Republic of Equatorial Guinea
República de Guinea Ecuatorial
CAPITAL : Malabo (formerly Santa Isabel)
FLAG : The flag is a tricolor of green, white, and red horizontal stripes; a blue triangle joins them at the hoist. The arms in the center of the white stripe hold a cotton tree (the national symbol), six stars—one for each physical division of the country—and the motto "Unidad, Justicia, Paz."
ANTHEM : Himno Nacional , beginning "Caminemos pisando la senda de nuestra inmensa felicidad" ("Let us walk on the path of our immense happiness").
MONETARY UNIT : Communauté Financière Africaine franc (CFA Fr), which was originally pegged to the French franc, has been pegged to the euro since January 1999 with a rate of 655.957 CFA francs to 1 euro. CFA Fr 1 = $0.00167 (or $1 = CFA Fr597.577) as of May 2003. There are coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, and 500 CFA francs and notes of 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000 francs.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard.
HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; Independence Day, 5 March; Labor Day, 1 May; OAU Day, 25 May; President's Birthday, 5 June; Armed Forces Day, 3 August; Human Rights Day, 10 December; Christmas, 25 December. Movable Christian holidays include Good Friday and Easter Monday.
TIME : 1 PM = noon GMT.
Dense tropical rainforest vegetation prevails throughout Equatorial Guinea. There are 140 species of trees, especially palms and hardwoods. Yams and bananas were introduced by the early inhabitants and became staples. Monkeys, chimpanzees, elephants, and gray doves are common.
The country is divided into seven provinces, each headed by a governor appointed by the president. The provinces are divided into districts and municipalities.
In 2002, military personnel numbered 1,320—army, 1,100; navy, 120; and air force, 100. The army consisted of three infantry battalions whose equipment included 10 armored personnel carriers. Paramilitary forces included the Civil Guard and the Coast Guard. In 2001 military expenditures amounted to $27.5 million, or 2.5% GDP.
Cattle and poultry production is rapidly reaching its preindependence levels of self-sufficiency with the financial help of the African Development Bank. However, production of domesticated animals is hindered by the presence of trypanosomiasis and other tropical deterrents. In 2001 there were 37,600 sheep, 9,000 goats, 6,100 hogs, and 5,000 cattle.
Spain, China, the former USSR, and several other countries have provided Equatorial Guinea with technological assistance.
No information is available.
The primary tax sources are customs duties, real and personal property, personal incomes, and estate levies.
In 1995 there were about 50,000 households with an average of eight persons per household.
The Malabo Public Library, housed in three branches, contains some 17,000 volumes. The Claretian Mission at Malabo has about 4,000 volumes of Africana and Guineana, and an archaeological-ethnographic museum. In Santa Isabel, the Mission Ethnological Museum houses a collection of the art of the Bubus people and stone sculptures of the Druids.
Apart from official and semiofficial organizations, most non government organizations are religious societies and sports clubs. An International Lion's Club has formed and the Red Cross has an active chapter.
Francisco Macías Nguema (1924–79) was president until his overthrow and execution in 1979. His successor, Lt.-Col. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (b.1946), has ruled Equatorial Guinea since 1979.
Equatorial Guinea has no territories or colonies.
Dun and Bradstreet's Export Guide to Equatorial Guinea. Parsippany, N.J.: Dun and Bradstreet, 1999.
Fegley, Randall. Equatorial Guinea. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Clio, 1991.
Liniger-Goumaz, Max. Historical Dictionary of Equatorial Guinea . 3d ed. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2000.
Sundiata, I. K. Equatorial Guinea: Colonialism, State Terror, and the Search for Stability. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1990.