Equatorial Guinea - Country history and economic development

1963. Provinces of Fernando Po (Bioko Island) and Río Muni (3 small islands and the mainland) are joined under Spanish rule.

1968. Country gains independence from Spain.

1979. Macias is overthrown by Brigadier-General Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in a violent coup.

1985. Country joins the Franc Zone.

1991. Obiang declares the end of one-party rule.

1991. Large oil and natural gas deposits are discovered.

1994. Investment by Mobil in the oil sector is followed by a number of multinationals over the next couple of years.

1996. Multi-party elections in 1996 are won by Obiang with 98 percent of the vote. This election is widely contested as unfair.

1997. French becomes second official language.

1997. The government claims an attempted coup in May and doubles the size of the military to 2,000.

1998. Attacks on government installations in January. Government blames a militant group for the attacks.

1999. The ruling PDGE increases its majority in parliament.

1999. Border dispute with Sao Tomé and Príncipe is settled by negotiation.

1999. First university established.

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