25 Interesting Facts About Equatorial Guinea

  1. Equatorial Guinea is a small country on the western coast of central Africa. It shares land borders with Cameroon on the north and Gabon on the east and south.
  2. Equatorial Guinea consists of the continental mainland area (Rio Muni) and five islands. Malabo on Bioko, one of the five islands, is the capital city.
  3. The literacy rate in Equatorial Guinea is 95%, the highest in Africa alongside Seychelles and South Africa. It has Africa’s highest literacy rate (98%) for the population between 15 and 24 years. (Source)
  4. The goliath frog is the largest living frog species. It is present only in Equatorial Guinea and its neighboring country Cameroon.
  5. The first European to view Equatorial Guinea was a Portuguese explorer. He saw the island of Bioko in 1472.
  6. Equatorial Guinea remained under the control of Portugal, Spain, Britain, and France in later centuries. It gained independence from Spain in 1968.
  7. French and Spanish are the two official languages in Equatorial Guinea. It is the only African country with Spanish as an official language. Widely spoken local languages are Fang and Bubi.
  8. Since independence, Equatorial Guinea has remained under two presidents: Francisco Macias Nguema and his nephew Teodoro Obiang Nguema.
  9. The presidency of Francisco Nguema is infamous for its brutality and human rights abuses, which resulted in the killing and forced exile of foreigners and the educated class. He was overthrown and later executed by his nephew in 1979.
  10. Teodoro Obiang Nguema has been the president of Equatorial Guinea since 1979, making him the longest-serving ruler in Africa.
  11. Teodoro Obiang Nguema and his eldest son have faced allegations of corruption. His policies have helped the concentration of wealth in the hands of a small minority. Most of his country’s population lives in poverty due to high wealth inequality.
  12. Equatorial Guinea discovered oil reserves in 1996 and became a full member of OPEC in 2017. Petroleum products constitute 80% of the country’s exports and 90% of government revenues, making it one of the largest oil exporters in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  13. Nearly 80% population of Equatorial Guinea believes in Roman Catholic Christianity. Over 4% follow Sunni Islam, while 7% are adherents of other branches of Christianity.
  14. The initial inhabitants of Equatorial Guinea were pygmies. They are now present only in isolated areas of northern Rio Muni.
  15. Equatorial Guinea has a multi-ethnic population. More than 55% are Fang, followed by Bubi, Yoruba, and Igbo.
  16. Equatorial Guinean capital Malabo is one of the cloudiest and wettest capital cities. It receives less than 1,200 sunshine hours per year. 
    A stadium in Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) after rain
    Malabo is one of the cloudiest and wettest capital cities

  17. San Antonio de Ureca in Equatorial Guinea is the wettest place in Africa and one of the wettest in the world. It receives an average annual rainfall of more than 10,000 mm.
  18. Equatorial Guinea is one of the few countries without a UNESCO world heritage site.
  19. Equatorial Guinean swimmer Eric Moussambani established the record for slowest swimming during the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The reason for this performance was the absence of an Olympic-size swimming pool in his country. This record earned him the nickname: Eric the eel. (Source)
  20. In 2017, the government moved to a new headquarter in mainland Equatorial Guinea. Djibloho is located inside the rainforest, close to the border with Gabon. This aim of this move is to protect the regime from any coup attempt. (Source)
  21. Equatorial Guinea is among a few countries where the capital city is not on the country’s mainland.
  22. Despite its name, no part of Equatorial Guinea is on the equator. However, some portion of the country is on the north of the equator, and the remaining is on its south.
  23. Equatorial Guinea is one of the four countries with Guinea in its name. The other three are Guinea and Guinea-Bissau in Africa and Papua New Guinea in Oceania.
  24. In March 2004, Equatorial Guinea foiled an attempted coup with assistance from Zimbabwe. The plotters include mercenaries and financers from Britain and allegedly from Spain.
  25. Equatorial Guinea is one of the least free countries. It has performed poorly in areas related to political rights and civil liberties.

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