Equatorial Guinea

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Equatorial Guinea gained independence in 1968 after 190 years of Spanish rule; it is one of the smallest countries in Africa consisting of a mainland territory and five inhabited islands. The capital of Malabo is located on the island of Bioko, approximately 25 km from the Cameroonian coastline in the Gulf of Guinea. Between 1968 and 1979, autocratic President Francisco MACIAS NGUEMA virtually destroyed all of the country's political, economic, and social institutions before being deposed by his nephew Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO in a coup. President OBIANG has ruled since October 1979 and plans to stand for reelection in 2016. Although nominally a constitutional democracy since 1991, presidential and legislative elections between 1996 and 2009 were widely seen as flawed. The president exerts almost total control over the political system and has placed legal and bureaucratic barriers that prevent political opposition. Equatorial Guinea has experienced rapid economic growth due to the discovery of large offshore oil reserves, and in the last decade has become Sub-Saharan Africa's third largest oil exporter. Despite the country's economic windfall from oil production, resulting in a massive increase in government revenue in recent years, the drop in global oil prices has placed significant strain on the state budget. Equatorial Guinea continues to seek to diversify its economy and to increase foreign investment despite limited improvements in the population's living standards. Equatorial Guinea is the host of major regional and international conferences and continues to seek a greater role in regional affairs.

Geography

Location

Central Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Cameroon and Gabon

Geographic coordinates

2.00° N, 10.00° E

Area 146/257

total: 28,051 sq km

land: 28,051 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries

total: 528 km

border countries (2): Cameroon 183 km, Gabon 345 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

mean elevation:

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

agricultural land: 10.1%

arable land 4.3%; permanent crops 2.1%; permanent pasture 3.7%

forest: 57.5%

other: 32.4% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

NA

Total renewable water resources

26 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 0.02 cu km/yr (80%/15%/5%)

per capita: 31.41 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards

violent windstorms; flash floods

volcanism: Santa Isabel (elev. 3,007 m), which last erupted in 1923, is the country's only historically active volcano; Santa Isabel, along with two dormant volcanoes, form Bioko Island in the Gulf of Guinea

Environment - current issues

tap water is non-potable; deforestation

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

insular and continental regions widely separated

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Equatorial Guinean(s) or Equatoguinean(s)

adjective: Equatorial Guinean or Equatoguinean

Ethnic groups

Fang 85.7%, Bubi 6.5%, Mdowe 3.6%, Annobon 1.6%, Bujeba 1.1%, other 1.4% (1994 census)

Languages

Spanish (official) 67.6%, other (includes French (official), Fang, Bubi) 32.4% (1994 census)

Religions

nominally Christian and predominantly Roman Catholic, pagan practices

Population 166/238

740,743 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 40.47% (male 152,305/female 147,454)

15-24 years: 19.55% (male 73,728/female 71,086)

25-54 years: 31.74% (male 116,937/female 118,148)

55-64 years: 4.24% (male 13,519/female 17,884)

65 years and over: 4.01% (male 12,462/female 17,220) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 72.9%

youth dependency ratio: 67.9%

elderly dependency ratio: 5%

potential support ratio: 20% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 19.5 years

male: 19 years

female: 20 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 23/233

2.51% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 32/224

33.31 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 89/225

8.19 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 99/222

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 39.9% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 3.12% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

MALABO (capital) 145,000 (2014)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.76 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 47/184

342 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 14/224

total: 69.17 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 70.21 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 68.09 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 183/224

total population: 63.85 years

male: 62.76 years

female: 64.97 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 24/224

4.57 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

12.6% (2011)

Health expenditures 149/191

3.5% of GDP (2013)

Hospital bed density

2.1 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 72.5% of population

rural: 31.5% of population

total: 47.9% of population

unimproved:

urban: 27.5% of population

rural: 68.5% of population

total: 52.1% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 79.9% of population

rural: 71% of population

total: 74.5% of population

unimproved:

urban: 20.1% of population

rural: 29% of population

total: 25.5% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

6.16% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

31,600 (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

800 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 129/191

16.2% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 87/138

5.6% (2010)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Equatorial Guinea

conventional short form: Equatorial Guinea

local long form: Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial/Republique de Guinee Equatoriale

local short form: Guinea Ecuatorial/Guinee Equatoriale

former: Spanish Guinea

etymology: the country is named after the Guinea region of West Africa that lies along the Gulf of Guinea and stretches north to the Sahel; the "equatorial" refers to the fact that the country lies just north of the equator

Government type

republic

Capital

name: Malabo

geographic coordinates: 3.45° N, 8.47° E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

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 referendum 17 November 1991; amended several times, last in 2012 (2015)

Legal system

mixed system of civil and customary law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Equatorial Guinea

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Teodoro Obiang NGUEMA MGASOGO (since 3 August 1979 when he seized power in a military coup)

head of government: Prime Minister Vicente EHATE TOMI (since 22 May 2012); First Deputy Prime Minister Clemente ENGONG NGUEMA ONGUENE; Second Deputy Prime Minister Francisco Pascual OBAMA ASUE; Third Deputy Prime Minister Alfonso NSUE MOKUY

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 7-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 29 November 2009 (next to be held in 2016); 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 (PDGE) 95.8%, Placido MICO Abogo (CPDS) 3.6%, other 0.6%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral National Assembly or Asemblea Nacional, formerly the unicameral Parliament, consists of the Senate or Senado (70 seats; 55 members directly elected by simple majority vote and 15 appointed by the president) and the House of People's Representatives or Camara de Representantes del Pueblo (100 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms); note - the constitutional referendum of 2011 established the Senate and was implemented at the time of the May 2013 elections

elections: last held on 26 May 2013 (next to be held in 2018)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDGE 54, CPDS 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDGE 99, CPDS 1

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice (consists of the chief justice - who is also chief of state - and 9 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of the court president and 4 members)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president for 5-year terms; Constitutional Court members appointed by the president, 2 of which are nominated by the Chamber of Deputies

subordinate courts: Court of Guarantees; military courts; Courts of Appeal; first instance tribunals; district and county tribunals

Political parties and leaders

Convergence Party for Social Democracy or CPDS [Andres ESONO ONDO]

Democratic Party for Equatorial Guinea or PDGE [Jeronimo OSA OSA ECORO] (ruling party)

Electoral Coalition or EC

Popular Action of Equatorial Guinea or APGE [Carmelo MBA BACALE]

Popular Union or UP [Daniel MARTINEZ AYECABA]

not officially registered parties: Democratic Republican Force or FDR [Guillermo NGUEMA ELA]

Independent Candidacy or CI [Gabriel NSE OBIANG OBONO]

Party for Progress of Equatorial Guinea or PPGE [Severo MOTO]

Union for the Center Right or UDC [Avelino MOCACHE MEAENGA]

note: in November 2014, the government hosted a National Dialogue process to engage with the political opposition; the opposition particiapated with limited attendance and engagement; on March 18, 2015, the CPDS, FDR, and UP formed a coalition called the Front of Democratic Opposition or FOD

Political pressure groups and leaders

ASODEGUE (Madrid-based pressure group for democratic reform)

Coalicion CEIBA (group formed by diverse, exiled political parties)

C.O.R.E.D. (originally led by Raimundo Ela Nsang; based in Paris)

EG Justice (US-based anti-corruption group)

International organization participation

ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, CPLP (associate), FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WTO (observer)

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); green symbolizes the jungle and natural resources, blue represents the sea that connects the mainland to the islands, white stands for peace, and red recalls the fight for independence

National symbol(s)

silk cotton tree; national colors: green, white, red, blue

National anthem

name: "Caminemos pisando la senda" (Let Us Tread the Path)

lyrics/music: Atanasio Ndongo MIYONO/Atanasio Ndongo MIYONO or Ramiro Sanchez LOPEZ (disputed)

note: adopted 1968

Economy

Economy - overview

Exploitation of oil and gas deposits, beginning in the 1990’s, has driven economic growth in Equatorial Guinea, allowing per capita GDP to rise to over $29,000 in 2014. Forestry and farming are minor components of GDP. Although pre-independence Equatorial Guinea counted on cocoa production for hard currency earnings, the neglect of the rural economy since independence has diminished the potential for agriculture-led growth. Subsistence farming is the dominant form of livelihood. Declining revenue from hydrocarbon production, high levels of infrastructure expenditures, lack of economic diversification, and corruption have pushed the economy into decline in recent years and led to limited improvements in the general population’s living conditions.

Foreign assistance programs by the World Bank and the IMF have been cut since 1993 because of corruption and mismanagement, and as a middle income country Equatorial Guinea is now ineligible for most donor assistance. The government has been widely criticized for its lack of transparency and misuse of oil revenues and has attempted to address this issue by working towards compliance with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. US foreign assistance to Equatorial Guinea is limited in part because of US restrictions pursuant to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

Equatorial Guinea hosted two economic diversification symposia in 2014 that focused on attracting investment in five sectors: agriculture and animal ranching, fishing, mining and petrochemicals, tourism, and financial services. Undeveloped mineral resources include gold, zinc, diamonds, columbite-tantalite, and other base metals.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 134/230

$25.94 billion (2015 est.)

$28.9 billion (2014 est.)

$28.99 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$10.03 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 221/225

-10.2% (2015 est.)

-0.3% (2014 est.)

-6.5% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 54/230

$33,300 (2015 est.)

$37,100 (2014 est.)

$37,300 (2013 est.)

Gross national saving 58/179

23.6% of GDP (2015 est.)

25.3% of GDP (2014 est.)

29.4% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 19.8%

government consumption: 6.4%

investment in fixed capital: 62.4%

investment in inventories: 0.1%

exports of goods and services: 61%

imports of goods and services: -49.7%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 5.1%

industry: 85.7%

services: 9.2% (2014 est.)

Agriculture - products

coffee, cocoa, rice, yams, cassava (manioc, tapioca), bananas, palm oil nuts; livestock; timber

Industries

petroleum, natural gas, sawmilling

Industrial production growth rate 197/202

-10.8% (2015 est.)

Labor force 174/233

195,200 (2007 est.)

Unemployment rate 172/207

22.3% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Budget

revenues: $2.99 billion

expenditures: $3.58 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 84/219

29.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 180/220

-5.9% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 159/176

15.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

13% of GDP (2014 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 143/226

3.5% (2015 est.)

5.4% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 34/156

8.5% (31 December 2010)

4.25% (31 December 2009)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 49/184

14% (31 December 2015 est.)

15% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 127/192

$2.001 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$2.504 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 142/193

$3.788 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$3.841 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 160/191

$940.8 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$655.2 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Current account balance 116/197

-$872 million (2015 est.)

-$1.551 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 93/224

$9.169 billion (2015 est.)

$14.76 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

petroleum products, timber

Exports - partners

China 26.7%, UK 16%, Brazil 10%, France 8.3%, Japan 7%, Netherlands 6.9%, India 5.9%, Spain 5.8% (2014)

Imports 130/223

$4.143 billion (2015 est.)

$5.475 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

petroleum sector equipment, other equipment, construction materials, vehicles

Imports - partners

US 23.5%, Spain 17.3%, China 13.6%, France 5.7%, Cote d'Ivoire 4.5% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 120/170

$1.903 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$2.907 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 155/206

$1.416 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$1.562 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Exchange rates

Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -

580.5 (2015 est.)

494.42 (2014 est.)

494.42 (2013 est.)

510.53 (2012 est.)

471.87 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 198/220

100 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 199/219

93 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 134/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 144/219

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 163/214

164,000 kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 190/214

22.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 85/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 18/214

77.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 172/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 34/214

248,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 24/214

318,100 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 184/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 41/215

1.1 billion bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 176/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 171/212

4,900 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 176/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 163/213

4,863 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 48/216

6.29 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 84/215

1.49 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 30/215

4.8 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 191/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 66/212

36.81 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 123/212

5.614 million Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 194/219

total subscriptions: 15,100

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 170/217

total: 516,500

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 72 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: digital fixed-line network in most major urban areas and good mobile cellular coverage

domestic: fixed-line density is about 2 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular subscribership has been increasing and in 2011 stood at about 60 percent of the population

international: country code - 240; international communications from Bata and Malabo to African and European countries; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2011)

Broadcast media

state maintains control of broadcast media with domestic broadcast media limited to 1 state-owned TV station, 1 private TV station owned by the president's eldest son, 1 state-owned radio station, and 1 private radio station owned by the president's eldest son; satellite TV service is available; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are accessible (2013)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 0, FM 3, shortwave 5 (2001)

Television broadcast stations

1 (2001)

Internet country code

.gq

Internet hosts 227/232

7 (2012)

Internet users 167/217

total: 115,100

percent of population: 15.9% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 166/236

7 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 6

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

under 914 m: 2 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)

Pipelines

condensate 42 km; condensate/gas 5 km; gas 79 km; oil 71 km (2013)

Roadways 169/223

total: 2,880 km (2000)

Merchant marine 124/156

total: 5

by type: cargo 1, chemical tanker 1, petroleum tanker 3

foreign-owned: 1 (Norway 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Bata, Luba, Malabo

LNG terminal(s) (export): Bioko Island

Military and Security

Military branches

Equatorial Guinea Armed Forces (FAGE): Equatorial Guinea National Guard (Guardia Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial, GNGE (Army), Navy, Air Force (2013)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for selective compulsory military service, although conscription is rare in practice; 2-year service obligation; women hold only administrative positions in the Navy (2013)

Transnational Issues

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 and imprecisely defined maritime coordinates in the ICJ decision delayed final delimitation; UN urged Equatorial Guinea and Gabon to resolve the sovereignty dispute over Gabon-occupied Mbane and lesser islands and to create a maritime boundary in the hydrocarbon-rich Corisco Bay