Equatorial Guinea

After 190 years of Spanish rule, Equatorial Guinea gained independence in 1968. Equatorial Guinea is one of the smallest African countries, and is comprised of a mainland and five uninhabited islands. Equatorial Guinea is nominally a constitutional democracy since 1991, but has experienced a history of (speculated) flawed elections. In the last decade, it has become sub-Saharan Africa’s third largest oil exporter, but despite its rapid economic growth, the living standards of Equatorial Guinea have not yet experienced significant improvement. With a total area of 28,051 sq km, this country is slightly smaller than Maryland. It has a tropical climate, and its natural resources are petroleum, natural gas, timber, gold, bauxite, diamonds, tantalum, sand and gravel, and clay. Equatorial Guinea has two official languages, Spanish and French. It is nominally Christian and predominantly Roman Catholic, though there are some who participate in pagan practices. The major ethnic group of Equatorial Guinea is Fang at 85.7%. Other ethnic groups of the country are Bubi (6.5%), Mdowe (3.6%), Annobon (1.6%), Bujeba (1.1%), and other (1.4%). The capital of Equatorial Guinea is Malabo. Equatorial Guinea is a republic with a mixed system of civil and customary law. Its national symbol is the silk cotton tree.