Equatorial Guinea at a glance        0  945 reads

Geography

Location; Western Africa, bordering the Bay of Biafra. Bordering nations--Cameroon, Gabon. Area; 28,050 sq. km; slightly smaller than Maryland. Cities; Capital--Malabo. Other cities--Bata (also capital of Littoral province on the mainland). Terrain; Varies. Bioko Island is volcanic, with three major peaks of 9,876 feet, 7,416 feet, and 6,885 feet. Behind the coastal plain, the mainland provinces are hilly at a level of approximately 2,000 feet, with some 4,000-foot peaks. Annobon Island is volcanic. Climate; Tropical; always warm, humid. The weather alternates between wet and dry seasons over the course of a year.


People

Nationality; Noun--Equatorial Guinean(s), Equatoguinean(s) Adjective--Equatorial Guinean, Equatoguinean. Population (July 2009 est.); 633,441. Annual population growth rate (2009 est.); 2.703%; (1975-2002); 2.8%. Ethnic groups; The Fang ethnic group of the mainland constitutes the great majority of the population and dominates political life and business. The Bubi group comprises about 50,000 people living mainly in Bioko Island. The Annobonese on the island of Annobon are estimated at about 3,000 in number. The other three ethnic groups are found on the coast of Rio Muni and include the Ndowe and Kombe (about 3,000 each) and the Bujebas (about 2,000). The pygmy populations have long been integrated into the dominant Bantu-speaking cultures. Europeans number around 2,000, primarily Spanish and French. There is a thriving Lebanese community, other Arabs (primarily Egyptians and Moroccans), a large number of Filipinos, and a rapidly expanding Chinese presence. Many guest workers from other African countries are drawn to service industry jobs boosted by the country’s oil boom. Languages; Official--Spanish, French; other--pidgin English, Fang, Bubi, Ibo. Religion; Nominally Christian and predominantly Roman Catholic; pagan practices. Education; Primary school compulsory for ages 6-12. Attendance (2007 est.)--90%. Adult literacy (2008 est.)--87%. Health (2009 est.); Life expectancy--61.61 years. Infant mortality rate--81.58/1,000.


Government

Type; Nominally multi-party Republic with strong domination by the executive branch. Independence; October 12, 1968 (from Spain). Constitution; Approved by national referendum November 17, 1991; amended January 1995. Branches; Executive--President (Chief of State), Prime Minister, and a Council of Ministers appointed by the president. Legislative--100-member Chamber of People's Representatives (members directly elected by universal suffrage to serve 5-year terms). Judicial--Supreme Tribunal; appointed and removed by the president. Administrative subdivisions; Seven provinces--Annobon, Bioko Norte, Bioko Sur, Centro Sur, Kie-Ntem, Littoral, Wele-Nzas. Political parties; The ruling party is the Partido Democratico de Guinea Ecuatorial (PDGE), formed July 30, 1987. There are 12 other recognized parties that formed in the early 1990s. Suffrage; 18 years of age; universal adult.


Economy

GDP (2009 est.); $22.86 billion. Real GDP growth rate (2009 est.) 5.3%. Inflation rate (2009 est.); 4.5%. Unemployment rate; (2009 est.) 22.3%. Natural resources; Petroleum, natural gas, timber, small, unexploited deposits of gold, manganese, and uranium. Agriculture (2008 est.); 2.7% of GDP. Products--coffee, cocoa, rice, yams, cassava (tapioca), bananas, palm oil nuts, manioc, livestock, and timber. Industry (2008 est.); 92.6% of GDP. Types--petroleum, natural gas, fishing, lumber. Services (2008); 4.6% of GDP. Trade (2008 est.); Exports--$15.82 billion; hydrocarbons (97%), timber (2%), others (1%). Imports--$3.211 billion. Major trading partners--United States, Spain, China, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Cameroon, and Norway. Currency; Communaute Financiere Africaine (CFA) franc.

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