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Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea

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Population: 676,000 (est.)

Language(s): Spanish, French, Portuguese

Capital: Malabo (Oyala – under construction)

Interesting Facts:

  • The Central African CFA franc is the official currency of Equatorial Guinea.
  • The principal religion in Equatorial Guinea is Christianity which is the faith of 93% of the population. These are predominately Roman Catholic (87%) while a minority are Protestants (5%).
  • Another 5% of the population follow indigenous beliefs and the final 2% comprises Muslims, Bahá’í Faith, and other beliefs.
  • Equatorial Guinea is the smallest country in the continent of Africa that is a member of the United Nations
  • Equatorial Guinea at present functions as a Presidential Republic.
  • Equatorial Guinea has one of the worst human rights and press freedom records in the world.
  • Equatorial Guinea is known for its coastal plains that extend to its interior hills and its volcanic islands.
  • Equatorial Guinea is the only country in Africa where Spanish is an official language.
  • The country experiences a tropical climate with a hot and humid weather almost throughout the year.

Equatorial Guinea, officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, is a country located in Middle Africa. With an area of 28,000 square kilometres (11,000 sq mi) Equatorial Guinea is one of the smallest countries in continental Africa. It has two parts, an insular and a mainland region. The insular region, consists of the islands of Bioko (formerly Fernando Pó), in the Gulf of Guinea, and Annobón, a small volcanic island south of the equator. Bioko island is the northernmost part of Equatorial Guinea and is where the country’s capital, Malabo, is situated. The island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe is located between Bioko and Annobón. The mainland region, (Río Muni) is bordered by Cameroon on the north, Gabon on the south and east. It also includes several small offshore islands (such as Corisco, Elobey Grande and Elobey Chico).

Formerly the colony of Spanish Guinea, its post-independence name is suggestive of the state’s location near both the equator and the Gulf of Guinea. Apart from the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla on the coast of Morocco, it is the only territory in mainland Africa with Spanish as the official language.

Since the mid 1990s Equatorial Guinea has become one of sub-Sahara’s largest oil producers. With a population of 650,702, it is the richest country per capita in Africa and its gross domestic product (GDP) per capita ranks 21st in the world. However, the wealth is distributed very unevenly and few people have benefited from the oil riches. The country ranks 136th on the UN’s 2011 Human Development Index. The UN says that less than half of the population has access to clean drinking water and that 20% of children die before reaching five.

Equatorial Guinea has one of the worst human rights records in the world, consistently ranking among the “worst of the worst” in Freedom House’s annual survey of political and civil rights. Reporters Without Borders ranks President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo among its “predators” of press freedom. The US Trafficking in Persons Report, 2012, states “Equatorial Guinea is a source and destination for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking.” The report rates Equatorial Guinea as a “Tier 3″ country, the lowest (worst) ranking: “Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.”

Source: Wikipedia

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