Category: Equatorial Guinea

Between 1471 and 1475, Portuguese navigators explored the Gulf of Guinea, discovering the islands of Ano Bom (Annobón) and Bioko (Fernando Po). In the following years, the island of Fernando Pó became an important Portuguese trading post. With the Treaty of Santo Ildefonso (1777), the islands came under Spanish rule. In 1781, due to yellow fever, the Spaniards withdrew from Fernando Pó. In 1827, the British occupied that island, which was taken over by the Spanish in 1861. In 1909, the Spanish colonies of Elobey, Ano Bom, Corisco, Fernando Pó and Spanish Continental Guinea were united, forming Spanish Guinea. In 1935, the colony was subdivided into two districts: Fernando Pó (the island of Ano Bom, with the capital Santa Isabel) and Guinea Continental (with the capital Bata, and the small islands of Corisco and Elobey). In 1968, Equatorial Guinea gained its independence from Spain. The Republic of Equatorial Guinea has three official languages: Spanish (main), French and Portuguese. In 2014, Equatorial Guinea became the ninth full-fledged member of the Communities of Portuguese Speaking Countries. The capital is Malabo, located on the island of Bioko. On the mainland, the largest city is Bata.