Equatorial Guinea, is located on the west coast of Africa. It consists of Río Muni (also known as Continental Equatorial Guinea), on the continent, and five islands (known collectively as insular Equatorial Guinea): Bioko, Corisco, Great Elobey, Little Elobey and Annobón. Bata is the administrative capital of the mainland. Formerly a colony of Spain with the name Spanish Guinea, the country achieved its independence on October 12, 1968. The capital is Malabo, on Bioko.
The first president was Francisco Macías Nguema. After his election in 1971, he assumed wide powers and pushed through a constitution that named him president for life in July 1972. He assumed absolute personal powers in 1973, and the island of Fernando Po was renamed Macias Nguema Biyogo Island in his honour. He controlled the radio and press, and foreign travel was stopped.
Continental Equatorial Guinea is a roughly rectangular territory bounded by Cameroon to the north and Gabon to the east and south. Near the coast are the small islands of Corisco and Great and Little Elobey. Bioko, by far the largest of the islands, lies off the coast of Cameroon in the Bight of Biafra. Annobón, a volcanic island, lies south of the Equator and almost 400 miles (640 km) to the southwest of Bioko.
Facts About Equatorial Guinea;
- Fewer than one million people live there.
- It is one of the richest countries in Africa.
- It is the third largest oil exporter in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- It is the only country in Africa to have Spanish as an official language.
- It is the smallest African country to be a member of the United Nations.