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Equatorial Guinea
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Equatorial Guinea

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea is a nation of Central Africa. It borders on Cameroon, Gabon, and the Gulf of Guinea. The capital is Malabo.

Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial (Republic of Equatorial Guinea)
(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto: Unidad, Paz, Justicia (Unity, Peace, Justice)
Official language Spanish, French
Capital Malabo
Capital's coordinates N 3°21'0" E 8°40'0"
Largest City Malabo
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
Prime Minister Miguel Abia Biteo Borico
Area
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 141st
28,051 km²
Negligible
Population
 - Total (2000)
 - Density
Ranked 159th
474,214
16.9/km²
GDP (PPP)
 - Total (Year)
 - GDP/head
Ranked 182nd
$1,200 million
$2,700
Currency CFA franc (XAF)
Time zone UTC +1
Independence
 - Date
From Spain
October 12, 1968
National anthem Caminemos pisando las sendas
Internet TLD .GQ
Calling Code240

Table of contents
1 History
2 Politics
3 Provinces
4 Geography
5 Economy
6 Demographics
7 Culture
8 Miscellaneous topics

History

Main article: History of Equatorial Guinea

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 migrations between the 17th and 19th centuries brought the coastal tribes and later the Fang. Elements of the latter may have generated the Bubi, who emigrated to Bioko from Cameroon and Rio Muni in several waves and succeeded former neolithic populations. The Annobon population, native to Angola, was introduced by the Portuguese via Sao Tome.

The Portuguese explorer, Fernando Po (Fernão do Poo), seeking a route to India, is credited with having discovered the island of Bioko in 1471. He called it Formosa ("pretty flower"), but it quickly took on the name of its European discoverer. The islands of Fernando Póo and Annobón were colonized by the Portuguese in 1474, and passed to Spain in 1778. The Portuguese retained control until 1778, when the island, adjacent islets, and commercial rights to the mainland between the Niger and Ogoue Rivers were ceded to Spain in exchange for territory in South America (Treaty of El Pardo). From 1827 to 1843, Britain established a base on the island to combat the slave trade. The mainland portion, Rio Muni, became a protectorate in 1885 and a colony in 1900. Conflicting claims to the mainland were settled in 1900 by the Treaty of Paris, and periodically, the mainland territories were united administratively under Spanish rule. Between 1926 and 1959 they were united as the colony of Spanish Guinea.

Politics

Main article: Politics of Equatorial Guinea

The 1982 constitution of Equatorial Guinea gives the President extensive powers, including naming and dismissing members of the cabinet, making laws by decree, dissolving the Chamber of Representatives, negotiating and ratifying treaties and calling legislative elections. The President retains his role as commander in chief of the armed forces and minister of defense, and he maintains close supervision of the military activity. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President and operates under powers designated by the President. The Prime Minister coordinates government activities in areas other than foreign affairs, national defense and security.

Provinces

Main article:
Provinces of Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea is divided into seven provinces. These are (capitals in parentheses)-

Geography

Main article:
Geography of Equatorial Guinea

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea is located in west central Africa. Bioko Island lies about 40 kilometers (25 mi.) from Cameroon. Annobón Island lies about 595 kilometers (370 mi.) southwest of Bioko Island. The larger continental region of Rio Muni lies between Cameroon and Gabon on the mainland; it includes the islands of Corisco, Elobey Grande, Elobey Chico, and adjacent islets.

Economy

Main article: Economy of Equatorial Guinea

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 deterioration of the rural economy under successive brutal regimes has diminished potential for agriculture-led growth.

Demographics

Main article: Demographics of Equatorial Guinea

The majority of the people of Equatorial Guinea are of Bantu origin. The largest tribe, the Fang, is indigenous to the mainland, but substantial migration to Bioko Island has resulted in Fang dominance over the earlier Bantu inhabitants. The Fang constitute 80% of the population and are themselves divided into 67 clans. Those in the northern part of Rio Muni speak Fang-Ntumu, while those in the south speak Fang-Okah; the two dialects are mutually unintelligible. The Bubi, who constitute 15% of the population, are indigenous to Bioko Island. In addition, there are coastal tribes, sometimes referred to as "Playeros": Ndowes, Bujebas, Balengues, and Bengas on the mainland and small islands, and "Fernandinos", a Creole community, on Bioko. Together, these groups comprise 5% of the population. There is a growing number of foreigners from neighboring Cameroon, Nigeria and Gabon. In 2001, there were about 280 Americans residing in Equatorial Guinea.

Culture

Main article: Culture of Equatorial Guinea

Miscellaneous topics

This article incorporates information from The World Factbook, which is in the public domain.


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