Sekondi Accra

It is worth noting that President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo was re-elected by a landslide victory and is Africa's second-longest serving leader - after Libya's Muammar Gaddafi - and has been in power for three decades.. He won the November 2009 presidential polls with 96.7% of the vote and the ruling Partido Democratico de Guinea Ecuatorial has secured 99 of parliament's 100 seats since elections in November 2008. The president's political opponents, many of them based outside Equatorial Guinea, posit that he has not done enough to enact meaningful changes in his government. However, in June 2010, President Obiang announced a series of fundamental reforms designed to change the culture of corruption and mismanagement. Many analysts state that the political realm of the country remains one of the few bastions of strength masking the faults of what appears to be at times an unstabe government. This was clearly borne out in April 2010 when seven Nigerians supposedly linked to the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger rebels, were sentenced to long prison sentences for an attack on the presedential palace. President Obiang has also promised to curb environmental pollution, address poverty and improve human rights. After being expelled from the Extracitve Industries Transparency Initiative in April 2010, the government stated it would improve management of the oil sector and then apply for readmission.

Equatorial Guinea's economy is based almost exclusively on gas and petroleum exports and that means it is exposed to cycles of prosperity and decline. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that the country would have one of the continent's lowest growth rates in 2010, (.9%), before rising to 2.15 in 2011. The Bretton Woods Institutions are in negotiations with President Mbasogo to start planning for a post oil future by improving education, building infrastructure and empowering the business environment to enable economic diversification. The governement's infrastructure investment program, with costs overruns of more 25%, has caused the fiscal deficit to explode. Somagec, a Moroccan civil engineering company is building an airport and trade facility at Annobon and the government has begun to add social housing along with commercial real estate. These endeavors should help the economy expand.

An increased role of gas and petroleum should help the Equatorial Guinean economy. With at least triple the amount of natural gas in the country as expected, the government has enlisted the services of Germany's E.ON Ruhgras, Portugal's Galp Energia and Spain's Union Fenosa to double gas exports by 2015. The country's petroleum wells are producing about 318,000 barrels per day (bpd) and another 100,000 bpd are scheduled to become available by 2012. Russia's Gazprom Neft signed production sharing deals with the government in September 2010 for two oil blocks, while Afex agreed on an exploration deal in May 2010. In September 2010, the government selected the American based construction company KBR to build the 200,000 bpd Mbini refinery, with cost estimates of about $422 million dollars to be completed by 2013. After years of delay, the government in Malabo signed a new contract in mid-2010 to develop bauxite, gold and iron on the mainland. In June 2010, it awarded the Canadian Sillenger Exploration, a natural resources development company, the rights to claim large tracts of territory for mining and petroleum projects in exchange for locating areas of the country's mineral potential. With so many contracts being awarded to foreign business interests, it would seem that once again those outside of the indigenous population are benefiting from African resources.


Official Data


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Equatorial Guinea maintains an embassy at 2020 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 (Tel. (202) 518-5700, Fax. (202) 518-5252). Its mission to the United Nations is at 801 Second Avenue, Suite 1403, New York, N.W. 10017 (Tel. 212-599-1523). It opened a Consulate in Houston, Texas in 2009 at 6401 Southwest Freeway, Houston, 77074-2205 (Tel. 713-776-9900).
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