oa Africa Insight - Politics and power in Equatorial Guinea

Volume 16, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



Equatorial Guinea was known as Spanish Guinea or the Spanish Equatorial Region until 1963. This independent African state consists of the mainland province Rio Muni, the island province of Bioko (originally Fernando Po) and the smaller islets Annobon, Corisco, Elobey Grande and Elobey Chico in the Gulf of Guinea. Continental Rio Muni is a forest enclave bordered by Cameroon in the north and by President Bongo's Gabon (with which there has been a long-standing border dispute) in the east and south. The island Bioko lies about 125 miles north of the mainland and houses the capital of the republic, Malabo (formerly Santa Isabel) - a city with one of the most inhospitable climates in Africa. In 1960 approximately 7 000 of the country's 250 000 inhabitants were European. Since then, the population of both blacks and whites has suffered a serious decline.

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