Geographic and Governmental Profile of Equatorial Guinea

Background
Equatorial Guinea gained independence in 1968 after 190 years of Spanish rule. This tiny country, composed of a mainland portion plus five inhabited islands, is one of the smallest on the African continent. President Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO has ruled the country since 1979 when he seized power in a coup. Although nominally a constitutional democracy since 1991, the 1996, 2002, and 2009 presidential elections - as well as the 1999, 2004, and 2008 legislative elections - were widely seen as flawed. The president exerts almost total control over the political system and has discouraged political opposition. Equatorial Guinea has experienced rapid economic growth due to the discovery of large offshore oil reserves, and in the last decade has become Sub-Saharan Africa's third largest oil exporter. Despite the country's economic windfall from oil production resulting in a massive increase in government revenue in recent years, improvements in the population's living standards have been slow to develop.
Location
Central Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Cameroon and Gabon
Geographic coordinates
2 00 N, 10 00 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Africa
Area
total:
28,051 sq km
rank:
146
land:
28,051 sq km
water:
0 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundaries
total:
539 km
border countries:
Cameroon 189 km, Gabon 350 km
Coastline
296 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
Climate
tropical; always hot, humid
Terrain
coastal plains rise to interior hills; islands are volcanic
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point:
Pico Basile 3,008 m
Natural resources
petroleum, natural gas, timber, gold, bauxite, diamonds, tantalum, sand and gravel, clay
Land use
arable land:
4.63%
permanent crops:
3.57%
other:
91.8% (2005)
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Irrigated land
NA
Total renewable water resources
26 cu km (2001)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
0.11 cu km/yr (83%/16%/1%)
per capita:
220 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
violent windstorms; flash floods
volcanism:
Santa Isabel (elev. 3,007 m), which last erupted in 1923, is the country's only historically active volcano; Santa Isabel, along with two dormant volcanoes, form Bioko Island in the Gulf of Guinea
Environment - current issues
tap water is not potable; deforestation
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
insular and continental regions widely separated
Country name
conventional long form:
Republic of Equatorial Guinea
conventional short form:
Equatorial Guinea
local long form:
Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial/Republique de Guinee equatoriale
local short form:
Guinea Ecuatorial/Guinee equatoriale
former:
Spanish Guinea
Government type
republic
Capital
name:
Malabo
geographic coordinates:
3 45 N, 8 47 E
time difference:
UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
7 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Annobon, Bioko Norte, Bioko Sur, Centro Sur, Kie-Ntem, Litoral, Wele-Nzas
Independence
12 October 1968 (from Spain)
Constitution
approved by national referendum 17 November 1991; amended January 1995
Legal system
mixed system of civil and customary law
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO (since 3 August 1979 when he seized power in a military coup)
head of government:
Prime Minister Vicente Ehate TOMI (since 22 May 2012)
cabinet:
Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections:
president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (no term limits); election last held on 29 November 2009 (next to be held in 2016); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president
election results:
Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO reelected president; percent of vote - Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO 95.8%, Placido Mico ABOGO 3.6%
Legislative branch
unicameral House of People's Representatives or Camara de Representantes del Pueblo (100 seats; members directly elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections:
last held on 4 May 2008 (next to be held in 2013)
election results:
percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDGE 89, EC 10, CPDS 1
Parliament has little power since the constitution vests all executive authority in the president
Judicial branch
Supreme Tribunal
Political parties and leaders
Convergence Party for Social Democracy or CPDS [Placido MICO Abogo]; Democratic Party for Equatorial Guinea or PDGE [Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO] (ruling party); Electoral Coalition or EC; Party for Progress of Equatorial Guinea or PPGE [Severo MOTO]; Popular Action of Equatorial Guinea or APGE [Avelino MOCACHE]; Popular Union or UP [Daniel MARTINEZ Ayecaba]
Political pressure groups and leaders
ASODEGUE (Madrid-based pressure group for democratic reform); EG Justice (US-based anti-corruption group)
International organization participation
ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, CPLP (associate), FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Purificacion ANGUE ONDO
chancery:
2020 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone:
[1] (202) 518-5700
FAX:
[1] (202) 518-5252
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Alberto M. FERNANDEZ
embassy:
KM-3, Carreterade de Aeropuerto (El Paraiso), Apartado 95, Malabo note - relocated embassy is opened for limited functions; inquiries should continue to be directed to the US Embassy in Yaounde, Cameroon
mailing address:
B.P. 817, Yaounde, Cameroon; US Embassy Yaounde, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2520
telephone:
[237] 2220-1500
FAX:
[237] 2220-1572
Flag description
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); green symbolizes the jungle and natural resources, blue represents the sea that connects the mainland to the islands, white stands for peace, and red recalls the fight for independence
National symbol(s)
silk cotton tree
National anthem
name:
"Caminemos pisando la senda" (Let Us Tread the Path)
lyrics/music:
Atanasio Ndongo MIYONO/Atanasio Ndongo MIYONO or Ramiro Sanchez LOPEZ (disputed)
adopted 1968
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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