The future is mixed for the country and the people of Equatorial Guinea. The aggregate growth prospects for the economy remain fairly bright, with high levels of economic growth being forecast for the future. These growth forecasts are dependent on the recent high prices of oil, which historically have been subject to tremendous price fluctuations. A drop in world oil prices could be disastrous for these future growth prospects.
Perhaps even more troubling is the uneven level of development in the country. While the oil sector has been booming in recent years, the bulk of the population remains dependent on subsistence farming for their livelihood. This large part of the population has been relatively untouched by recent economic successes and most likely would be untouched by further economic growth fueled by the oil sector.
On the positive side, Equatorial Guinea has shown some ability to develop the timber industry and has great potential for development in the mining and tourism sectors. The challenge for the country is to find the means to further develop these sectors.
In recent years the country has made some progress in investing in telecommunications, roads, and rail systems. This is one means of using the government revenues from the economic boom in the oil sector to finance economic development in other parts of the country. While this exhibits some positive signs, much more needs to be done.
In many ways, Equatorial Guinea suffers from the same problems as many other African countries. The country is rich in natural resources, yet poor in essentially all other aspects of economic development. The problems ahead will revolve around issues of how to use these resources to stimulate even economic development.