Human Rights Watch, an international NGO conducting research and advocacy on human rights, issued a report that tyranny, destitution and poverty continue to plague Equatorial Guinea. However, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo says that his government continues to undertake political and economic reforms. According to Forbes Magazine, President Obiang has a net worth of US$600 million and is one of the richest heads of state in the whole world. He is the longest-serving chief executive in Africa.
Equatorial Guinea is located in Central West Africa adjacent to Gabon and Cameroon. It is composed of five populated islands and Rio Muni on the mainland of Africa. The country’s economy showed an unsatisfactory performance with a 5.5 percent of GDP in 2012 and forecast of 4.9 percent in 2013. This is still expected to become negative by the end of this year. Economic observers say that this is due to the lethargic oil industry and poor contributions from construction and the service sector.
In 2004, a group of mercenaries composed of Angolans and Black South Africans under the leadership of a former Special Air Service officer Simon Marin were arrested while in a private jet in Zimbabwe. They were suspected of involvement in a plot to overthrow the President of Equatorial Guinea. These soldiers-for-hire were repatriated to Equatorial Guinea and imprisoned in the infamous Black Beach Prison.
Relations between the President of this country and some Western governments remain thorny. The US State Department alleges that the Obiang’s son, Teodorin diverted millions of dollars worth of national income to his personal accounts. French authorities have already confiscated his mansion in Paris and a dozen luxury automobiles belonging to Teodorin.
Population. Ranked 166th in 2013.
GDP per capita. Ranked 29th in 2012.
28,050 sq km
Sq. km. Ranked 135th in 2008.