Equatorial Guinea, Africa
Equatorial Guinea is one of the smallest countries in continental Africa, having a population estimated at half a million. The discovery of sizeable petroleum reserves in recent years is altering the economic and political status of the country. The current strongman of Equatorial Guinea is Retired Brig. Gen. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who acts as president and has extensive powers, including naming and dismissing members of the cabinet, making laws by decree, dissolving the Chamber of Representatives, negotiating and ratifying treaties and calling legislative elections. Obiang retains his role as commander in chief of the armed forces and minister of defence, and he maintains close supervision of the military activity.
A huge proportion of the £370 million revenue is confiscated by the president while most of the 500,000 people subsist on less than a dollar a day and sewage runs through the streets of the capital Malabo, and there is no public transport and little drinking water or electricity.
Strangely, both male and female same-sex sexual activity is legal in Equatorial Guinea but since the country is very Roman Catholic a traveler can expect homophobia to run high.
News & Reports:
- Equatorial Guinea News & Reports, 2009/Sep/08