansion of coffee production provided a new way to pay taxes. As a result, Fernando Po’s labor shortages persisted. The French only allowed recruiting in Cameroun for a short time, and Igbo smuggled in canoes from Calabar, Nigeria, became the primary source of labor. After World War II, it allowed Fernando Po to become one of Africa’s most prolific agricultural regions.

Politically, the postwar colonial history can be divided into three distinct phases: up to 1959, when its status was raised from ‘colonial’ to ‘provincial,’ taking a page from the Portuguese Empire’s approach; between 1960 and 1968, when Madrid attempted a partial decolonisation, which was hoped to preserve the territory as an integral part of the Spanish system; and after 1968, when Madrid attempted a full decolonisation, which was hoped to preserve the territory as an integral part The first of these phases was little more than a continuation of previous policies, which were very similar to those of Portugal and France, particularly in dividing the population into a vast majority governed as “natives,” or non-citizens, and a small minority (along with whites) admitted to civic status as emancipados, with assimilation to metropolitan culture being the only permision.

The beginnings of nationalism emerged during this ‘provincial’ period, but only among tiny communities who had sought shelter from the Caudillo’s paternal hand in Cameroun and Gabon. The Movimiento Nacional de Liberación de Guinea (MONALIGE) and the Idea Popular de Guinea Ecuatorial were founded (IPGE). Their pressures were light, but not throughout West Africa as a whole. The region was granted some autonomy and administrative advancement by a “moderate” organization, the Movimiento de Unión Nacional de la Guinea Ecuatorial, after a resolution on August 9, 1963, was ratified by a referendum on December 15, 1963. (MUNGE). This proved to be a weak weapon, and Madrid succumbed to the currents of nationalism in the face of mounting UN demand for reform.

Independence (1968)

On October 12, 1968, the area was granted independence, and Francisco Macas Nguema was chosen president of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

Macias Nguema established a single-party state in July 1970 and became president for life in 1972. He severed relations with Spain and the Western world. Despite his criticism of Marxism as “neo-colonialist,” Equatorial Guinea maintained close ties with communist nations such as China, Cuba, and the Soviet Union. With the Soviet Union, he negotiated a preferential trade deal and a shipping contract. Equatorial Guinea was also given loans by the Soviets.

The Soviets were given permission to construct a pilot project for fisheries development and a naval station at Luba under the terms of the shipping agreement. In exchange, the USSR agreed to provide fish to Equatorial Guinea. China and Cuba have provided Equatorial Guinea with various kinds of financial, military, and technological support, allowing them to exert influence in the country. Despite Macias Nguema’s shady past, the USSR acquired an edge in the Angola War by having access to Luba base and, subsequently, Malabo International Airport.

Towards the middle of the 1970s, the Macias government faced serious allegations of mass murder. The World Council of Churches said in 1974 that a “reign of terror” had persisted in which significant numbers of people had been killed since 1968. According to the same organization, a fifth of the population has emigrated to other countries, and “the jails are overcrowded and, for all intents and purposes, constitute one huge concentration camp.” Macas Nguema killed 150 accused coup plotters on Christmas Day, 1975. An estimated 80,000 people were murdered out of a population of 300,000. Apart from allegedly perpetrating genocide against the Bubi ethnic group, he also ordered the execution of thousands of suspected opponents, shut down churches, and presided over the country’s economic collapse as skilled residents and foreigners fled.

Teodoro Obiang ousted Macas Nguema in a violent coup d’état on August 3, 1979. Soon after, Macias Nguema was tried and executed.

Equatorial Guinea has seen fast economic growth since the discovery of oil in 1995 by Mobil, an American oil firm. Despite this, the profits from the country’s oil wealth have not been distributed evenly among the population, and the country ranks low on the UN human development index, with 20% of children dying before reaching the age of five and more than half of the population lacking access to safe drinking water. President Teodoro Obiang is generally accused of enriching himself and his cronies with the country’s oil riches. Forbes assessed his personal fortune to be $600 million in 2006.

The government declared in 2011 that Oyala, the country’s future capital, would be built.

Obiang is Africa’s longest-serving dictator as of February 2016.

Stay Safe & Healthy in Equatorial Guinea

Stay Safe in Equatorial Guinea

Taking photographs of government assets without authorization is severely forbidden. Photographing airports, government buildings, or anything of military or strategic significance is prohibited. Foreigners snapping pictures of locals, especially children, is usually frowned upon. Since a general rule, bringing a camera with you when strolling about town is not a good idea, as it may get you into serious problems with the cops. In the past, taking photos in public required a permission from the Ministry of Information and Tourism. Despite the fact that this restriction has been removed, officers may unintentionally penalize or even arrest anyone who are attempting to snap pictures.

Equatorial Guinea’s climate is tropical, and it is usually extremely hot. Lightweight clothes is recommended. Because of mosquito concerns, avoid wearing dark colors.

Equatorial Guinea, while having ample resources and the greatest economic growth rate in Africa, does not offer legal stability to international workers.

Because the country was a Spanish province until 1968 (the country’s short-lived democracy was paradoxically permitted by the Francoist regime), the locals are very hospitable and have a certain familiarity with everything related to Spain, with the last century marking the beginning of the presence of settlers in the island and coastal areas where they had a large number of plantations. Furthermore, from 1966 and the 1990s, half of the country’s inhabitants moved to Spain.

Some sites need specific permissions and must be visited with a guide. Consult the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.

A guided trip is advised to avoid uncomfortable circumstances with military checks on the highways, particularly on the island of Bioko, where the presence of Westerners is apparent and therefore the danger is high.

Stay Healthy in Equatorial Guinea

Food/Water: Equatorial Guinea has no ‘potable’ or pure water sources. Only bottled water should be consumed by travelers. Consume with caution any washed fruits or vegetables, as well as beverages containing ice cubes or ‘water’ additions, such as coffee, tea, or lemonade.

Wear Shoes: Although the beaches in Malabo and Bata are lovely, it is always a good idea to wear shoes owing to abandoned garbage and dangerous sand bugs. This is also true while walking on carpeted surfaces.

Malaria medicine: Malaria is the country’s top cause of mortality. It is recommended that tourists get medical advice before taking malaria medication. The most prevalent type of malaria in E.G. is Plasmodium falciparum, which is resistant to the antimalarial medication chloroquine.

The La Paz Hospitals in Bata and Malabo, according to the US embassy, are the only two in the nation that satisfy the medical requirements of a developed country’s hospital.

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