Equatorial Guinea is one of Africa's smallest countries, composed of a mainland and five islands, the largest of which contains the capital city, Malabo. It is the only Spanish-speaking nation in Africa, having gained its independence from Spain in October 1968. President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has been in power since 1979.
Fuelled by the discovery of large offshore oil reserves, Equatorial Guinea has experienced rapid economic growth and in the last decade has become Sub-Saharan Africa's third largest oil exporter. However, growth has not been equitable and poverty remains widespread. Subsistence farming is the main livelihood for Equatoguineans, despite it only comprising a small component of gross domestic product. The country's main exports are petroleum products and timber.
Equatorial Guinea has a multiethnic population, with three official languages (Spanish, French and Portuguese) and several other indigenous languages. The country is a member of the African Union, the Economic Community of Central African States, La Francophonie, and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Nations.
Australia's diplomatic representation to Equatorial Guinea is from the Embassy in Madrid, Spain.
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