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Equatorial Guinea

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The flag of Equatorial Guinea and the coat of arms are shown above.

Spanish is the official language of this country, one time known as Spanish Guinea. It is the only nation in Africa for which Spanish is the official language.1

Independence for the Republic of Equatorial Guinea was gained October 12, 1968.

As with many other resource rich but politically weak countries, the bounty of its rich natural oil resource has not translated well into the lives of the populace. This inadequacy may be seen in two parts. 1st, the leadership of the country must be sufficiently strong to negotiate equitable terms for the development of such resources as may be had. 2nd, the internal institutions of the country must be sufficiently strong to distribute the wealth owned by the country as a whole with some semblance of equity.

The 1st president survived an attempted coup d’etat and ordered the Christmas eve execution of 150 alleged plotters. Shortly thereafter he established a single party state and shortly after that, he then declared himself president for life.

Equatorial Guiniea leaned towards Communist patronage in those days, establishing relationships with the Soviet Union, People’s Republic of China, and Cuba.

In 1995, oil was discovered by Mobil Oil in their territory.2 The financial boon has not reached the populace however as Equatorial Guinea is considered a poor country.3

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  1. Equatorial Guinea, wikipedia
  2. “We used to be very poor. Then God answered our prayers – we discovered oil.” said Estanislao Don Malavo, the minister of work and social security to Ian Birrell, writing for The Guardian 2011, The Strange and Evil World of Equatorial Guinea.
  3. ” perhaps the planet’s most unequal society, a country where per-capita wealth exceeds Britain but three-quarters of its 675,000 citizens live on less than a dollar a day. Ibid.