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State

Capital

Equatorial Guinea

Malabo

Currency unit

CFA franc

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Spain

Spanish Empire

West Africa

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History

Formerly the Spanish colony of Rio Muni and the island of Fernando Po. The British had occupied Fernando Po from 1827-1834 as a base for the anti-slavery patrol but left when Spain said it had a claim dating from 1778. Little development occurred during the Spanish period except for plantations on Fernando Po. On independence in 1969 the territory stagnated, especially as the brutality of the regime of Macias Nguema drove away many of the economically active, including many Igbos from Nigeria.

There was no preparation for independence and very few educated people after years of dictatorial Francoist rule (Spain at this time was still a dictatorship itself).

Chaos followed, as in Zaire (Congo-Kinshasa).

Main ethnic group in the country is the Fang, a Bantu speaking group. On Fernando Poo the Bubi, another Bantu group originally from the mainland, were replaced by Fang and Igbo and former slaves (Fernandinos) left by the British before Freetown in Sierra Leone was founded. The Igbo were contract laborers and were repatriated by Nigeria in 1975 when conditions under Macias Nguema grew bad. The capital is on the island (renamed Macias Nguema Biyogo) at Malabo but people at Bata on the mainland wish it to be the capital. It is quite possible that eventually there will be two states. There is an independence movement on the island.

Macias Nguema was in his time one of the three worst rulers in Africa (along with Jean-Bedel Bokassa and Idi Amin). His successor continues the tradition.

Languages

Fang

Bubi

Igbo

Spanish

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 Climate

Politics

After independence from Spain the regime was led by Macias Nguema and then, on his deposition in 1979, by his nephew Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. In the time of Macias Nguema the regime was one of the three worst for human rights abuses (with Uganda and Central Africa). It is still an absolute dictatorship. Elections held in November 1993 were boycotted by the opposition parties, after they complained that they had not been allowed to campaign. Murders of opposition politicians take place but most have fled abroad.

It is probably still the worst regime in Africa.

A group of South African and other businessmen tried to stage a coup in 2004 to remove the ruler, presumably in the interest of oil companies. They failed and some of them and their mercenaries were jailed in Equatorial Guinea, others in Zimbabwe. The son of Margaret Thatcher seems to have been involved and was convicted in South Africa of offences related to the attempted coup. Others were sent from Zimbabwe where they had been arrested (African dictators like to support each other) to be tried and imprisoned.

The leaders have been released after spending a year in prison.

Frederick Forsyth - The Dogs of War


The Dogs Of War

 History

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Economics

On independence there was stagnation and reversion to subsistence economy with reports of near slavery.

The country has joined the CFA monetary zone to which all former French colonies belong.

In colonial times the main business was cocoa. Now the president is reported to have taken all the profits.

The curse of oil has struck when Mobile is providing the president with huge amounts of money. He spends the money in the US, but the people have not seen any of it. Are they likely to? Not a sniff. The country is a kleptocracy - ruled by thieves, the ruling family (like Libya under Gaddafi).

It is suspected the western oil companies had something to do with the attempted coup. As a result Chinese interests are taking over. They have no interest in human rights, only the oil.

Wasting the oil money

A rare reporter to this hell hole.

 History

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 Climate

Green/Ecology

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Climate

Human Rights

Under the late President Macias Nguema this country had the worst record in Africa. No better at present.

Amnesty International reports the use of torture and forced labor.

Climate effects

Last revised 3/11/11


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