Equatorial Guinea

  • Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Equatorial Guinea consists of the island of Bioko, for centuries called Fernando Pó; other smaller islands and the mainland territory of Rio Muni. Fernando Pó was named after the Portuguese navigator Fernão do Pó. The island was then ruled for three centuries by Portugal until 1778 when it was ceded to Spain. For some decades after taking possession of Fernando Pó, Spain did not have a strong presence. Britain was permitted to establish a naval base at Clarence (later Santa Isabel), which was central to the suppression of slave trading over a wide area. Spain asserted its rule from the 1840s. On Fernando Pó the Spanish grew cocoa on European-owned plantations using imported African labour. This traffic led to an international scandal in 1930 when Liberians were found to be held in virtual slavery. Later many Nigerians were employed, often in poor conditions.


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Further Reading

  1. Fegley, Randall, Equatorial Guinea, an African Tragedy. 1989Google Scholar
  2. Liniger-Goumaz, M., Guinea Ecuatorial: Bibliografía General. 1974–91.—Small is Not Always Beautiful: The Story of Equatorial Guinea. 1988.—Historical Dictionary of Equatorial Guinea. 2000Google Scholar
  3. Molino, A. M. del, La Ciudad de Clarence. 1994Google Scholar
  4. National Statistical Office: Dirección General de Estadísticas y Cuentas Nacionales.Google Scholar
  5. Website (Spanish only):

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

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