At the beginning of its independence in 1968, Equatorial Guinea was one of the most developed countries in Africa, although the economy was one-sidedly oriented towards the production of the export goods cocoa, coffee and wood. During the Macías dictatorship (1968-79) there was a severe economic decline. After that, the country recorded consistently high growth rates. The reason was the oil production off the mainland coast that began in the 1990s. Few benefited from the wealth, however, as most of the businesses were owned by members of the government (usually members of the president’s extended family) and their dependents. As early as 1993, the IMF and World Bank stopped a number of aid programs because of corruption and mismanagement. Many wages are set by the state and are very low. Gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015 a decrease of 12.2%; the gross national income (GNI) for 2017 is given as US $ 7,060. The inflation rate (2015) is 4.8%, the foreign debt 1.18 billion US $.
Foreign trade: Equatorial Guinea’s foreign trade balance was almost entirely negative until the mid-1990s. Due to oil production, there have been export surpluses since 1997 (import value 2015: 4.1 billion US $, export value 7.97 billion US $). Oil, wood and cocoa are the most important export goods. The most important trading partners are the USA, Spain, France and China.
According to smber, a large part of the population lives from subsistence farming. Agriculture, which employs a good 60% of the workforce, only generates 2% of GDP. Only about 6% of the country’s area can be used for arable farming, another 4% as pastureland. While cocoa cultivation dominates on the fertile volcanic soils in the northern part of the island of Bioko, coffee cultivation is concentrated on the mainland. Manioc, sweet potatoes and corn are mainly grown for personal use. For climatic reasons, cattle breeding is almost only possible in the Moca valley on Bioko.
Forestry: Forestry is an important economic factor. 57% of the state’s area is covered by forest (predominantly tropical rainforest). The tropical woods (okoumé, akoga) that are important for export come mainly from the mainland.
Fisheries: In spite of the abundance of fish in coastal waters, local fisheries are not very well developed and are mainly used for personal needs; Fishing licenses have been bought by the EU and other countries.
The country’s greatest wealth is the oil and gas deposits on and in front of Bioko (secured reserves: 100 million t), especially in the Zafiro field northwest of Bioko (around 75% of total production). Oil production began in 1992. It has since become the central factor in the country’s economy. Gold is mined on the mainland. Other undeveloped or poorly developed mineral resources include Titanium, iron ore, magnesium, copper, diamonds and uranium.
Equatorial Guinea has so far been little developed industrially; Agricultural products (cocoa, coffee) are prepared and processed (sawmills and other wood processing companies, oil mills, fish processing) in predominantly artisanal and small industrial companies. The revenues from the oil business mainly benefit the construction industry, which contributed 5.7% to GDP in 2014.
Although it is endowed with a wealth of natural beauty (including beautiful beaches, mountains, fascinating rainforest landscapes), Equatorial Guinea is not a travel destination, tourism hardly exists at all.
The road network (around 4,000 km) is in poor condition. On Bioko, the coastal road leading through the northern part of the island is the most important connection. All larger settlements are developed on the mainland. The most important road leads from Bata along the northern border of Equatorial Guinea to Ebebiyin on the border with Gabon. There is no public railway line. The most important sea ports are Malabo and Luba on Bioko and Bata on the mainland. International airports have Malabo and Bata.
Annobón, from 1973 to 1979 Pagalu, volcanic island (up to 750 m above sea level) off the west coast of Central Africa, part of Equatorial Guinea, 17 km 2, 4,100 residents; The main town is Palé.