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Quick Facts
CapitalMalabo
Governmentrepublic
CurrencyCommunaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Areatotal: 28,051 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 28,051 sq km
Population498,144 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageSpanish (official), French (official), pidgin English, Fang, Bubi, Ibo
Religionnominally Christian and predominantly Roman Catholic, pagan practices

Composed of a mainland portion and five inhabited islands, Equatorial Guinea gained independence in 1968 after 190 years of Spanish rule. The tiny country, one of the smallest on the African continent, has been ruled by President OBIANG NGUEM MBASOGO since he seized power in a coup in 1979. 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.

Geography

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
water: 0 sq km
land: 28,051 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 
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 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 
oil, petroleum, timber, small unexploited deposits of gold, manganese, uranium
Land use 
arable land: 4.63%
permanent crops: 3.57%
other: 91.8% (1998 est.)
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, 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

Population 
498,144 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure 
0-14 years: 42.4% (male 106,061; female 105,071)
15-64 years: 53.8% (male 128,489; female 139,732)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 8,385; female 10,406) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate 
2.45% (2002 est.)
Birth rate 
37.33 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate 
12.83 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate 
NEGL migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio 
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate 
90.96 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth 
total population: 54.35 years
female: 56.5 years (2002 est.)
male: 52.26 years
Total fertility rate 
4.81 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 
0.51% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 
1,100 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths 
120 (1999 est.)
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: 78.5%
male: 89.6%
female: 68.1% (1995 est.)

Government

Country name 
conventional long form: Republic of Equatorial Guinea
conventional short form: Equatorial Guinea
local short form: Guinea Ecuatorial
local long form: Republica de 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)
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; election last held 15 December 2002 (next to be held NA 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
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
head of government: Prime Minister Candido Muatetema RIVAS (since 26 February 2001); First Deputy Prime Minister Miguel OYONO NDONG (since NA January 1998); Deputy Prime Minister Demetrio Elo NDONG NZE FUMU (since NA January 1998)
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 7 March 1999 (next to be held NA March 2004)
election results: percent of vote by party - PDGE 80%, UP 6%, CPDS 5%; seats by party - PDGE 75, UP 4 and CPDS 1
note: opposition parties have refused to take up their seats in the House to protest widespread irregularities in the 1999 legislative elections
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, BDEAC, CEEAC, CEMAC, ECA, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAS (observer), OAU, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WToO, WTrO (applicant)
Diplomatic representation in the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador Pastor Micha ONDO BILE
chancery: 2020 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
FAX: [1] (202) 528-5252
telephone: [1] (202) 518-5700
Diplomatic representation from the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador George McDade STAPLES; note - 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

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. Boosts in production and higher world oil prices stimulated growth in 2002, with oil accounting for 90% of increased exports.
GDP 
purchasing power parity - $1.04 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 
6% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita 
purchasing power parity - $2,100 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector 
agriculture: 20%
industry: 60%
services: 20% (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line 
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share 
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 
6% (2001 est.)
Labor force 
NA
Unemployment rate 
30% (1998 est.)
Budget 
revenues: $200 million
expenditures: $158 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Industries 
petroleum, fishing, sawmilling, natural gas
Industrial production growth rate 
7.4% (1994 est.)
Electricity - production 
22 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source 
fossil fuel: 91%
hydro: 9%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption 
20.46 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports 
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports 
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products 
coffee, cocoa, rice, yams, cassava (tapioca), bananas, palm oil nuts; livestock; timber
Exports 
$2.1 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities 
petroleum, timber, cocoa
Exports - partners 
China 24%, Japan 7%, US 7%, South Korea 5% (1999)
Imports 
$736 million f.o.b. (2001)
Imports - commodities 
petroleum sector equipment, manufactured goods and equipment
Imports - partners 
US 60%, France 12%, Spain 8%, Italy 6% (1999)
Debt - external 
$225 million (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient 
$33.8 million (1995) (1995)
Currency 
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 - 742.79 (January 2002), 733.04 (2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.70 (1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997); note - from 1 January 1999, the XAF is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XAF per euro
Fiscal year 
1 January - 31 December

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use 
6,000 (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular 
300 (1998)
Telephone system 
general assessment: poor system with adequate government services
domestic: NA
international: 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 Service Providers (ISPs) 
1 (2002)
Internet users 
900 (2002)

Transportation

Railways 
total: 0 km
Highways 
total: 2,880 km
paved: 0 km
unpaved: 2,880 km (1996)
Waterways 
none
Ports and harbors 
Bata, Luba, Malabo
Merchant marine 
total: 6 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 14,413 GRT/16,251 DWT
ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 3, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 1 (2002 est.)
Airports 
3 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways 
total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways 
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)

Military

Military branches 
Army, Navy, Air Force, Rapid Intervention Force, National Police
Military manpower - availability 
males age 15-49: 112,664 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service 
males age 15-49: 57,194 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure 
$27.5 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 
2.5% (FY01)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
tripartite maritime boundary and economic zone dispute with Cameroon and Nigeria is currently before the ICJ; maritime boundary dispute with Gabon because of disputed sovereignty over islands in Corisco Bay