What Should I Know About Equatorial Guinea?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2019
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The Republic of Equatorial Guinea is located in Central Africa. It is among the smallest countries on the continent, spanning just 10,828 square miles (28,051 kilometers). The country consists of more than one landmass, including Rio Muni, the island of Annobon, and the island of Bioko. Equatorial Guinea borders Cameroon, Gabon, and the Gulf of Guinea.

Equatorial Guinea was once a colony of Spain. At the time, it hailed by the name of Spanish Guinea. Interestingly, it stands out among other African countries as the only one that has Spanish as its official language. The country's motto is also Spanish and is Unidad, Paz, Justicia; in English, this motto means “Unity, Peace, Justice.” Spanish is not the only official language of Equatorial Guinea; French and Portuguese also have this status.

Equatorial Guinea’s government is considered a republic; it has not only a president, but also a prime minister. However, of the two, the president has the most power. In his position, he can make laws by decree, hire and fire cabinet members, and dismiss the Chamber of representatives. He can also negotiate and implement treaties with foreign governments and arrange for elections. The president also has an important role in making sure the country is able to defend itself; he serves as both the Commander in Chief of the country's armies and its Minister of Defense.


The prime minister of Equatorial Guinea obtains his position when appointed by the president. The president endows the prime minister with certain powers and responsibilities. It is his job to handle things that the president does not manage himself. As such, the prime minister is generally not afforded any or much real power in matters related to foreign policy or the country’s defense.

Most of the citizens of Equatorial Guinea are Bantu. A large portion of the Bantu hails from the Fang tribe. There are also several coastal tribes that make up around five percent of the population. A small number of Europeans also call Equatorial Guinea their home, as do a diminutive population of mulattoes. There is little Spanish presence, as most Spanish occupants left the country following its gain of independence in 1968.

For those interested in traveling to the country, rain is an important consideration. The country has a large number of dirt roads that become muddy and practically impassable at times. As such, it is suggested that visitors avoid the rainy season by traveling to the country between November and April.


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