The World Factbook (1990)/Equatorial Guinea


Equatorial Guinea

World Factbook (1990) Equatorial Guinea.jpg

 See regional map VII


Total area: 28,050 km²; land area: 28,050 km²

Comparative area: slightly larger than Maryland

Land boundaries: 539 km total; Cameroon 189 km, Gabon 350 km

Coastline: 296 km

Maritime claims:

Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Disputes: maritime boundary dispute with Gabon

Climate: tropical; always hot, humid

Terrain: coastal plains rise to interior hills; islands are volcanic

Natural resources: timber, crude oil, small unexploited deposits of gold, manganese, uranium

Land use: 8% arable land; 4% permanent crops; 4% meadows and pastures; 51% forest and woodland; 33% other

Environment: subject to violent windstorms

Note: insular and continental regions rather widely separated


Population: 368,935 (July 1990), growth rate 2.6% (1990)

Birth rate: 43 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 16 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 0 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 118 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 48 years male, 52 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 5.5 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Equatorial Guinean(s) or Equatoguinean(s); adjective—Equatorial Guinean or Equatoguinean

Ethnic divisions: indigenous population of Bioko, primarily Bubi, some Fernandinos; Rio Muni, primarily Fang; less than 1,000 Europeans, mostly Spanish

Religion: natives all nominally Christian and predominantly Roman Catholic; some pagan practices retained

Language: Spanish (official), pidgin English, Fang, Bubi, Ibo

Literacy: 40%

Labor force: 172,000 (1986 est.); 66% agriculture, 23% services, 11% industry (1980); labor shortages on plantations; 58% of population of working age (1985)

Organized labor: no formal trade unions


Long-form name: Republic of Equatorial Guinea

Type: republic

Capital: Malabo

Administrative divisions: 2 provinces (provincias, singular—provincia); Bioko, Rio Muni; note—there may now be 6 provinces named Bioko Norte, Bioko Sur, Centro Sur, Kié-Ntem, Litoral, Wele Nzas

Independence: 12 October 1968 (from Spain; formerly Spanish Guinea)

Constitution: 15 August 1982

Legal system: in transition; partly based on Spanish civil law and tribal custom

National holiday: Independence Day, 12 October (1968)

Executive branch: president, prime minister, deputy prime minister, Council of Ministers (cabinet)

Legislative branch: unicameral Chamber of People's Representatives (Cámara de Representantes del Pueblo)

Judicial branch: Supreme Tribunal

Leaders: Chief of State—President Brig. Gen. Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO (since 3 August 1979);

Head of Government—Prime Minister Cristino SERICHE Bioko Malabo (since 15 August 1982); Deputy Prime Minister Isidore Eyi Monsuy Andeme (since 15 August 1989)

Political parties and leaders: only party—Democratic Party for Equatorial Guinea (PDEG), Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, party leader

Suffrage: universal adult at age NA

Elections: President—last held 25 June 1989 (next to be held 25 June 1996); results—President Brig. Gen. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo was reelected without opposition;

Chamber of Deputies—last held 10 July 1988 (next to be held 10 July 1993); results—PDEG is the only party; seats—(41 total) PDEG 41

Communists: no significant number but some sympathizers

Member of: ACP, AfDB, Conference of East and Central African States, ECA, FAO, G-77, GATT (de facto), IBRD, ICAO, ICO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTERPOL, IPU, ITU, NAM, OAU, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO

Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Damaso OBIANG NDONG; Chancery at 801 Second Avenue, Suite 1403, New York, NY 10017; telephone (212) 599-1523; US—Ambassador Chester E. NORRIS, Jr.; Embassy at Calle de Los Ministros, Malabo (mailing address is P. O. Box 597, Malabo); telephone 2406 or 2507

Flag: 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)


Overview: The economy, destroyed during the regime of former President Macías Nguema, is now based on agriculture, forestry, and fishing, which account for about 60% of GNP and nearly all exports. Subsistence agriculture predominates, with cocoa, coffee, and wood products providing income, foreign exchange, and government revenues. There is little industry. Commerce accounts for about 10% of GNP, and the construction, public works, and service sectors for about 34%. Undeveloped natural resources include titanium, iron ore, manganese, uranium, and alluvial gold. Oil exploration is taking place under concessions offered to US, French, and Spanish firms.

GNP: $103 million, per capita $293; real growth rate NA% (1987)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): -6.0% (1988 est.)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues $23 million; expenditures $31 million, including capital expenditures of NA (1988)

Exports: $30 million (f.o.b., 1988 est.); commodities—coffee, timber, cocoa beans; partners—Spain 44%, FRG 19%, Italy 12%, Netherlands 11% (1987)

Imports: $50 million (c.i.f., 1988 est.); commodities—petroleum, food, beverages, clothing, machinery; partners—Spain 34%, Italy 16%, France 14%, Netherlands 8% (1987)

External debt: $191 million (December 1988)

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

Electricity: 23,000 kW capacity; 60 million kWh produced, 170 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: fishing, sawmilling

Agriculture: cash crops—timber and coffee from Rio Muni, cocoa from Bioko; food crops—rice, yams, cassava, bananas, oil palm nuts, manioc, livestock

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY81-88), $11 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $100 million; Communist countries (1970-88), $55 million

Currency: Communauté Financière Africaine franc (plural—francs); 1 CFA franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Communauté Financière Africaine francs (CFAF) per US$1—287.99 (January 1990), 319.01 (1989), 297.85 (1988), 300.54 (1987), 346.30 (1986), 449.26 (1985)

Fiscal year: 1 April-31 March


Highways: Rio Muni—1,024 km; Bioko—216 km

Ports: Malabo, Bata

Merchant marine: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 6,413 GRT/6,699 DWT; includes 1 cargo and 1 passenger-cargo

Civil air: 1 major transport aircraft

Airports: 4 total, 3 usable; 2 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 1 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: poor system with adequate government services; international communications from Bata and Malabo to African and European countries; 2,000 telephones; stations—2 AM, no FM, 1 TV; 1 Indian Ocean INTELSAT earth station

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, and possibly Air Force

Military manpower: males 15-49, 77,363; 39,174 fit for military service

Defense expenditures: 11% of GNP (FY81 est.)