Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

Reference work entry


Malabo is the capital of Equatorial Guinea and home to most of the country’s population. It is located on the north coast of Bioko island, on the rim of an inactive volcano.


The city was founded in 1827 as Port Clarence when the Spanish, who owned the island, allowed the British to use the site as a centre for their efforts to suppress the slave trade. It was renamed Santa Isabel in 1843 after Isabella II of Spain, becoming the capital of Spanish Guinea. In 1968 it was made capital of Equatorial Guinea and in 1973 was renamed Malabo. The population declined in 1969 after riots between the population on Bioko and mainland Rio Muna.

Modern City

The city is a centre for the country’s trade and exports cocoa, copra, timber, fish and coffee.

There is an international airport.

Places of Interest

Reminders of the Spanish period include the Cathedral, located on the west side of the town in front of the Plaza de la Espania.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

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