Equatorial Guinea. According to countryaah, the army claimed in February to have fought back an invasion attempt. For three hours one morning, heavy gunfire was heard around the capital Malabo and, according to the government, the target of the invasion was the presidential palace. About 15 attackers were reported to have been arrested while several managed to escape. The government accused the Nigerian armed group MEND (Movement of Niger Delta Liberation) of being behind the attack, but MEND denied involvement and in turn blamed rebels from the disputed Bakassi Peninsula which was transferred from Nigeria to Cameroon in 2008. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for abbreviation GQ which stands for the nation of Equatorial Guinea.
The oil-rich Equatorial Guinea announced plans for a major upgrading of its infrastructure, including a doubling of capacity in the country’s ports. One intention is to be able to function as a regional trading center on the day of oil and gas pressure. The expansion is expected to be completed by 2011 at a cost of approximately SEK 15 billion.
In November, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema was re-elected with 95.2 percent of the vote in an election that was met with great skepticism among human rights groups. Despite formal multi-party democracy, the Nguema family has total control over power.
The dictatorship has attracted several coup attempts over the years. British mercenary Simon Mann and four other people, sentenced in 2008 to long prison terms for a coup attempt in 2004, were pardoned in November for “humanitarian reasons”.
The Europeans, who settled in the country since the 15th century, exploited these lands for a long time mainly for the slave trade, until, in the 19th century, they spread the practice of forest exploitation and plantation crops. The population is mainly made up of Fang (82.9%) and lower percentages of Bubi (9.6%), Ndowe (3.8%), Annobonesi (1.5%). The annual population growth coefficient (2009) is 2.7%. Although most of the residents are settled in the continental area (average density of 8 residents per km 2), in the islands there are much higher values (from 30-40 residents per km 2 on the island of Bioko to over 100 per km 2 in that of Annobón Pagalu). The main centers are the capital Malabo, on the island of Bioko, former seat of the Spanish governor, and Bata, on the Mbini coast, with a good port. The official languages are flanked by a great variety of dialects widespread among the different ethnic groups; the religion professed is in absolute prevalence the Catholic one.
The country has a strongly backward economic structure and the main growth prospects are linked, in the medium term, to offshore oil discoveries (Oil exports began in 1992 and soon their value stood at over four-fifths of total exports). There are also good reserves of gold, uranium and iron. The fundamental activities are plantation agriculture, practiced in Bioko, and the exploitation of forest resources, in Mbini. The products destined for foreign trade are cocoa, coffee, bananas, sugar cane, oil palm and precious wood for cabinet making (especially rosewood, ebony and okumé). The local population, on the other hand, draws its resources from various subsistence crops (cassava, sweet potatoes, coconut palm) and from fishing. Fair forest exploitation (about 866,000 m 3 of timber in 2006), with a large presence of precious woods.
With regard to communications, maritime communications are important, especially through the ports of Luba and Malabo (Bioko), Bata and Río Benito (Mbini). International airports are in Bata and Malabo; the road network, developed particularly on the island of Bioko, has about 2880 km, of which only 405 km are asphalted, while there are no railway lines.
Shop opening times: i. A. Mon-Sat 08.00-13.00 and 16.00-19.00.
The few restaurants are mostly concentrated in Malabo and Bata and are not necessarily open every day. Most restaurants offer Spanish and international dishes. Beer is expensive, but there is a reasonably priced local drink made from sugar cane, malamba.
In Malabo, Bata, Luba and Ebebiyin you will find several hotels of different standards. In Malabo there are also more basic accommodations available (two are on Avenida de las Naciónes), sharing bathrooms/washing facilities with other guests. For more information, contact the Embassy of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea in Paris, Boulevard de Courcelles, F-75003 Paris. Tel: (+33) (01) 56 88 54 54.
99% Catholic; animist and protestant minorities.
Social Rules of Conduct
Foreign visitors, especially Europeans, are a rarity in Equatorial Guinea and can expect curiosity, hospitality, but sometimes distrust. Foreign cigarettes are gladly accepted as gifts. Knowledge of Spanish is advantageous. Photographing: Permission is required, be careful when choosing a subject. Tipping: 10-15% if not already included in the bill.
Best travel time
Tropical climate all year round and heavy rainfall, which decreases somewhat between December and February.
Area (sq km)
Population density (per square km)
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