Equatorial Guinea



Equatorial Guinea (Spanish: Guinea Ecuatorial), officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea (Spanish: República de Guinea Ecuatorial, French: République de Guinée équatoriale, Portuguese: República da Guiné Equatorial), is a small country located in Central Africa, with an area of 28,000 square kilometres (11,000 sq mi). It has two parts, an insular and a mainland region. The insular region consists of the islands of Bioko (formerly Fernando Pó) in the Gulf of Guinea and Annobón, a small volcanic island south of the equator. Bioko Island is the northernmost part of Equatorial Guinea and is the site of the country's capital, Malabo. The island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe is located between Bioko and Annobón. The mainland region, Río Muni, is bordered by Cameroon on the north and Gabon on the south and east. It also includes several small offshore islands (such as Corisco, Elobey Grande, and Elobey Chico).Formerly the colony of Spanish Guinea, its post-independence name evokes its location near both the equator and the Gulf of Guinea. Apart from the Spanish territories of Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla on the coast of Morocco, and Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (a.k.a. Western Sahara), it is the only country in Africa whose de jure official language is Spanish.Since the mid-1990s, Equatorial Guinea has become one of sub-Sahara's largest oil producers. With a population of 650,702, it is the richest country per capita in Africa, and its gross domestic product (GDP) per capita ranks 69th in the world; However, the wealth is distributed very unevenly and few people have benefited from the oil riches. The country ranks 136th on the UN's 2011 Human Development Index. The UN says that less than half of the population has access to clean drinking water and that 20% of children die before reaching five.The authoritarian regime ruling Equatorial Guinea has one of the worst human rights records in the world, consistently ranking among the "worst of the worst" in Freedom House's annual survey of political and civil rights. Reporters Without Borders ranks President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo among its "predators" of press freedom. Human trafficking is a significant problem, with the US Trafficking in Persons Report, 2012, stating that "Equatorial Guinea is a source and destination for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking." The report rates Equatorial Guinea as a "Tier 3" country, the lowest (worst) ranking: "Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so."