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. The constitution vests all executive authority in the president.
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 Government has committed to diversifying the economy and fostering investment in five sectors: agriculture and animal ranching, fishing, mining and petrochemicals, tourism, and financial services. The country's main exports are petroleum products and timber to predominantly Japan and France, and imports consist mostly of petroleum sector equipment and construction materials, from Spain and China.
Equatorial Guinea has a multiethnic population, with two official languages (Spanish and French) and a number of other indigenous languages. It's admission to the Community of Portuguese Speaking Nations in July 2014 followed from Portuguese being designated as the third official language. The country is also a member of La Francophonie and the African Union. In 2014, Equatorial Guinea hosted the African Union Leaders Summit.
Australia's diplomatic representation to Equatorial Guinea is from the Embassy in Madrid, Spain.
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