Equatorial Guinea

 map of Equatorial Guinea

Geography. Equatorial Guinea consists of a main island, Bioko, the small island of Annobon, over 500 kms south and separated from bioko by Sao tome and Principe, and Rio Muni, a mainland area between Cameroon and Gabon.

Capital: -Malabo. Other cities–Bata (also capital of Littoral province on the mainland)

Population: July 2011 est.): 668,225

People Groups: Ethnic groups: The Fang ethnic group of the mainland constitutes the great majority of the population and dominates political life and business. The Bubi group comprises about 50,000 people living mainly in Bioko Island. The Annobonese on the island of Annobon are estimated at about 3,000 in number. The other three ethnic groups are found on the coast of Rio Muni and include the Ndowe and Kombe (about 3,000 each) and the Bujebas (about 2,000). The Pygmy populations have long been integrated into the dominant Bantu-speaking cultures. Europeans number around 2,000, primarily Spanish and French. There is a thriving Lebanese community, other Arabs (primarily Egyptians and Moroccans), a large number of Filipinos, and a rapidly expanding Chinese presence. Many guest workers from other African countries have been drawn to service industry jobs boosted by the country’s oil boom.

Languages: Languages: Official–Spanish (predominant), French, Portuguese; other–pidgin English, Fang, Bubi, Ibo. The Fang in the northern part of Rio Muni speak Fang-Ntumu, while those in the south speak Fang-Okah; the two dialects are mutually unintelligible
Religions: Nominally Christian and predominantly Roman Catholic; pagan practices.

Government: Type : Nominally multi-party Republic with strong domination by the executive branch.


Executive–President (Chief of State), Prime Minister, and a Council of Ministers appointed by the president.

Legislative–100-member Chamber of People’s Representatives (members directly elected by universal suffrage to serve 5-year terms).

Judicial–Supreme Tribunal; appointed and removed by the president.

Living Conditions: Education: Primary school compulsory for ages 6-12. Attendance (2007 est.)–90%. Adult literacy (2008 est.)–87%. Life expectancy–62.37 years. Infant mortality rate–77.3/1,000.Since the mid 1990s the former Spanish colony has become one of sub-Sahara’s biggest oil producers and in 2004 was said to have the world’s fastest-growing economy. However, few people have benefited from the oil riches and the country ranks near the bottom of the UN human development index. The UN says that less than half the population has access to clean drinking water and that 20 percent of children die before reaching five.

History: The first inhabitants of the region that is now Equatorial Guinea are believed to have been Pygmies, of whom only isolated pockets remain in northern Rio Muni.

Bantu people took over and were a majority by the time Portuguese discovered and colonized before ceding the mainland area to Spain in 1778. The British used Bioko as an anti slavery base in 1800s but Spain was given full control in1900. The Spanish developed infrastructure, raising education standards and producing the highest GDP/capitia in Africa. Independence was granted in 1968 when President Francisco Macías Nguema, considered the father of independence, began a brutal reign, destroying the economy of the fledgling country and abusing human rights. Calling himself the “Unique Miracle,” Nguema is considered one of the worst despots in African history. In 1971, the U.S. State Department reported that his regime was “characterized by abandonment of all government functions except internal security, which was accomplished by terror; this led to the death or exile of up to one-third of the population.” In 1979, Nguema was overthrown and executed by his nephew, Lieut. Col. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Obiang has been gradually modernizing the country but has retained many of his uncle’s dictatorial practices, including the amassing of personal wealth by siphoning it from the public coffers. In 2003, state radio compared him to God.

Pray for:

  • Entry to the different people groups.

  • Overcoming corruption, tribalism, nepotism.

  • Spirit-filled labourers for the harvest field.

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