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The Beautiful Equatorial Guinea You Have to Visit to Appreciate

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Equatorial Guinea is a small country on the west coast of Africa which struck oil in 1995 and which is now being cited as a textbook case of the resource curse – or the paradox of plenty.

It is made up of a mainland territory called Rio Muni, and five islands including Bioko, where the capital Malabo is located.

Since the mid 1990s the former Spanish colony has become one of sub-Sahara’s biggest oil producers but a large proportion of the population still lives in poverty.

Rights organisations have described the two post-independence leaders as among the worst abusers of human rights in Africa.

The first president Francisco Macias Nguema’s reign of terror – from independence in 1968 until his overthrow in 1979 – prompted a third of the population to flee.

  • Capital: The Republic of Equatorial Guinea
  • Population 740,000
  • Area 28,051 sq km (10,830 sq miles)
  • Major languages Spanish, French
  • Religion Christianity
  • Life expectancy 54 years (men), 57 years (women)
  • Currency CFA (Communaute Financiere Africaine) franc