Introducing Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea is a West African nation divided into two parts: the mainland and the islands. The country is sandwiched between Cameroon and Gabon. It was the only sub-Saharan country to be a Spanish colony; the only other African colony was Western Sahara. It is the third-largest oil producer in Sub-Saharan Africa, after Angola and Nigeria.
For tourists, Equatorial Guinea is notorious for its high prices and difficult-to-obtain visas. This is a police state, similar to Turkmenistan and North Korea (minus the minders and organized persecution of its inhabitants). As a result, tourist infrastructure is restricted, and the government places little emphasis on it. You are likely to face abuse from police officers who are interested in what you are doing in the country as a "tourist." Since the majority of the oil companies operating here are American, Americans may receive slightly better treatment than other nationalities (e.g. visa-free entry, less suspicion by police).
After the discovery of oil, Equatorial Guinea has had one of the highest per-capita incomes on the planet, at least on paper. Despite this, many Equatorial Guineans' income and day-to-day lives have improved little as a result of widespread corruption that funnels oil revenue into the hands of a tiny wealthy elite. However, there has been progress, with new infrastructure and modernization projects under construction or even completed, particularly on Bioko and in the Malabo area. This new settlement, named Oyala or Djibloho, is being built on the mainland between Bata and Mongomo in 2016. Despite the impressive-looking modern infrastructure, few Equatorial Guineans have access to it, and despite the government's billions of dollars spent on new construction, less than half of the country's population (fewer than 700,000) has access to safe drinking water.
The official languages of Equatorial Guinea are Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Spanish is the colonial language, and the nation is also a member of La Francophonie. Bioko has an Anglophone community that is traditionally related to British trade on the island. Languages such as French and Portuguese are also used officially in the country. Except in the capital city, few people speak English. The Fang and Igbo languages are commonly spoken.
Last modified on 04/25/2021 - 14:32
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